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Truck mode, in use and Verdict

By James Morris

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

9

None of this is particularly unique. However, the Panoramic does have one extra feature which befits its mammoth size. Included in the package is a one month trial of Truck Mode. This calculates routes that avoid small roads, and also other limitations which may be particular to your vehicle, such as bridges with a weight limit. You can enter details of the dimensions, weight, load, and vehicle type for your truck, and the route provided shouldn't include any roads which will be unsuitable, although this feature isn't available in every country. With so many stories of sat-navs stranding commercial vehicles down country lanes, Truck Mode will be very welcome if you drive a lorry for a living, and you can even specify whether you're carrying hazardous materials. However, if you do want to make use of Truck Mode after the trial finishes, it will set you back a fairly hefty £69.99, although that is a one-off payment rather than a subscription.

Navman Panoramic

In use the Panoramic's huge screen really comes into its own. You will not have any trouble seeing the map or directions, and the screen's so large you can expand the drop down list in the top right corner permanently, so you can see all the details about your trip at the same time. Information includes distance and time to destination, current speed, estimated time of arrival and current time. TomTom's IQ Routes has been licensed, so the ETA will be more accurate as it uses real historic traffic speed data rather than just a nominal road speed for calculation. The map itself is very clear indeed, with a bold sign showing you the current speed limit in the bottom left-hand corner and your next turn, although there's so much space onscreen you could have had the next one after that listed as well without losing map visibility.

Verdict

Amazingly, despite its humungous size, the Panoramic is already available online for £135. So, although its only significant unique feature other than the screen is the Truck Mode option, the Panoramic is incredible value, particularly when you take into account the fact that this is a European version with maps preinstalled for 44 countries, including some in Eastern Europe. So if you're planning to take your recreational vehicle on a European trip, or drive a lorry on continental deliveries, this is a big-screen sat-nav for a small-screen price.

Overall Score

9

Scores In Detail

  • Battery Life 8
  • Design 8
  • Features 8
  • Performance 8
  • Usability 9
  • Value 10

chrisnation

March 6, 2012, 11:17 pm

I am a tour guide and GPS navigation is an absolute essential. Screen size is a marketing gimmick.

I have had a Navman N60i [4.5" widescreen] T/Tom something or other [3.5" screen] and run T/T Nav 6 in a Nokia 61 phone. The Nokia has proved, over the years and thousands of miles of travel in UK, France, Belgium and Holland, to be perfect for the job, better than either of the GPS units.

One of the things that these great big screens do, apart from providing redundant information on either side of the route, is drain the battery down chop-chop when not plugged into the car. My E61 will give me 6 hrs of unplugged navigation from one charge. I tested how long it would run once the battery low warning light started flashing. The answer was Oxford to the M1/North Circ junction in London - about 1 hr 30 mins.

My Nokia will do all the things a Symbian 60 smart phone will do AND run Nav 6 for hours, unplugged.

It is infuriating to me that 1] manufacturers of GPS units restrict small screens to the low end of their ranges - my T/T 3.5" would not do B to C route planning whilst at position A, useless for a tour guide. 2]TomTom has not replaced Nav 6 for pda/mobiles [last updated in March 05] with anything else, other than something for iPhone. Nav 7 was only bundled with a small selection of high-end £400-500 phones and was only available for about 5 mins before T/T pulled it.

As long as my 2 Nokias with Nav 6 continue to work, I will continue to use them. If someone comes up with another good nav up to date app for a phone that does not involve running up vast bills in roaming charges [cf Google Navigation] when ex-UK, I get that. The stand-alone GPS unit is a waste of money.

KittyK

March 27, 2012, 10:17 pm

What rubbish the last comment was! I don't think the screen size is a gimmick at all. My husband is colour blind and even with a TomTom's colour changing destination route / road colour, it still proved a problem for him. We used to have a Garmin, then a TomTom. He used to struggle with distinguishing the colours ... Until we bought this! This device has completely changed everything for us. It is useful, easy to use, fantastic for getting us to our destination (better than the Garmin was) and the screen makes squinting a problem we can forget about... And it was a bargain of a price. Winners all round.

I'm planning to buy one for my dad next who always struggles with his Garmin. He desperately needs a sat nav that doesn't require him to Switch glasses to use and this one will do just that!

strobe1

June 23, 2012, 11:40 pm

initial findings are 1 the icon denoting your position is very big and obscures the name of the street that you are at (very very very very annoying and is NOT changeable like other satnavs)
2 that there is not much difference in screen contrast in any of the map display themes making it hard to see smaller roads on the screen in the daytime mode
3 if you need to manual zoom it involves 3 touches(tedious&dangerous) I think the software developers need to ACTUALLY go somewhere in a car preferably in a city they don't know, to find out how hard this thing makes it
4 after updating to the latest maps I've already in two weeks been taken to 3 out of date road modifications
5 route finding is not easy

GEOFF CROCKER

June 16, 2013, 2:08 pm

has the navman panoramic got blue tooth and speed camera BUILT IN ?

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