And those traffic alerts aren't 100 per cent reliable either. To test it, I chose several routes that passed through traffic hit routes (according to the BBC travel website), and though some big incidents were flagged, more often than not I was informed there were no problems on my chosen route.
Again, there's a problem with flexibility here. Though Navigator 3 will route you around traffic problems automatically if it thinks it can find a faster route, what it doesn't do is give you the choice to force it to calculate an alternative. Sometimes the machine doesn't always know better and it's frustrating not being able to tell it so.
And there's one final thing that may put you off, if all this doesn't – the price, or rather price plan as I should put it. With Navigator 3 you don't simply pay once and own the product. You have to pay a monthly or yearly subscription. And at £50 a year for the UK and Ireland product (or £4.99 per month), or £69.99 per year for the Europe, USA and Canada (or £5.99 per month) it's going to get expensive after more than three years (and these are promotion prices too). The positive side to this is that the contract is a rolling one – so if you're only likely to need to use it occasionally, it could save a lot of money.
Furthermore, you can opt for a complete package, which includes a lifetime Europe subscription, the necessary Bluetooth GPS receiver and a windshield mount, but that will set you back just under £270 and of course you’ll still have to pay your provider’s roaming data costs.
On the face of it, Telmap's Navigator 3 is a decent product and a competent navigation system. Routing is highly accurate, directions effective and spoken instructions clear and timely. It has a very impressive search facility and POI database, and traffic information comes as standard.
But I'm afraid it has just too many holes when it comes to essential features to be able to compare favourably with a stand alone system from the likes of TomTom, Garmin or Mio. And that monthly price plan won't be for everyone either.