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3.3 out of 5 stars
Magellan RoadMate 5230T-LM 5-Inch Navigator with Lifetime Maps and Traffic
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111 of 113 people found the following review helpful
on May 13, 2013
Product Packaging: Standard PackagingVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
When traveling its a given that having a working navigational tool is a must. Having gone through my fair share of slow and inconsistent GPS products ranging from Garmin, TomTom and yes even Magellan through the years, one must really do their homework. That said, it was no brainer when given the opportunity to test drive the RoadMate 5230T. After a little over four weeks use, these are my thoughts.

Coming out of the box, this unit worked perfectly without the usual hiccups of other systems that I have owned. Installation is simple. Downloading updates via the included USB cable was quick and without issues. Powering up is a breeze. Total time for entering starting point to destination is about 45 seconds. The One Touch screen is on the money. The menu allows for editing for one's own personal choices. I really have come to like the Predictive Traffic feature. In short, it creates alternate routes for known traffic tie ups.

The Road Mate 5230T measures in at over 5.6" wide x 3.4" height and weighs a little over 6 ounces. The biggest draw for me personally is the large color touch screen, predictive traffic, and the lane guide arrow features. The user friendly one touch interface is definitely a winner. On the downside and contrary to the hype, the screen is not viewable in all lighting conditions. Granted its not as bad as my previous model, but there is still some glare to contend with.

Spoken Street Name Guide with text to speech is clear and precise. The 3D Landmarks add on is a nice touch. The free lifetime maps and traffic updates package are a great incentive. Personally, the Landmarks feature is a good thought but I still prefer street names. The AAA guide is pretty much unchanged from the package installed on older Magellan units.

Quick Spell automatically fills in the blanks and makes locating a destination easy. The Phantom Alert did a great job picking up traffic cameras. I like the find a parking spot feature too. The Road Mate 5230T comes preloaded with maps of the USA, Canada and Puerto Rico. Included accessories are a windshield mount, car power adapter, start up guide and a USB cable. I recommend buying a good protective case. Magellan loses major style points for not including an AC power supply plug. Unplugged, the battery provided me a little over 2 hours of power.

Even with the glare issues the Roadmate 5230T still delivers on the basics. Its an above average navigational tool that has gotten me from place to place. For me that is more then enough.
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75 of 80 people found the following review helpful
on November 16, 2012
I gave this unit 4-Stars because the issue I have is that after you give this GPS unit an overnight full charge, the AC Adapter charge does not last very long on this unit. The AC Adapter you have to purchase it separate. I purchased one on (i.Trek CT-0505WU OEM Wall Home Charger AC Adapter with Extended 6 feet), which they have a better deal than the Magellan website. You should always carry your car charger with you, in case the battery goes down on this unit. The good points about this unit is it is one of the best GPS units that Magellan has produced that has such a reasonable price. The Model 5230T-LM is easy to setup and it gives great directions. This unit notifies you a couple of times right before you have to turn onto a street and gives you a landmark location (ex: gas station, drug store, dept store, etc.), if there is one ahead to help guide you to your destination. The 5-inch screen is great size. The displlay is very sharp and clear, and notifies you of traffic ahead. This unit comes with the Lifetime Maps & Traffic already installed on the unit. You go onto the Magellan website and check for the lastest Map updates for your model. Tech Support was very helpful when I needed assistance to setup my unit. You usually get 4 Map Updates a year at no charge. I love that there is no extra charge for theLifetime Map updates. That is a plus for me.
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82 of 89 people found the following review helpful
on August 18, 2013
I picked mine up on sale at a local brick and mortar store and set it up to send me home and see how it fared with deviations from the route and other trickery to make the thing think on its feet. It performed flawlessly, and impressed the hell out of me. My 2 year old son loved the little 'DING DONG!" sound it made notifying me of when I needed to make turns.

Then I arrived home and decided to plot out the trip I needed to make downstate this weekend, and was surprised to see that it was showing the old rest stops along I-95.

These rest stops were shut down and replaced by a larger, more centralized one in 2008. Magellan's mid-2012 model unit
was flying with maps 5 years out of date coming from the box. Niiiice.

So. Old maps. No problem, let me just update the maps, since I get them free and... oh.

The unit was not plug and play. My Windows 7 machine simply saw it as another disk drive. I had to go and install Magellan's content update program online, install it my machine, then download my updates to reupload them after they were loaded to my home PC. Very, very clunky - especially when it said it would take nearly 2 hours for a 1.5GB download that crashed twice at the 75% mark due to Magellan's servers being crap.

It finally took on the third try, but this time Magellans servers apparently exploded or something, causing the update to crash partway through the installation of the new maps.

Which promptly bricked the unit.


Incompatible with a Windows 7 machine, forcing me to go around my rear to get to my elbow to upload newer maps which due to Magellan's crummy servers and hilariously clunky software caused the unit to brick itself at my very first attempt to update the thing.

Needless to say, it was returned the next day and I exchanged it for a Garmin instead. Magellan should take lessons on how to set machines up to be dummy-proof from them - the new unit, while not quite as sick and not quite as packed with option, quickly updated itself and was instantly recognized by my PC for what it was. I only had to do a few minor clicks to get the machine up to date with new maps and a handful of add ons. I'll miss a few of the niceties the Magellan packed, but at least I won't have to worry about bricking the unit every time I go to update it.

If I could give the Magellan zero stars, I would. It doesn't matter how slick your device is if it can't be trusted to be up to date or allow you to update it as advertised.
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
Product Packaging: Standard PackagingVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I am very happy with the Magellan RoadMate 5230T-LM (man, that's a long model number!) it's just such a good GPS Navigator and much more!

The 5230T-LM is very accurate at saving you time during trips, you can set it up to give you the fastest route or the shortest distance to your destination, which in many cases, is not the same route. I purposely "got lost" many times to test how accurate the unit was. I would assign a "point of interest" and make the wrong turns just to see how long it would take it to catch up to me, let me tell you it's fast! in most cases it will have a new route to follow before I even hit the next intersection.

During traffic jams, a small timer will appear right next to the traffic warning sign, which tells you how many minutes it estimates you will be stuck in there. Touch the warning sign and it will give you am alternate route to follow. It will compare both routes for you and give you an estimated arrival time for each one. At this point you can opt to avoid traffic or deal with it. A traffic jam does not necessarily mean that it will be the most time consuming route to get to your destination. You definitely need this feature if you live in one of the crowded cities.

The highway lane assist is one of those features that you might not think you need unless you had to deal with lower end GPS units that don't offer such features. This feature helps you make sure that you are choosing the correct lane to exit during a freeway interchange. You'll be glad you have this feature, trust me!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on August 15, 2013
I had a high-end Garmin for years. Long story as to why I had to throw it away. Anyway, culture shock using this low-end device.

Lifetime maps come with a caveat: As long as the device is able to download the map. My device, out of the box and after initial updates is 98% full. Will I be able to download 2014 maps? We'll see.

Lifetime traffic fooled me. My old Garmin would re-route me based on traffic conditions. All this GPS does is show me a list of traffic alerts within 15 miles or so.

GPS voice is really robotic sounding and will not announce some roads that it can't pronounce or it sounds garbled. Also, only one voice, female. Garmin had like 80 voices in different languages.

Red light camera intersection alerts could potentially save money. I remember one time I was slightly over the white line and got a $50 ticket. So, this was a feature that really interested me. It detected one near where I live but kept on announcing "Red light camera ahead" well after I passed the intersection.

On another road, I could clearly see the cameras at the upcoming intersection but the GPS did not give the alert.

Points of interest: I knew there was a Staples about 1-1/2 miles from me. GPS couldn't find it. The closest Staples it showed was over 5 miles away. For other stores, I found the POI search spotty at best.

GPS functions:

Doesn't always show the correct speed limit for the road you are on.

With the default "best time" setting I was on one trip where I was getting on and off the parkway traveling local streets and at times, heading away from my destination. I guess this wild goose chase was to avoid lights. When I arrived, I realized I could have taken one road to get there (shortest distance setting). Normally though, you want best time, but I didn't get it.

Responds too slow for me on a reroute situation. I pass the road GPS is telling me to turn on. This has happened more than once.

Slow acquiring satellites if unit was powered off.

Sometimes powers off completely, sometimes goes into sleep mode after power is disconnected. I haven't figured out what I am doing that causes this.


Takes hours to charge via USB cable. They recommend charging with the car adapter but with my car, it has to be running to supply the charge. I'm not going to idle my car for an hour to charge the GPS.

Real life battery life is 30 minutes, not the two hours as stated in the specification on Amazon.

Like my old Garmin, the battery is not replaceable which is an issue. If the battery runs out during an update, the unit has to go back to the factory for total reset and reprogramming. Why GPS's don't have user replaceable batteries is a mystery to me - and a rip-off. So, at the point I see my battery is failing... back to the factory.


You have to download it from the Magellan website. A quick start user guide is all you get in the box.


You have to download and install software to get GPS updates. I am a computer guy and this was actually not an easy install based on the order of when to connect the GPS and when to reboot the GPS to finish updating. After awhile, I gave up on the websites instructions which didn't work and just "winged" it.

Bottom line: I am concerned my "lifetime maps" will only be one more update before units memory is full and this is the prime feature for me. I guess it has hiccups like any other GPS, but the out of the box wild goose chase this unit put me on kind of shook my faith this will get me to a destination 100% of the time. That said, in light use in local areas, it has done its job with the exception of that one hiccup.

So far though, in light, local use, it gets me to the destination.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on November 10, 2014
I had never owned a GPS before, but was forced to buy one when I began driving to unknown locations each day. I searched the many low priced units and I ended up buying this Magellan GPS. The one reason I chose the Road Mate-5230T was the ability to String-Along Multiple Destinations on my long driving days.

Getting started, the method of Entering Your Destination on the 5-inch Touchscreen (choice of ABCD.. or Querty Keypad layout) starts with inputing 1) the City Name (or zip code), 2) Street Name, and 3) the Street Number. It will quickly and correctly give you the shortest route to that desination.

A great feature of the Magellan 5230T for me was that you can In-put Multiple Destinations and when you press the "Optomize" button, it puts your entire route in Fastest and Shortest distance between each of the destinations starting with the closest destination until you are finished with your entire trip. You can also change these destinations to the order you want. From one destination to the next this GPS will give you the Shortest Route, Estimated Arrival Time, show Street Names / Route Numbers, and Freeway Exit numbers. You can also input a City and a Intersection (2 roads) if you know the area you are driving to, or a City Center of any town. And is it's Very Accurate To The Minute for your arrival time! You can call and say "I'll be there at 10:58" and feel confident that is the time you will arrive.

This Magellan Road Mate-5230T also gives you "Traffic Reports" in real time. Shown in a pop-up triangle, this feature offers the "What" and "Where" of the traffic delay. Should you get into a traffic delay, it will continue to Update Arrival Times and offer an Alternate Route and the Time Saved by this selecting this Alternate Route until you arrive at your destination.

This GPS also shows you the Speed Limit on the road you are driving. This really helps when you enter a small town speed trap, no more guessing what the speed limit is on any given road! The speed limit image Highlights with a Red Line around it warning that you are driving over the speed limit. You can also personalize your GPS to warn you only when you are exceeding your pre-set drive speed. You can set different Over The Speed Limits on freeways or standard roads to 5-15 miles over the posted speed limit.

Another Nice Feature of the Magellan Road Mate-5230T is that you can "Title and Save" multiple destinations that you travel often in the "Address Book" feature. Examples: My Work, My House, Aunt Polly's House, Food Store, Bank, or any other place you drive frequently. When you reach your final destination and want to go home, press "Address Book" and select My Home and directions will be mapped from that location.

This GPS will also change directions If you miss a turn. It will quickly offer the Correction Turn to get you back on your route. Additionally should you decide to take a different route (other than the GPS suggests) it will re-calculate directions and arrival time to your destination. It may take the GPS a few minutes to decide if you missed the turn, or are going a completely different way to your destination. This unit will also warn you of Dirt Roads in advance.

The 5-inch display screen offers Multiple Views of the Mapped Route (1D to 3D), and has the ability to Zoom-In or Zoom-Out of the map. This is great if you want to overview the entire mapped route while driving. It has auto Day or Night Screen modes, Longitude / Latitude Co-Ordinates, and a "Where am I Now?" function.

You can plan long distance trips like Boston to L.A. with total mileage to your destination. Along local or long distance this GPS will also note the closest Gas Stations, Hotel, or Restaurant during your travel. Let's say you are just driving around and want to find the closest In-N-Out Burger, you can press the Gas / Food Icon, search for the business name, select the closest location, and the GPS will map the directions while you are driving.

The Magellan Road Mate-5230T GPS comes with Free "Lifetime Maps" of USA & Canada. These are updated via your home computer with the Included USB to Micro Connection Cable. Also Included is a Car Charger to plug into a cigarette lighter, and has a stable Suction Cup Swiveling Bracket to mount to your window. I have mine mounted on the lower left of the drivers side windshield so I am always within arms length of the touchpad while I drive. The GPS has a Power On / Off button, Auto Shut Off, and Re-Set. You can also take the GPS out of the mount to bring the unit inside to input your trips. The Battery life when unplugged is 1 hour.

Finally one of the things that any GPS can ultimately teach you is that if you are driving way over the speed limit on say a 1 hour trip, you are only saving 5 minutes total in the end by doing so. You know I have heard that for years, but now I see it is really true!

In the 6 Months of owning the Magellan Road Mate 5230T GPS it has produced Accurate Results! I'd say The Maps are 99% Correct as there have been a few "Unamed" dirt roads. I have also experienced Road Construction a few times where it was not noted as a Traffic Delay or Road Repair warning. I have had to reset the unit twice over this duration. I think this happens when the memory bank of all my previous trips is full, say 150 total trips. However the re-set did not wipe out your address book or any personal settings. The ONLY thing I dont care for on this unit is that it has only 1 Female Voice barking the directions (come on Magellan please add More Voice Options to your updates). But you can turn off the Voice, and just watch the screen for the directions.

In the end I am Happy with the Magellan Road Mate-5230T GPS! Owning one is a necessity if you drive to unknown destinations alot. It's overall Features make it a Great Value in the low priced GPS's currently on the market. I hope I have helped your GPS purchase search!
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on May 14, 2013
Product Packaging: Standard PackagingVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The Magellan RoadMate is, what I would describe to be, a simple, basic, GPS. It doesn't have a lot of options like some other units I have owned. For example, I can't change the voice of my "GPS Lady," or change the vehicle symbol into a little car or truck. But, those are just fun little things that don't REALLY matter. What does matter, I think, is a GPS that is accurate, affordable, easy to use, and pleasant in appearance and sound. So, judging this unit with that criteria, I give it 4 stars. I take away one star because I don't absolutely "love it." And, because it still cannot find the exact location of my house.... That's right. I live in a suburban area and have no trouble getting a satelite signal. However, the GPS consistently directs me to go about 2 houses East of where my house is actually located. I have no idea why. Yet, having said that, I have used it on several other addresses and it has been quite accurate. Go figure.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 14, 2014
Works fine for short trips less than 2 hours driving time. The battery slowly discharges even though plugged in and eventually about 2.5 to 3 hours into the trip the device just turns off. No warning. And it gives a white screen or crashes on startup if you turn it on. You have to leave it off but plugged in for at least 5 minutes to get it to turn on and continure your trip. You need 20 minutes to get more than a 10 minute window of operation. Not the most convenient process. Last conversation with support was that I should plug it into my computer prior to a trip..shut off until the light goes from orange to green indicating a full charge. Which is what lets me get 3 hours travel time. Obviously it's charging in the car since if I leave it off but plugged in after it shuts off I get new charge time. Going to call them back during the week to ask for a replacement device once again. Behavior is the same in a Toyota Sienna, Volkswagon beatle, Nissan Altima, Honda Accord... so it's not a problem with the cig lighter port on the car. It's the device. It's bad enough that the routes it chooses are often just illogical. Shutting off mid trip takes that frustration to a new level. I have an old 5045 that works really well and prompted me to buy this for the 2nd car. The routes it chooses are logical. Have even used both at the same time. The 5045 chose a route that I would have chosen...just over 3 hours fastest route the 5230 T chose a fastest route that was 40 miutes longer taking you on a 20 minute out of the way detour and then back. No way I would trust this device with my wife or children on a trip. And yes, the maps are up to date on both devices.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Product Packaging: Standard PackagingVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
My last GPS before this was the Garmin StreetPilot c340, a relative dinosaur when time is measured in technology-years. The RoadMate 5230T-LM is quite a nice upgrade. A few of the many new (to me) features that I'm enjoying are: bigger display with clearer graphics, easier entry of addresses, better notification of upcoming turns or arrival at my destination, display of local speed limit, and landmark guidance ("turn left at the BP gas station"). The lifetime free map updates will be a savings for me, as my old Garmin GPS charged for these. Another handy and clever feature is that when you arrive at a some destinations, a button for "Find Parking" is displayed. There are other features that I haven't used or seen in action yet, such as live traffic alerts and "smart volume" (presumably increasing sound volume as needed to overcome ambient noise).

Some quirks and downsides:
When entering an address, the GPS speaks each letter or number aloud as you type it. This is unnecessary and rather irritating, especially since the response is slow, so the thing will be yelling one letter in my ear while I'm already typing in the next. This can be turned off, but only by turning off all audio feedback to screen-touches.

Speaking of screen-touches, this thing isn't as sensitive to touch or as quick to respond as you'll probably be used to with your smartphone. A minor point, but worth noting.

And a funny/odd difference from my old Garmin: When I take a wrong turn (or deliberately leave the suggested route), my Garmin would announce "Recalculating" in a somewhat peeved fembot voice as it figured out how to get me back on track. The Magellan puts a "calculating route" notification on screen, but doesn't verbally announce that I've screwed up. Maybe it's trying to spare me embarrassment?
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on April 25, 2013
I purchased Magellan 5230T-LM several weeks ago. I normally check the reviews on Amazon before my purchase, but, this's a new model & there are not many reviews available. This purchase is based on my past experiences. I used different brand names like Garmin, Tom Tom, Magellan and so on in the past. My last one is Magellan 1475T which is dead a month ago. While Garmin is good, my 1475T is much fast either cool start or re-routing. Maybe, I am unlucky this time, my 5230T doesn't work correctly most of time!
I tried it on three trips: two trips from Atlanta to Columbus, GA & one from Atlanta to Athen, GA. First trip, I missed the exit on I-185 as it showed the exit 10 to GA80 was 8-mile ahead. Then, I had to use my smart phone to get the destination. A week later, I had the the exact same trip to Columbus. I turned on both 5230TLM and my cell phone. Then, 5230TLM was wrong again at the same spot! even worse, it didn't recalculate the route when I followed smart phone getting out of I-185! When I reached my destination, it still told me to get exit 10 (on I-185) in 2-mile! It worked fine on the way back to Atlanta. The last try is last week to Athen. I know the route very well as I drive the same roads many times. There are construction on GA316. So, it's not strange it kept re-routing before the construction site. But, the weird thing is even I already passed the construction site, it kept asking me to make a U-turn until I almost reached Athen! It's worse on the way back. It asked me to make a U-turn on 316 all the way. Then, when I reached home, it told me to take Exit (from I-85) now (I already got out the exit more than 15 minutes ago)!
Besides the wrong directions, it's hard to see the screen under the sun. The cool start is taking much longer time than that of 1475T. The resolution is worse as it's bigger (same dots on larger area). Of course, it has some positive improvements like lane-assistance, landmark announce, etc. But, my requirements are simple: quick and accuracy/dependence. It cannot satify me either way.
I am glad I purchased it from Amazon which has good return policy. I just returned it and wait for a refund. Per reviews, I may try Garmin next.
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