The Navman Connect system considerably extends the POI options. You can access this on the S300 T itself using a Bluetooth-connected phone to provide the Internet data stream. Or you can plug the device into your PC and use the Navdesk software to search for destinations, then download them to the Navman. The actual database is provided by Infobel, and includes plenty of obscure locations, such as local schools. The necessity of pairing with a mobile phone, or hooking up to a PC, means that Navman Connect isn’t quite as slick as the Google Local Search which TomTom provides as part of its LIVE services. But it’s similarly useful for finding destinations beyond the narrow POI listings.
On the downside, locations you navigate to aren’t automatically saved in a history – a useful feature of devices from other manufacturers, such as TomTom and Navigon. Instead, you have to add them to your My Places favourites list manually for future use. However, there is also a handy thumbtack icon in the top right. Press this, and your current location is added to My Places with a single click, which is about as slick as you can get. Routes can be calculated for driving or walking, too, but not for trucks or bicycles.
Navman has tidied up the navigation interface compared to pre-Spirit devices. The map view isn’t so cluttered with information panes, although all the main elements remain. A bar along the top tells you your next turning, with the road name or number clearly shown. A customisable box on the right illustrates the remaining miles to destination, remaining time, ETA, current speed or current time. However, TomTom manages to stuff all this information into virtually the same space, even if its readout is a little cryptic.
Most of the latest sat-nav widgets are available. A full-screen graphic pops up for major junctions, showing you which lanes to be in so you don’t miss the turning. This includes a semi-realistic representation of the relevant road sign, so you know exactly which direction to take.
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