Navman GPS for iPAQ (for the Palm m version
click here) - by Tong
Zhang, Senior Editor
New Zealand based Navman, established in 1988, is a
leading manufacturer of world-class marine electronics and GPS technology.
(If you wonder how GPS works, read our GPS
FAQ.) They offer GPS solutions for both handheld devices and
notebooks. Here are the GPS products for handhelds:
GPS 3420: Sleeve that supports iPAQ 3600 through 5400
series and also has a CF card slot that supports type I and type
II cards, $299.95; This is the model we used for this review. The
package comes with a 12-channel GPS receiver in iPAQ Sleeve form,
SmartST Professional navigation software and NAVTECH US maps on 2
CDs, a vehicle windshield mounting bracket, cigarette lighter power
cable and a Quickstart Guide. The GPS sleeve uses power from iPAQ
and you should get runtimes of 1.5 to 2.2 hours with full backlighting
and GPS enabled. The iPAQ can be charged through the vehicle power
Installation Since the Navman GPS for iPAQ comes in the form
of a sleeve, all you have to do is slide your iPAQ into the sleeve.
The mounting bracket is fairly standard and easy to install. SmartST
Professional Navigation software comes with the map CDs (two CDs
for US map: Western and Eastern US). There is cleanly designed
menu interface that helps you with the software installation. Clicking
on “Install SmartST Professional” will install the
GPS software on your iPAQ. It must be installed before you can
install maps on the iPAQ. “Install Maps” will lead
you to the map installation screen. This interface will look familiar
if you have used NAVTECH maps for the US, a mapping technology
used with several GPS technologies including the Destinator for
Pocket PCs. The Navman map installation interface is a bit different
since it has some additional bells and whistles. The US map is
divided into 23 zones on 2 CDs; the largest zone takes 47 MB, and
you can install them on your storage card. In fact, Navman has
made it very easy for you to install the maps on your storage card:
not only is there a built-in CF card slot on the jacket, but there’s
also a Refresh Storage Areas function, which will check for available
storage cards and list them with used space/available space information.
You must, however, close your GPS application on your iPAQ if you
want to refresh the storage card info.
Since there are 2 CDs for the US maps and GPS
software, there is a Swap CD button in case you need the other
CD. To check which zone has the map you need, just put your cursor
over that zone, a pop-up window will show the coverage. Once you
select the zones, you will see Space Required and Space Available
information at the bottom of the zone listing. Navman does not
require any installation on desktop. There are other shortcut buttons
for quick access: Loaded Maps, Clear Selections, Find City and
There are also links on the main software installation
menu to Upgrade iPAQ H3600 Series, Quick Start Guide, Read User
Manual and Visit NAVMAN for Updates.
Navigation Navman 3420’s new and powerful software
SmartST Professional has one of the best interfaces you will see
on a GPS for handheld devices. The Main Menu has a slick look with
sharp icons and menu links to Quick Nav, Destination, Instruction
List, GPS Status, Volume and Setup. You can use the D-pad to switch
between the SmartST main menu and map screens conveniently on the
Navman’s SmartST Professional software
offers quick and convenient ways to navigate your destinations.
You can search for the destination by Address, by Intersection,
by point of interest (POI), by Favorite or by Recent. To find your
destination by Address, you can either enter a city and street
name, or a general area, and then choose the destination from the
list of the available places. Click on the Show button to see a
map of this area or Go to map out a route to this destination from
your current location. The only issue I’ve encountered with
this feature is that the text in the Area window only allows certain
number of characters. So for example, if you are looking for “Mountain
View, California”, you will see “Mountain View, California,
San” while the county Santa Clara is cut off due to the number
of text allowed. There are two cities with the name Mountain View
in California, and both their counties start with San, so I had
to look at other clues to figure out which was the one I wanted.
To search destinations by Intersection, simply enter
the area you want to search in like “Manhattan, New York” and
the two street names. Searching by POI, simply choose from the
categories of POI and the area. The categories include Hospitals,
Entertainment, Automotive Facilities, Food and Drink, Financial
Services, Shopping and more. When I looked up the Amenities in
Mountain View, California, here are the POI listed: “Hewlett-Packard,
Hewlett-Packard Software Rep, Mountain View Chamber of Commerce,
Mountain View Public Library, Netscape Communications, Sun Microsystems.” To
navigate by Favorite, first you must create the Fav list. SmartST
can store up to 30 common destinations on the favorite list. Find
a destination by Address, Intersection or POI, then tap and hold
the location until the pop-up menu comes on, select Add to Favorites.
The location can also be added as any one of three Quick Nav locations,
which you can access with a single click from the Quick Nav screen.
You can edit, delete, or use Show and Go functions to modify or
navigate the Favorite destinations. The SmartST navigation software
can also store up to 20 of the most recent destinations and you
can access them by clicking on the Recent button.
Driving As I mentioned before, you can use the
D-pad to switch between maps and the main menu, as well as
Zoom in and out of the map. Besides the Map Screen, you will
also see the Navigation Screen, Combination Screen and Instruction
that assist you while driving. The Map screen shows the route
you’ve navigated and tracks your progress. It has the
re-nav feature in case you miss a turn on the planned route.
The Navigation Screen shows your route turn-by-turn in large
fonts and icons. It includes information about your next
turn using text and an icon, distance to the next turn, the
street you are currently on, your moving speed, ETA and current
time. The Combination Screen combines the Map Screen and
Navigation Screen in a very efficient way so that you can
see the map as well as the next turn instructions. The Instruction
Screen is a text based instruction list for the route with
turning icons and distance to next turns.
If you turn on the sound on your iPAQ, you
will hear voice guidance that gives you complete handholding
instructions in your choice of Male or Female voice. The
human voice is extremely clear to hear, no synthesized
effects. There is a quick link from the main menu of SmartST
for you to test the sound volume.
There are a few things in the Setup Options
that make Navman GPS even better. In the Display option,
you can select a driving condition between Day and Night,
as well as a Map Color Scheme. Having the correct settings
will increase your ability to see the maps and instructions.
Voice Guidance allows you to enable the voice, choose Male
or Female voice, and to select Miles or kilometers for
distance display. In Route options, you can pick whether
you prefer the Quickest Time or Shortest Distance option,
check Avoid Toll Roads, Avoid Urban Areas options, Automatic
Rerouting option and hit the Start button for recording
the travel on a route. The POI (point of interest) option
has all the available POI categories listed, you can check
off the ones you won’t need.
GPS Status and Map Software The Cold start of the GPS takes about 2 minutes
and Warm start takes a minute or less. The reception of this
GPS isn’t the best I’ve seen. I had to try a couple
of restarts each time I turned on the GPS. The largest number
of satellites I could get signals from was 5 3D fix. The display
of the GPS status, however, is very easy to use and clear to
see. There is an on/off button on top of the screen for you to
switch off the GPS to save power when not in use and switch on
to get signal. Latitude and longitude are displayed along with
a compass heading in degrees and ground speed. There is a large
circle in the middle of this screen that’s color coded
to show the status of the GPS fix. It is green when there is
a 2D or 3D fix, and red when no fix is available. Most of the
time a 2D fix is efficient enough to navigate your driving routes.
On top of the circle, this is a segment looks like a RPM meter
in your car. This is used to indicate number of satellites being
tracked and contributing. A yellow segment indicates a satellite
that is being tracked but is not contributing to a fix. A red
segment indicates a satellite that is contributing to a 2D fix.
A green segment indicates a satellite that is used for a 3D fix.
Navman 3420 for iPAQ uses NAVTECH’s map technology
covering US on 2 CDs. Navman also offers GPS solutions for PDAs
The visual aid and voice guidance in SmartST Professional are powerful and
slick. The form factor of the jacket combines cool industrial design with
the convenience of a bonus CF card slot. It feels comfortable and solid,
but not heavy in your hand. The GPS signal could be stronger and the GPS
start-up could be more smoothly. It does not have the integration with the
Contacts App on the Pocket PC.
Navman 3420 for iPAQ is priced
at $299.95 and can be purchased at Fry’s Electronics, Micro
Center or check the Navman
website for additional local retailers.