Review: Hema Navigator 6

My Shop Item Rating: My Rating 4/5

Overall I have been very impressed with the HN6. Having used street navigators and GPS units in the past, the HN6 did not seem overly complicated and the manuals have seen little use. The unit itself seems to be of a reasonable quality, and the suction mount works very well given the weight of the unit and length of the mounting arm - it has been in place for a couple of months so far with no sign of falling off, though the windscreen was cleaned with metho before attachment. Perhaps those having problems have failed to clean the glass or use the suction lever correctly?
So far our HN6 has been used mostly for street navigation, and in that mode it works reasonably well. Some of the default settings are not to my taste - a spoken warning when the speed limit is exceeded can become annoying when given a zero tolerance approach, especially when the actual limit does not match the units map, or when the limit was exceeded 10m before an increase, in which case the spoken warning is no longer relevant. Luckily the warning can be turned off or given a % buffer (so it warns when the speed exceeds +10% for example). The HN6 in street mode does not seem as accurate or polished as my TomTom, and can be inaccurate. On one occasion it directed me on a route that was 105km, and when I ignored it and made a left turn to follow my "normal" route it recalculated to give me my normal route - a distance of only 75km. Given that the unit clearly "knew" the roads that comprised my normal route, and they were all 100kph major roads, the 30km "detour" it recommended is puzzling! It also has a habit of suddenly announcing that it is recalculating a route for no apparent reason, which can be distracting. The "data" display is less comprehensive than the TomTom having three user-selectable fields. I like to have speed, distance to go, expected arrival time AND current time displayed, and I cannot do this with only three fields. I know there is a clock in the car, but with the TomTom I can gather all the info with a single glance, with the HN6 I have to look at the clock as well. The bottom line is that I probably wouldn't carry both the HN6 and the TomTom, but if my trip were purely on-road I would use the TomTom in preference to the HN6. For a mixed on/offroad trip the HN6 is more than adequate for the onroad sections, and obviously the TomTom is useless offroad!
Offroad the HN6 functions much the same way as many other GPS units, simply displaying a moving map. The supplied software can be used to create a route (or rather a series of waypoints) and this can be uploaded to the HN6. Both the supplied software and the HN6 achieve this at least as well as any other GPS I have used. The range of maps supplied, which can be used on both the HN6 and on a PC with the supplied software, is very good.
I would recommend the HN6 to anyone who wishes to use it offroad, but suggest you don't throw away your dedicated street navigator!!
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