Uniden iGO50 GPS device
Uniden iGO50 review: This 5in in-car GPS has some interesting features and is quick to operate
- Green routing and fuel tracking might interest some, junction view feature is useful for unfamiliar motorways and long trips
- Screen can get crowded with unimportant information during complex motorway manoeuvres
The Uniden iGO50 is a 5in GPS that's easy to operate and quick to navigate with. It has a few useful mapping and routing features that might interest eco-commuters or anyone on a long trip into unfamiliar territory. We do wish the interface was more customisable though -- it can get a bit crowded and cluttered.
Price$ 249.95 (AUD)
Like the TomTom GO 1050, the Uniden iGO50 is a 5in GPS. It's preloaded with the latest Sensis maps, it calculates a range of routes based on your driving preferences, and it can do 3D mapping with a novel feature that helps you deal with upcoming motorway exits.
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Uniden iGO50 GPS: Design and interface
The Uniden iGO50 is quite a slim GPS unit — it's no thicker than an Apple iPhone 3GS, making it easy to stow in a large pocket. It has a few exterior buttons and ports; most notably a headphone jack, a microSD card slot, and a mini-USB port for PC connection and charging. However, most of the action is controlled with the resistive touchscreen. The iGO50 seems sturdy enough to stand up to everyday use and a bit of rough treatment. We didn't manage to scratch the screen in a fortnight's use, and the rubberised finish on the rear means it's resistant to knocks and scrapes.
The power button is on the GPS's top left, and once pressed the iGO50 starts up reasonably quickly. The initial setup process asks you to select your country and state, choose a voice and set some basic travelling parameters. The 2D and 3D daytime interfaces are easy to read, with default colour settings that are clear and understandable at a glance.
We like the idea of the junction mapping feature, which gives a visual representation of upcoming motorway exits to smoothly guide you out. For unfamiliar motorways it generally gives a good indication of when and where to exit. In practice there are times when it's a little harder to use than it should be — a combination of highway speed signs, junction mapping and lane guidance can occasionally crowd the screen and confuse things a little. Unfortunately, to use the junction mapping it's necessary to have the signposts enabled as well; we would have preferred the ability to customise the interface more, including adjusting the size of the contextual buttons surrounding the map.
Uniden iGO50 GPS: Mapping speed, route options and operation
The interface offers a simple predictive interface for finding an address and easily accessible favourites, as well as a list of your past destinations. Calculating a route takes less than 30 seconds for intercity trips, and we organised an east coast road trip in under a minute. Once the calculations are completed, you're able to set the route or find alternatives — faster, greener, simpler or shorter — although this requires further number-crunching.
After its initial lock, the Uniden iGO50 is reasonably quick to re-find satellites if they're lost. We took the iGO50 through a few tunnels and found it did a reasonably accurate job of predicting our speed and trajectory before picking up the GPS signal again. While driving, we didn't have any problems with the Uniden iGO50 recalculating our destination if we made a wrong turn or tried to avoid traffic — recalculation is quick and generally intuitive.
We ran the Uniden iGO50 for a fortnight on trips between five and 150 kilometres, from the inner city to a weekend getaway. We didn't encounter any crippling problems with its operation and the accuracy of its directions was always acceptable. The green credentials of the Uniden iGO50 extend as far as estimating your carbon emissions for each trip, and tracking estimated fuel consumption. We admit to feeling slightly guilty viewing the results after a fortnight of driving to work and racking up kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions, but we think the fuel consumption tracker is a good incentive to see if you can drive more efficiently and beat your last score.
Uniden iGO50 GPS: Conclusion
The Uniden iGO50 is a competent GPS, and the inclusion of the green route suggestion and fuel consumption tracking feature are novel extras that might draw in environmentally conscious users. It didn't display any major flaws during everyday operation, so we'd happily recommend it for general use.
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