"RoadMate 1470"4.5 starson by iLinux
Pros: Large & very visible 4.3" screen, great short cuts in main menu, speaker volume is very good, includes latest map version, satellite signal acquired in less than a minute, lots of warnings before turning (bell sound a warning right before turning)
Cons: Hard to plug power cable to the unit, location is too close to the holder and it is hard to feel your way around. My suggestion, place the unit on the holder first, plug the power cable and then fix the entire assembly to the windshield, it works...
Summary: If you want bluetooth connection, MP3 capabilities, and a talking unit that does not understand your spoken commands, then spend more money and buy a Magellan 4700 series or the Nuvi 800 series. However, if you are looking for a reliable (well, as reliable as these things get anyways as every manufacturer has their issues) that will take you from point A to B with ease of use and a 4.3 inch screen, then the RoadMate 1470, or the 1475, is a very good choice for the money. Currently, for approximately $170 in Amazon, you can get one of these units. For that price, you won't be able to get a Garmin Nuvi or a TomTom unit with a 4.3 inch screen. I've been using this unit for over a month in the Los Angeles area. So far it has performed beyond my expectations. The unit has a very good & friendly menu system with quick shortcuts to addresses, points of interests, local stuff like ATMs, restaurants, entertainment, and AAA suggestions that come in very handy when traveling to unfamiliar places. My favorite function is the "bell sound" it makes right before making a turn; a very handy tool in case you can not read the road sign. The lane assist signs are not as fancy as the Garmin products, but they have been very accurate for the Los Angeles metro. In case you pass you exit, the unit is quick to re-calculate and re-route you to your destination. This unit accepts an optional traffic receiver to get free traffic reports in major metro areas. The traffic receiver I purchased did not work out of the box, I order a replacement and will update on it... but the GPS unit works just fine without it so it's not a big deal for me. The unit has a software update available for download from Magellan, I did not see any major difference with the update, but it is supposed to improve the overall performance of the unit, so can't hurt. Acquiring the satellite signal averaged under a minute for me, other people have reported 3+ minutes in the Amazon comments, I guess it depends on your location and if you have clear & open access to the sky. The screen brightness was very good, even in sun light. Overall, this is a great value for the money. I also considered the Garmin Nuvi 265WT, which is also a very good unit, but decided on the RoadMate 1470 because the screen is bigger and it has the AAA traveling book included in the software. The Garmin will give you a bit more bells & whistles with its software, but the screen is smaller and you'll pay a bit more also. As far as map accuracy, don't expect any GPS unit to be 100% accurate all the time as they rely on the accuracy of the maps and it is close to impossible for the map company to keep up with every single road & neighborhood change/updates. Therefore, keeping this map issue in mind, the RoadMate 1470 does perform extremely well in comparison to previous generation and the current competing GPS units from Magellan, Garming & TomTom (stay away from the Navigon brand as they are no longer servicing the US market, too bad those units were OK also). In conclusion, if you are cheap like me and demand getting the most for your hard earned dollar, and bluetooth and MP3 connectivity is not a priority, then the RoadMate 1470, or 1475, unit is a great choice. I would certainly recommend it. [Review by an engineer, very picky about electronics..] Hope this review helped you !Please note the screen size is 4.7" not 4.3" (sorry about that). I had a chance to test the traffic receiver for a second time, and it still does not work in the Los Angeles area which is one of the metro areas serviced by traffic reports. However, the unit it self continues to work very well ... so I do recommend the Roadmate 1470, but I would advice against the option traffic receiver.
Updated on Aug 14, 2009