Navman also integrates 3D models of landmarks into the map view, which sounds like a very useful addition. However, as we have found with all sat-navs offering this feature, the models are far too sparse, mostly covering cities and primarily London. They also don’t appear within the 3D map view soon enough. You need to be pretty close to see them on the screen, when outside your car window the landmark will have been looming for some time.
Speed warnings pop up when you exceed the prevailing limit, with a bell sound to notify you of your transgression. The S300 T also includes a free trial of safety cameras, lasting 12 months. But after that each year of UK updates costs £34.95, or £69.90 for three years. Europe-wide updates cost £49.95 and £99.90 respectively. Safety camera warnings pop up clearly at the bottom of the screen.
The S300’s Traffic uses the conventional RDS-TMC system, with a lifetime subscription prepaid out of the box. The FM receiver is cunningly concealed in the car power adapter, so the system won’t work at all if this isn’t attached. You can get a map overview of current traffic problems in the local area, and you can see details of each incident by clicking on it. But more importantly the Navman will prompt you when it detects congestion on your current route, and proactively suggest an alternative if necessary.
The S300 T also incorporates media playback facilities. File support includes WAV, WMA and MP3 audio plus MP4, MOV, AVI, WMV, ASF and 3GP video, although adding a MicroSD card is recommended as the 1GB of internal memory will quickly fill up. We also had trouble playing the files we tried, although our sample was an early model so might not have had this feature fully implemented. There’s a built-in FM transmitter so you can tune your car stereo to the S300 T’s audio output instead of using the built-in speaker.
Feature-for-feature, the S300 T is fairly competitive, coming in slightly cheaper than directly comparable devices such as TomTom’s 730T or Garmin’s 765T. It also has aesthetics in its favour. The real decider, however, is not the specs list but how you can cope with Glide Touch. We find it generally a bit frustrating, detracting from an otherwise capable piece of hardware. Sat-navs need to be dependable, and a finicky interface will rapidly prove annoying. iPhone owners might grow to like it, but we would still have preferred an evolution of the previous SmartST interface.
Score in detail
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