Ferdinand Magellan was a Portuguese explorer born c. 1480, and along with his crew were the first Europeans to enter the Pacific Ocean. They were also the first to successfully circumnavigate the globe. It is because of his reputation in history, that his name is put on the modern day version of compasses and astrolabes that he might have used.
Magellan and its devices and navigational software, is commonplace in this column. Whether it be the smallest and most entry level offering, or the newest and most advanced, they are always highly rated.
The newest Roadmate, the 9250T-LMB is no exception. In-fact, it may very well be the best to come out of Magellan thus far.
There are three qualities that stand out against the competition;
· Lifetime (Free) Map Upgrades
· Lifetime (Free) Traffic Alerts and routing
· Exceptional Bluetooth sound quality
Additionally, the 7” screen size is a God send for sore and squinting eyes as well as compatibility to the (optional) back up camera for extra safety will also help to win you over. It has a great “boom” type windshield mount, which puts the unit closer to your hands. This is especially helpful in trucks or vans.
With this newest release, Magellan’s next generation of features make navigation easier than before.
There is the new Landmark Guidance feature, which speaks directions using landmarks as your guide. For instance, you’ll hear instructions like “In 200 feet, turn left at the Hess Gas Station”. The newly redesigned junction view feature, projects realistic images of freeway signs and arrows to guide you to the correct lane. This makes exiting safer for you, but also more accurate. There are also Traffic Camera Alerts, provided by PhantomALERT.
Magellan takes the newest “NO TEXTING” laws very seriously. Bluetooth “SafeTexting” has taken advantage of a capability found in many phones, which allows texting control over a Bluetooth connection. This allows a Magellan feature known as “SafeTexting”, which gives the driver the ability to respond to an incoming call or text with a pre-written text message informing the caller that the driver will call back when it is safe. The return texts, which are sent in a couple of button presses, may include location and ETA information automatically inserted by the Roadmate device. Click HERE to view the list of compatible cell phones.
One last feature that I found accidently, was the fact that it allows for both “Landscape” and “Portrait” orientation. This was something that I personally never thought of as a feature, but in seeing it, I have now changed to portrait mode and love it.
It is impossible to list all that this unit has to offer. For an updated feature list, please go to the Magellan GPS website.
With the newest and best features explained, it was now time for the testing phase.
Testing incorporated several realms including
• Short (10-75 miles) and long (100+miles) distance drives
• Not getting Lost
• Traffic Reporting
• Ease of use
In a given day, my day can consist of driving anywhere from 50 to as much as 500 miles. This can include major metro areas as well as rural back roads and the highways needed to reach them. I cannot take a chance on a cut rate GPS to show me the way. Not once did I get lost. I actually turned off the GPS for about 10-15 minutes, took several wrong back road turns, etc. I put the device back on, and my location was found w/i 30 seconds. I came to find out that while I thought I was 15 minutes out of the way, the 9250T-LMB got me back on track in about 7 minutes.
Traffic reporting is essential if your travels take you through major metro areas, such as Boston, NYC or Washington DC. You don’t want old data, but rather up to the minute data and alerts. Once the unit gains the traffic signal, that is what you get. If a major jam is in along the route, I want to know NOW, not when I am 5 minutes away. Magellan has perfected this. While it is rare to find a jam in rural areas, it does happen, whether it be because of weather or an accident, Magellan will pick it up. It will then give you a choice to continue on the current route or detour. It will also show you the time differences either way.
The one touch feature is for the most part across the board on most Magellan products. It allows you to save addresses and with “one touch” access them and route yourself there. It also has help buttons that will get you to the closest hospital, police station, etc as well as other emergency services.
You cannot get more intuitive or easy to use than any Magellan product. Even the beginner will find the manual un-needed. The on screen keyboard is large enough that bigger handed people would be comfortable in typing.
Learn more at www.magellangps.com or check out their entire line at Amazon.com.