New Navman review coming up

by Volker Weber

iCN720 Front

Navman is going to send me a new navigation system to try out and review. As you can see in the picture above, the software has been completely revised and provides for a much cleaner interface. The unit also has a GPS receiver based on SIRFstar III, which should make it get a fix much faster than the iCN520 I have been using so far. The new device comes in two flavors: the iCN720 and the iCN750. They both look the same, but the 750 model comes with a hard disk and maps for Europe* pre-installed. That is the one I want, but there currently is 'only' a 720 available, so that is what I will be looking at first.

Besides the much welcome upgrade to a cleaner display and a SIRFstar III GPS, there is an interesting feature which only Navman provides. The device has a 1.3 megapixel camera, which lets you take pictures with embedded GPS coordinates:

iCN720 Back with Camera

You can send those pictures to other people who can upload them to their devices to be used as navigation targets. Much better than writing down geo coordinates or street addresses.


Once I have the device, I am going to shoot some better pictures and post them, but as you can see above, the GPS data is readable by the Preview application in Mac OS X. It's a good thing that Navman is simply following a standard while implementing a unique feature.

*) The Navman website is in pretty bad shape. It is full of sloppy errors and you get conflicting information about what is included in the box. The 720 seems to come with European maps on a CD but it is unclear whether you get the keys to unlock them, or whether that is a separate purchase. Since I want to go to Ireland next week, a map would be nice. :-)


Can it take pictures while navigating?

Arnd Layer, 2006-06-06

That I don't know yet. But it can take pictures while the GPS is on, that is for sure.

Volker Weber, 2006-06-06

a) At first sight, this looks like a very clean user interface with good use of the widescreen aspect ratio. The extra buttons for gas and parking are an excellent idea.

b) It comes close to a photo notebook.

Haiko Hebig, 2006-06-06

Does it have TMC and mp3 capabilities (like the Navigon 5000) ?

marc egart, 2006-06-07

There is separate module which you attach to the iCN for traffic information. But MP3? What do you need this for in a navigation system?

Volker Weber, 2006-06-07

> but MP3? What do you need this for in a navigation system?

Ok, it's not what it is designed for, but I use the mediaplayer quite often, eg. during biking / sightseeing / bus traveling or walking in foreign cities and so on. BTW: It's a WinCE hack and I'm using this PNA Navigon Transonic 5000

marc egart, 2006-06-07

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