The only way for GPS devices to remain in a market packed with GPS-enabled smartphones is to equip some of the premium models with some innovative features that smartphones can never duplicate. GPS features have always remained as extra features in smartphones because incorporating more advanced hardware and added services will result in higher prices. GPS devices are designed as smartphone companions where you can keep the smartphone as the communications and Internet device while the dedicated GPS does its role in the car to get you from point A to point B. All Magellan RoadMate devices come with the necessary mounting accessories for easy car installation. But the Magellan RoadMate 5265T-LMB is a fairly new GPS device that has plenty of new tricks that should stir up even the tightly packed automotive GPS landscape.
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Although the RoadMate 5265T-LMB was just released in 2012, the design of this RoadMate device is a bit dated. The 5-inch display features a curved bezel that resembles many of the past 5-inch RoadMate models. The display can be difficult to read under direct sunlight but there are day and night modes and the display should be large enough for drivers to see most of the time. A windshield mount is also included and it is pretty easy to install.
Another thing that Magellan did not bother to improve so much is the user interface. That isn’t a bad thing though because past Magellan RoadMate devices have already been easy to use. The Magellan RoadMate 5265T-LMB is a GPS device after all so it is easier to use than any standard smartphone. Every option has an associated icon so anyone can understand how to do simple things such as planning a route. You also don’t have to go through any complicated setup process out of the box just to get started.
What makes the interface stand out from the other user experiences that competing GPS devices provide is the proprietary elements such as the QuickSpell technology. When you are asked by the RoadMate 5265T-LMB to input your destination, you will be presented with a fairly large QWERTY keyboard. The innovation here is how the keys on this keyboard light up. After typing a single letter, other letters will light up serving as suggestions for the next letter in order to complete a certain destination. This helps you spell the name of a street or city properly and encourages you to make the inputs faster so you can simply follow your route. There are more than 7 million points of interest included in the map database and QuickSpell makes good use of that database.
While QuickSpell serves as a fast way to create a destination, the OneTouch function can work even faster for you if there are places that you visit often. The trick is to add your favorite locations as bookmarks so they appear in this menu. The OneTouch is always available on the upper right corner of the screen.
Another neat feature is the ability to use the GPS device in portrait mode if you prefer to see more of the road that is ahead of you. This view hides some of the convenient controls like the “Home” button and it forces you to use an ABC keyboard when you want to change destination but it is a welcome feature and many devices lack it.
When it comes to standard navigation functionality, the RoadMate 5265T-LMB is ace at what it does. The satellite gets picked up very quickly so your location is tracked more accurately as a result. When driving with the route activated, you may notice the device telling you to make a turn at a bank or gas station rather than at a certain point or street. This is the new Landmarks Guidance feature going to work and it adds a whole new level of clarity so you are less likely to make a wrong turn. Of course, this feature is powered by the map database so it is important to keep these maps updated for accuracy purposes. Fortunately, the Magellan RoadMate 5265T-LMB features free lifetime map updates so you can update immediately after turning on the device.
The RoadMate 5265T-LMB also has a Junction View, which helps you make exits and deal with junctions by displaying visual arrows on which lane you have to be in. Compared to previous models, the graphics look a lot better and highway signs can be shown as well.
Lifetime traffic updates are baked into the Magellan RoadMate 5265T-LMB as well but it isn’t a very surprising feature since tons of other models offer these kinds of free updates. But Magellan’s way to tempt people to getting this product is to add a highly useful Traffic Camera Alerts feature too. This feature uses a technology provided by PhantomALERT to alert drivers when speed cameras are within the area. This encourages you to slow down and make sure you are not exceeding the speed limit. The main purpose of this feature is to prevent you from getting into serious accidents or getting traffic tickets. An optional paid upgrade is available if you want alerts when you are near school zones and hazardous intersections.
Bluetooth is another welcome addition that also contributes to safer driving. You can put this to good use by switching your smartphone’s Bluetooth mode on so the device can pair with the Magellan RoadMate 5265T-LMB. Once paired, you can leave the smartphone in your pocket and conveniently receive or make phone calls. The RoadMate 5265T-LMB has a built-in microphone and speaker for that hands-free experience. Once again, other competing GPS devices have this feature too but the SafeTexting feature is where the Bluetooth functionality becomes more unique. It basically works as an autoresponder where your phone can automatically send a message to a caller if you are unable to answer. Since the Magellan RoadMate 5265T-LMB is the one sending the message, it is possible to get this to work even if your phone doesn’t support it. The feature works best for feature phones and Magellan plans to release an update so more smartphones can take advantage of this feature. The text message may also include vital GPS information such as your location and ETA.
The RoadMate 5265T-LMB is a 5-inch GPS device that looks like the rest of the RoadMate bunch. But it serves as a welcome upgrade with some innovative features and a low sub-$200 price tag.