Navman iCN 530
- Display, User interface, Next Turn map option, Included remote control
- Volume could be a little louder at highest level, Sunlight glare can be a problem
A solid option that is fairly well priced considering the features offered. The iCN530 is a good choice, but keep in mind that some of the newer Navman models offer refreshing interface changes and newer map views.
Price$ 699.00 (AUD)
The Navman iCN 530 is the model beneath the iCN 550 and combines most of the same features in a smaller package. Although the iCN 530 has been trimmed down into a more compact unit, it still provides an easy to use interface, a 3.5in touch screen and maps of Australia pre-loaded to the internal memory.
Unlike the iCN 550, the iCN 530 is quite a manageable size, measuring just 120mm x 80mm x 22mm and weighing just 200g. It is finished in a matte black casing and feels quite solid and well built.
We found the included 3.5in TFT touch screen worked well in most circumstances. It did however suffer a little in direct sunlight, but its horizontal and vertical viewing angles were excellent. The simple yet effective user interface combined with the display ensures this unit is fairly straightforward to operate. Although there are no large, colourful icons as seen on some of the newer Navman units, the large text boxes for each individual menu are clear and easy to read, so even new users shouldn't have too many problems.
This unit has a rather minimalist control configuration, with only fuel and parking buttons, main menu, map view and escape keys present. Each of these buttons is fairly responsive and their sunken middle ensures your finger can easily press the keys when the iCN 530 is attached to your windscreen. The buttons also feature a bright blue backlight, which makes night time travel simple.
You can quickly change the iCN 530's map view using the cycle maps key; the unit offers standard 2D and 3D perspectives, as well as turn lists (next five turns) and next turn maps. The latter shows information relative to the next turn, including the direction of the turn and the distance to the turn. There is also a button that takes you to the main menu screen, an escape key and the aforementioned parking and fuel buttons. Pressing these keys (marked with a P symbol and a picture of a fuel pump) brings up a list of the nearest parking and petrol stations (within a 5km radius) which you can navigate to with two simple button presses.
The remaining features of the chassis are comprised of a three-way volume scroll wheel, reset button, mini-USB port, a standard 3.5mm headphone jack and SD card slot (for extra maps). Interestingly, the iCN 530 also houses a small stylus, which slots into the top right of the unit. These are normally reserved for PDA-style GPS units, so it is somewhat surprising to see it on this model.
The iCN 530 is equipped with a SiRFstarIII Generation 2 GPS receiver and we were pleased with its performance. It took about 30 seconds on average to pick up and maintain a GPS signal, while we never experienced a signal drop out, even when driving through the city surrounded by tall office buildings.
Most Navman units are fairly easy to operate and the iCN530 is no exception. From the main menu screen you simply tap the 'go to' menu and you can then navigate to your home, a specific address or point of interest (POI), a saved favourite destination or a recent destination. Once you enter an address you can also program a multi-stop trip (with a maximum of 14 stops) and this is done via the main menu. Here you can also adjust any preferences, or view route information, such as the instruction list or a summary of your trip. You can also cancel your route should you wish.
When searching for a specific address, the iCN 530 filters suburbs by state, so you aren't confused with a list of every suburb in Australia. You can search for a specific city, area, street or point of interest. You can then pinpoint your exact destination by choosing to navigate to a specific house number, intersection or even to the centre of the street. The address entry screen uses an on-screen keyboard and number pad but you'll need to use your fingertips to ensure you don't accidentally press the wrong buttons.
The iCN 530 uses SmartST 2006 software with 2006 Sensis WhereIS map data for Australia. The Australian maps are pre-loaded onto the iCN 530's 256MB of flash memory. As with most Navman products, the navigational experience was pleasing thanks to the detailed maps and clear voice instructions. The maps can be zoomed in and out and are able to show the current time, current speed, estimated time of arrival (ETA), distance to your destination and time to reach your destination. If you don't hear the voice instruction, you can tap the next turn diagram to repeat it. The audio instructions on the iCN 530 were of reasonable quality, although we did feel the volume wasn't loud enough, especially in noisy environments such as peak hour traffic.
The usual routing options, such as avoiding tolls or warning when routes include tolls are supported on the iCN 530. Users can also set a preference for using motorways or normal urban roads and this is taken into consideration when the unit calculates a route. You can even tell the iCN 530 to avoid a specified area on the map, for example; you may want to drive around an area that frequently experiences traffic problems. Up to 10 avoid areas can be added to the iCN 530 and they are displayed as shaded areas on the map. Navman has also included a route demonstrator to preview the route. Other features of the iCN 530 include the ability to adjust the screen brightness and up-to-date speed camera and red light camera warnings. There's also a user-configured preset speed warning alert that will inform you if you are driving too fast.
Navman has bundled a remote control with the iCN 530. The remote uses RF technology, so there is no need to point it directly at the unit. It can adjust volume, zoom in on your maps, go to the main menu screen and change the map view, but you'll still need to use the unit itself to search for an address. Also in the sales package is a car windscreen mount, cigarette lighter adaptor, carry case, USB cable and AC power adapter. According to Navman, the iCN 530's internal battery is rated at up to four hours, depending on usage. We averaged about three and a half hours before we had to charge the unit again.
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