Navigon for Android is a fully featured satellite navigation system. Rather than with other navigators such as Google Maps Navigation, Navigon stores maps on your SD card which means it doesn’t use any data but it also offers a wealth of other features that can not be matched by its free counterparts.
Navigon has an option to change your view type – either 2d or 3d. Personally I found the 3d map view to be the best. It comes pre-loaded with a comprehensive points of interest and traffic camera database both of which seem very accurate from my 500 miles of testing with the application.
The user interface is quite a familiar interface for this type of software, it’s clean and very clear which is essential to avoid confusion whilst driving. In the bottom left corner when approaching roundabouts it shows exits very clearly which is a huge help when driving in unfamiliar places. In the top right of the screen the speed limit for the road is displayed, the accuracy of this is unbelievably good and when changing to different speed limit zones it is almost instant. The interfaces colours change automatically for night driving too which is a nice touch.
The default voice is very clear and it says major road names which is especially useful for clarity on which exit to take. Navigon makes motorway driving a breeze with its built in reality view pro feature, this gives you a great view of what is happening on the motorway and really avoids any confusion at all about what lane to be in which is absolutely great for someone like me who does not drive on motorways that often.
Navigon has some basic settings for how it should route your journeys (fastest, shortest etc) but has a feature called MyRoutes -this is meant to be the best route which is planned for your style of driving and takes in to account other factors such as the time of day and traffic – it then gives you two other options for routes. This is the feature of Navigon that I found slightly odd at times as it took me on some slightly illogical routes and choosing one of the other route options for me isn’t clear enough as it doesn’t give enough details about the journey. It would be nice to perhaps be able to see some text instructions in a similar way to Google Maps as well to aid in deciding which route to take.
When testing this software I drove about 500 miles and tried to test it in a lot of different situations. When taking incorrect routes Navigon is extremely good at getting you out of trouble and sorting you out a new route. I found some inconsistencies however with the voice saying “bare left” instead of turn left sometimes and vice versa but generally with a bit of common sense this is not a problem but it can be slightly confusing.
Navigon really has got many features which make it a great piece of software. In addition to the above features that I have explained there’s many more such as foot navigation (pedestrian navigation), text to speech, real road signs, take me home and many more.
Apart from a few oddities occasionally with journeys it’s pretty hard to fault Navigon. So is it worth paying for when Google Maps Navigation is free? well, it depends on what type of user you are. Google Maps Navigation uses data so is really only ideal for people with a high data allowance it also means that if you get lost and you have no data connection you could have some issues – Navigon doesn’t have these problems. Navigon has far more features than any alternative and if you drive a lot it’s a necessity in my option. The current cost is 39.95 € for one country and 89.95 € for the whole of Europe. This may seem like a lot to pay but for a standalone sat nav with as many features as this you are going to be paying at least double that amount so it really does represent good value for money. It’s the best navigation software so far for Android (reviews to come shortly for others!) and is definitely worth purchasing if you do a lot of driving. There is a free 30 day trial available on the market and I’d suggest for anyone to give it a try!