Navman's Platinum S-Series Satnavs Bring Them Back To Speed

Navman 300T.jpgIt's been a rough couple of years for Navman. Once the undisputed King of the Australian Satnav market, they got bogged down in a clunky design, slow software, terrible audio quality and average navigation. Now they're back and better than ever (at least on paper) with their new platinum S-Series range of satnavs.

Just like Mio (who now owns Navman), the new satnavs run Navteq's mapping, which means you get 3D landmarks, lane guidance and a pedestrian mode, plus a boatload of POIs. There's a new user-interface (Woohoo!), and a petrol efficiency mode, which navigates away from intersections that require you to stop and start frequently.

Navpix is present, although the new models don't feature a camera like previous models, instead relying on geotagged photos downloaded from Flickr. Depending on the model, there's an FM transmitter built-in so navigation commands come through your car speakers, and the 300T comes with the SUNA traffic channel updates (the S200 is SUNA capable).

Here's a rundown of the specs of each of the new models:

Navman S150 Platinum

· 4.3 inch super-flat widescreen

· Clear Australian Spoken Street Names

· Premium Safety Alerts: School Zones, Safety Cameras, Accident Black Spots

· Bluetooth™ hands-free calling

· 3D Landmarks

· 3D Junction Views

· Live Local Search

· Advance Lane Guidance

· Pioneering software with "Glide touchscreen"

· Capture Location Button

· SUNA Traffic Ready

· Mileage Reporter

· Latest Map Guarantee

$499RRP

Navman S200 Platinum

· 4.3 inch super-flat widescreen

· Clear Australian Spoken Street Names

· Bluetooth™ hands-free calling

· FM transmitter

· Multi-media Features: MP3, FM radio, Picture & Video Player

· 3D Landmarks

· 3D Junction Views

· Advance Lane Guidance

· Live Local Search

· Premium Safety Alerts: School Zones, Safety Cameras, Accident Black Spots

· Pioneering software with "Glide touchscreen"

· Capture Location Button

· SUNA Traffic Ready

· Latest Map Guarantee

· Mileage Reporter

$599RRP

Navman S300 Platinum

· 4.3 inch super-flat widescreen

· SUNA Traffic Built-in

· Clear Australian Spoken Street Names

· Bluetooth™ hands-free calling

· FM transmitter

· Multi-media Features: MP3, FM radio, Picture & Video Player

· 3D Landmarks

· 3D Junction Views

· Advance Lane Guidance

· Live Local Search

· Premium Safety Alerts: School Zones, Safety Cameras, Accident Black Spots

· Pioneering software with "Glide touchscreen"

· Capture Location Button

· Latest Map Guarantee

· Mileage Reporter

$699RRP

The new Navman satnavs should be in store later this month.

Glide and go, find, explore - Navman S-Series Platinum delivers a new benchmark in GPS

It may look sleek, sexy and light enough to slip into a briefcase or handbag, but the brand new Navman S-Series Platinum packs a punch so hard it will set new standards for GPS in Australia and around the world. As the name suggests, the Platinum range delivers clever, stylish and useful features that will change the way we navigate and drive.

Available from late October 2008 onwards, the Navman S-Series Platinum is an incredibly slim and sleek (at only 13.5 mm thick) brushed metal cased GPS unit, with a scrollable "glide" touch screen, a new interface using Navteq® maps and a new intelligent way of searching.

According to Navman marketing director Wendy Hammond, Australia will be the first market in the world to see Navman S-Series Platinum. "Navman invests heavily in research and development to create GPS units that are continually two steps ahead of the market," says Hammond. "At the end of the day, it's about developing smart new technologies that are simple to use and make the lives of our customers easier.

"As pioneers in satellite navigation, we work hard to exceed the expectations of both consumers and retailers and we think we've done it with a GPS unit that combines great looks, cool technology and unbeatable features." "Navman is about much more than just telling people when to turn left and right, it's about making it easier for people to find where they want to go, to help them get there safely and then enable them to explore more about their destination," she says. "So we've simplified the interface - there are three key areas - "go" for regular navigation instructions like putting in an address; "find" to search for specific places, areas or businesses; and "explore" that enables you to search an area in greater detail, or pull up information about points of interest online using TrueLocal. All of the search functions are done using a "keyword" search. We have tried to make sure all the relevant day-to-day features that users need are up front and not buried in layers of different menu screens."

"We've listened to drivers who want more specific instructions about exactly which lane or exit to take by adding greater detail in the guidance. Drivers will now hear more with spoken street names in clear Australian pronounciation giving lane and traffic light guidance."

In a first for Navman, the Platinum range also includes clear 3D lane guidance with junction views appearing on the screen as you approach some major turn-offs, exits or intersections. "This, along with the 3D landmarks, really help orientate drivers to their surroundings," she says. "It all adds up to making the driving and navigation experience better, safer and easier than ever before."

In addition to the sophisticated lane guidance, Navman believes one of the most important and useful enhancements are the premium safety alerts that have been built into the Platinum range. These alerts warn drivers as they approach school zones; highlight certain areas where they need to be more careful (for instance when there are fixed speed and red light cameras) or when approaching railway crossings or accident black spots.

"Imagine being able to give your teenager or a young driver a GPS unit that will help to keep them safe and give them alerts not just about speed but about school safety zones and accident black spots," says Wendy.

The new range is not just for motorists - pedestrians can take it out of the car and carry it with them. Simply change the mode to "pedestrian" and you get directions for travelling on foot - for example, motorways, turn restrictions, one-ways and blocked passage estrictions are ignored. If a route is longer than 10 kilometres, a warning is given and the 2D city maps represent detailed outlines of buildings including railway infrastructure.

Features: • Intelligent way to navigate - new user interface The new scrollable menu allows you to find destinations easier using a "keyword" search - just glide your finger down the screen. There are three modes: o Go - simply get the directions and help to make driving easier; o Find - you can search as you do online - by a variety of means - by points of interests, streets and brand names and it will search faster and more accurately; and o Explore - having hundreds of thousands of points of interest has been standard on Navman classic S-Series - but have you ever arrived somewhere and wanted to find a restaurant, bar or sports ground? The Navman S-Series Platinum Explore mode allows you to connect with True Local to look up specific points of interest or businesses online, find out more about them and then dial them up if you wish or be guided directly there.

Unlike other GPS models that ask people to search 'backwards' i.e. first entering 'city/town', then 'suburb', then 'street' and then finally, building number, the new Navman Platinum range enables people to search intuitively - type in the first part of the address "22 Davies Street" and a range of options for 22 Davies Street appear. Simply glide your finger down the screen and choose the one you want. It makes finding places faster, easier and smarter.

• Petrol (efficiency mode) Routes that avoid "stop-start" driving, unsealed roads and roundabouts, can help to reduce petrol consumption by giving directions that avoid braking and keep speeds constant. • Lane Guidance and Junction Views Richer, more specific verbal lane guidance, as well as clear navigation showing the actual view when you get to the turn or exit lanes and how lanes are connected. This service will cover major cities - Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Canberra. • Warnings - Safety and Speed Camera, Accident Black Spots, Railway Crossings Safety camera warnings have become standard in many GPS, but Navman S-Series Platinum gives alerts for changes in speeds when entering school zones; as well as warnings for railway crossings and accident black spots; along with safety and speed cameras. • 3D Landmarks See more than 100 landmarks appear in 3D that fit the dimensions of the map as you approach and drive around each landmark. You'll find the Sydney Opera House, MCG, the Suncorp Stadium and other famous Australian spots. • World maps Other maps for Eastern Europe, Western Europe , USA, New Zealand, Canada are already contained in the box - just purchase the unlock key to wherever you're travelling and take your Navman S-Series Platinum with you. • Map Data For the first time, the new Navman S-Series Platinum for Australia is powered by Navteq, a global leader in digital map data. The Navteq map of Australia provides over 1.1 million kilometres of roads covering 100 per cent of the population, and the most complete set of address ranges. Equipped with the largest field team of geographic analysts in Australia, Navteq uses both local knowledge and contacts to collect and verify road details in the neighborhoods. These geographic analysts capture up to 260 attributes, including one-way streets, turn restrictions and physical barriers, as well as constantly collecting and verifying new roads, housing developments, and points of interest including banks/ATMS, petrol stations, restaurants, shopping and hotel to build map data which is rich, detailed and accurate. • Pedestrian Mode Specific navigation instructions for people walking around cities - there are no instructions for motorways and turning and one way instructions are ignored. Moreover pedestrian mode will warn if a route is longer than 10km. Park in a parking station near your destination and then switch to pedestrian mode and be guided the rest of the way. • Tag the location with pinpoint accuracy If you're ever out looking at property or cars to buy, you'll know how difficult can be to remember where and when you saw, say, the house with the white picket fence or the one with the large backyard. When you're at a location, simply press on the pin icon at the right hand side of the screen and you can record exactly where you are, enabling you to return there later that day, that week or that year. • Spoken street names across the range • FM transmitter and receiver Link your navigation unit into the stereo of your car and listen to the guidance through your car speakers. • Bluetooth Hands Free Turn your Navman Platinum into a Bluetooth handsfree kit. Use the Bluetooth connection to go online via Truelocal to do searches of over 1,000,000 listings that are all geocoded so you can navigate straight to them, no need to download and then upload from your computer. • Mileage expense - digital log book • Short cuts to petrol and parking buttons • NavPix Downloads Download geo-tagged images from Flickr (or from Navman website) and just "go". • Recommended retail prices: S100 $429 S150 $499 S200 $599 S300t $699

Classic S-Series Navman has retained and enhanced two models in its classic S-Series range - the S35 and S45. The Navman S35 has a 3.5" screen and comes with 500,000+ points of interest, safety camera alerts; clear text to speech/spoken street names; a digital log/mileage report; SUNA traffic optional and NavPix photo navigation. $299 rrp. While the Navman S45 has a 4.3" screen and comes with safety camera alerts; clear text to speech/spoken street names; a digital log/mileage report; SUNA traffic optional and NavPix photo navigation. $349 rrp.

[Thanks Adam]

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