Navigon 6300 GPS unit

Navigon's latest top-of-the-line GPS includes voice command technology

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Navigon 6300
  • Navigon 6300
  • Navigon 6300
  • Navigon 6300

Pros

  • Stylish design, speech recognition is surprisingly accurate, 3D terrain, fast rerouting times, MyRoutes, Lane Assistant, traffic capabilities

Cons

  • UI lacks polish of competitors, screen and case attract fingerprints, keyboard can't be changed from ABC layout, Bluetooth audio performance

Bottom Line

The Navigon 6300 packs a wealth of features into a relatively compact and stylish frame. Despite being a top-of-the-range model, this GPS unit represents excellent value for money.

Would you buy this?

Navigon's latest top-of-the-line GPS unit — the Navigon 6300 — is a sleek and stylish piece of hardware that packs in a wealth of features, including voice recognition. Though the Navigon 6300's interface and map display lack the visual appeal of alternatives, the overall navigational experience is sound.

The Navigon 6300 has a similar design to the company's previous GPS units — it's finished in a combination of glossy matte black plastic with chrome edging. The piano-black finish isn't the kindest to fingerprints, but it gives this GPS a very stylish and slick look. Navigon offers a 24-month warranty on all of its GPS units.

The GPS unit comes with a hassle-free window mount. It is a little larger than usual and is basically a chunk of curved plastic with a large, solid clip that helps attach it to the windscreen.

The Navigon 6300 GPS unit has a 4.3in widescreen display that unfortunately suffers from the same fingerprint issue as the glossy plastic casing. Despite excessive smudges and marks, the display was bright and clear and performed reasonably well in direct sunlight. Viewing angles are poor, however; we suggest mounting the 6300 as close to direct line of sight as possible.

The 6300 has a dark user interface with orange and white highlights. Although it's simple enough to operate once you familiarise yourself with the menus, it lacks the polish of the interfaces used by competing units, particularly those from TomTom and Garmin.

Entering an address is a three-stage process of typing the city, street name and house number using the on-screen keyboard, which, unfortunately, can’t be changed from the standard ABC layout. You can choose to enter the city or street first and the keyboard is large and clear; search options are narrowed down as you type.

Voice commands are a new feature on the Navigon 6300, allowing you to enter an address by speaking to the unit. Like using the keyboard, entering an address with voice commands is a three-stage process. The Navigon 6300's speech recognition is surprisingly accurate and it even works well with the window open. The main drawback is speed — the process of the unit asking for a command, waiting for the command signal, saying the command and the unit processing the command means that typing an address is much quicker.

The addition of 3D terrain makes for a spectacular map screen when travelling up or down the coast. We used the Navigon 6300 to travel from Sydney to the South Coast and it mapped the complex terrain of Wollongong and surrounding areas almost perfectly. We found this feature handy to predict the slope and bend of upcoming roads.

The Navigon interface uses variously sized and placed information boxes on the bottom of the map screen. We really like the next turn icons, which are large and easy to see. The text-to-speech voice is loud and clear but can struggle when pronouncing various street names. We found the Navigon 6300 a little sluggish to pick-up a GPS fix when turned on, but rerouting is fast.

Navigon's MyRoutes technology claims to learn from the user's past driving experiences. For example, if certain roads take too long at particular times, MyRoutes will avoid them in the future during those times. The MyRoutes feature is most useful for people who will use the GPS device on a daily basis (such as couriers or taxi drivers). When selecting a route, the Navigon 6300 will provide up to three route options with an approximate time for each — one of these is a MyRoutes option, highlighted green.

The Navigon 6300 also includes Last Mile, allowing you to save the location of your car after parking. When you go to collect your car again, you can navigate on foot in pedestrian mode. This is handy for outdoor car parks, but not so useful in multi-tiered shopping centre car parks, as a GPS signal won't get picked up.

Lane Assistant Pro is a great feature that aids the driver when entering and exiting complex motorways and freeways. The lane assistant box displays all available lanes and clearly advises which one you should travel in. We found it very helpful, especially in and around large city roads and motorway junctions.

Also on offer are Reality View Pro, providing easier to comprehend junction views on freeways and motorway exits; Real Road Signs, which displays lifelike road signs on the map screen at various points in your journey; and Landmark View 3D, showing various POIs (points of interest) and landmarks in 3D. The Navigon 6300 also has speed and red-light camera alerts, school zone warnings and notifications for bus lanes, accident black spots and railway crossings — all of these are available free out of the box.

The Navigon 6300 comes with traffic capabilities and Bluetooth hands-free. The latter works reasonably well, though many callers complained that we sounded distant, even when talking with the windows up in a quiet car.

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