Navigon 2110 max GPS receiver review

The Navigon 2110 is a neatly designed unit, featuring a 4.3in touchscreen display, and a neat minimalist black gloss body. The only button is the power button on the top, so things a slick and clean.

Also in the box you get the 12V power cable for your car and a suction mount, as well as the obligatory USB cable for hook-up to your PC. There is no power pack, so if you want to charge the unit, you’ll either have to connect to your PC, or in your car.

The car charger does have a trick up its sleeve in the form of an integrated TMC antenna, meaning there is no need to drape unsightly cables across the dashboard of your car, which is a nice move. However, you'll only get TMC where it is free, and this doesn't include the UK, where an additional £40 fee applies, which is a shame.

The suction mount leaves a lot to be desired, and it is somewhat suspicious that an accessories leaflet in the box points you towards different windscreen mounts, leaving you feeling a little underwhelmed. The mount is about as thick as Arnold Schwarzenegger’s arm and offers a range of primitive articulation in the vintage knob-tightening fashion, however, if you have a curved windscreen, you might not be able to get your device level.

Start the device and you are offered two options, Navigation or Pictures, which is always a curiosity, as I’ve yet to meet anyone who has purchased an in-car photo gallery by choice (if you have, then please feel free to leave a comment below).

However, the Navigon’s strength seems to lie in the navigation, which we found to be clear, simple and reliable. The Navigon supports full postcode entry, or the longer country, town, street, house number. As you enter the details, the unsupported characters are greyed-out and you are given auto suggestions, which is neat. However, if you only know the first part of the postcode, you run into trouble, as by default it will choose the next digit, for example, if you know your location is in HA5, it will actually give you HA5 1, which may not include your desired street.

You can do all the normal things in building your route, including set up a range of destinations, either through address entry or from the included points of interest, so you could go off to a meeting and then have a route planned to the nearest McDonald’s. The unit gives you a breakdown of total time and distance, as well as the section of the journey you are on.

Out of the box, acquiring satellites seemed to take some time, but was thereafter reliable. We were surprised by the Navigon, because we were sitting in the car parked, and on the satellite information page, it gave the address, including the street name – a glance out of the window, and we were indeed sitting outside number 58, which is very smart.

Navigation en route was precise and provided enough information to ensure that you make all the right turnings. One of the key features of the Navigon is the Reality View and Lane Assistant, which compares favourably with TomTom’s Advanced Lane Guidance. The works on motorways and major roads, giving you the layout of the signs you can actually see, as well as a clear indication of which lane you need. The signs are a nice touch for a quick confirmation that you didn’t miss anything and we found them to be accurate.

The Lane Assistance graphically displays a 2D map of the lanes, and indicates in which lane you need to be in. Depending on the size of the road, you’ll also get this information on major routes, including roundabouts and so on. It also managed to accurately navigate us around the junction at Crooked Billet on the Staines By-pass, which is a nightmare at the best of times! You also get an accurate countdown to the turning.

The 2110 will also provide you with gentle reminders that you are exceeding the speed limit, although we found that the speed database was not accurate, with a 50 zone appearing as a 30 and various other discrepancies. However, you do get a Latest Map Guarantee, although this is something of a gimmick, as it only applies for 30 days after purchase, so in our review, there were no map updates and the clock keeps running (this is the same as TomTom offer).

The map updates are accessed through Navigon Fresh, a separate software application that you’ll have to download from the Navigon website. Once you have registered you can update the device’s software and we found a few bug fixes in there. You also have the option to purchase different maps and so on.

Verdict

Overall we were very impressed with the navigation solution presented by the Navigon 2110 max. The lane guidance options and quick routing are a credit to the system and compete with rival offerings. The lack of the Navigon Fresh software in the box is a surprise, as is the poor quality of the windscreen mount, which could easily be changed.

Despite the shortcomings, the strength of the guidance gives the Navigon a good score.