Kogan EziNav G6 GPS unit
The Kogan EziNav G6 GPS unit has a few too many annoying quirks to wholeheartedly recommend, including a poor quality display and mediocre battery life
- Large 6in screen, good mapping software, reasonably easy to use, large screen does enhance navigation experience, Bluetooth
- Poor battery life, mediocre display, questionable build quality, lacks the polish of brand name units
Kogan's EziNav G6 lacks the slick interface of well known competitors, has a rather poor display and possesses mediocre battery life, making it a difficult navigation unit to recommend. However, a 6in GPS unit with Bluetooth at this price still represents value for money and the decent Sygic mapping software on board does score it a few points.
Price$ 229.00 (AUD)
Sat navs with 5in screens are slowly trickling onto the GPS market in Australia, but online retailer Kogan is one of the first to sell a 6in model. The massive Kogan EziNav G6 portable navigation unit may lack the slick interface of well-known competitors, but it still represents good value. Unfortunately, it has a few too many annoying quirks to wholeheartedly recommend, including a poor quality display and mediocre battery life.
The Kogan EziNav G6 GPS unit is relatively thin for a sat nav with a 6in display. It is finished in attractive glossy black plastic, with the rear etched in a simple circular pattern that provides grip if you hold the unit with two hands. On the left side, a flip-up plastic panel reveals a microSD card slot, a mini-USB port for charging and a standard 3.5mm headphone jack. Build quality isn’t the best — the top left of our review unit had a sizeable gap where the plastic is joined, while the screen looks and feels flimsy.
The glossy body of the Kogan EzyNav G6 attracts plenty of fingerprints, but it is the quality of its display that is a serious issue. The glossy screen is very hard to see in direct sunlight, and it possesses extremely poor viewing angles. For the best possible results, you need to mount it almost directly in your line of sight; even so, it remains hard to see on a sunny day, and this is critical for a GPS unit. The touchscreen is not as responsive as we would like either; it takes a rather firm press to make selections.
The software used on the Kogan EziNav G6 GPS unit, Sygic Drive, is separate from the operating system, so it must be launched after turning the device on. We found the EziNav G6 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 EziNav G6 is simple to use. Menus are clearly labelled, options are straightforward and the interface is relatively responsive. The software did freeze once during our testing, but this was quickly resolved by restarting the unit and wasn't a regular occurrence.
Searching for an address is a simple matter of hitting the "Navigate to..." button and selecting an address. The Kogan EziNav G6 GPS unit filters street names by suburb, which helps narrow down search results. Considering the large display, we were disappointed by the small size of the keyboard, though you can choose from QWERTY, QWERTZ and AZERTY layouts. In addition to navigating to an address, The EziNav G6 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 offered by the Kogan EziNav G6 GPS unit 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.
Names are clearly displayed above each street along with a small arrow to clear up any confusion, while the extra display real estate does mean the map screen is spacious. The EziNav G6 has text-to-speech technology, but there is no Australian voice option; the UK voice's pronunciation isn't the most accurate when it comes to Aussie street names. Audio also tends to distort slightly at its highest volume and could use a boost when driving with the window down at high speeds.
The GPS accuracy of the Kogan EziNav G6 is not the best. We found it hard to maintain an accurate signal in the Sydney CBD due to the tall buildings, while the icon denoting our current position on the map was often lagging slightly behind our real position.
Advanced features of the Kogan EziNav G6 GPS unit include lane guidance, signpost display and speed limit notifications. Lane guidance works very 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 on your route. Speed limit notifications are also very handy and aren't just restricted to main roads. The EziNav G6 uses voice alerts for speed and red light cameras, along with a customisable alert tone.
The EziNav G6 GPS unit has Bluetooth hands-free capabilities and pairing the unit with an iPhone 4 was a painless and simple process. You can use an on-screen dial pad to call phone numbers and also access your phonebook on the EziNav G6's display. The speaker quality is not the best for voice calls and in particular it suffers when there is cabin noise. The EziNav G6 is also equipped with an FM transmitter, MP3 and video player, a photo browser and eBook reader.
One aspect of the Kogan EziNav that definitely isn't pleasing 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 G6 barely lasted half an hour without power during testing.
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