"Don't waste your time or money on this one"1.0 starson by LarryCW
Pros: Nice sleek design, current maps, great POI, AAA
Cons: terrible text to speech, unreadable fonts on map, confuses instead of aiding you while routing, bad u turn function, too many impt options buried
Summary: My Garmin C550 was recently stolen and after doing some reading up I decided to buy the Maestro for a change. What a huge mistake.
Where do I start? Out of the box it looks solid and has a nice sleek design. The interface looks pretty good too though it’s not as intuitive as the Garmin. The Maestro requires too many finger taps to frill down to menus and options that should be readily available.
The first thing I noticed was how tiny the fonts were on the map screen. Since it is a huge screen this is inexcusable. I have perfect vision and yet I still struggled to read crucial information such as the next turn, what road I’m on, and what icons to select. What is also missing on the screen is the ETA. I looked high and low for this option but it doesn’t exist. Instead it gives you how many hours and minutes to your destination and you have to calculate the time of arrival in your head. I don’t think any nav system excludes ETA except for this one.
The routing is very confusing as well, mostly because of the text to speech voice that speaks too fast, too garbled and too robotic. A nav system is supposed to eliminate confusion when driving. The Maestro just adds to the confusion. Between a voice you can’t understand and text you cannot read, the Never Lost will get you lost.
I live a mile south of 6 lane major road. I purposely missed the turn I usually take off of that road to see how quickly I’d be rerouted. The next left is only about ¼ mile away and also leads me directly to my home. Instead, the Maestro kept prompting me to make a “legal u turn when possible.” I missed a host of lefts I could have taken as the Maestro kept asking me to make that u turn. This lasted for 2.7 miles till the maestro finally asked me to take a left – into a Wal-Mart parking lot!
I took a trip from my home in Mass. to D.C. and it was a horrible experience. The routing and voice instructions were so unclear and confusing that I was better off just using MapQuest. At least I could have read MapQuest’s printed fonts.
The bad is so extensive that I will list them. I’m sure I’m forgetting some
1) Quick Type, a good feature that grays out letter that is not needed is only available when keying in an address to route. Why is it unavailable when keying in a Point of Interest?
2) When switching from map view to menu and vice versa there is often a delay and glitch. The hourglass keeps coming up. The same happens when switching back and forth from map to the step by step maneuvers.
3) Small fonts on a big screen. You can barely see the fonts especially at night.
4) The colors at night are too bright even if you turn the brightness level down. Too green, too red, too blinding.
5) TTS is nearly impossible to understand and the pronunciation is totally off. “Aiport” becomes “A-Row-Poit.” New Castle becomes “En Why Cast Lee.” “Turn left in ¼ mile” becomes “Terlefbin ¼ mile.” The woman’s voice is way too fast and way too unclear. It makes for one confusing rote.
6) Your destination is not announced as being on the left or right. You have to guess. This can pose a danger.
7) The Maestro will have you drive for miles asking you to u turn. This is not very helpful when you’re in an unfamiliar town, your bearings are lost and you do not know whether to turn left or right. There is no option to turn this off as there was in my Garmin C550, which wouldn’t keep insisting I make a u turn even if I had it enabled.
8) The road exclude doesn’t work. The highways I want to exclude keep showing up.
9) Terrible foam carrying case.
10) So much more bad, but you get the picture.
The only goods I can think of are
1) It looks cool
2) Sturdy hardware
3) Quick calculations
4) Excellent, current maps. It shows new developments that my Garmin didn’t.
Needless to say, this is going back in a couple of days. I’ll go back to Garmin, which is thousands of times better than this, only I’ll have to decide which model.