Kogan EziNav G4 GPS unit

Kogan's EziNav G4 GPS unit won't break the bank, but its display is hard to see in sunlight.

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Kogan EziNav G4
  • Kogan EziNav G4
  • Kogan EziNav G4
  • Kogan EziNav G4

Pros

  • Good mapping software, reasonably easy to use, good value for money

Cons

  • Poor battery life, screen hard to see in sunlight, lacks the polish of brand name units

Bottom Line

Kogan's EziNav G4 lacks the slick interface of well-known competitors and its display is hard to see in sunlight. However, its low price means it represents good value and the decent Sygic mapping software on board makes for a pleasant navigational experience overall.

Would you buy this?

The Kogan EziNav G4 GPS boasts a 4.3in display, text-to-speech, lane guidance, and speed and red light camera warnings, but it is let down by a display that is hard to see in sunlight.

Kogan describes the EziNav G4 GPS unit as "slimline" but we tend to disagree; Garmin's nuvi 3790T is the only GPS unit we would describe as truly slim. Marketing claims aside, the EziNav G4 GPS is reasonably compact for a device that has a 4.3in screen, and it is finished in an attractive, glossy black plastic. On the left side you'll find a microSD card slot, a mini-USB port for charging and a standard 3.5mm headphone jack. Despite the EziNav G4's budget price, we had no issues with build quality — unlike Kogan's more expensive EziNav G6, there were no gaps where the plastic is joined, though the rear battery cover does feel slightly loose. Kogan sells extra batteries for $29.

Like its bigger brother, the glossy body of the Kogan EzyNav G4 GPS unit attracts plenty of fingerprints. The screen is also hard to see in direct sunlight, and it possesses poor viewing angles. For the best possible results, we recommend mounting this almost directly in your line of sight; even so, it remains hard to see on a bright day. Thankfully, the touchscreen is generally responsive and responds well to both fingernail and fingertip presses.

The software used on the Kogan EziNav G4 GPS unit, Sygic Drive, is separate from operating system, so it must be opened after turning the device on. We found the EziNav G4 a little slower than most other GPS units at gaining and maintaining a GPS signal, often taking over a minute. Once you load up the Sygic software, the interface makes the EziNav G4 simple to use. Menus are clearly labelled, options are straightforward and performance is relatively responsive.

Searching for an address is a simple matter of hitting the "Navigate to..." button and selecting an address. The Kogan EziNav G4 GPS unit filters street names by suburb, which helps narrow down search results. You can choose from QWERTY, QWERTZ and AZERTY layouts for the on-screen keyboard. In addition to navigating to an address, the EziNav G4 can navigate to a postcode, a saved favourite, Points of Interest (POIs), a point on the map, a specific GPS coordinate or your last valid position. You can also select from previous routes and the "Navigate to…" menu provides quick access to hotel and restaurant POIs.

The navigational experience is positive on the whole, with the Sygic software providing clear maps and reasonable detail. The software uses Sensis Australian and New Zealand maps (R17 Jan 2010) — map updates are released every 12 months and should cost around $79, significantly cheaper than most other GPS units.

Names are clearly displayed above each street with a small arrow pointing to clear up any confusion. The EziNav G4 has text-to-speech technology, but there is no Australian voice option, and the pronunciation of the UK voice isn't the most accurate when it comes to Aussie street names. The volume also tends to distort slightly at its highest level and could use a boost when driving with the window down at high speeds.

The GPS accuracy of the Kogan EziNav G4 is not the best. We found it hard to maintain an accurate signal in the Sydney CBD due to the tall buildings. The icon denoting our current position often lagged slightly.

More advanced features of the Kogan EziNav G4 GPS unit include lane guidance, signpost display and speed limit notifications. Lane guidance works effectively, but is only available on large highway and freeway intersections or exits. The signpost display shows a static image of upcoming road signs, with a cross on all directions except the one you need to take. Speed limit notifications are also very handy and aren't just restricted to main roads. The EziNav G4 uses voice alerts for speed and red light cameras, along with a customisable alert tone, adjustable in the settings menu.

The EziNav G4 is equipped with an FM transmitter, MP3 and video player, a photo browser and eBook reader. It also comes with a calculator and unit converter, but lacks Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, so you can't pair it with your mobile phone.

One aspect of the Kogan EziNav G4 that definitely doesn't please is its mediocre battery life. Kogan quotes one hour battery life, but says "we recommend it is connected to the car charger at all times." This is sound advice, as the EziNav G4 barely lasted 40 minutes without power during testing.

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Read more on these topics: kogan, sat nav, GPS, Kogan Technologies

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