The Navigon 7310 is a classy-looking 4.3in widescreen personal navigation device.
The Navigon 7310 is topped with real glass that runs all the way to the edge of the device, rather than being surrounded by cheap black plastic. It also has a sturdy but flexible mounting bracket with ball hinge, accompanied by both a solid charger that fits in the car cigarette socket and by a mains adapter. Charging options are good.
As the top end model in Navigon's newly updated personal satnav range, the Navigon 7310 comes with all the feature trimmings. As well as the expected traffic management and re-routing options in case of traffic congestion, it supports voice-activated navigation and Bluetooth.
The Navigon 7310 doesn't have a separate module that clamps on to the steering wheel and picks up your every whisper. Instead, you select voice controls on the Navigon's settings menu and follow its prompts to enter country, city and street name and number.
You may want to go through the Navigon 7310's voice controls before you leave home, however: we got some decidedly odd looks from passers-by as we sat in our car proclaiming where we wanted to go.
We found it rather annoying that we first needed to shout "London" at the Navigon very loudly several times to no avail before being prompted to try confirming the country instead - a case of it not dealing well with regional accents, perhaps? This isn't an issue confined to the Navigon 7310 or satnavs in general, rather voice-recognition technology on gadgets, as our trials with the iPhone proved.
However, as with previous Navigon models, the Navigon 7310 seems to have amnesia when it comes to which country you live in, so prepare to get used to reiterating this info.
The Navigon 7310 had no chance of understanding where we actually wanted to go, so instead we uttered the name of a nearby street that was easier to pronounce. Even so, it managed to mangle the postcode and reduce it to a four-figure code that made no sense to us.
We were then offered a choice of three routes to get to our destination, along with approximate arrival times. When we stopped for petrol and supplies, we didn't get a verbal update that we'd actually be eight minutes later than stated.
Once under way, the Navigon 7310's extremely clear orange routing ensured we couldn't mistake which way to turn. You get a lot of onscreen detail in 3D mode in particular, with suburban road layouts displayed as Monopoly-style rows of white houses.
However, it's always clear where you're meant to go and the road name is shown usefully large. You are shown the imminent junction with a blow-up of the real road layout and lane advice where needed. On a few occasions, though, we found the onscreen map didn't update as quickly as it ought.
The Navigon speaker is clear and we had no trouble understanding the default navigator's pronunciation of the streets we passed and that she recommended we turn down. When we ignored her, rather than asking us to "turn around when possible", she requested that we "please turn soon".
To be fair, we could easily have prevented her stress by pressing the Options bar at the bottom of the screen and adding an interim destination. We did this halfway round our circuit, nimbly entering a postcode thanks to the intelligent way the device distinguishes between street and place names and post codes - it greys out options that can't be right and, although you have to switch from the alphabet to the number or symbols keyboards, the responsiveness of the Navigon 7310 means it's a very quick process.
NEXT PAGE: new features