Navman iCN720: First impressions

by Volker Weber

Wow. What a big box. The iCN720 arrived today, and the package is really, really big. As is the unit itself. It weighs a hefty 294 g, whereas the iCN520 is only 166 g. And this is a problem, as you will see later.

When the unit boots from a cold start, you get to select your language and then it presents a short introduction. You can switch off both, so you are not bothered again later. The widescreen is fantastic, and so is the software itself. What an improvement over the 520. The map display is wonderful, and the instructions are very timely and precise ("Take the second left", "In 400 meters you have reached your destination to the left").

I took a few NavPix, and this is my favorite lunchtime spot. If you download the original size, you will find the geo coordinates embedded into the picture. Upload the photo to your device and you are ready to navigate there.

When I reviewed the iCN520 I complained about the confusing inputs. There was a thumb wheel, a 5-way-navigator, a touch screen and a pen. This is all gone. You have five buttons and a touch screen. They are all a different size so you can operate them without looking. The first two lead you to the nearest gas station or parking lot. The third button opens the home screen, the fourth one displays the "Goto" screen, and the fifth button will toggle the map display between its various modes. Nice. Very nice.

On the top of the device there is the on/off button and the shutter button for the camera. If you press this button while the device is navigating, you get to the camera screen. There you can take pictures and quickly return to the navigation screen as needed.

Now what about the weight? Well, it does make the device feel expensive, which it is. But it also poses a problem for the screen mount. It is not easy to support this weight 10 cm away from the windshield with just a suction cup and a bit of plastic. Depending on the car's suspension (and there isn't much comfort in our cars), the device starts to move about. After a bit of shaking it started to fold downwards. Tightening the screw then broke the joint:

Broken mount for Navman iCN720

This isn't really a problem since the iCN720 sits nicely on my center console. And with the new GPS it has no difficulties picking up the satellites even if it is not looking out the window.

I know, I'm bad. I break things. But I only do it so that you don't have to. And I have done it before.

Update: The GPS is so good that it actually gets a fix in my living room. Can you believe that? Ok, the room has three windows, but they have shades, the room is on the second floor, and there are three story houses (3 + roof) around me. Unbelievable. My current theory is that it can pick up signals bounced off the other houses.


Ja, Bessungen ist lauschig ;-)

Max Nierbauer, 2006-06-07

You should learn to not so much live by the "If you break it, you fix it. If it you can't fix it, you own the parts" rule ;) It's becoming obvious by now ...

Stefan Rubner, 2006-06-07

Ah - das erste Bild kommt mir irgendwie bekannt vor! (ohne die Koordinaten geprüft zu haben). Endlich besseres Wetter, gell?

John Keys, 2006-06-07

John, ja, das sollte Dir bekannt vorkommen. Und ja, endlich besseres Wetter.

Volker Weber, 2006-06-07

In den EXIF Daten steht nur "GPS Info 260". Kann IrfanView die GPS Daten nicht anzeigen oder hat Flickr die entfernt?

Magnus Haug, 2006-06-07

Schaut nach einem Irfanview-Problem aus. Mac OS X Preview zeigt die Daten an, wenn man das Original von Flickr nimmt. Die kleineren Versionen haben diese Information nicht.

Volker Weber, 2006-06-08

Volker, wie sieht's mit der TMC-Integration aus? Kannst Du dazu was sagen? Die Website spricht von einem "optionalen Verkehrsinfo-Modul", schweigt sich aber bislang dezent über Details aus. Bei vielen Anbietern muss man den Kram in das normale Antennensignal einschleifen, was der Portabilität recht abträglich ist. Wie hat Navman das gelöst?

Frank Dröge, 2006-06-08

Keine Ahnung, Frank. Ich habe so ein Modul noch nicht gesehen. Ich kann Dir nur sagen, dass unter dem Gerät eine breite Kontaktleiste mit 15 Kontakten ist, an das man das Traffic Module wohl anhängen kann. Hier ist ein PR-Bild.

Volker Weber, 2006-06-08

Das sieht breit genug aus, um selbst eine Art Antenne zu sein :-) DANKE!

Frank Dröge, 2006-06-08

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