Navman N60i Review  by Bruce Rahn  

12 March 2007

14 July 2007 Revision 1

Navman N60i In Vehicle Navigation System

Time waits for no one--nor does technology.  In 1965 Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel, published an article in Electronics Magazine outlining his prediction for the growth in complexity of integrated circuits.  His prediction, later on coined "Moore's Law" by Caltech professor Carver Mead, was that the number of transistors in an integrated circuit would double every 24 months.  Initially an observation and forecast, it became a self-fulfilling prophecy driving the semiconductor industry to meet or exceed Moore's prediction.  "Moore's Law", which was only intended to forecast the growth in the complexity of integrated circuits, was extended by Raymond Kurzweil to all forms of technology.  In Kurzweil's 2001 essay, The Law of Accelerating Returns,  he states "..we won't experience 100 years of progress in the 21st century--it will be more like 20,000 years of progress (at today's rate)."  A mind boggling prediction to say the least!  Thus, it should come as no surprise that the manufacturers of in-vehicle GPS navigation systems are introducing new models, with more features at a lower price, at an ever accelerating pace.           

In the fourth quarter of 2006, Navman introduced their new "N-Series" of in-vehicle GPS navigation systems to keep pace with technology and consumer demands.   One of the new "N-Series" family members is the N60i, Navman's top-of-the-line in-car navigation unit.  The goal of this review is to provide you with a general idea of the features, performance, and ease of use of the N60i.  Readers are encouraged to visit the Navman website and view the N60i User Manual to supplement the information contained in this review.

Important note:  Many of the pictures contained in this review are digital photographs of the N60i screen.  They are not as crisp or clear as the display is when viewed in person.  You may also notice a weave or hash pattern in some of the pictures.  This is an artifact of the photographic process.


At a Glance

The Navman N60i is a self-contained vehicle navigation system weighing in at 8.5 ounces and measuring 3.25 inches high by 5.45 inches wide by 0.95 inches deep.  Street level maps for the U.S., Puerto Rico, Guam, and Canada, along with an extensive POI database, are factory installed.  This thin, high impact plastic cased unit features a 4.3 inch WQVGA color touch screen display for feature selection and information display; a built-in multi-directional GPS antenna; and a built-in speaker for turn-by-turn voice directions.  The GPS navigation engine is based on the award winning SiRF Star III Generation 2 chipset; enabled for 12 parallel channel GPS reception.  Windows CE Core 5.0 serves as the units embedded operation system running on a Samsung 2440 400 MHz processor.  Internal memory consists of 64MB of SDRAM along with 2GB of NAND flash ROM.  Power for the unit is provided through an internal 1900 mAh rechargeable Lithium-Ion polymer battery, a 12VDC power adapter, or an AC power adapter. 

Built into the N60i is a 1.3 megapixel, 1280 pixel by 1024 pixel, color camera employing NavPixtechnology.  NavPix technology embeds geographic coordinate (location) data of where a picture was taken into the picture data.  Thus it is possible to navigate back at a future date to the location the picture was taken without having to remember the address, street name, city or state of the location. 

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Additional Technical Specifications

     •  Operating Temperature:

14° to 140° F  
     •  Storage Temperature: -4° to 185° F  
     •  Operating Humidity: 0 to 90 percent non-condensing  
     •  Storage Humidity: 0 to 90 percent non-condensing  
     •  Operating Shock: 20G  
     •  Non-operating Shock: 40G  
     •  GPS Accuracy: 16.4 feet 95 percent of the time  
     •  GPS Update Rate: Typically once per second  
     •  Battery Life: Up to 5 hours depending on use  

Additional Hardware Features


Key Operating Features


Box Contents

The Navman N60i is packaged in a well organized box which includes:  the N60i; AC and DC power adapters; a USB cable; mounting bracket and optional dashboard mount 'plastic disc'; CD-ROMs containing the SmartST 2006 Desktop and NavAlbum software, Microsoft® ActiveSync®, Microsoft® .NET, and map/POI databases;  IR remote control; protective carrying case; screen cleaning cloth; "Quick Reference Manual"; "In-Car Installation Guide"; GPS navigation FAQ guide; global support information; software product license; limited warrantee agreement; and a product registration card.


Product Configuration Information

The unit reviewed was configured as follows:




The Navman N60i comes ready to operate right out of the box; the maps and POI database for the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam and Canada are preinstalled at the factory.  The only things required prior to using the unit are to set the battery switch on the bottom of the unit to on and charge the battery.  The battery had an 80 percent charge on the unit I received so I could immediately power the unit on and take it for a "test drive".

After the unit is turned on and "boots up" for the first time, the user has to select the language desired (ten different choices) and acknowledge the six page "Safety Agreement"; the "legalese" which protects Navman from liability.

After completing the brief initial setup procedure outlined above, the unit rapidly locked on seven satellites while I was sitting inside my home and correctly showed my location.  The next stop was my PC to install Navman's software package and check for any firmware updates.

I installed Microsoft’s ActiveSync™ and Navman’s SmartST 2006USB Com Screen Display desktop software from the Navman supplied CD-ROM.  These two packages are used to communicate between the N60i and your computer.  I was greeted with the screen to the right on the N60i display, after I connected the USB cable, showing that communications between the two devices had been successfully established.

The SmartST installation was smooth and trouble free and shortly after running the program it automatically advised me that updates for the N60i were available.  I downloaded the update, billed as service pack 2, and instructed the SmartST package to install it on the N60i.  The N60i display provides status on the progress of the update; a nice feature to have showing you things are happening.  After updating the N60i and unplugging the USB cable, the unit automatically rebooted (rebooting happens anytime you terminate USB communications with the N60i).

Kudos to Navman!  It’s clear that they did their homework and expended the resources required to make both the installation of the PC software packages and N60i update process function smoothly and pain free.

My final task was to download the "N60i User Manual" from Navman's website.  I'm old school, I guess; I enjoy having a hardcopy manual in front of me for review.  I wish a printed manual had been included with the N60i.  However, I do understand (but don't appreciate) this as the new trend as printed manuals are expensive, adding to the cost of the product, and consumer surveys show a lot of folks don't even bother to open them up.  But I still find them useful.       


Navman SmartST™ Desktop Software

This software is usedSmartST to acquire and install N60i firmware updates, to add or remove maps, to add/manage custom POIs, to download/manage NavPix images, and to backup the N60i configuration file sets.  The backup feature is especially nice if someone inadvertently deletes some of your favorite destinations or changes other settings; you can easily restore them from the files saved on your computer!

The SmartST™ desktop software is menu-driven, making it very easy to use.  The main display is shown to the left (click on the photo for a larger image).  Navman gave some thought to custom POI management--geographic coordinates may be entered in either decimal degree format or in degree - minute - second format eliminating the need for users to do awkward conversions.  A small feature, but one I really appreciate!

The NavAlbum manager allows you to view and manipulate pictures captured with the NavPixfeature of the N60i; a handy utility to manage the geographic position encoded photos captured with the N60i.   


In-vehicle Installation

The only in-vehicle installation work to do is to decide where to locate the unit and mounting bracket.  I studied this carefully, wanting to achieve these objectives:  easyVehicle Installation access to and viewing of the N60i; connecting the DC adapter to a vehicle power outlet is possible; and minimal blockage of the view outside of the vehicle. 

If you live in California or Minnesota it is against the law to mount the unit on your windshield (as laws are constantly changing, check with your local authorities for any rules prohibiting windshield mounting in your area).  Navman provides an ‘adhesive mounting disc’ to mount on your dashboard and you attach the main suction cup mounting bracket to this ‘disc’.  Since the ‘disc’ has an adhesive on the bottom of it, it makes dashboard mounting somewhat of a permanent installation.  Take extra time if you use this auxiliary mounting hardware to get it right the first time!

I mounted the unit to the right of the mirror just as high as I could get it to keep my field of view clear as much as possible.  From an accessibility perspective the left side of the mirror would have been better, but it blocked too much of the outside view.


Operating the Navman N60i

Operation of the N60i is straight forward, but a review of the "Quick Reference Guide" and "User Reference Manual" is helpful as they "unlock" a few keys to getting the most out of the unit in the least amount of time.

Navman uses a combination of touch screen and traditional hardware buttons to operate the unit.  I like this approach as it eliminates the need to "drill down" through several layers of touch screen menu options to find frequently used functions.  There are four traditional hardware buttons on the right hand side of the unit.  The top most button may be toggled up to get a listing of gasoline stations near your current location while toggling it down brings up a list of nearby parking areas.  The button directly below it reveals the "Preferences" screen menu.  The third button from the top displays the "Go To Menu" screen.  The bottom most button allows you to cycle through the navigation information displays.

Side Button Controls  Nearby Gas Station Listing 

Hardware Buttons 


Nearby Gas Station Listing


Preference Menu Screen  Go To Menu Screen 
Preferences Menu Screen
Go To Menu Screen 

Once you start using the hardware buttons you really start to appreciate them.  The gasoline and parking buttons automatically "call up" the respective category from the POI database, saving the user the need to "drill down" to find them.  And the other two buttons eliminate infrequently used icons from cluttering up the navigation display affording more room for the information in which you are most interested.

After powering on the unit and acquiring a sufficient number of GPS Initial Displaysatellites for navigation, a screen similar to the one to the left appears.  There are a couple of features here worth noting.  The street address of the current location is displayed at the bottom of the screen.  The blue circle on the bottom right corner shows where north is with respect to the direction of travel.  Touch this circle and it changes into a GPS signal quality status indicator providing the user with an "at a glance" indication of the quality of the GPS signal reception.  Touching and holding down the GPS signal quality indicator causes the GPS status screen containing detailed GPS receiver information to be displayed.  Touching the magnifying glass (above the blue bearing circle in the photo) brings up controls which allows you to zoom in or out.  The current time is displayed in the upper right hand corner.  


 - Creating a Route from Point A to Point B

There are six different ways to create/select a route which the N60i will navigate to.  They are:

I used the first method to select several destinations and immediately saved them as favorites.  I personally found this hard to do using the touch screen because I have large fingers which would frequently overlap characters on the touch screen keyboard.  The keyboard, at times, seemed overly sensitive and I would get duplicate letter entries.  Fortunately, the entire name of a city or street does not have to be entered.  In the photo examples below I'm choosing a destination in Wisconsin to navigate to as an illustration of the address entry procedures. 

Address Entry Example Address Entry Example
On a previous screen I selected Wisconsin as the state my destination is located in.  Here I have typed the first letter of the city name.  My destination is in Kaukauna and I could have stopped here to select it, but I decided to tap the up/down arrows to the right to see more selections. Here is a more complete listing of the cities in Wisconsin which start with the letter K.  The soft buttons on the right hand side allow me to tab to the top of the list, scroll the list page by page, or to tab to the last entry in the list. I tap on Kaukauna as my desired destination city.
Address Entry Example  Address Entry Example 
After tapping on Kaukauna, this screen is displayed giving me a choice of going to the center of the city, a street, or a point of interest in the city.  I select East Division Street from a list (not shown) similar in format to the City listing. In this screen I'm given the option of going to the center of East Division Street, or a street which intersects with East Division Street, or to a specific house number.  I tap on the House Number soft button. 
Address Entry Example  Address Entry Example 
In this example I've typed in 204 as the house number.  Hitting OK results in the display shown to the right. This screen displays the location of the address information I've entered and the position of the address on the street as indicated by the crosshairs in the square box.  I can tap on the magnifying glass to increase the size of the picture, hit the more button to get additional information, add it to a multi-destination trip, save it, or tell the N60i to immediately plot a route to the destination.
Address Entry Example  Address Entry Example 
This screen results from selecting the "More" button.  The geographic coordinates of my destination are displayed.  The left facing arrowhead on the bottom left allows me to go back to the previous screen where I then select the "Go" option. After selecting the "Go" option, the N60i displays a screen showing my current location and informing me it is calculating a route to my destination.  The display in the upper right hand corner informs me on the progress of the route calculations.  13 percent done in this example.
Address Entry Example  Address Entry Example 
After the route has been calculated, I am informed that I will encounter one or more toll roads (an option I selected to be informed of).  At the top of the screen the first turn I will be making is displayed. Doubling tapping on the screen brings up a set of menu options.  In this example I selected the option to show me the entire route from start to finish.  The highways shown in red puzzled me until I realize it is Navman's method of flagging toll roads.

I populated my favorites address book using all of the available methods for data entry/selection.   The street level data base seems very accurate--I found every location I was looking for and they were geographically located where I expected to find them.

The N60i has it's database broken down into two different zones:  USA and Canada.  So if you are in Detroit, Michigan and planning to drive to a destination in Windsor, Ontario, Canada you have to change the region from the USA to Canada before you'll be able to enter and find your desired destination.  Not a big deal, just something the user should be aware of. 

The N60i also allows the user to build and save multi-stop routes.  Destinations may be selected from your address book, POI, or new entries can be created from the menu.  A nice feature when you have multiple stops to make or want to break a long trip into manageable segments.


- Routing

TRouting Calculationshe routing algorithms in the Navman N60i determine what streets or highways are used to get from the current location to the desired destination.  Navman allows the user to adjust several parameters which impact how the route to a destination is calculated.  The user can select a preference for a route to be fastest time to shortest distance and if freeways should be used less often to more often.  I selected the middle of the road settings on both these options for my normal day-to-day use and evaluated the performance of the N60i using every possible combination.  The unit can also be configured to warn of and/or avoid toll roads, unsealed roads, and ferry routes when it builds the route to the desired destination.  I found the toll road warning function to be useful in giving me a heads-up so I could prepare for paying tolls.

In a previous review, I discussed the "marvels" of routing algorithms.  I'm going to repeat it here verbatim since I believe it is something we, the users of this equipment, often overlook.  If you've read it before, feel free to skip over the next three paragraphs.   

Most of us take routing algorithms for granted since deciding how to get from point A to point B by looking at a map is second nature for us.  We grab a map; find our destination; visually scan the interstates, highways, roads, and streets between 'here' and 'there'; and use our a priori knowledge that interstates are usually faster than highways, highways faster than roads, roads faster than surface streets, etc.  We are also aware of facts such as where to expect or anticipate rush hour traffic issues, do we want a fast or 'scenic' route, etc.  When you stop to think about this process, our brains certainly are processing a lot of data with most of it being done in our subconscious since it is so natural for us.

As is often the case in implementing artificial intelligence,  what humans do naturally, without much conscious thought, is extremely difficult for a machine to do.  So it should come as no surprise that one of the greatest challenges faced by in-vehicle navigation software developers is in writing good, solid, well-behaved and well-performing routing algorithms.  Routing performance, like navigation, is a make or break issue--get it right and users will love you; get it wrong and users will curse you.

The details of routing algorithms are closely held, proprietary trade secrets and rightfully so because of the large capital invested in their development.  Still, we can make some wide assumptions about how they work.  A weighting (performance) factor is probably applied to the types of road (interstate, highway, etc.) with these weighting factors being adjusted to meet the user's desire of fastest time vs. shortest distance, etc.  I wouldn't be surprised if the algorithm does a straight line approximation of the route between 'here' and 'there' looking for the type of road most likely to satisfy the user's time/distance requirements.  The algorithm probably does this in segments (like waypoints) depending on the distances involved.  And finally, it presents a route for the user to follow.

I was impressed with the calculation speed and the accuracy of the routing algorithms and methodologies employed by Navman in the N60i.  In my evaluations I run a set of destinations ranging from nearby locations to distant places such as Arizona, Alaska, and from the US into Canada.  I drive the local routes to determine accuracy and evaluate the more distant ones based on past experience driving the routes and by comparing the proposed routes against maps.  In all test cases the routes calculated by the N60i were almost exactly as I would drive them if I were planning the routes based on maps alone.  I would never expect all the routes to be exact replicas of how I drive them until someone comes up with a way to interface these units to the human brain so they can learn about favorite little shortcuts or detours we make for various reasons.

Kudos to Navman for developing and implementing very efficient, effective, and robust routing algorithms!  I tried my best to confuse the unit, but never succeeded.


- Navigation   

Four different screens are available to display routing/navigation information:  a 3D map; a 2D map; a next turn map; and a turn-by-turn listing.  While driving a female or male voice (user selectable) informs the user of upcoming actions which need to be taken to follow the route.  In general I found the voice instructions to come in a timely and clear manner.  I found the voice messages to come a tad early or late at times, depending on my speed of travel.  It would have been nice had these announcements been better synchronized to speed of travel.  While clear, the quality of the voice announcements had a "hollow" sound to them, lacking a "fullness" and "richness" to them.  I'm not sure if this is due to the thin case (acoustic issues), a defective or poor quality speaker, or some type of protective baffle covering the speaker inside of the unit.   

Below are pictures of the navigation screens with a few brief comments about additional information displayed in addition to the route. 

3D Nav Display 2D Nav Display
3D Map Display 2D Map Display
Next action to be taken is displayed in upper left hand corner of the screen and a text description of the next action at the top center of the display.  Current location is displayed at the bottom of the screen.  Speed is shown in the upper right hand corner.  Compass heading is in the lower right hand corner. A 2D representation of the map display.  Same route/navigation information as displayed in the 3D screen.  Note the address of the current location has changed since the unit is further along the route. Touch the magnifying glass icon to zoom in or out.  Touching the X cancels the route.

Next Turn Nav Display List
Next Turn Display Turn-By-Turn Display
Large illustration of the next action along with text displayed on the screen.  Note again how the current location information at the bottom of the screen has changed.  Also note the gas pump icon which illustrates the location of a gasoline station. Comprehensive list of all actions to be taken during the trip.  Listing may be "tabbed" page by page using the up and down arrows.  Street names frequently change in this area and were handled well by the N60i as illustrated above where street name changes from Xenia Street to Enon Road.

Other Nav DataOther useful information regarding the status of the trip is also available by touching the upper right hand corner of the screen.  In addition to the vehicle speed information shown in the three screen shots above this paragraph, the user can view the current time, distance left to go, estimated time of arrival, or estimated time to go as illustrated in the composite picture above.

  What happens when you don't follow the route calculated?  I intentionally deviated from the calculated route while driving to see how the unit would respond.  The N60i rapidly responds to route deviations and calculates a new route to the destination--one which makes sense and leaves you with the feeling this unit "knows" where I want to go and how I want to drive.  Rarely did the unit "nag" me to make a legal U-turn and those few times it did was because my deviation made no sense (wrong direction, direction taking one way out of the way, etc.) or when I was traveling on a road parallel to an Interstate and had Interstates selected as a "priority" routing methodology.  Again, I have to tip my hat to the folks at Navman for developing such robust routing algorithms!


- POI Database

Readers of my previous reviews know I'm a harsh critic on the quality of the information contained in the POI databases used by all the major manufacturers.  As a rule they are filled with errors and omissions.  I realize maintaining and updating these databases is a huge undertaking, but as much care and attention should go into them as goes into the accuracy of the street level map database.  In my opinion accuracy is important to instill a high degree of consumer confidence in the performance of these units.  Nothing will destroy consumer confidence faster than punching up the location of the nearest gas station, when running on fumes, only to arrive and find there is no station! 

The quality of the N60i POI database isn't any better or worse than the current industry norms.  Within a five mile radius of me, I found two gasoline stations (out of the three we have) missing and one location identified as having a gasoline station has never had one in the 30 years I've been in the area.

That said, the N60i does contain a large, useful POI database and for the most part, the information is accurate.   



NavPix is an innovative feature which provides the user the capability to store destination information in pictorial form.  When a picture is taken with the internal camera, the geographic coordinates of where the picture was taken are stored with the picture data.  After a picture is taken, a narrative description may be added to the picture to help jog the user's memory regarding the significance of the pictures.  Pictures may also be downloaded to the user's computer to share with friends, arhieve, etc.

One can navigate to a picture's location by viewing the picture in the N60i's internal NavPix photo album and touching it or by saving the picture's caption in the favorites list and selecting it from that menu screen.

Below are two pictures--one taken with the N60i camera and the other with a "high end" digital camera.  I'll leave it for the reader to judge the quality of the N60i's camera.  I think it does an adequate job (now if only we could get the photographer to do a better job of framing and picture content ).

NavPix Picture Dedicated Digital Camera Picture
Photo Taken With N60i's Built-In Camera Photo Taken With High End Digital Camera

Remote Control

Included with the N60i is an infrared remote control.  The remote gives the user the ability to cancel a route; change the screen brightness level; change the speaker volume level; mute the speaker; cycle through the four navigation display screens; and command the N60i to calculate a route back to home.

The remote performed exactly as specified.  However, there did seem to be a significant lag--at times--between when a control was issued and the N60i responded to it.  In some cases, it never responded at all.  I ruled out line of sight and infrared interference issues as the cause.  Perhaps the N60i doesn't poll the IR sensor at a high enough rate or my IR controller has some defect in it. 


Almost Lost In My Clutter Closet

There are a few other features I found useful which deserve mention.

On the front of the N60i is a multi-color LED battery status indicator.  Red indicates the internal battery needs charging; orange that the battery is charging; and green that the battery is fully charged.  The red light will illuminate, even when the unit is turned off, to warn you there isn't enough battery power to use the unit.  Orange and green are only displayed while the unit is connected to an external power source.  A very handy little feature which saves you the steps of going to the detailed battery status screen to get a quick indication on the status of the internal battery.

The DC power adapter incorporates an LED to show you when power is available from the vehicle outlet.  This might not sound like a big deal, but it is a nice little feature to show you that external power is available to the DC adapter.

The unit also stores trip statistics which can easily be called up for review.  There are two trip stat screens, one stores data for the current route and the second cumulative data.  Data recorded includes the distance traveled, average speed, maximum speed, time of travel, and stationary time.  Each set of statistical data may be reset independently from the other.

Other user configurable features not mentioned earlier include: auto-power off (different time settings for internal power and external power); screen brightness; a screen alignment function; multiple map color and hue schemes; control over map auto-zoom; and the ability to configure the units of measure used for position, time, and distance. 

Navman decided to do away with a dedicated external power connector and assign dual functionality to the USB connector--it serves as the connection to the external power sources as well as a communications port.  I like this approach as it allows the battery to charge when the unit is connected to a computer; eliminates the chance of plugging the wrong power source into the unit; and streamlines the overall appearance of the case.



-  Pros  

The sensitivity of the SiRF chipset based GPS receiver is very good.  GPS reception should be more than adequate in all but the most severe scenarios.  And for those demanding situations, Navman has provided provisions to use an external antenna with the N60i. 

The display is clear and crisp and responds very well to vehicle dynamics.  Data is displayed in a logical manner and the large screen size affords an uncluttered display.  The automatic change to a night time map display color scheme is a real eye saver.   

The mapping database proved very accurate in the areas in which I used it.  And the map database contains some topographic data (rivers, lakes, streams, and parks) which I also found to be very accurate and a nice plus.  I only found one error where the database showed the continuation of a road which no longer exists and hasn't for over 25 years when it was transferred to private ownership.  However, up until ten years ago some local maps incorrectly showed it, so I can easily understand an error like this.

Battery life was adequate.  Battery power always seemed to be there when I needed it.

The unit has a solid feel and appears to be well constructed.  The supplied carrying case provides an additional level of protection for the unit.

An accurate internal oscillator, for timekeeping when the unit is not tracking satellites, is a real plus and helps explain the fast satellite acquisitions/re-acquisitions I observed .

Navman listens to consumer input and investigates ways to improve their products.  Last year I evaluated Navman's iCN 750 unit and found some minor flaws relating to the use of the soft scroll wheel used to scroll through lists, an internal oscillator with a very high drift rate, and stuttering in the voice announcements.  All of these issues were resolved in the N60i.

-  Cons  

I find the touch screen overly sensitive at times.  Duplicate letters when using the touch keyboard and skipping menu screens happened more than I believe is reasonable.  I attribute part of this to my "manly fingers", but it would be nice to have a touch screen sensitivity parameter as a user configurable setting.

There are errors in the user manual, the most glaring being a discussion regarding the "safety camera" database.  After doing a fair amount of searching on the web I learned this feature is only available in the European market at this time.  Knowing that up front would have been nice and saved me time.

The "hollow" sounding quality of the audio was a disappointment; I expected better.  I'm not sure this is a systemic problem with the N60i or I just got one with a marginal speaker.

Although the SiRF chipset supports WAAS, it is not enabled in the N60i.  This results in more position "wander" then in units which utilize WAAS augmentation.

Errors and omissions in the POI database. 

The N60i did not adjust to the March 11th change to daylight savings time which surprised me!

-  Overall

My overall impression of the Navman N60i is very favorable.  The robust performance of the routing algorithms place it head-and-shoulders above its peers; the large display is also a solid plus.  I heartily recommend consideration of this unit if its features and price meet your requirements and needs.



Several readers wrote me regarding a couple of issues with the N60i which are worthy of comment.  They involved the quality of the audio and the mounting bracket.

-  Audio Quality

Based on user feedback, my review unit was not the only unit with less then stellar audio.  Reports received ranged from 'annoying and garbled' to 'completely unusable'.  There are not enough reports to indicate this is a design may very well be a quality control issue.  Please be aware this may be a problem area.  I am interested in hearing additional reports.

-  Mounting Bracket

I've long felt that the Navman mounting bracket design is less then an optimum design, but it has always worked well for me.  How well a bracket is designed and how well it works is a very subjective call and for me it's been second nature to mount the bracket on my windshield, adjust it and torque down the adjustment settings.  If it holds position great, and if not I will comment on it.  After receiving a reader email which was very critical of the performance of the bracket I decided to take a second look at things.

Navman Bracket Navman Bracket - Ball and Socket Closeup

Navman N60i Mounting Bracket

Close-up of Ball and Socket Swivel Joint
and Locking Nut

The N60i bracket consists of two major sub-assemblies...a suction cup which attaches to the windshield and a bracket which clips on to the N60i unit.  These two sub-assemblies join together through a ball and socket swivel joint and are 'locked in place' by friction between the ball and socket which is obtained when the user tightens the circular plastic nut surrounding the joint.  Since I have large hands tightening things 'tighter than tight' comes second nature to me.  So it never occurred to me how well this arrangement works under 'normal' tightening.

I took a second look at things and what did I discover?  When you lock it in place with 'average' force applied to the locking nut, it moves around almost as easily as a willow branch in the breeze.  Unacceptable!  This is something Navman should fix.  One should not have to have the strength of Sampson to achieve an adjustment that won't change with the first bump in the road.

If you have this bracket and have encountered this problem, it might be helpful to disassemble the ball and socket joint and rough the mating surfaces up with sandpaper to increase the coefficient of friction.  And let Navman know you are not happy with the design and performance of this bracket. 

Questions?  Comments?  Corrections?  Suggestions?  Please Email Bruce