- Text-to-speech technology, stylish design, vivid interface, keyboard says letters out loud, preloaded speed and red light camera alerts, Bluetooth handsfree, NavPix 2-megapixel camera
- Re-routing times are a little slow
The S90i is Navman's cream of the crop, and it is certainly a fine unit. The 2-megapixel camera adds flexibility for using NavPix.
Price$ 799.00 (AUD)
The top of the line model in Navman's latest S-Series, the S90i is fully equipped. It features NavPix technology with a built-in 2-megapixel camera, text-to-speech technology, a large 4.3in widescreen display and handsfree calling with Bluetooth connectivity. As the S90i is the top of the range model, it also includes a leather pouch and a remote control.
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The S90i features a vivid menu system; it's bright and colourful, with clearly labelled icons. Tapping icons on the main menu can navigate to your saved home location, a specific address, one of 500,000 points of interest (POI), a saved favourite destination or a recent destination. You can also edit or change any preferences from the home screen. Gone are the physical parking and fuel buttons of previous units -- these are now accessed via icons on the main menu, along with tourist destinations, food outlets and emergency services.
The S90i allows you to navigate using pictures with NavPix technology, and there is a 2-megapixel camera on the rear. It automatically starts when the cover is slid open and any photos taken are saved to the 2GB of internal memory, and automatically geotagged. You are able to upload your NavPix photos to Navman's Web site (www.navman.com/navpix) for sharing with other NavPix users.
The S90i is equipped with the popular SiRFstarIII GPS receiver and its performance is efficient and speedy, taking less than a minute to pick up a GPS signal.
When searching for a specific address the S90i filters suburbs by state, reducing the list of results to a manageable number. The destination can then be pinpointed by navigating to a specific house number, intersection or to the centre of the street or city, but not by postcode. You can also navigate multi-stop trips. The address entry screen uses an on-screen keyboard that can be set to either alphabetic or QWERTY. A new feature says letters out loud as you tap them, aiming to prevent mistakes.
The S90i uses SmartST 2008 navigation software with the latest WhereIS R14 maps. Clear maps, precise voice instructions and text-to-speech technology combine well -- though the latter does sometimes struggle with long street names. Tapping on the information box in the top right corner opens a convenient route information drop down, while an icon in the bottom right corner can display battery life, GPS reception and a mute button. Re-routing times are solid but not outstanding; the S90i can struggle to keep up, especially on main roads. The S90i also has a traffic receiver, so when this service is launched in Australia in 2008, it will be ready to use.
The usual routing options (avoid or warn of tolls, unsurfaced roads and ferry routes) are supported, and users can also set a preference for using motorways. Navman includes a user-configured preset speed warning alert and preloaded speed and red light camera alerts. There is also a tripmeter which acts as a digital log book -- an ideal feature for tax time.
The S90i has Bluetooth connectivity for handsfree calling. Pairing is quick and easy, and there are a number of phone functions you can access through the S90i including your phonebook, SMS messages and your call log. A large dial and access to your phonebook means you won't have to pick up your phone while it's in the car. Voice quality is quite good though a microphone would make it even better.
Battery life is rated at up to five hours, though we experienced closer to four on a full charge. There is no AC adapter included in the package, so you'll have to charge the S90i in your car, or via USB.
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