Navman MY650LMMT Review

The Navman MY650LMMT is a fine GPS for the most part, but if you’re going to go with a standalone satnav these days, you’re better off with a slightly more premium model.
The standalone GPS in-car navigator model is, if you ask those who make the things, one that still has a lot of relevancy in the smartphone age. It’s hard to ignore smartphones, and the ability of such devices to offer mapping solutions such as Google Maps, Apple Maps or Nokia Drive, and with its latest GPS offering, Navman’s taken something of a “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” approach, grabbing a feature most users would think of as a smartphone feature and cramming it into a GPS framework.
That feature is the inclusion of Zomato, the restaurant app formerly known as Urbanspoon. It adds a variety of Australian POI guides based on Zomato’s information on them, so you can search directly from within the GPS unit itself, rather than pulling your smartphone out of your pocket to do so. If you were driving at the time, that would be a remarkably dangerous thing to do, bearing in mind at the same time that it’s illegal to operate a GPS by touch while driving anyway.
The Navman MY650LMMT is an attractively built unit, measuring in at 141.77x86x15.03mm with a prominent silver front facing bezel that draws your eye towards the 5.0″ LCD touchscreen. Navman’s slightly redesigned the mounting bracket it’s used for its more recent GPS models, with a “clamp” style head that holds the Navman MY650LMMT firmly in place. The cigarette lighter adaptor provided hasn’t changed any, with a prominent external plug and mini USB connector. As with most standalone GPS units, map upgrades are provided for the lifetime of the unit, updated monthly, although you’ve got to manage that from a PC or Mac with Navman’s software.
The Navman MY650LMMT has many of the features that Navman’s been providing in GPS units for some time now. These range from the cute but slightly pointless, such as 3D landmarks, to the functionally more useful, such as Bluetooth handsfree speaker mode for connected smartphones and quick POI seach for specific destination types, such as fuel.
The Navman MY650LMMT’s interface is the same one that Navman has offered for a number of years now. It’s clean and mostly simple to use, with a notable highlight being the spoken Landmark Guidance Plus feature. This uses real world landmarks to give you more context to directions, so instead of being told to turn left in 300 metres, you might be told to turn left in 300 metres at the church, or the KFC, or similar. It’s not always 100 percent accurate, because some corner destinations do change, but it can be quite useful if you’re in busy traffic to give you a better heads-up of upcoming changes.

The basic Navman UI is simple to use, with a clear set of choices and fast mapping response while driving.
The basic Navman UI is simple to use, with a clear set of choices and fast mapping response while driving.

For basic navigation the Navman MY650LMMT performs reasonably well, intelligently re-routing as needed if you stray off course. As is the norm with any new GPS unit, you can expect to wait a few minutes when first setting it up to ensure a GPS signal, but once that hurdle is overcome, GPS lock is quite rapid on subsequent trips.
The Navman MY650LMMT also supports spoken voice commands, making it entirely hands-free for if you do need to enter details while driving. In testing, however, the voice entry feature was far too difficult for anything but the simplest of commands. If you set your home destination it’s easy enough to tell the Navman MY650LMMT to guide you home, but entering any kind of address destination is an exercise in frustration. I wouldn’t say that I’ve got the strongest Australian accent, but it repeatedly had lengthy pauses while it pondered my commands, followed by some genuinely bizarre interpretations of what it was that I just said.
If you're used to a Siri/Cortana/Google Now type response, you're quickly going to be annoyed with the Navman MY650LMMT's voice response.
If you’re used to a Siri/Cortana/Google Now type response, you’re quickly going to be annoyed with the Navman MY650LMMT’s voice response.

All of that is pretty much par for the course, leaving the key standout selling feature for the $199 Navman MY650LMMT as the inclusion of Zomato’s restaurant listings. According to Navman, this adds 40,000 restaurant listings across Australia and 11,800 listings in New Zealand.
More points of interest are no bad thing, but I’m ultimately not that taken with the way that it’s been implemented within the Navman MY650LMMT interface. The Zomato listings are their own menu option, which is presumably a branding requirement, but this means that you’re going to have to use Zomato by itself, rather than folding it into a more generalised POI interface — which is, naturally, still present on the Navman MY650LMMT anyway.
Having more places to find on the GPS is nice, but the implementation isn't quite the Bee's Knees.
Having more places to find on the GPS is nice, but the implementation isn’t quite the Bee’s Knees.

The information provided is fine, with phone numbers and opening hours when Zomato has them, but it’s not a patch on the information it has if you do a simple web or app search. As such, while it’s not a bad inclusion, I’m struggling to think of a situation where it’d be genuinely preferable to search Zomato this way. If you’re travelling outside mobile reception areas then maybe it might make sense, but how many restaurants are there in those locations anyway?
The Navman MY650LMMT is perfectly functional GPS at a reasonable asking price, but I’d strongly argue that if you’re in the market for a standalone GPS, you’re better off stepping slightly up the price scale for better features, such as Navman’s own MiVue Drive LM The MiVue Drive LM sells for around $100 more, but integrates a driving camera into the GPS body, a feature that no smartphone currently adds to its own mapping. If I was going to spend $199 on a GPS that’s only slightly better than a smartphone, I’d go the whole hog and get one that does something unique and useful for just a little bit more.

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