Tuesday, 03 April 2012 12:57

Review: Navman MY Escape

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myescape2The top of the MY Series line of Navman specialist navigation units packs a broad range of features aimed at an equally broad range of uses.  The MY Escape is equally at ease whether it is finding the location of a suburban kid's birthday party as it is out on the not-so-beaten AWD tracks of the Australian bush.

In particular Navman is alerting owners of larger vehicles such as 4WD, trucks or those looking to a caravan or boating holiday.  Route calculation on the MY Escape can be altered based on weight, height and length of the vehicle being directed.

The MY Escape unit itself is a chunky, dust and vibration resistant piece of technology.  The matt black with grey bezel unit screams functionality and durability.  Even the windscreen mount makes a statement about the MY Escape's intentions, this is not a device intended for the slanted aerodynamic windscreen of a city run-about, instead this is a mount intended for the more vertical glass of a SUV or 4WD vehicle.  The mount does however, feature an adjustable elbow allowing for just about every situation.  

A responsive touch sensitive 5' screen features Navman's improved graphical layout.  There is, in our opinion, still some room for improvement in the menu and interface design, but Navman have made great strides in recent times in this area, and the customisation that can be made will allow everybody to find the optimal visual set-up for themselves.

'The MY Escape is not just for those who drive bigger cars; it can make life more convenient for every driver, especially those looking to escape from the everyday.' says Wendy Hammond, marketing director of Navman Technology, and certainly the MY Escape is one of the most versatile sat-navs we have encountered.

At AU$499 RRP (including two years of map updates and warranty) this is one of the more expensive dedicated sat-nav units on the market, but the feature list is as extensive as they come.  Four route options (including the aforementioned consideration for larger vehicles) all of which can be pre-simulated, spoken safety alerts for school zones, red light and speed cameras as well as new Premium Driver Alerts that warn of lane merges or unexpected sharp turns make up the highlights of the MY Escape package.

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 'Like the rest of the MY Series, the unit comes with free lifetime SUNA traffic subscription and has one of the most sophisticated guidance capabilities of any GPS in the market, giving added confidence to drivers, which in turn makes them a safer driver,' says Hammond.  Certainly the SUNA traffic guidance comes in handy around the city, with pop up real time alerts giving you early clues to congestion on the intended path.

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The MY Escape reportedly learns your driving habits over time (a feature known as My Drive), taking note of the time it takes for you to corner, and route preferences you make, this is both intriguing and somewhat unsettling to note, unfortunately our time with the unit did not indicate the benefit of this feature.

Bluetooth pairing is painless and the Live Weather information (add a city and then tap for weather update) is surprisingly handy.

Along with the HEMA 4WD Tracks feature for off-road guidance, the MY Escape also has built in Lonely Planet Travel guides to expand your knowledge and enjoyment, particularly when on tourist trips, included are 25 predetermined scenic Australian routes.

Other built in handy features include Landmark Guidance which, when used with the spoken street name system provides a safe eyes-on-the road mechanism for getting you to your destination safely.  

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The My Escape unit ticks all the modern sat-nav features list.  Bang for buck, if you do extensive road trips and want a dedicated device that does it all, this one should definitely be considered.

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Mike Bantick

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Having failed to grow up Bantick continues to pursue his childish passions for creative writing, interactive entertainment and showing-off through adulthood. In 1994 Bantick began doing radio at Melbourne’s 102.7 3RRRFM, in 1997 transferring to become a core member of the technology show Byte Into It. In 2003 he wrote briefly for the The Age newspaper’s Green Guide, providing video game reviews. In 2004 Bantick wrote the news section of PC GameZone magazine. Since 2006 Bantick has provided gaming and tech lifestyle stories for iTWire.com, including interviews and opinion in the RadioactivIT section.

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