Magellan has done it again. They’ve taken GPS technology to a whole new level and given it the power to communicate not only with the driver but also with those the driver wishes to speak to. The RoadMate 5265T-LMB turns a traditional navigational device into a virtual speaker phone for safer talking, texting, and driving by giving it a new connection. Now, a compatible smart phone, like Bluetooth, can be plugged directly into the RoadMate for a two-in-one power unit.
The 5-inch color touch screen not only displays the route and estimated time of arrival, but it also features icons for traffic alerts and phone connection information. It can display the phone’s address book as well for easy and hands-free calling. The GPS device even allows a driver to locate a restaurant and then call to make reservations. If the phone is a “safe texting” phone, the RoadMate can send a scripted text message like “I’ll call you back. I’m driving” along with the driver’s current location. The unit comes preloaded with maps of the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico.
As always, Magellan goes the extra mile with the features it has to offer. The RoadMate 5265T-LMB features a “pedestrian mode” for the adventuresome driver who wants to get out of his car and walk around a bit. The unit’s internal battery provides up to 30 minutes of off-car exploration. Though still a work in progress, the RoadMate also offers the option of receiving driving directions using landmarks, such as gas stations and restaurants, instead of street names. When fully functional, this option will give the driver more time to get his bearings and make safer decisions.
The new GPS-phone connection boasts many great features to enhance driver safety; however, it is not yet compatible with all smart phones, including the ever-popular iPhone. The traffic alert feature works only when the device is plugged directly into the vehicle’s power source, and the landmark directions option still needs work; in fact, when tested in New York City, the device failed to recognize any of the notable landmarks.
All in all, though, Magellan’s RoadMate series is a reliable GPS based navigational system, fully supported and constantly updated. And at about $200, the driver has the option of incorporating his phone into a GPS device for maximum safety.