It may not be the most well known name in sat-navs, but Navigon is definitely one of the most significant players.
Almost exactly two years ago, the company bought Navteq's software division - although the mapping portion was acquired by Nokia. So Navigon has a close relationship with one of the two main suppliers of sat-nav mapping. The 7210 takes advantage of this, including maps for 40 European countries. A code is included in the box giving you a 24-month subscription to Navigon's FreshMaps service for just £15, which is a bargain compared to other manufacturers.
As a premium device, the 7210 checks pretty much every recent feature box available. Naturally, one of these is Landmark View 3D, which Navigon introduced with the 7200 T last year. This displays three-dimensional models of notable buildings along your route. Except there aren't that many included outside of London, and they only appear when you are quite close. So its usefulness is somewhat questionable.
Much more practical is Lane Assistant Pro, which is aided and abetted by another buzzphrase, Reality View Pro. Together, they amount to a similar system to the lane guidance now included in the latest premium Garmin, TomTom and Navman devices. Lane Assistant Pro displays a little 2D graphic on the map screen as you approach a junction, so you know what lane to be in. Reality View Pro then provides a full-screen 3D representation of the junction, with arrows showing the appropriate lane, making things pretty clear.
The 7210 also gives warnings of speed limits and approaching safety cameras. Rather comically, the word ‘Beware' is intoned to let you know that you're breaking the limit, which feels more like a polite notification from your mother than a stern alert. You can configure the 7210 to provide more tolerance depending on the area - such as +5mph in built-up areas and +10mph when buildings are not nearby. A novel addition is the Curve Warner, which lets you know of sharp bends on the route as you approach them. The Navigon does this both verbally and graphically. We found the warnings coincided with existing hazard road signs, but the added notice is handy if you're driving in poor conditions and concentrating mostly on the surrounding traffic.
Speaking of traffic, the 7210 also has a built-in RDS-TMC receiver, with the FM aerial subtly concealed in the car charger cable. So this doesn't work without the cable plugged in, although the same is true of most sat-navs offering traffic updates apart from TomTom's new LIVE devices. You can call up a list of traffic alerts, and configure whether warnings are used to change your route on request or automatically.