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REVIEW COMMENTS: Navman GPS 3400 (Europe)
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Peter Kessler
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2003 8:04 am    Post subject: REVIEW COMMENTS: Navman GPS 3400 (Europe) Reply with quote

Tom, I have noticed this, and I've wondered if it might be that some turns are classed as continuations of the same road, even though to ordinary mortals they look like different roads. For example, lots of roads are sometimes combined into one 'A' road.
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forthunter
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2003 8:04 am    Post subject: REVIEW COMMENTS: Navman GPS 3400 (Europe) Reply with quote

I've now had the Navman software for about a year and have just installed the latest ST pro service pack. On my 3850 the Urban planning option refuses to work (apart from being unconscionably slow) but that apart it works OK.



I've now extensively tested the ST Pro all over Europe and have come to some conclusions.



1) The unit is useless without a GPS retransmitter in the car. Selling it without one is downright unethical.



2) The mapping has definite errors - not many, but enough to annoy.



3) The response time at motorway speeds is inadequate. The mapping does not handle complicated junctions requiring lane choices.



4) The voice guidance is also often too slow, giving instructions after the direction change has completed.



5) The routing software is pretty crude and the lack of control over the way it decides a route severely limits the application.



6) The unit has its best application when navigating in an unfamiliar town at fairly low speeds. It recently got me completely lost in Brussels though, then threw in the towel!



7) The inability to enter a lat/long in poorly mapped areas is a major problem.



8) The vacuum mounting is a joke - it just isn't reliable enough.



9) The user interface is still not slick enough - it looks pretty but it is not intuitive.



Is it worth the money? Well, yes, if you compare it with a factory-fitted option. But only just. What I'd like to see is a bike mounting, and the sort of features you find on a dedicated GPS such as journey data, distance, average speed, waypoints, off road capability, height asl, journey replay, upload data to the PC, etc. At the moment it is too much of a toy and the reliability just isn't good enough. It also seems to want a lot more memory and processor power than the spec states.



Oh, and in a Gatso world, I'd also like it to warn me when I'm exceeding the speed limit for a given road. This would be especially useful here in Holland as there are no speed sign repeaters!
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pgordon
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2003 8:04 am    Post subject: REVIEW COMMENTS: Navman GPS 3400 (Europe) Reply with quote

WRT the software problems with SmartST, well I see the recent service pack (SP1) didn't exactly help! - Navman posted it to the website on Saturday 5th April, and had pulled it off again citing "technical problems reported by some customers" by Tuesday 8th when I next checked...



I was one of those customers, and I am so incensed by this farce that I'm a hairs breadth away from deciding to sent the whole lot back and buy a Garmin instead...



I followed the instructions *to the letter* to install SP1 (SmartST was working perfectly when I started BTW), my first inkling that something wasn't "quite right" was when, following the apparently succesful installation of the service pack, when I then tried to launch SmartST, it barfed and complained that it wasn't activated and that I should reactivate the software in the usual way. Numerous attempts to activate it did not work. Then I tried to roll back by uninstalling SmartST and reinstalling it from the original CD. The installation & activation all seemed to work, except that now when I try to launch SmartST it barfs and complains that it "Cannot find smartst (or one of its components)..." I have tried everything I can think of, and have uninstalled & reinstalled umpteen times. As of this point, I have a totally non-functioning navigation system. OK, the iPAQ can be used as normal for other things, but I didn't buy it to use as a PDA, I bought it solely for use as a navigation system.

Navman tech support _have_ responded to my email to them about this, but haven't identified the problem, or provided a solution. Right now, I have no idea how long it will be before I get a working nav system back.



Gutted!



Paul G.

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Dave
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2003 8:04 am    Post subject: REVIEW COMMENTS: Navman GPS 3400 (Europe) Reply with quote

If you change your iPAQ it will have a different serial number and you will have to go through the same process. I believe there are only 4 or 5 activations permitted. If you do change Pocket PC 4 or 5 times, like I do, then you will need to contact Navman to eithe rreset or extend the activations. I suspect they'll probably reset the activations back to 1 which is what Audible.com do with their activations.
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fleng
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2003 8:04 am    Post subject: REVIEW COMMENTS: Navman GPS 3400 (Europe) Reply with quote

Installation:- I see that you have to be connected to the Internet to activate the sleeve/software. What happens if I change my iPaq? How will I be able to re-instal the software on a new ipaq if it is locked to the old, which may have failed?
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tedkay
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2003 8:04 am    Post subject: REVIEW COMMENTS: Navman GPS 3400 (Europe) Reply with quote

Hi Dave

Thanks for the comprehensive reply! Congratulations on providing such a good site in that short time.



As far as Navman are concerned I am giving them util Monday to respond to my email failing which I will be returning their product and demanding a full refund. I am prepared to give them a bit of latitude (excuse that pun too!) as far as fixing problems are concerned, but failing to respond to emails from their customers is derisory and inexcusable.







I have absolutely no sympathy with Navman being 'rushed' into getting the software out - they don't do it as a favour to their customers, rather to get their hands on our money as soon as possible and regardless of the fact that the the software doesn't work. I note a complete absence of any reference on their website to the many problems reported, or to any proposed patches, and I regard this as a cynical means of continuing to sell this flawed product to unsuspecting customers.

Tom Tom have openly admitted their software problems and are actively working to rectify them. In my book that puts them a very long way ahead of Navman.

Regards

Ted
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alan robinson
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2003 8:04 am    Post subject: REVIEW COMMENTS: Navman GPS 3400 (Europe) Reply with quote

Hi Ted



i agree with you 100%,Navman have released this software knowing all the flaws we have pointed out.i expext they will release new software with a new name in about 18 months which will cost about 200, so they dont have to sort out SmartST.it does not make me feel any better Dave saying SmartST is better than tomtom.the maps are so out of date in sussex, i can not use the software.
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Dave
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2003 8:04 am    Post subject: REVIEW COMMENTS: Navman GPS 3400 (Europe) Reply with quote

Hi Ted, any criticism is welcome, both of Navman and Pocket GPS. The real problem is no software is 100% perfect, and no maps are 100% perfect either paper or digital. They would be in a perfect world though. I do agree in what you're saying though, in effect why should we put up with these sort of problems, and the program is flawed in such a way if people cannot put their faith 100% into it, or at least 90% in to it.



I can say that 90% of the time with SmartST Pro it has routed me correctly, and the other 10% of the time it hasn't, there have been minor re-routes getting me to the destination with time to spare. From a review point of view (pardon the pun!), we do have very little time to test these products.   Ideally we'd like to get in testing several months before the product comes out, and we'd have a very perfect and concise review. The Navman review we only had the equipment in test mode for just over a week due to some other problems. In all of our future review slots we are requesting a 4 week test period which should help test more thoroughly new hardware and software when it becomes available, but due to the market (consumer) wanting equipment now, it does mean that companies are rushing products out to the public earlier than they would originally intend doing so. I guess this is really peer pressure from the public, and also partly due to the internet and the way we are now starting to live our lifes in a hurried state.



In all new reviews going forward we will not only be posting a comment thread (like this one), but also a bug thread, where we can use these problems and take them back to the manufacturer and apply pressure (like in the TomTom MIA article). We hope over time manufacturers will welcome this as constructive criticism rather than an attack on their product and will work with us to alleviate the problems found by GPS users and Pocket GPS readers.



Ted, you may or may not be aware, but everything we have achieved so far at Pocket GPS has been achieved within a record time span of 2 months. Hopefuly the longer and more well known and respected Pocket GPS becomes, more clout will come with it for us to go back to manufacturers and get some of these problems ironed out quicker. Perhaps even working with the manufacturers to include some of our more travelled readers into new BETA teams to help shape the products. How does that sound ?



Please don't feel you're getting into a conflict with me over this as you're not, we'd like to do everything possible to make the sort of things you've listed happen quickly, and it will over time, please bear with us and in the mean time, spread the word!
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tedkay
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2003 8:04 am    Post subject: REVIEW COMMENTS: Navman GPS 3400 (Europe) Reply with quote

Hi Dave

I hear what you say but the fact remains that once the software has proved itself to be flawed then in effect the whole system becomes useless because one never knows where the flaws will appear. If the route is not known to the user anyway then who is going to risk being sent miles from their destination?

You talk abut 'routing problems' as if they were an insignificant fault when in fact routing is the whole 'raison d'etre' for this equipment and if the routing doesn't work properly you might as well bin it.

There is no real comparison between this system and paper maps. Paper maps do not set an entire route and using them one can easily see errors because one is looking at the entire picture - and they don't cost the best part of 400.00!You can also take a map back if it is flawed and get your money back with no questions.



You don't have to actually DRIVE the routes to check the routes anyway - simply check it against a paper map or two (or ten maybe bearing in mind your lack of confidence in them).



My point about the review was that it is overall very complimentary, nothwithstanding what I have said above and what others have found faultwise. So when we are discussing a product which as it stands is to all intents and purposes useless how can you recommend it?

I feel that if you were to use your forum to bring pressure to bear on Navman your subscribers would benefit by being provided with the appropriate corrections very quickly.You might even get them to reply to emails from their customers!



I feel as though I am getting into a conflict with you, and that is not my intention. My criticism is directed at Navman, in the hope that they will be jolted into providing software that works properly. Surely you can't argue with that....?



Kind Regards

Ted



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Dave
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2003 8:04 am    Post subject: REVIEW COMMENTS: Navman GPS 3400 (Europe) Reply with quote

Thanks Ted, you posted it in the SmartST Pro Map Errors thread, which will allow other users to look through any problems that have been found with SmartST Pro.



I'm sorry you think the review seems misleading, but if you read the review, we have actually said that there are routing problems, and showed some examples that we experienced. SmartST Pro's maps are much better than TomTom's maps, and if you take a look at Navigator map errors you'll find many more problems in Navman's rival product.



I think what you're hoping for is a perfect product, and we all know in software terms that never happens. It should, but it doesn't. Have you never had problems with paper maps ? I don't think I've ever had a paper map that has been anywhere near 90% accurate. I've had roads left off, roads drawn wrong, T junctions when there's a fly over.



We do have a problem with the routing issues, and contacted Navman immediately before the review was completed and have provided accurate screenshots to show routing problems and this is being looked into by the developers. Hopefully Navman will provide updates like TomTom which fine tune the routing algorithms to avoid problems like these.



One other thing I must say, is that we try to make sure we cover the same roads on our tests. None of the GPS companies know which roads or routes these are, so nothing can be tweaked for their product, but we don't drive every road in the country, or anything near it. There are going to be problems with maps and routing, ALWAYS that we won't have picked up, and this is why we create the MAP ERRORS message thread where people who have experienced problems can let others know what problems they may face.



Comparing SmartST Pro to Navigator, SmartST Pro so far seems to have far less problems than Navigator.
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tedkay
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2003 8:04 am    Post subject: REVIEW COMMENTS: Navman GPS 3400 (Europe) Reply with quote

Hi

I posted the message that follows elsewhere on your excellent site before I realised it should be here, so my apologies if you've already seen it! I have also sent it to Navman by email but so far they haven't bothered to reply. I don't want to seem overcritical or demean your quite obvious attempts to provide a fair review, but in the light of my findings of very major faults with the software (which in fact render it unusable because one cannot rely on it at all having found such faults) I have to say that your review is quite misleading. In fairness to your subscribers who may well be influenced to buy the software by the review, and bearing in mind the growing reports of inaccuracies in the routing/maps, I think the review should include mention of this. Navman may well be encouraged to provide fast and free updates if you do.



>>Hmm well my experience so far with SmartST has been that it is anything but smart. Going from Dartford to Bournemouth via A282/M25/M3 the damn thing sent me down the M25, then M3, then decided to put me back on the M25 again .....?? and then onto the A282 where I started! My wife was delighted - "see maybe I'm not such a prat at map reading after all, even your high-tech software can't get it right" and so-on ad nauseam! As it happened I knew the route anyway so it wasn't a problem, but had I been relying on the software I would have been completely confused.

So I now have to decide wether to send it back or wait until the software faults are fixed. But it does appear that once again the software has been released with faults.

It also seems a huge disadvatage not to be able to choose a route via specified locations rather than just the destination. <<



Regards

Ted
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Peter Kessler
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2003 8:04 am    Post subject: REVIEW COMMENTS: Navman GPS 3400 (Europe) Reply with quote

It's twice tried to send me down pedestrian paths across public paths. That's not out-of-date maps, it's just idiotic.



Also, re the house numbering: I have yet to see it give a house address that is anywhere near the correct position. I've tried it with ten different addresses in London, and every time it has got the wrong end of the road. In some cases, that has included roads with blocked-off sections, so that finding the right number involves a large re-drive. It puts my own house at the far end of the road from where it actually is. I wonder if the house-numbering feature is really a ruse designed to make the unit competitive, and it just picks a position at random?
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tony hand
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2003 8:04 am    Post subject: REVIEW COMMENTS: Navman GPS 3400 (Europe) Reply with quote

Re: Navman 3400



Fair review. Forgot to mention the touch screen option to repeat the next turn instruction. Very useful if you didn't catch it the first time.
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CalleyW
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2003 8:04 am    Post subject: REVIEW COMMENTS: Navman GPS 3400 (Europe) Reply with quote

Re change in direction and no instruction. yes I have had the same situation,where the route turned off a B-road onto an unclassified road without warning or instruction. I also had a strange occurence yesterday,where I was following the route and suddenly the GPS instucted me to "turn right in so many feet" and then "turn right" and then "turn left" after approx.50yds.What was strange was that there was no road to the right,however there was a street of houses with a service road running parallel with the main road only 6 feet apart.It instructed me to turn into and out of the very nearby service road.Any reasons or answers????????



Calley Wilkinson
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Walter Mit
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2003 8:04 am    Post subject: REVIEW COMMENTS: Navman GPS 3400 (Europe) Reply with quote



I've noticed something similar with multimap. First, and more annoyingly, is that there is a new direction every time the road name changes. So, anytime I look up directions, more than half are of the form "Continue onto XXXXXX". Since road names change almost every block in the UK, this is very annoying.



At the same time, if there is a turn, but no road name change, there is no assoicated instructions. For all intensive purposes, the map may just assume it is a bend in the road, not a turn.



Of course this is all off topic, and has nothing to do with GPS. We now return you to your regularly scheduled program...

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