The GPS landscape is largely dominated by Garmin forcing other players to come out with more innovative ideas to challenge the status quo. Magellan has done just that with its SmartGPS. But whether it will change the way consumers view the way a PND device is used remains to be seen.
The Magellan SmartGPS is a navigation device that extends its function by connecting to the internet either through a MiFi, or via a shared connection over Bluetooth with your phone. It has a large 5″ screen and works just like a normal GPS when there is no internet connection. But when connected it provides a lot more functions on-screen like Foursquare destinations and Yelp reviews. And with the SmartGPS App it provides a seamless mobile experience from home to vehicle. You could search for your favorite restaurant on the phone while still at home and automatically beam the address to the SmartGPS when you reach the car. You can also receive real time traffic alerts, weather updates, compare fuel prices and even red light camera alerts.
The 5-inch glass capacitive screen features a modest 800 by 480-pixel resolution. Even with a 5″ screen, the problem is if there is too much information on-screen content it can be over-whelming while you are driving. So while more content is useful there is only so much on-screen real estate can offer without causing distraction.