Navmii is a new name in the world of GPS, and it has priced its navigation solution at the lower end of the market to compete with similarly specified products from Garmin and Wayfinder
Navmii is a new name in the world of GPS, and it has priced its navigation solution at the lower end of the market to compete with similarly specified products from Garmin and Wayfinder. At the time of writing navmii is only compatible with Windows Mobile devices, albeit almost every one made, but plans are afoot to bring it to Symbian, Windows Vista and Android this year.
As a download-only product it is important that the installation is simple and it strikes the right balance; it is quick to set up, but ensures that the relevant security is in place to stop piracy.
The download is a hefty, but reassuring, 500MB and includes maps for UK and Ireland plus two voices and of course the software. Once up and running it was a breeze to understand the menu system, and anyone who has used a GPS system before will be comfortable with this software in minutes.
On our test device we had to manually configure the GPS port and it would have been nice for this to be automated. The age of the machine may have played a part here, but we were surprised at how easily it coped with the navmii software. At no point did the device freeze and voice guidance was always accurate and timely.
First impressions of the map interface were also positive with a handy next turn icon proving its worth on busy roundabouts and in heavy traffic. The simplicity of the icons makes glancing possible, and it is possible to obtain information safely without removing your gaze from the road for long periods of time. The maps themselves look extremely clean and similar to solutions from some of the more expensive competitors, but it is nice to see attention paid to this area.
Calculating routes was very simple, but not as fast as we would have liked. A 112 mile journey took over 15 seconds to calculate, although this may vary depending on your device’s processing power. We purposely used an older device to see how well navmii coped, and the results were more than positive. Unfortunately there is a quite convoluted option to calculate routes ahead of time and also no speed camera database or traffic information system on board.
The latter two are planned for this year (traffic will be via TMC), but it would be nice to see the ability to add separate destinations to plan a multi-stop journey. On the plus side, the POI database appeared complete and we had no issues when searching for random locations.
Geofriend is the stand-out feature of an otherwise averagely featured product set- it lets you track and navigate to friends provided they are using the same software, and you can purchase a licence for two devices for only £4 more than the standard single licence price. This represents excellent value for money and easily competes with the much publicised Google Latitude. As always with these kinds of services, though, their true usefulness comes with the number of users utilising them.
navmii is not laden with features for the serious navigator at this time, but it is highly reliable and proved to be accurate in all of our tests. When the price is considered alongside the upcoming updates, navmii could turn out to be the ideal solution for the smartphone totting user who requires GPS occasionally and potentially the more serious traveller.
Competition is always good for the consumer in any industry, and navmii has squeezed itself into a crowded market with ease.
Map coverage: UK & Ireland
Overall verdict: 7