The Garmin iQue M5 has a built-in GPS receiver.
When you need to use the GPS, unlock the hinged panel antenna and
turn it up 2-3 clicks to acquire satellite signal. The Garmin has
a 12 parallel channel receiver with WAAS station support. The initial
satellite acquisition for a 3D fix took about 2 minutes in our
test in the Silicon Valley. Warm and hot starts take anywhere from ½ minute
to 2 minutes depending on weather conditions. The receiver tracks
about 5 satellites and sees a few more with WAAS turned on. The
QueGPS, a part of the Garmin’s Que Technology, provides the
interface for the receiver and visual report on GPS activities
including the number of satellites in view and tracking in pie
chart and bar chart modes, position info, elevation and speed and
accuracy data. For battery power saving settings, the QueGPS offers
three modes of operation: WAAS on, normal (without WAAS) and power
saving modes. There is also a GPS signal status icon on the Today
screen to keep you updated on the signal strength the receiver
Above: the QueGPS screen
Unlike add-on GPS systems, the Garmin
iQue M5 has the signature “Que” navigation
technology. You will use the QueMap, QueFind, QueGPS, QueTrip,
QueRoutes and QueTurns to navigate your trips. The only thing you
will need to install is the map data. The Garmin ships with MapSource
City Select North America version 6 which includes detailed maps
of the US, Canada and even Puerto Rico. MapSource is a backbone
mapping system that Garmin uses for most of their land and sea
maps which supply data to Garmin’s wide variety of GPS devices.
The map data is collected by NAVTEQ and the MapSource system provides
the customization and download-ability for the map data. The City
Select package included with the Garmin iQue M5 provides detailed
maps of major metro areas as well as rural coverage. It includes
streets, highways, interstates as well as turn restrictions and
speed categories. The package includes over 5 million POIs (points
To install MapSource, click on the Install Map
link from the included companion CD to start the installation process,
followed by inserting the City Select Disk 1 and 2 alternately.
Follow the installation process, then unlock the map data using
the orange-colored unlock code sheet included with your Garmin.
Once MapSource is installed on your computer, you are ready to
plan trips, cut maps and install them to your Pocket PC.
MapSource gives you plenty of flexibility to
create maps and routes, and keeps the file size down by cutting
the map covering only needed areas. To plan trips, first you need
to create destinations/waypoints in route planning mode. The pop-up
window gives you the prompts to search for your destinations on
the map, using them as waypoints and calculate routes and get direction.
Once the routes have been planned, you will see the yellow highlight
on the map and on the list of Routes showing you the length of
the trip in distance and in estimated time. You can create multiple
routes or send them to the iQue M5’s internal memory or an
SD storage card.
If you only need maps of certain areas, you can use
the Map Tool in MapSource to select the areas you need and create your
own maps. As you drag an area on the map, the MapSource software will
show you the cities in the areas and the size of the map. You can also
create multiple maps and download them to your Garmin for navigation
on the Pocket PC. And yes, you can just enter a position (Lat/Long data)
as a destination or waypoint. MapSource also allows you to track, upload
trip records to or from your mobile device.
You can plan the trips on the desktop or navigate
routes on your Pocket PC. MapSource gives you the tools to plan trips
and get directions. In addition to creating destinations/waypoints
or search POIs, you will likely need to play with the Routing Preferences.
MapSource gives you many options to customize your routes, and these
options will make you life a lot easier if you spend a bit of time
to go through them. These options include calculating routes by faster
time or shorter distance, by vehicle types (car/motorcycle, taxi, emergency,
etc.), driving speed and by type of roads to avoid (highways, toll
road, u-turns, etc.). If you don't have any preferences on any of these
options, you can use the Auto-Routing to map out your trips.
The Garmin iQue M5 offers many ways to navigation
routes and get directions on the Pocket PC. The integrated navigation
software QueFind, QueRoute, QueMap, QueTurns and QueTrip allows you to
map out trips and follow the step-by-step guidance to reach your destinations.
The “Que navigation applications” are a little bit different
from other navigation software available for the PDA, such as TomTom, Destinator or OnCourse
Navigator. While most of the navigation software provides one interface
for accessing maps, routing, guidance and tracking, the “Que Technology” separate
these into several applications. So you will need to take some time and
explore each application and see what functions they handle with which
with the Pocket PC, you can use several ways to get your destinations
into QueRoute. You can use your current location or any location
on the map, addresses you enter, addresses in Contacts, intersections
or POIs as destinations for route mapping. To navigate from anywhere
on the map, just tap a location on the map and save it as a destination.
You can give it a name and file it under the categories you create
for organizing your destinations. You can also enter a position
value (Lat/Long numbers) as a destination. It's quite easy to
search for an address if you can't find and pinpoint it on the
map; just enter the full address or use the intersection and
save it as a destination. The iQue M5 has a tight integration
with the Contact application. If you have a full address in any
of your contact, you can tap and hold that contact and follow
the "Que" menu to tag that
address for your route navigation. When you go to navigation application,
the "tagged" addresses from your Contact database will
appear as available destinations. The City Select map has an incredibly
large number of POIs and the Que applications make it very easy
for you to search for a useful POI close to your destinations.
The QueRoute on the Pocket
PC offers the same type of options you will find in the MapSource
desktop version. You can map out your route base on Faster Time,
Shorter Distance, Off Road or even tip the sliders to set your
preferences on adding or avoiding major roads, medium roads or
minor roads. It offers the same options for vehicle types on
the handheld as the desktop version. You can add avoidance for
Highways, Toll Roads and Unpaved Roads or add any areas or roads
you wish to avoid into the "avoidance" database.
The navigation is easy to use once you've explored all the "Que
The routes in our tests have been mapped well,
especially after we played with the routing preferences, and we
were satisfied by the different results based on our preference
Like other navigation software for PDAs, the Garmin has both map
view and text turn-by-turn view for your driving convenience. You
can actually watch a 3D demo of your mapped route before getting
in your car. The QueMap offers large size fonts, color-coded road
types and POI icons to make it easy for you to see and read the
maps on the go. You can even assign special icons to any destinations
you've created so that you can find them easily on the map. The
mapped route will be highlighted and refreshes quickly as you progress
on the route. There are several large menu buttons on top and the
bottom of the map to give you easy access to Zooms, QueRoute, QueFind,
map filter and "Where Am I" function. The map filter
gives you the option to check off the POI types that you will never
need to make the map view cleaner. The "Where Am I" button
will bring up the info on your location, nearest major streets
and the option to save this location to your destination database.
Very convenient feature!
Above: QueRoutes navigation application.
Above, a map on the Pocket PC.
If you wish to use the text-based directions, tap on the QueTurn
icon after you've navigated a route. The QueTurn will show you
the step-by-step turn directions with distance info for each turn.
The text font is large and easy to see. All map guidance screens
can automatically switch to night-view mode using the clock on
the Pocket PC. You can track the trips and upload them to your
desktop via ActiveSync.
The voice guidance seems to be on target unless
there is a route recalculation on fly when you miss a turn. It
gives you voice guidance twice for each turn, and once you have
turned the voice guidance will tell you how long you need to drive
on the current road. The voice volume is not hugely loud through
the built-in speaker compared to the Mio 168, but should be
sufficient for most road conditions and vehicles. But if your
vehicle or the roads are very loud, consider using the included
external speaker which is a part of the windshield mounting
kit. The timing for the voice guidance is very good if you
follow the original route. But if you miss a turn, the Garmin
is a step too slow giving updated directions. However you can
always use the map view or the text turn-by-turn directions
to supplement the voice guidance.
About the Map Data
Like many GPS and navigation package bundles, the Garmin comes
with the NAVTEQ map data for North America including all 50 US
States, Canada and even Puerto Rico. NAVTEQ map data is one of
the most detailed map sources and is usually updated every 6 to
12 months. The street-level maps and database from NAVTEQ include
5 million POIs (Points of Interest). They not only get the most
up-to-date material collected from all levels of government, planning
agencies, police and fire departments and aerial photographs, but
they also collect first-hand data in real time. NAVTEQ has a large
number of field offices staffed with over 400 analysts and engineers
who drive every day to collect data and feed it daily to the live
database. NAVTEQ uses up to 150 data attributes in each road segment
that may affect the way you get from one place to another. These
road attributes are characteristics of the roads and include road
names, address ranges, turn-restrictions, one-way Info, time of
day restrictions, speed limits, and more. If you wish to sample
the map data, you can use MapQuest.com since it also uses the map
data provided by NAVTEQ or check out NAVTEQ's web
Let's face it, you don't have many choices when
it comes to PDAs with integrated GPS. There's the Palm OS Garmin
iQue 3600 and 3200, and the Mitac Mio 168 Pocket PC. That said,
the Garmin offers a strong set of features, including a fast processor,
integrated Bluetooth, and the latest Windows Mobile operating system
at press time. The GPS gets a good signal, and the map data is
excellent. The navigation and guidance system offer plenty of features
and are accurate and fairly easy to use once you familiarize yourself
with the software. Since Garmin makes both the hardware and GPS
software, you'll get one-stop shopping for support and upgrades.
The price is high, and you could buy a 400MHz Pocket PC and separate
Bluetooth GPS for a bit less cash, but you won't get the integration.
Pro: Fast processor; unless you're a speed demon
who must have the very fastest processor available, you should
be pleased with the Garmin. Excellent graphics perforrmance. Integrated
Bluetooth and an SDIO slot make expansion a breeze. Solid GPS hardware
and software. Excellent maps with a large number of POI's.
Con: The separate
Que apps raise the learning curve. Rather than learning the features
of one central application, you'll have to learn the in's and out's
of each app. The Bluetooth software is less than intuitive. The
price is high!
in speaker, mic and 3.5mm standard stereo headphone
jack. Voice Recorder and Windows Pocket Media Player
10 included for your MP3 pleasure. Has vibrating
Mobile 2003 SE. Microsoft Pocket Office suite including
Pocket Word, Excel, Internet Explorer, and Outlook.
Also, Terminal Services, MSN Instant Messenger for
Pocket PC, File Explorer, Pictures, Windows Media
Player 10 and Voice Recorder as well as handwriting
recognition. 3rd party software and value-added software:
Sprite Backup and BT Explorer. Garmin Que GPS software.
MapSource mapping software for PC. ActiveSync 3.7
and Outlook 2002 for PCs included.
SD (Secure Digital) slot supporting
SDIO and SDIO Now!.