Route calculation and recalculation, meanwhile, is extremely speedy, and added to this, the S30 has powerful multi-stop routing and management tools. Each search option, for instance, allows you to add searches to your current route and these routes can be saved, alongside frequently used addresses, to your favourites list. Flick to the map screen and adding waypoints to your route is as simple as tapping the map and selecting an option from a pop-up menu. The pop-up menu also gives access to the route-around tool. So, if you’re stuck in traffic you simply click the road that’s clogged-up on screen, and choose the Avoid Area option.
The S30 is, in fact, such a good all-round navigation tool that it seems churlish to criticise it in any way, but it isn’t entirely perfect. Top of the list of problems is the volume of the speaker, which isn’t the loudest. Mount the S30 in a noisy cabin, switch the radio on and you’ll struggle to hear it while driving at motorway speeds. This isn’t helped by the fact that there’s no speed-sensitive automatic volume adjustment. There’s also no traffic information support (the Mio C220 features TMC support though a receiver isn’t included in the box), the POI database isn’t the most comprehensive, there’s no Bluetooth, and routing options are limited to car travel – there are no pedestrian, bicycle, motorbike or truck options here.
I also didn’t like the fact that the map screen is so cluttered. This is something that is, to a certain extent, inevitable in a small-screened sat-nav device, but it really is overkill here. On top of the information panels at the top and bottom of the screen there are over-large, square buttons on the right and left, plus road name labels littering the map view that often obscure your route. Annoyingly, none of this screen furniture can be switched off.
Despite the niggles, the Navman S30 is still a very sound choice if you’re looking for decent sat-nav on a budget. Not only is it cheaper than its main competition – the Mio C220 – but it also manages to pack a whole load of innovative features in, including spoken road names and junctions on major routes, and is much easier to use.
Good quality mapping, solid route choices, speedy performance and class-leading planning, browsing and editing tools means the S30 really stands out in a crowded and intensively competitive marketplace.
Score in detail
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