Like the Pocket LOOX N520 itself, there are things I like and things I’m not so sure about when it comes to Navigon Mobile Navigator 5. We really should be beyond four digit postcode navigation by now, and also beyond the need to start a navigation exercise by having to enter either postcode or a town name. Sometimes – quite often, in fact – I want to start a navigation exercise by tapping in a road name.
Also, Navigon Mobile Navigator 5 comes with maps of the UK and Ireland, and every time you run it, you need to tell it what map you want to use. It really should be able to just remember what you used last time, and take a punt that you’ll want the same map again.
Once it is up and running, though, these user interface issues disappear. The on screen map graphics are clear and there are trappable icons enabling you to do things like switch between 2D and 3D views, manually zoom, even drag the map around so you can see more of it.
The navigation engine did a good job with our test journeys, and those ‘pleases’ aside, spoken instructions were very clear. They often include the number of the road you are going to join, which is a great help as you can check this on road signs to be certain you are doing the right thing.
There’s quite a lot of on screen information available, including the name of the road you are on, distance to destination, elevation and your current speed. Tap the icon that indicates the GPS antenna and you can see how many satellites you are tracking as well as your latitude and longitude and other data.
The whole bundle includes a windshield car mount and cigarette lighter power adaptor and a slip case as well as mains power cable and USB synchronisation cable. No cradle, unfortunately, but these are getting increasingly rare these days.
Overall, I rather like the Pocket LOOX N520. The user interface of Navigon Mobile Navigator 5 doesn’t suit my personal taste, but there’s no doubt that with its hidden GPS antenna, small size, stylish design and attractive software extras, this is an appealing PDA. It’s not top of the range, but for a middle-of-the-road machine, it acquits itself pretty well.