"Excellent minimal frills GPS"4.0 starson by johnedwardsbc
Pros: Large screen, AAA points of interest, Intuitive to use, No gimmicks like MP3, digital radio, language converters, etc
Cons: Bluetooth capability (it's a GPS! not a phone). External antenna requires an expensive add on cradle.
Summary: This is my first ever GPS and the reason I bought it is because I get lost in strange cities and confused in my own (even using a map.) All I want is assistance in getting around.
Testing it in my familiar home area, I found that it is right all of the time, but doesn't know the short cuts that I do. Can't expect that much from a machine.
My map still sits beside me as a backup and I would recommend that if you have one. The GPS is an aid, not a replacement to common sense and a good map. Without a map, as in an unfamiliar city, just add more common sense.
The Maestro 4040 was chosen because it is large screen and basic. I mount it on the windshield, but would prefer to have it closer and am put off that Magellan does not have a place to plug in their external antenna without buying a very expensive Traffic Mount. I don't want their traffic reporting capability because I live in Canada and that service is not available here. I don't even want to subscribe to that service in the US even though I travel there often. Just not interested.
I found that the GPS gets confused on special street situations such as when two streets just join by merging into one without proper intersections and the last hundred feet or so takes one of the street names. By paying a little attention to the map I can usually figure out what happened and what I should do.
More confusing is when the two streets immediately go onto the one that you need to make a turn on. Again, paying attention to the display helps sort this out.
City planners and politicians, being the prima donnas they are (only in Canada of course), like to break up streets for reasons known only to themselves. The GPS cannot recognise streets blocked off by residential demands to stop others driving through, or for bicycles only, etc.
Got an unknown block number on the GPS once and found out, by driving around, that a very short street had been cut up into three shorter streets, blocked off from each other, and the house block 100 numbers were split within each of the shorter blocks. My brand new printed map showed them as a continuous street, not split up.
I have never had a problem in an area with a grid system of streets unless it has been tampered with by city planners.
It also gets confusing to me and the GPS on a winding road that encoounters 3 or 4 other streets that butt onto the end of it. Although the GPS does tell me what street to turn onto I usually find that my city folks don't put up proper street signs (if any) so it's a crap shoot where to turn. Fortunately I'm going slowly at this point and try a guess. So far its been 50-50.
I like that the Maestro 4040 is reasonably priced ($500 Canadian, you figure it out) and is relatively fat free. Complaints I've read about other brands MP3 sound quality, Bluetooth compatibility problems, lack of dictionaries, and so on are of no interest to me. Even the existing Bluetooth capability is, for me, a waste of an icon on the screen. I don't want anything but a GPS.
I noticed an occasion when a main road "T's" with a gentle curve onto another that the GPS failed to recognise it as a proper intersection. Happened only once and I haven't been that route since so can't duplicate that. Next time I'll take a look at the display and see what that shows.
Like the warning screen says, use common sense and don't believe the GPS implicitly. As in when using the "shortest route" the GPS does exactly that, even though if you went one street over, you may be on a main road and get there without trying to cross other main roads from a side street.
I've found "fastest route" generally selects major roads, but not always.
All in all, it has helped me more than poring over a map and then trying to remember all the turns or attempting to look at the map quickly at red lights.
Text to speech is great. Pronuciation is not perfect, but close enough. Street names to turn on are displayed on the screen as well. Turning instructions are given in plenty of time.
My store gave me 15 days to try it out and a no questions cash refund if I am not satisfied for any reason. Can't beat that!
Saw one review where a complaint was made about the quality of the included pouch to put the GPS in.
Mine is great, fits snug, and I make a point to remove the unit and put pouch and all into my pocket when I park. This removes the temptation of someone breaking my window to steal same.
I also enjoy the feature of making up a route containing several stops and letting the GPS figure out how to get there efficiently.
Typing in city names or even full details of regular stops is simplified by accessing previous cities or trips and just selecting them.
The go to an intersection icon is also handy when I don't remember an address or just want to get out of where I am to somewhere familiar.
All in all this GPS does what I hoped it would do and would recommend it.
The only complaint I have is not with the GPS but with the Magellan web site. It doesn't have (or I can't find) a way to contact them so I can ask some questions about their remote antenna connection.