Consumer Reports: SmartGPS Not So Smart for Drivers

Magellan added a new feature SmartGPS to its satnavs. It adds information from social media to routes and is powered by CloudMade (Directions Magazine coverage). Apparently the smartest way to use it is for a passenger to do so, says Consumer Reports.

Magellan has taken a different approach, loading their $250 SmartGPS with travel information and connectivity that goes way past simple guidance from point A to B. With access to Foursquare, Google search, and Yelp for anything else you might want to know on the road, the Magellan SmartGPS is meant to go head-to-head with smart-phone capability—without the phone part. Almost. It is WiFi capable, but on the road you'll normally be leveraging your phone's data plan to access those services through a Bluetooth connection, so be mindful of the limits of your data plan.

And all that information makes for a busy screen, with constantly changing pop ups offering restaurant suggestions, gas prices, and even discount coupons. Those graphics can be distracting and are so small that they're hard to read at a glance. They also take up a big chunk of the five-inch screen's real estate. Fortunately, a swipe of a finger can make them go away.

- Consumer Reports


Published Thursday, July 18th, 2013

Written by Adena Schutzberg