(Pocket-lint) - The Navman S90 takes on TomTom and Garmin in the high-end satnav market, but can Navman deliever the goods? We get on the road to find out.

The S90i is the flagship of the S-series and following a "dramatic redesign" of the company's satellite navigation systems.

Losing all its buttons after customer feedback, focus groups and research suggested that it made the previous models confusing to use, the Navman S-series and in particular the S90i is now a completely touchscreen experience.

It's a shame as we liked the dedicated petrol and dedicated parking buttons, but don't fear as these are software options within the menu system.

In fact there isn't a single button on the front of the display, which boasts a 4.3-inch widescreen display the same as the latest TomTom Go and Garmin ranges.

Other features inside this top of the range model include the now standard Bluetooth for handsfree calling, built-in traffic receiver so you can avoid the jams and Text to Speech which speaks the next road name out aloud so you don't have to look at the display to see where you are going.

Missing, however, is an FM transmitter to allow you to reroute audio through your car stereo and the ability to give voice instructions for where you want to go as found in the TomTom range.

Following previous Navman models, the Navman S90i is the company's latest Navpix offering and so you get a digital camera slapped on the back to record places you've been.

The idea, first touted a couple of years ago by Navman, is that rather than have to key in address information every time, you simply snap a picture, store it and away you go.

It's a novel idea and one that you could use in situations like finding your car again in a big car park, or a remote address that doesn't have a decent postcode assigned to it. However we've always said that the system would only work when there were plenty of photographs around with geo-location data to use.

Hearing our calls, Navman has boosted its own collection of 11,000 pictures on its website to over 23million images with a deal with photo sharing website Flickr. The move is a stroke of genius as users will now have plenty of places to drive to once they've download the images.

Technology aside, the outer "retro looking" shell of the S90i isn't the only thing to get a make over here.

The software and map interface have been overhauled as well and using it on the road after and we have to say that we are very impressed. The interface is crisp and clean and the menu systems easy to understand.


The unique selling point of the S90i is the camera function and the new addition of all those Flickr photos, however take that out of the equation and you've got a unit that is a solid performer but by no means breaks any boundaries.

Following on from our first look, the S90i, in our longer "on the road test" performed well and certainly as good as the competition.

It's clear that this is Navman making sure they stay with the lead pack rather than steaming out in front, but from time we've spent with the unit, the simple to read, crisp, clear interface is certainly going to win over drivers.

Writing by Stuart Miles.