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Magellan RoadMate 1470 4.7-Inch Widescreen Portable GPS Navigator
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- Wide 4.7-inch color touchscreen and ultra-thin design for powerful navigation in a compact package
- Includes maps of United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico with 6 million points of interest
- Features multi-destination routing, highway lane assist, spoken street names, AAA TourBook, and Roadside Assistance menu
- Personalized search icons let you easily bookmark favorite destinations so you can find them anywhere you travel
- One-year limited warranty
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The Magellan RoadMate 1470 includes many premier features, starting with the exclusive Magellan OneTouch favorites menu, QuickSpell with SmartCity search and highway exit point of interest search, to name a few. Magellan's attention to detail delivers a superior user experience. You're ready to travel with preloaded maps and points of interest for the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico that make the Magellan RoadMate 1470 ideal for both business trips and vacations.
Top Customer Reviews
The most visible change is the actual size of the unit. The screen size has been increased, but the unit is thinner and lighter. Very sleek appearance, and the screen is a real joy -- sharp, clear graphics even in the sun, and bigger on-screen buttons for easy use. The mounting system has also been streamlined, and looks and works well. It mounts very easily on a NavMat holder (basically a bean-bag system that I got on Amazon. I'm a huge Navmat fan - makes it a snap to hide the GPS with narry a trace. Best accessory by far for any GPS).
The power connector was not well thought out, however. You have to connect it to the GPS unit AFTER you mount it in the holder. They should have moved the connector it a wee bit to the side to avoid that.
The only button is a slide-type power button on the top. Boot-up time is OK -- not speedy, but not a huge delay either. It does not have a "sleep" mode, so you have to do a cold boot every time. Not a problem in real world use - by the time you get situated in your car, the unit is ready to go.
Voice is clear and easy to understand. Not as natural sounding as a TomTom, but understandable.
Pretty much any recent GPS unit will get you where you want to go. I've found the routing on the Magellans to be very similar to Garmins - could be because they both use the same mapping set (Navteq). The Magellan shines, however, in features that I find helpful. The direction of the next turn is always visible regardless of how far away the next turn will be. Up until recently, Garmin did not offer this (they do now on some of their units). Sounds like a small issue, but I find it very helpful. The Magellan also allows you to very easily exclude a route (or portion). That's a fairly standard feature nowadays, but Magellan allows you to do it in a snap.
In terms of routing, Magellan offers four options (fastest, shortest, most use of freeways and least use). You can see all four options on the map (as a summary) at the same time so you can pick the best one for your needs. Perfect!!
Love the AAA Guidebook, which is a unique Magellan feature. Lets you get details about restaurants and other points of interest just like the paper version from AAA. I used it a lot in my 4040, especially when traveling out of town.
Other unique Magellan features I appreciate is the "ding dong" sound right before a turn (incredibly accurate!) and the fact that the software reminds you to "stay on the current road" when you encounter major exits. Some find that to be nagging, but it has saved me from inadvertently exiting on more than one occasion.
A new feature for Magellan is the lane guidance. Very nicely done. I've used this feature on Navigon units, and found it rather unhelpful. Magellan's implementation is far more useful, with better, clearer graphics. However, lane guidance is not available for every road.
The software is also nicely done - very logical to use. If you're a past Magellan user you can pick this up and use it in a second. If not, there's a short printed user's guide in the box (plus a CD-ROM with more in-depth info) that gets you up to speed quickly. The box also includes the mount, power connector for the car, and a USB cable. It does not include an AC adapter.
OK, now for the bad news. When it comes to customer service, Magellan has been horrid. We're talking so bad it's almost funny. I'm hoping this situation will change - the company was bought by Mitac late last year, and perhaps this will signal a change for the better in terms of customer support. Lord knows, they couldn't get any worse.
The leader, in my opinion, for customer support is Garmin. They are nice to deal with on the phone, answer emails promptly, and offer regular firmware updates. Whenever I buy a GPS as a gift I always buy Garmin since I don't want to saddle the recipient with the miserable service that Magellan offers. It's a shame, since Magellan offers some real benefits over Garmin, and more value for the money. Tom Tom is also decent when it comes to support, but they use TeleAtlas maps which are less complete than NavTeq (sp?).
Bottom line -- if you're looking for a straightforward GPS at a good price, this should be on your short list. It lacks features such as Bluetooth and an MP3 player, but for me, I want a GPS to offer guidance and not entertainment. This has a very robust feature set, great screen, and well-designed software. It also has traffic capabilities -- did not test that feature out, so I can't comment on it.
The "safe" bet continues to be Garmin. You'll pay a bit more, and get less features, but you can be assured of solid support. Whether Magellan's new owners will put them back on the right track (if you'll excuse the horrid, but unavoidable pun) in terms of customer service is not yet clear. I hope so -- they make a great product!
UPDATE: 5/21/09 There's a firmware update on the Magellan site. No new functionality (in terms of new features) but, according to the release notes it improves overall performance. Easy to install - just follow the included step-by-step instructions. It seems like it makes the unit a bit faster, but that could just be my imagination.
Beautiful, bright screen. Easily one of the best GPS screens I've seen. Very sharp and bright and still visible even in bright light. Typical reverse screen for nighttime viewing.
Good maps, accurate directions. Haven't run into any problems yet where it took me a goofy route....although I've yet to use a GPS that doesn't do it once in awhile! I also like that you can use a zip code when entering addresses. My Garmin unit makes you enter both the city and state and thus makes setting destinations a bit more tedious than need be.
The sound and text-to-speech on this I found very good. I often have volume problems with my Garmin (sometimes it just seems to completely fade out), no problems at all with this. I didn't even need to turn it up all the way to hear it easily. The voice I found pleasant enough and not too computer-generated sounding. It also has nice tones for signaling the turns (which you could select from) and the timing for these was spot-on.
Quick launch screen which allows you to set a bunch of favorite locations, or even better, favorite searches. So if you typically are looking for the local coffee shop when you travel, rather than going through the screens to set up the search each time you can save it as a favorite. Very useful and has a number of these already set up for you like closest gas station.
The number of POIs was quite impressive, I found a lot more local stores in my area than with the Garmin. Still not everything though....my church was one that was not included, even though its one of the largest in my town.
Included AAA information. Very cool search for local events, attractions, etc. with detailed information. Not sure how much I'd use this (typically I'd research such information before leaving!) but it was a nice touch.
Multi-destination routing. Allows you to set up a complete trip with several stops. This was very easy to use, to reorder your stops, etc.
Includes maps for Canada. Not all GPS units in this price range include Canada. Not that I travel there, but nice to know I have the maps if I do!
It's also nice that it uses a standard UBS cable. This seems to becoming more standard with GPS units and makes life much easier than having a proprietary cable. I'm careful to label it however, just so I don't accidentally mix it up with all my other similar cables.
Slow startup! I've really gotten spoiled by my Garmin Nuvi that started up in seconds and was ready to navigate just as quickly. This thing takes considerably longer to start, leaving me waiting for it before I can set my destination and drive off.
Also, the location of the plug for the USB/power cord is just dumb! It completely blocks the mount, so that you cannot have the unit plugged in until you slide it on. This also means you then can't see where you are plugging it in, versus being able to just hold the unit, stick in the plug, and then mount it. I could deal with this if there seemed to be some reason for doing it....but simply moving the plug from the left side to the right side of the mount would have completely solved this problem. It just seems like it was put in the one spot that would annoy people!
No bluetooth or voice command, no music or audiobook support. Basically very barebones on extras. This was a big step down from the Garmin Nuvi which cost almost the same, with just a slightly smaller screen. At the very least, I really would have liked to have seen BT at this price point. The touch screen also doesn't always respond and needs a second or even third tap sometimes. This seemed particularly prevalent on the Back button. Also, why do they not include a quick jump back to the main menu or map? My Garmin has this issue as well, and it's really annoying when you are searching for something that you can't just "cancel" and go back to the main screen, but have to keep backing page by page to return. Garmin also now has all kind of features you can customize that really add to the value of their devices. I love the ability to find an address on Google Maps and send it to the GPS over USB. You can download a custom car which is a cute touch (okay, so I no longer own a big SUV, but at least I can see myself drive one virtually!) There are all kinds of custom routes you can download, if you are the type that likes to play around with your gadgets. The Magellan doesn't appear that have support for any of this kind of additional stuff, and is definitely falling behind Garmin and TomTom in this area.
Some things are not very intuitive and the manual is very bare bones, so not much help. For instance, there was an option in the settings for the display, but on changing it, I found that I was stuck with just 2D display options. It took me awhile to figure out how to get it back to 3D (clicking on the main map screen). Not including the 3D setting in the same place is quite confusing.
One thing that really bugged me was that it wouldn't save a location based on solely the GPS location. I've never had a GPS unit that wouldn't do this....you just save the location and rename it to something meaningful. On the Magellan though, while it would let me "save" I still had to actually enter an address! Seems kind of silly to require this when you are using a GPS which should be able to just save the location automatically, address or no. If there *is* a way to do this, it certainly isn't very obvious! I also found it needed to really get right to the location that you were navigating to in order to consider the trip completed. Very frequently when I turn it on it wants to resume the same trip, even though that's where I am! It should be less picky about this.
The headsup display was not one of my favorites. With the Garmin, I was able to see my upcoming turn, estimated arrival time, current speed, and even would display the local speed limit (when available). The Magellan was much more bare bones. I could get the next turn, and the time of arrival, but it uses the same space to show my current MPH so I have to toggle back and forth (while driving) if I want to see this. I really like using my GPS as a digital speedometer so this was a big negative for me. This is definitely personal preference though. Some people may prefer the more minimal information on this screen and more surrounding map visibility.
I also didn't care for how it displays the phone number separately from the address when viewing POIs. I'm not sure why you wouldn't display the phone number on the same screen as the address, this just seems unnecessarily complicated to have them in different places. I really like the Garmin info display which includes everything on one page, and also includes call buttons (since that device supports bluetooth phone calling).
I did not receive the TrafficLink with this unit, so am not able to review how well that works. If you are not able to find a deal on this that includes the TrafficLink for free, that really does hurt the value a bit. My Garmin unit included free traffic on the device (albeit with some ads) so if I lived in an area where I wanted the traffic support, that extra $80 cost would definitely play a part in my decision as to what device to go with (comparisons of how good each traffic service are notwithstanding).
Overall, you'll want to evaluate it against other devices at the same price. If you can find a good deal on it, it might be worth considering for the excellent display and strong database of POIs. But for me, it's just not in the best-of-class category.
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