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on December 14, 2008
This is an excellent general purpose GPS unit oriented toward vehicular applications. The widescreen format LCD display is bright, crisp, and mine arrived with no dead pixels or other defects. A small stylus is embedded in the back right side of the case, and in general most of the functions can be accessed with a finger instead.


Has both driving and walking modes, and is large enough to be useful while driving yet small enough to still be useful while walking around trails and downtown areas. Signal acquisition is usually very fast, but on occasion it has taken up to 3 minutes to lock in enough satellites to function. Text-to-Speech functionality is excellent, and gives you plenty of advance notice of when it's time to turn. Display is extremely bright, the speaker is suitably loud, and the user interface is serviceable. You can register on the web site to receive yearly map updates. You can also remove the unit's SD card without voiding your warranty!


Obviously, maps won't contain any roads built in the last 18 months or so. Opting for Windows CE as a platform was probably not the best choice for something like this, and it shows in the absolutely abysmal amount of time it takes to search through points of interest as well as various stalls going into and out of some menus. The unit feels sluggish thanks to the OS's overhead, but I've read this is common to many GPS units. The user interface is serviceable, but far from optimal, with some elements being non-finger-friendly due to their small size. The placement and orientation of the charger port may be troublesome to some people.


Contrary to some reports, this bundle does NOT contain an AC adapter, or a case. You get the unit+stylus, a DC car charger, and a car windshield mount. That's it. In short, it's well worth the money.
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on December 27, 2008
Kudos on the economical price for a TTS GPS. Liked the speed limit alert and immediate route recalculation feature. Also enjoyed the large, bright, easy to read screen and qwarty keyboard. The Pharos PDR200 begans to lose points on the touchscreen feature. When tapping any of the buttons on the bottom it would trigger a button way above it, if it triggered a button at all. The device froze several times and had to be reset each time. When trying to use the POI feature and the Where I am button was selected, it would give me locations in Washington and I'm in Los Angeles. Couldn't figure that one out. The GPS also lacked judgement in finding the quickest or shortest route. When taking the freeway it constantly wanted me to exit the freeway and take the streets. Needless to say the quality of performance was not up to par.
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on December 26, 2008
What a disappointment- I bought this gift for my father for christmas.

Alright, so first off this product is not defective am I'm giving this product one star for its overall functionality. This item is not easy to use, at all, and the software is outdated. Having owned a tomtom and garmin already, I can tell you this item is comparable only as a cheap-knock off.

When you turn the unit on, there is complicated menu, and you have to PUSH the screen or else the button don't work. The unit is also very slow, frustratingly slow.

You might think if a product performs this bad, that its base function would at least work well. WRONG, it takes forever to get a signal, but you quickly loose it in wooded areas. And forget entering directions, the keypad is small and it couldn't find my home address!

After one day of use, I am sick of this product. I told my father I will buy him a better gps, and really because I feel so bad about giving him this piece of junk on one of the happiest days of the year.

With Tomtom units now selling at 100$ - 150$, I can't understand why anyone would buy this poor quality gps for almost the same price.
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on July 15, 2009
What a disaster after buying this GPS, absolutely waste of money. Very outdated map and first 2 week got the signal after half hour and later there is no signal and waiting for signal for ever. Contacting customer service is pain, now I sent this device to them for repair by my own expenses.

**Waste of money, do not buy this GPS**
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on December 27, 2008
I bought this unit after doing a lot of research on everything that was available in the under $150 range. I have owned GPS units from several of the better known manufactures, and they all disappointed me when it came down to what was most important, which is getting me there via the quickest route without any surprises (Dirt roads, Dead ends, etc.). I have had the Pharos for over a month now and it has been an excellent device with intuitive software. I've already ordered another one for a family member.
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on January 19, 2009
Good: Overall this unit is pretty reliable. It will get you where you want to go. I have experimented with this unit locally and for most of the routes I have tried so far, the unit has taken me the way I would have gone, no weird side routes or anything yet. It has VERY fast route recalculation and a nice large display. I also liked the icon in the bottom corner telling you what turn is coming up. It also has a good mount. That sucker is absolutely not going to fall off your windshield and break, like I've heard of other brands doing.

Bad: The POI database is a bit outdated, and you can't update it. One other feature I was hoping to find but didn't, was the ability to save whatever location you are at, without inputting the specific address. This would somewhat compensate for the POI database shortcomings. Also it's a little difficult to get used to as far as putting in an address or other place to go. Some of the people who have commented on the counterintuitiveness of the unit are correct. But just like anything else you have to operate, once you are used to it, no problem.

Summary: I think the device's pros outweigh the cons, especially considering the price. I just wish it had an updateable POI database. Be sure you follow the instructions for removing the unit from the window mount. It's hard to get used to and if you're not careful you could break it.

Update: Someone broke into my car and decided they needed my GPS more than me. So to replace this unit I bought a Garmin c330 and it's the best GPS I ever had. So for the same price, go get a reconditioned Garmin C330 instead of the Pharos. You'll like it better. In comparison if I could change my rating I would give it 3 stars vice 4.
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on January 8, 2009
This is my first gps. I'm a grad student who recently got a car and have been driving far distances. I needed to get a gps because printing out maps from gmaps and then trying to read them while driving was too stressful.
Good points: I really liked how this came charged out of the box. I also like how this directs you by basically tracing a line on a map. It's like you're looking down at a map rather then Garmin, which my Dad has, which shows you the horizon. This could be considered bad for people who don't like looking at maps. There is probably some way to change this setting that I haven't bothered to look up because I prefer it this way. I like to know what the street layouts are like. That said I'm very type A.
Cheap - $100 bucks for 4" widescreen TTS
Text to speech is awesome. I don't even have to look at the thing.

Bad points: The points of interest are useless. I recently tried to find a close Starbucks in a city that I know has 3 Starbucks and it reported that the closest one was 40 min away in another town.

I would recommend this for someone for doesn't want to spend a lot of money, or can't afford to, likes to look at maps, and has no real interest in the points of interest. If finding the closest Starbucks is one of your top priorities in a GPS, this is not for you.
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on April 6, 2009
I was pretty skeptical with the price. It performed pretty much on par with my Magellan 3100.


* windshield mount is solid

* fast to recalculate route

* fast to find a signal (i read the other reviews, so i'm lost as to why they had difficulty or if their expectation was higher than it should be)
text to speech for the street names was good, but it does become annoying to hear it four times in a row (1 miles, .5 mile, .2 mile, and actual turn)


* map is outdated, and no current map available (although it was stated previously that the map was about 2 years old)

* icons are small (at least they give you a stylus and a stylus holder in the unit)

* menus take a little getting used to compared to the Magellan

It's worth the money considering that I don't need to rely on it everyday. I couldn't recommend it for someone who would rely on one on a daily or semi-daily basis. Great for road trips, or learning your way around a new town.
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on December 5, 2008
I bougth this 4" GPS to replace my little 3.5" Navigon 2100 (bigger is better?). During a brief testing, I was tought a history lession about historical road names and I have to return this GPS. Picture that you are on the road reading road signs but GPS telling you differently?

I believe accurate map data should be the most important thing for a GPS, and other features are less important.

This Pharos PDR200 has good size and features, but one fatal problem regarding street names. My last trip was about 30 minutes and I drove through 6 main roads at McKinney, Texas (a population of 55,000 in DFW area). My backyard is next to El Dorado Pwky and I moved here about 8 years ago, but now the GPS told me it is called CR-117 (thanks! but...), and I soon learned for the first time about other two CR-XXX and Farm-XXX roads which I never knew them before, which are also major roads at least 10 years old. Going to State Hwy 75, and I was told it is called Hwy-121 (Right but not what we call it). Hwy 380 was once again named as local road name University. The last road is the newest road, but it was surprisingly right, and the only one. I called support and was told that they bought map data elsewhere (so they can NOT do nothing!), but the bottom line is that the names on GPS do not match street signs and are causing confusions.

One thing to mention, to be fair, is that you can find the correct locations using undisplayed names, accurately.

Pharos may be a good manufacturer using the wrong map data, but this is critical to users. I hope this will work in old mature metropolitan areas but I am sticking with my Navigon which is accurate and easy.

Talking about reviews, we want true, personal experience with a product, and re-listing of features are not real reviews. Please also be aware of some reviews that is first time or only one made at Amazon.
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on December 17, 2009
Pharos is cheating customers. I bought Drive 200 in June 2009 but maps are very old and out dated. I contacted customer service and they told me to wait for updates and did not mention that updates are not free. I decided to wait instead of returning the device. In Nov 2009 (after 5 months) I contacted again and they said that they have update and not for free even though i bought a new device but with outdated maps. They sold an useless device (because of outdated maps) in the first place and on top of that they want to make money on customers helplessness.

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