A GPS device isn’t exactly the kind of thing that most drivers have nowadays because people have been driving just fine before these devices went mainstream. But smartphones are changing the landscape as more people get acquainted with GPS technology since it is embedded in just about every smartphone. However, a GPS smartphone is as basic as you can get in terms of functionality. While the functions continue to expand through software, GPS devices that are specifically made for vehicles offer a whole lot more and don’t cost so much. The Magellan RoadMate 5045-LM is one of those affordable devices but it has some big ambitions.
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The Magellan RoadMate 5045-LM boasts a 5-inch display and a curved bezel for added aesthetics. Despite the larger size, it still weighs under 7 ounces.
The RoadMate 5045-LM isn’t any different from the previous RoadMate models when it comes to the interface. While there is nothing groundbreaking or particularly eye-catching, the simple icon interface works well with the touch display and should be easy enough for first time car GPS device users to use. Icons are easy to tap because of the large screen size. The large screen also makes the map view look better and it is also easy to zoom in case you wish to see more map details.
Another feature that is present in modern RoadMate devices is the highly useful OneTouch Favorites Menu. From its name, this special menu can be brought up with just a single touch on the upper right corner. This button remains available no matter what screen you are in which can be pretty useful if you want to suddenly navigate to one of your favorite destinations. Every point of interest you add can be assigned an icon for easy recognition. This allows you to do things like adding your house as a custom POI and giving it a “Home” icon.
Navigating to other points of interest is also simple through the “Go To” icon. Once you reach the part where you have to enter a destination, a touch keyboard appears where you can enter the name of your destination a bit faster than standard touch keyboards. The main highlight of this keyboard is the QuickSpell feature which highlights certain letters as you type so you can correctly spell the place you wish to go.
The Magellan RoadMate 5045-LM gets the same lifetime traffic and map benefits as every other Magellan RoadMate device with the “LM” suffix. On its own, the device already has over 6 million POIs covering all the US states and Canada and Puerto Rico too. With the help of the included AAA TourBook guide, you can also get more information on AAA-approved areas.
Lifetime traffic alerts is a great feature to have because it allows the Magellan RoadMate 5045-LM to calculate even better routes. Ordinary GPS devices can simply come up with the shortest possible route so you can reach your destination sooner. But it might not be the most ideal route if traffic is present. The Magellan RoadMate 5045-LM knows how to take this into account so a better route can be made. Even if you have multiple destinations, the RoadMate 5045-LM has what it takes in coming up with a pretty optimized path.
For longer routes, it is likely that highways and exits have to be included. Making that exit can be tricky because you have to remember to be in the correct lane so you are allowed to take the exit. The Magellan RoadMate 5045-LM comes with a neat feature called Highway Lane Assist which puts the highway in 3D view and highlight the lane you need to be in so you can anticipate the turn. It also highlights key signs and they look very clear on the large display. Finding points of interest near the exit is also easy as there is a Highway Exit POI Search to help you out if ever you have to make an emergency stop.
Finally, a text-to-speech engine called Spoken Street Name Guidance is included so the street names are called out when you need to make a critical turn. This enables you to focus more on the road while you use your ears in following your planned route.
The Magellan RoadMate 5045-LM was released back in 2010 so it is possible to get this GPS device less than $150. Just make sure you get the “LM” model so you can immediately update the maps for free the moment you unbox your device.