The Navigon 4350max is a GPS satnav device that learns from driving habits to plan a route, thanks to MyRoutes technology. The Navigon 4350max also boasts Bluetooth hands-free capabilities, Lane Assistant Pro and 3D landmark views - a premium features list that represents good value.
The Navigon 4350max has a similar design to the company's previous GPS units, particularly the 2150max. It has a very simple design, finished in a combination of gloss black and matte black plastic with chrome edging. The piano-black finish does attract plenty of fingerprints but gives the unit a slick look and feel. Navigon offers a 24-month warranty on all units.
Navigon has upgraded the window mount that accompanies its GPS units. The new mount is possibly the strangest we've seen: it's a long, chunky, curved piece of plastic. It's a little big compared to mounts from competitors, but it attaches to the Navigon 4350max GPS unit quickly and easily, and a large clip makes it hassle-free to stick to your car windscreen.
The Navigon 4350max features a 4.3in widescreen display. The screen is bright and clear, and it deals effectively with glare. Unfortunately its viewing angles are poor. While the Navigon 4350max is simple enough to operate, the user interface doesn't take advantage of the display. TomTom and Navman's latest interfaces look far more appealing and user friendly.
The main screen of the Navigon 4350max's interface centres around four large boxes: new destination, my destinations, take me home and show map. Also accessible from the main screen is a standby button and menus for options and Bluetooth. Entering an address is a three-stage process of typing the city, street name and house number using the on-screen keyboard, which can't be changed from a standard ABC layout. You can choose to enter the city or street first and the keyboard is large and clear; search options are narrowed down as you type.
The navigation experience is good, but not great. The maps aren't as detailed as we'd have liked, though they are quite clear and easy to read. Like Navigon's previous models, the map screen is a little cluttered with icons. Unlike TomTom's GPS units, which have a single horizontal bar at the bottom of the display, the Navigon interface uses variously sized and placed boxes, which takes some time to adjust to. We really like the next turn icons, which are large and easy to see. The text-to-speech voice is excellent - in addition to announcing street names, it occasionally also directs you to turn towards a particular suburb.
Navigon's MyRoutes technology learns from the user's past driving experiences. For example, if certain roads take too long at particular times, MyRoutes will avoid them in future routes at those times. The MyRoutes feature is most useful for people who would use the GPS device on a daily basis (such as couriers or taxi drivers). TomTom offers a similar routing feature called IQ Routes, though this calculates routes based on the real average speeds of drivers compared to speed limits, rather than a user's actual driving habits.
Lane Assistant Pro is a great feature that aids the driver when entering and exiting complex motorways. The lane assistant box displays all available lanes and clearly advises which one you should travel in. We found it very helpful, especially in and around large city roads and motorway junctions.
Also on offer are Reality View Pro, providing easier to comprehend junction views on freeways and motorway exits; Real Road Signs, which displays lifelike road signs on the map screen at various points in your journey; and Landmark View 3D, showing various POIs and landmarks in 3D. The Navigon 4350max also has speed and red-light camera alerts, school zone warnings and notifications for bus lanes, accident black spots and railway crossings - all free out of the box.
Rounding out the features list of the Navigon 4350max is Bluetooth hands-free. We would have liked an external microphone to be included - the built-in microphone isn't always up to scratch, and our callers often had trouble hearing our voice clearly.
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