Other than the Live services, the 8450 is essentially the same as the 8410 and so is packed with features, many of which are focused on improving the realism of the map experience. The device is intended to be more than just a sat-nav, with an upper-level menu (above the sat-nav one) offering comprehensive media playing and hands-free telephony capabilities. The latter still requires a Bluetooth connection to your mobile, though, and can’t operate via the Live system’s link. There’s also a TV option, which works via an extra hardware add-on that you have to purchase separately.
The main mapping change with the 8450 is the addition of Real City 3D. This turns the navigational screen into something more akin to a first person shooter videogame, with realistic three-dimensional models of the buildings you should be passing between as you drive. However, like every other provision of this nature we’ve come across, Real City 3D’s coverage is somewhat limited. For example, you need to be well within the Congestion Zone and virtually inside the Square Mile before it kicks in for London.
The City View 3D system, which provides much more generic indications of the buildings around you, is a little more extensive. There are also very detailed models of key landmarks, but these are very few and far between. Apart from the Live Services, though, the 8450 has all the same functionality as the 8410, so please refer to the 8410 review for a description of the 8450’s remaining non-Live features.
It’s reassuring to see that TomTom now has two competitors for its Live Services, which will hopefully start to bring the monthly subscription costs down, as they’re currently too high for all but the regular daily commuter. However, although Navigon provides some useful mobile data facilities with the 8450, the device itself is very pricey compared to Garmin's or TomTom’s equivalents. So whilst we applaud Navigon for joining the competition, it needs to bring its overall device cost down and add a few more Live facilities to really put up a fight.