Although TomTom had the market for live-enabled sat-navs to itself for over a year, the competition is starting to hot up. First Garmin mounted a strong challenge with the nuvi 1690, and now it’s Navigon’s turn to enter the fray with the 8450.
Getting the Live services up and running with the 8450 is a little more involved than with the devices we’ve seen from other manufacturers so far. The mobile data unit is not integrated into the sat-nav itself. Instead, this comes as a separate component that attaches between the car or AC power adapter and the sat-nav, via the USB port. So the unit could in theory be added to other Navigon sat-navs, too, including the 6410 and 8410. The 8450 is essentially the 8410 with the Live Services peripheral included in the box.
The first time you access Navigon Live, you need to enter an activation code, which you will find within a Quick Installation Guide included in the box. This provides you with three months of Live services, after which a year’s subscription will set you back £56 if you renew in the first 30 days of use, or £75 thereafter. With two-year options saving you even more money, Navigon’s Live has the cheapest subscription charges in its class.
The system can then be accessed via an extra button in the middle of the main interface. Navigon’s array of Live services is a little more modest than TomTom’s and (in particular) Garmin’s. There are only five functions that take advantage of the mobile data link. These are Live Traffic, Local Search, Mobile Safety Cameras, Clever Parking, and Weather.
Because the Live Traffic uses the mobile data system to download its information rather than FM radio, updates are more reliable and frequent. It also collates data from Navigon Live devices as well as using the Trafficmaster system to provide its jam warnings. So there should be more detail than regular RDS-TMC, although the volume of Navigon Live devices on the road is likely to be small for some time. You can opt out of being included, and there’s no indication of whether mobile phone triangulation is used as well – which is the main reason why TomTom’s HD Traffic is so powerful.