So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
Navman MY50T GPS unit
A mid-range GPS with a large display and built-in traffic support
- Design, choice between glide or tap UI, included traffic subscription, large display, 3D junction views, lane guidance
- No Bluetooth hands-free, overzealous school zone warnings, map is missing some red light cameras and 'no right turns', screen transitions are a little sluggish, not all phones compatible with Bluetooth, TMC antenna is built into charger not the actual unit
A large screen and a revamped user interface make the Navman MY50T effortless to use, but the lack of Bluetooth hands-free and overzealous school zone warnings spoil the party. There is a lot to like about this mid-range GPS, but it's far from perfect.
Price$ 349.00 (AUD)
The mid-range model in Navman's latest MY range of GPS units, the MY50T features built-in traffic support, lane guidance and 3D junction views. But it’s the option to switch between tap and glide touch interfaces that makes using the MY50T a pleasant experience.
The Navman MY50T GPS unit has borrowed design cues from the earlier S-Series Platinum range, with glossy black plastic surrounding the screen and a silver rear. A touch-sensitive menu button sits to the left of the screen, but it's often unresponsive. The power switch on top also enables you to put the unit to sleep when it's not in use. Like other MY series devices, the MY50T is rather slow to power up after being put to sleep.
The Navman MY50T GPS unit has large 4.7in touch screen, but unlike the flagship MY500XT, it’s a resistive touch screen rather than a capacitive one. The screen has a matte finish so it does a reasonable job in direct sunlight, though its viewing angles aren't the best. Navman has given users the choice of disabling the glide UI system in favour of a regular tapping interface like those on most other GPS units. Some screen transitions feel a little sluggish, but the MY50T is intuitive to use and menus look appealing.
Navman has tweaked the search method, with a single find menu and the ability to search via keywords, postcodes or by picking an area on the map screen. Instead of address entry being a three-stage process (city, street, then house number), you type the full address in one screen and the MY50T will present a list of options. This is much faster than having to browse through multiple screens.
The MY50T also allows you to plan multi-stop trips and search for points of interest (POIs) through Google and TrueLocal (which is an online database of more than 1.3 million businesses). To do so, you'll need to connect the MY50T to your phone via Bluetooth and enable it to use to Internet; you'll need to ensure your phone is on Navman's list of compatible phones. Once connected, the MY50T will use a small amount of your monthly data quota to perform searches. The MY50T doesn't include Bluetooth hands-free calling.
The large display means the Navman MY500XT's map screen is spacious and easy to read. Street names are clear and a small yellow arrow points to each street to minimise confusion. Tapping the left edge of the screen brings up a scrollable options menu. While you’re on a route, this can display a list of all the turns, a complete overview of the route and information including distance to go, ETA and average speed.
Performance is adequate but there are a few issues. School zone warnings are overzealous and always seemed to appear on roads that weren't even school zones. This led us to turn school zone warnings off completely. The maps also have a tendency to miss a number of 'no right turns', and also didn't warn of some red light cameras that we passed, though the speed cameras, railway crossings and accident black spots all worked without any issues.
The MY50T includes a lifetime subscription to the SUNA Traffic Channel (hence the T in the model name) but the TMC antenna is built into the car charger, so this will need to be plugged in for this feature to work. We would have preferred the antenna to be built into the unit itself, so the charger and annoying cable didn't dangle along the dashboard.
We really liked the lane guidance and 3D junction views (even if the former is only really useful for freeways and motorways). Traffic light locations are incorporated into the voice guidance (for example "turn left at the traffic light"), which is handy for keeping your eyes on the road, as are speed sign alerts. One feature that's missing is a speed sign alert — this function is only available on the more expensive MY50T and MY500T units.
Voice guidance is clear and comprehensive and the MY50T deals with Australian pronunciation quite well. Audio is loud and clear, but you need to delve into the settings menu to adjust it; you can only mute or un-mute audio from the map screen once a route is selected.
Navman has included a Wcities guide to Canberra, but other Australian cities are optional (price TBA), as is a Lonely Planet Travel Book. The Navman MY50T can also instantly capture a location, and comes with a digital log book, Navpix and downloadable live weather updates.
Navman claims the MY50T GPS unit lasts up to two hours, but we only managed to run it for just under before it needed a recharge. This is below average and means you'll need the in-car charger more often than not. Tellingly, the Navman MY50T uses a 720mAh battery, whereas the MY55T and the MY500XT use 1100mAh batteries, resulting in a longer life.
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