- Review Price: £140.00
Navigon may not be the first brand you think of when choosing a sat-nav device, but its products often compete quite favourably with better-known names. We were particularly impressed by the value for money of the Navigon 1210 , which was at the time the cheapest option with full European maps on the market, and it wasn’t missing any obviously important features.
The 3310 max seems similarly aggressively priced. Available for as little as £140 from some vendors, like the 1210 it also offers full European maps, but in a widescreen device with premium features.
This is our first taster of Navigon’s latest software revision, which some previous generation devices can also obtain as a downloadable upgrade for £49.99. It has a number of innovations, some of which are clearly inspired by TomTom, but not necessarily any the worse for it. Chief amongst these is MyRoutes, which is broadly similar to TomTom’s IQ Routes.
Navigon claims MyRoutes adapts its journey calculations to your driving style, but its main innovation is taking into account historic traffic speeds along roads, rather than just using the maximum possible speed or shortest distance. This also varies depending on time of day and day of week, so theoretically calculates different routes during rush hour compared to Sunday morning.
In practice, when you turn on MyRoutes you’re presented with three routing options, with each illustrated by a different colour on the top-down overall map view. The first will be the MyRoutes choice. You can then click on the one you’d like to use before navigation commences. As with IQ Routes, this feature is very hard to assess scientifically, particularly in comparison with the TomTom alternative, but we didn’t find ourselves being directed towards roads we knew would be a nightmare at particular times of day.
Another new Navigon feature which will be familiar to users of recent TomTom devices is MyReport, which is reminiscent of Map Share. If you come across a point where the 3310’s map information is incorrect, you can select this menu option and indicate the true situation. For example, if a new safety camera has been installed or an old one removed, or speed limits and turning restrictions have been altered, you can make a note of this.
Your corrections will be synchronised with Navteq next time you plug the Navigon into a desktop PC. They will then be assessed by Navteq’s mapping team for accuracy before being included in future updates. It’s a kind of Open Source community-based way of ensuring map data is as up-to-date as possible. Map Share works well for TomTom, so although it’s early days for MyReport the system has potential benefit.
There are some Navigon innovations which don’t emulate ones already available elsewhere, however. Clever Parking helps you find somewhere to stow your car when you reach your destination. As you approach, a P icon pops up on the map screen, which you can click on to call up a list of nearby car parks. You can then select one to redirect your journey. Navigon also claims price information will be included for some locations, although we didn’t find any during our testing.
It’s also now possible to touch any Point of Interest (POI) within the map screen to call up information about it. This in fact shows a full list of nearby POIs, with the one you selected at the top, which is handy if a number are bunched together and you press the wrong one. You can then find out more information for that POI and navigate to it if so desired.
We wouldn’t recommend using either of these capabilities whilst driving, but they are both potentially handy if you pull over temporarily. For example, if you’re meeting someone in an unfamiliar town, Clever Parking will allow you to find your destination then quickly drop your car off somewhere nearby. It is possible to replicate the same function using the POI facilities included with most sat-navs, but Navigon’s method just makes things that little bit easier, using just a couple of screen taps.
The 3310 max also comes with RDS-TMC traffic capability built in, including the necessary FM radio receiver on the device and an aerial integrated into the car power cable. However, what you don’t get is a subscription to the service. To obtain this, you need to pay £40 via Navigon’s Fresh online system for a lifetime’s use. You could also purchase the Navigon 4310 max, which comes with RDS-TMC enabled out of the box, but this is actually more than £40 pricier than the 3310 max, making the latter better value.
As with our previous experiences of Navigon sat-navs, the 3310 max’s address entry and general navigation abilities are perhaps not the most slick around, but certainly very usable. Entering an address drills down from country to town to road and house number, so you will need to have a complete address. You can navigate to a full postcode as well, but you don’t get the option to enter a house number, so this just takes you to the middle of the road in question.
A new facility here is the ability to navigate to latitude and longitude coordinates, which isn’t something we’ve found particularly essential in other sat-navs. But it could come in handy if you want to meet someone at a specific point on a long, non-descript road.
The map view is clear and easy to read. Icons on the bottom left tell you your next turn and the one after that, with current distances for both. The current and next road names are listed in the middle, and on the right distance to destination and ETA. Safety camera locations are also included, although as always a subscription is required to keep these up to date.
Navigon’s Lane Assistant Pro icon also pops up on the right at multi-lane junctions, showing you which carriageway to be in. At some motorway intersections, Reality View Pro will provide a full-screen graphic showing the correct lane choice and a lifelike signpost so you don’t take the wrong turning.
The 3310 max’s main competition is TomTom’s XL, in particularly the IQ Routes Edition Europe 42. This is now available for a similar price, and although it lacks the TMC traffic hardware, you can add this for just £10 more than the Navigon lifetime subscription. It also has a very similar feature set. Many will opt for the TomTom alternative merely due to its mainstream branding, so Navigon’s 3310 max would need to be that little bit cheaper to really lure buyers away in their numbers. But that doesn’t stop it being a feature-rich sat-nav for a keen price.
Score in detail
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