Navman MY500XT GPS unit

Navman's latest top-of-the-range GPS unit boasts a capacitive touch screen and a new user interface

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Navman MY500XT
  • Navman MY500XT
  • Navman MY500XT
  • Navman MY500XT

Pros

  • Design, capacitive touch screen, choice of glide or tap interfaces, keyword search, traffic capabilities, lane guidance and 3D junction views

Cons

  • Overzealous school zone alerts, map is missing red light cameras and 'no right turns', screen transitions are a little sluggish, not all phones compatible with Bluetooth, TMC antenna is built into charger not the actual unit.

Bottom Line

The Navman MY500XT's capacitive touch screen is a nice inclusion on this feature-packed GPS. The glide interface won't be to everyone's liking but it's much more responsive than previous versions and can now be turned off. The maps aren't perfect and seem to lack a little detail when compared to competitors, but there remains plenty to like about the MY500XT.

Would you buy this?

A replacement for Navman's previous flagship GPS unit, the S300T, the MY500XT is the hero of the company's latest MY series. It features built-in traffic support, Australian Lonely Planet and Wcities guides and Bluetooth hands-free capabilities. It also has a capacitive touch screen.

The Navman MY500XT GPS unit has borrowed design cues from the earlier S300T, with a stylish silver casing. Gloss black plastic surrounds the screen, and it has chrome sides and a brushed silver rear with an etched Navman logo, making this one of the more attractive GPS units on the market. A touch-sensitive menu button sits to the left of the screen (and it's much more responsive than the S300T's) and a power switch on top also enables you to put the unit to sleep when it's not in use. Unfortunately, the MY500XT is rather slow to power up after being put to sleep.

The Navman MY500XT has large 4.7in capacitive touch screen that’s far more responsive than its predecessor's resistive touch screen. The screen has a glossy finish, though, so reflections can pose some issues and viewing angles aren’t great. The capacitive screen makes Navman's glide touch user interface easier to use and less frustrating than the S-Series Platinum models.

Navman has given users the choice to disable the glide system in favour of a regular tapping interface like those on most other GPS units, but we found the glide system responsive enough to prefer it. Apart from some screen transitions feeling a little sluggish, the MY500XT is intuitive to use and menus look appealing.

Navman has tweaked the search method, with a single find menu and the ability to search via keywords, postcodes, or by picking an area on the map screen. Instead of address entry being a three-stage process (city, street, then house number), you type the full address in one screen and the MY500XT will present a list of options. This is much faster than having to browse through multiple screens. In addition, you can plan multi-stop trips and search for points of interest (POIs) through Google and TrueLocal (which is an online database of over 1.3 million businesses). To do so, you'll need to connect the MY500XT to your phone via Bluetooth and enable it to use to Internet; we tried to connect to an Apple iPhone 3GS and then a Nokia 6700 classic, but could not get the connection to work. Neither of these models is on Navman's list of compatible phones, however.

The large screen means the Navman MY500XT's map screen is spacious and easy to read. Street names are clear and a small yellow arrow points to each street to minimise confusion. Tapping the left edge of the screen brings up a scrollable options menu. While you’re on a route, this can display a list of all the turns, a complete overview of the route and information including distance to go, ETA and average speed.

Performance is adequate but there are a few issues. The most annoying is the overzealous school zone warnings, which always seemed to appear on roads that weren't even school zones. This led us to turn school zone warnings off completely. The maps also have a tendency to miss a number of 'no right turns', and also didn't warn of some red light cameras that we passed. The MY500XT includes a lifetime subscription to the SUNA Traffic Channel, but the TMC antenna is built into the car charger, so this will need to be plugged in for this feature to work. We would have preferred the antenna to be built into the unit itself, so the charger and annoying cable didn't have to be dangling along the dashboard.

We really liked the lane guidance and 3D junction views (even if the former is only really useful for freeways and motorways). Traffic light locations are incorporated into the voice guidance (for example "turn left at the traffic light"), which is also handy for keeping your eyes on the road, as are speed sign alerts. We aren't so fond of 3D landmarks. In our opinion they're a gimmick and can make the map screen unnecessarily cluttered.

Voice guidance is clear and comprehensive and the MY500XT deals with Australian pronunciation quite well. Audio is loud and clear, but you need to delve into the settings menu to adjust it; you can only mute or un-mute audio from the map screen once a route is selected.

Navman has included both Lonely Planet and Wcities guides for all Australian cities on the MY500XT. Unlike the Google and TrueLocal search functions, the city guides are installed on the unit itself, so there is no need to connect to your mobile phone. Both guides provide POIs under attractions, business, dining, essentials, hotels, nightlife and shopping categories. Once a POI is found, you can navigate to the destination, save it as a favourite, phone it (if a number is provided) or explore the surrounding area on the map screen.

Other features include the ability to instantly capture a location, a digital log book, a built-in FM transmitter, Navpix and downloadable live weather updates. Navman claims the MY500XT lasts up to three hours, but we only managed to run it for a little over two and half hours before it needed a recharge.

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