We’ve been very pleased to see Navigon become the third competitor in the market for live interactive sat-nav services. But our first taster in the shape of the Navigon 8450 proved a little pricey, in part thanks to its large 5in screen. Now we have the more modest 4.3in-screened 6350 Live in our greedy grasp. At just over £250, it’s a more affordable proposition.
Like the 8450 Live, you get three months of Live services included, after which you must subscribe. Navigon’s pricing for this is cheaper than the competition, with a year costing £56 if you renew in the first 30 days of use, or £75 thereafter, and two years priced at an even more bargain-conscious £129. Also, like the 8450, the live services are delivered via a mobile data module which isn’t built into the device itself, but comes as a separate unit that sits between the sat-nav and its power source. You can buy this separately to turn a Navigon 6310 into a 6350 (or an 8410 into an 8450) for £99, but that’s much more than if you purchase the live-enabled version from the outset. There are currently no other Navigon devices compatible with the Live module.
However, the range of Live services included is also more limited than the competition. There are only five functions available, although these cover the most useful options. Chief amongst these is Live Traffic. Instead of using the RDS signal found in some FM radio transmissions, this receives its updates via the mobile data link. So updates are refreshed much more frequently and reliably than with the traditional RDS-TMC system. If traffic conditions change whilst you drive, you will be rerouted either on request or automatically to the quickest alternative. You can also browse the list of nearby jams, select one for more details, and then call up a map illustrating the portion of road affected.
The second most useful Live function is the Local Search, which unsurprisingly comes from Google. So it extends far beyond the Points of Interest database built into the device itself, providing the locations of numerous quite obscure destinations, with phone numbers as well in many cases. We regularly found listings for company offices, making the Local Search potentially very handy for sales reps and other business travellers.
The safety camera database is also kept up to date via the mobile data link, as with the live implementations of other manufacturers. You can submit new camera locations via MyReport, and these will be uploaded dynamically for inclusion. So you will be less likely to get caught out should you accidentally stray over the limit at some point during your journey.
The Live version of Clever Parking is reminiscent of the fuel prices available with other live systems. Not only will it find the nearest parking places, but also dynamically download the prices of the car parks and how many spaces are free. It’s potentially a very useful feature, except that it’s not available in the UK yet. Only a handful of continental European countries are currently supported, including just Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Luxembourg.