What is the most important thing in navigation? It is known - cards! Accurate and timely updated. New streets, interchanges, road signs appear in the metropolis almost weekly. The characteristics of GPS receivers are important, but not decisive. In all three devices we took for the test, we used a receiver based on the SiRF Star III chipset, which is by far the most modern and sensitive among household systems. And the satellite search results were nonetheless different. Pocket Navigator and Bluetooth GPS showed generally good reception (even though only two GPS satellites were high above the horizon during test trips). But Garmin Nu..vi just worked wonders and was "lost" (and this, alas, happens with every navigator) much less often!
POCKET Navigator PN-169
If you don’t have a handheld computer and you need to solve the navigation problem from scratch, only the older model PN-168RS for 490 can make an alternative to the Pocket Navigator PN-169 for $ 539.
In a bright box, there is a computer with an integrated GPS receiver, an SD card with Pocket GPS PRO MOSCOW 2.0 software, a network charger with adapters, a car holder and power cord, as well as an external GPS antenna. The latter is useful if the car has an athermal or heated windshield with a metal film, which degrades the reception of satellite signals.
The assembly and installation do not cause problems, the navigation program starts immediately after installing the card. It remains to pick up the stylus and make a route. It is important to remember the instruction: so, two-word street names must be entered in strict sequence. For example, Academician Kapitsa, not Kapitsa. However, if you are confused in the academic and military ranks, you can put the symbol "*" in front of the surname … It remains to dial the house number. The list, taking into account the buildings, buildings and fractional names, the system will issue itself. You can enter the address directly from the card by poking at the right place with the stylus. The device thinks for 10-15 seconds - and issues a route.
We go, listening carefully to voice commands. In a slow stream this is not difficult: instructions are given 160 meters before turning. For the center of the capital, the lead is optimal, but on highways, the supply is small: you do not have time to rebuild. In expert mode, you can configure a double warning at any distance. But still, it would be more convenient to receive commands depending on the speed of movement: about 30 seconds before the start of the maneuver …
Having prettyly scrolled around the capital and visiting the “necessary” addresses, we come to the conclusion: best of all, Pocket GPS PRO MOSCOW 2.0 (v 2.4.6.R_PN) searches for the desired address on the outskirts of the capital. The program is well oriented in numerous "buildings", "buildings" and fractional numbers. In the alleys of the center of Moscow, she lacks accuracy. Although there are almost no gross errors: for example, the vast majority of one-way streets are correctly perceived. White spots are noticed on the third ring - in places where you need to change lanes in advance to turn on a parallel track, there is no warning about this. But at the fork, the system confidently commands: "to the right after 160 meters." In fairness - in case of an error, she quickly recounts the route.
In expert mode, the user opens up a myriad of settings - many shortcomings can be fixed here, but this will require a fair amount of skill. Unfortunately, there was not enough time to try the mode with traffic information and automatic detour.
GARMIN NUVI 300
This company does not need to be presented - the one who at least once held a GPS receiver in his hands probably knows the Garmin brand. Navigators of yachtsmen, pilots, fishers, runners, motorists - reliable devices, but not cheap and requiring a competent user.
Nu..vi 300 does not look like a harsh professional: a neat silver box with a single power button and a touch screen. The price of the device is 650 dollars with a map of Europe; with an additionally loaded map of Moscow and an additional memory card of 128 megabytes - $ 760. As a bonus, a coupon for loading another card of your choice is given. Without a bracket, the Nu..vi is packaged in a small leather case and fits in your shirt pocket. The device is intended for a wide range of tourists and, in addition to the main function, can be a dictionary, guidebook, MP3 player and device for viewing digital photos.
The interface is not yet Russified, but there are no difficulties. The main menu consists of only three buttons. Free translation: “Where are we going”, “See the map” and “Traveler set”. Using your finger and on-screen keyboard, select the country, region, city, street and house number. After typing part of the word Nu..vi tells you options - nowhere is easier. That's just the editorial address - “Seliverstov per. 10”- the system does not know: it led to a neighboring house … However, the main thing is not where, but how! You can choose either the shortest or the fastest path (along the main highways). The main highways and interchanges are correctly transmitted, the map on the screen is not burdened with numerous layers and buildings, therefore it is redrawn very quickly as it moves.
But the main plus of Nu..vi is the three-dimensional mode, in which the path is shown as if from a flight altitude. You can not listen to voice commands (in the test sample - in English), but maneuver with a clear intersection with a purple line of the desired route.
On this ode Nu..vi have to end. It was worth leaving the busy highways, and mistakes rained down on peas. The driver had to refuse the offer to pass under the "brick" at the beginning of Izmailovsky Boulevard. The fact that not all Park streets are equally useful, and some end in a dead end, the system also does not know. I didn’t like the behavior in the areas of new buildings: leading to the right street, Nu..vi shows the arrow in the depth of the quarter and congratulates you on reaching the goal. We have to proceed further according to the usual scheme: open a window and ask passers-by how to find house 15, building 2 …
WAYFINDER BLUETOOTH GPS + SONYERICSSON P800
Modern maps of Europe occupy gigabytes. For portable devices, an attempt to digest a huge amount of data is not yet feasible. So, we need to limit ourselves to small. But how do you know in advance which piece of card you need?
If you choose navigation with Wayfinder, this is not a problem. You only need a smartphone or a fairly modern mobile phone with a large screen that supports the execution of Java programs and has Bluetooth, as well as a GPS receiver and the "extra" 99 euros. For this amount you will receive appropriate software and support for a year. For 149 euros you can "subscribe" for life. For a phone for life, of course … The final budget looks like this: a phone from $ 250, a receiver from $ 160 plus the selected service scheme. Plus another 10 to 50 cents per hour for data transfer. Perhaps soon the full payment through the mobile operator will be realized - 1 euro per day and you have a personal navigator.
The phone navigation program processes your request and sends it to the Wayfinder website. There, the program calculates the route and, as it moves, takes off step-by-step instructions and maps from Tele Atlas. The scale of the map depends on the speed - the slower the better the surroundings are drawn. The phone recognizes its location through communication with the GPS-receiver.
Where did the internet come from in the phone? Full of you! Also ask where the children come from! Believe me, it’s not there in everybody … The main minus of Wayfinder is that the system requires full coverage by one of the mobile operators. There is no connection or money on the account has run out - there is no navigation. If you think that this is the technology of the next century and does not work in our country, then you are mistaken. We checked, it works, and not bad. At least the routes in the center of the capital were laid correctly. In addition, only Wayfinder was able to identify as a dead end the street indicated on all maps of the carriageways. The quality of the routes is quite acceptable, the interchanges are correct. One trouble - the old SonyEricsson P800 with backlight drains the battery too quickly. So you can’t do without additional power …
Will the most perfect navigator make a novice behind the wheel or a nonresident driver a seasoned capital taxi driver? The answer is negative. Will it help to find the right address? Undoubtedly. Perhaps not in the fastest way, but you will get to the point. At this stage, the determining factor is not the technical perfection of the navigator itself, but the quality and timeliness of the map and routing. And the user’s qualifications: the map, you know, you must also read …
Which navigator is the most convenient? Of course, built into the car. In addition to optimal ergonomics, a large and bright screen, it has a major difference - it uses not only data from satellites to determine the position of the car, but also signals from the vehicle’s wheel sensors. This allows you to accurately determine the position of the car in tunnels, at multi-level junctions, in narrow lanes between tall buildings - when reliable reception of satellite signals is impossible. But we will talk about this type of navigators with specific examples next time.
POCKET Navigator PN-169 - A GIFT FOR THE SISADMIN.
+ Multifunctionality, ease of mastering the program in "simple" mode, detailed maps of Moscow and the region, the ability to plot a route taking into account traffic jams, a completely Russian interface.
- The user is preferable to experience communicating with a handheld computer, most settings are available only in the "expert" mode, the screen brightness is insufficient on a sunny day, a stylus is required to enter the address, the mounting bracket does not dampen vibration.
GARMIN NU..VI 300 - LIKE A CUZIN OF VOLOGDA.
+ Multifunctional device, ease of use, excellent signal reception in difficult conditions, a bright touch screen does not require a stylus, good routing on the map, 3D view.
- The map is not detailed enough, there are errors in the database of objects, it does not know the location of houses inside the quarters, it lays routes mainly on major highways, it incorrectly considers the time of arrival.