Navman Panoramic review

A 7-inch touchscreen sat nav to rival your smartphone

Navman Panoramic
The Navman has a 7-inch touchscreen, and an irritating voice

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Navman panoramic review

The Navman Panoramic is, of course, a touchscreen sat nav, although many of the usual ways of using touchscreens are ignored in favour of simply pushing buttons - this can feel clunky if you're used to pinching your way around maps on your phone or tablet.

The main reason for this is that this isn't a capacitive device, which is generally considered a good thing in sat navs, because you don't want to pick up accidental clicks, only definite ones. The Navman Panoramic does require a surprising amount of force to register a selection, though, which takes some getting used to.

The screen is a major draw for the Navman Panoramic, but it isn't the device's only selling point. Apart form employing IQ Routes to avoid congested sections of road, the sat nav also offers up four preset route types for each journey.

Enter your destination and start points (using the post code, address, coordinates or keywords), hit the large 'Go' button and you'll be offered four different routes for any journey - fastest, most economical, easiest and shortest. Shorter journeys may produce similar results in some of these categories, but on the whole, it's nice to be offered so many options.

Navman panoramic review

The options aren't quite so generous elsewhere. Points of interest appear to be limited to London, for example, although thankfully petrol stations do appear to cover the whole country.

Navman has used a Samsung 6443 400MHz CPU paired with the SiRFstarIII GPS chip for the navigation features of the Panoramic. Finding routes is quick, as is getting a GPS fix.

More importantly, deviating from a route results in a quick (a second or two, at most) recalibration of the journey - meaning a missed turning can be quickly rectified. At no time did we feel that the Navman Panoramic was slow to respond to what was happening while driving.

Another nice touch while on the road is the couple of beeps of warning you'll receive if you exceed the speed limit, which is particularly useful as you go from a fast speed zone down to a slow one.

Navman panoramic review

The amount of leeway you give yourself over the speed limit (if any) can be configured in the software, and means that you have an extra guide when it isn't so obvious what the road's speed limit is.

If there's an area of the Navman Panoramic that frustrated us, it's in the voice guide. We may have been spoilt recently with the likes of the TomTom Go Live Top Gear Edition, but resorting to computerised text to speech voices isn't a move we welcome.

The voice here is oddly slow, bassy and female, and struggles with some pronunciations. Getting the volume right on this voice proved a tricky affair, complicated by the lack of a hardware volume control button, and a web of option screens to alter it in the software.

The last few things to consider with the Navman Panoramic are subscription services. If you've bought it for its Truck mode, be aware that you only get a single month's worth before you'll need to purchase a Truck Mode activation key for a further £69.99.

Likewise, the Safety Camera (or speed camera if you'd prefer) coverage is for three months only, with a Safety Camera subscription costing £19.95 a year for the UK once that runs out.