The S90i is Navman’s top-of-the-line model in its S-series of GPS devices. It features a large 4.3in widescreen display, text-to-speech, Bluetooth handsfree calling and, of course, a leather pouch to carry it in. But the feature that really sets the Navman S90i apart from its rivals is its ability to navigate by image.
Indeed, Navman’s own NavPix technology allows the S90i to navigate not with postcodes and house numbers, but with the aid of a simple image captured with the built-in 2Mp (megapixel) camera. Images are automatically geotagged and saved for later use to the generous 2GB of internal memory. Navman’s partnership with photo-sharing site Flickr also allows you to download images from its database of 23 million pictures.
The Navman S90i looks and feels great. The bright, clear display is framed in black, and set within the smoothly-curved edges of the sleek, silver casing. It’s slim and, weighing in at 198g, will sit comfortably in your pocket.
Onscreen icons give quick access to the Navman S90i’s user-friendly navigation options, recent or saved locations, or to one of the 500,000 POIs (points of interest). You can edit the POI preferences to flag up petrol stations, emergency services, cash machines, the nearest McDonald’s or other food outlet.
Many of the Navman S90i’s features are the result of customer feedback and focus groups, which told the bods at Navman that consumers want more simplicity – and less buttons. All functions are accessed via the touchscreen, and the intuitive menu system is so clear that you won’t miss the buttons. Indeed, I didn’t need to consult the manual once.
The Navman S90i is quick to find a signal and, once on the road, its text-to-speech software goes one step further than most GPS devices announcing street names during navigation. The Navman S90i gives plenty of warning before turnings, and its voice is clear and precise. The mapping is up to date and, apart from not always recognising new stretches of road (such as the new section of the A23 just outside Coulsden), is spot on.
The Navman S90i’s integrated real-time traffic info service does a good job of alerting you to known accidents, roadworks and general congestion. As you would expect from a high-end satnav device, the Navman S90i also alerts you to speed cameras – impressively, it alerts you only to the cameras situated on the same side of the road as you’re driving. The Navman S90i’s built-in speed camera database can be updated at the Navman shop, while its iUpData feature allows you to log errors.
Battery life was a bit disappointing, and we managed to squeeze only 3.5 hours of juice out of Navman’s promised five. The Navman S90i is also a bit slow to recalculate your route – though this is simply picking holes in an excellent navigation device.