He Magellan SmartGPS is a movable navigation device, but it is also part of a bigger system that, at the time of publication, has parts that give users many ways to navigate, search for destination, and manage their favorite places. At the core of this system is the SmartGPS hardware, which may be used as a standalone navigation device. but, the hardware works best when used in tandem with Magellan’s smartphone apps for iPhone and Android devices and a cloud syncing service called MiCloud that’s available via any Web browser.
The SmartGPS hardware looks about like you’d expect a movable navigation device to look. it is a plastic slab with a touch screen on one side that gets suction cupped to your windshield.
The device measures about 6.75 inches from corner to corner, but has a diagonal screen size of only five inches. there is lots of glossy black bezel around that screen, which looks like lots of wasted space – especially on the horizontal – for those of us used to seeing smartphones, tablets, and other movable navigation devices push their screens closer and closer to being edgeless. Imagine a device that is about the size of a small tablet with a screen the size of an average Android phone and you will have an idea of the possible for extra display real estate. To be just, five inches is a respectable screen size for a navigator, but when you think about the amount of info that Magellan tries to cram onto the SmartGPS’ screen, this seem like a missed opportunity to go bigger or wider.
SmartGPS size comparison
The 5-inch screen is not considerably bigger than my Samsung Galaxy Nexus’, in spite of the SmartGPS’ bigger footprint. Antuan Goodwin/CNET
The screen is glass and features capacitive sensitivity, enabling swiping, pinching, and tapping gestures. The glossy black bezel is home to a capacitive home button located near the upper left corner and a pinhole microphone for hands free calling.
Flip it over and you will find a speaker on the SmartGPS unit’s back side and a power button on top edge.
The bottom edge is home to all of the ports and connections supported by the SmartGPS. there is a microSD card slot for updates and rising available memory for maps, a 3.5mm analog output for connecting headphones or plugging into your vehicle’s secondary input, and a micro USB port that connects to the 12-volt to USB charging cable that embeds in the suction cup mount for one handed connection and disconnection. The included suction cup mount is a tough one, once mounted properly to a glass windshield. The mount only has one point of articulation – a ball joint with a locking ring at the base of the cradle – so there is not lots of flopping around once you have got the SmartGPS locked in.
All of the physical connections may be found on the bottom edge. Antuan Goodwin/CNET
Finally, there is an 3.5mm AV input that makes the SmartGPS matched with Magellan’s rear view camera .
The SmartGPS also hosts invisible connections for Bluetooth and Wi Fi for data synchronization and, for the former, hands free calling.
The SmartGPS combinations up Magellan’s familiar interface by adding smart “Squares,” which are live updating tiles that occupy part of the map screen and supply secondary data at a glance and fast shortcuts to places. On the default home screen, four of these squares are displayed, showing shortcuts to close places pulled from Yelp and Foursquare, close gas stations and live fuel prices, and close traffic events. When navigating, the map which usually only occupies half of the screen expands from to occupy three quarters, pushing two of the smart squares off of the right edge of the display.