Pros Fast, accurate, text to speech function, small, and INEXPENSIVE
Cons Manual is not user-friendly
Summary I got this unit about a month ago. I have been testing it since then. I got it for about $100 from dell. It was a great purchase for that price.
The unit starts up in under a minute in a cold start (if it was completely switched off by pressing the power button for about 3-5 seconds) or a few seconds on a hot start (coming out of sleep, which requires one tap on the power button to put it to sleep or bring it out of sleep). It has an extensive list of points of interest and is accurate.
The text to speech function, that enables this unit to announce which street you are going to turn, is great. This function is fairly rare among the budget GPS units. The pronunciation is decent and understandable. This GPS unit uses Navteq maps, which are used by the likes of mapquest.com. The build quality of the unit is pretty good. The unit is small and can fit in a jacket pocket, much smaller than some garmin street pilots. the screen in bright and is clearly visible in the day, unless there is sun shining on it, in which case you can turn it for better view.
Now for some cons:
The manual was not the easiest to use, but it was not very difficult to use the unit in about an half hour of playing around.
The cradle that comes with the unit has a real tight fit for the GPS unit, so taking the GPS unit out of the cradle is a little difficult.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this to anyone who just needs a no frills GPS unit. It does a good job for a very small price and is the best bang for the buck.
Pros Easy to use, fast and very accurate.
Cons Map updates will cost you! Also, battery life for me was only approximately 3 hours life vs. the 5-7 as stated by Pharos.
Summary Overall, I would recommend this product. It has a quick start up and the text to speech is very clear. When you miss a turn, the auto route feature responds immediately (within half a block). Also, when driving on roads that are parallel in path, the unit recognizes this. I've had previous gps systems where if you take a wrong turn and it is on a road parallel to the one you were suppose to be on, it would still think you were on the correct road.
I've used Pharos Ostia and map updates were free for download. It appears that map updates will be additional . I wish Pharos would make it where you can just download the maps for states that you use most frequently vs. requiring you to purchase the entire USA map for a fee!
BTW the only difference between the Drive 150 and 250 is the screen size and the addition of Canadian maps. Otherwise all the features are exactly the same.
"Poor Receiver"on by abhaykorde
Pros Nothing to talk about
Cons Many times it just waits saying Acquring signal for a long time around 2 hours
The receiver is very poor
Pros Best 3D turn by turn graphics I have seen on a number of GPS systems. Better then anticipated text to voice results. Reasonably fast satellite acquisition. Uses a mini-usb connector for charging - common with many cell phones
Cons Very old maps; Very poor route selection.; No simple way to save addresses or create them in your PC (may work OK with outlook address book but I don't use that).
Summary I have had a number of GPS devices from PC based to Cell Phone based to stand alone. The first one of these PDR150s I received took up to 30 minues to acquire a satellite and then dropped them frequently (while driving). I returned that for a replacement and the new one acquires satellites quite quickly. So it is up to current technology as far as I can tell.
Quality: Seems OK except for their initial quality control that resulted in a bad one initially. Feels solid. The downside is it is based on Windows CE so it has the standard Windows CE instability problems. For example, one of the most exasperating problems with GPS devices is waiting for them to lock in on the satellites. This unit does that reasonably quickly but, for some reason, this information frequently does not get passed to the mapping program. For example, currently the unit has locked onto 5 satellites but the mapping program is still "waiting for GPS signal". I suspect this is a WinCE problem but that isn't clear.
Maps: Very old maps and mine has US only - not even Canada. When I contacted Pharos they told me that they just buy map data from someone else (Navteq I think) so they seem to have no concern about the fact that they are way out of date. They did tell me they are updated sometimes (no given time period or indication of how you would find out or even how you would update the device).
Routing: Very poor. It will probably get you there but in a very peculiar path. OK for the typical traveler who is more interested in small size and usable directions - which is why I bought it. However during my test, I was less then a mile from my home and it was directing me to go 5-10 miles out of my way to get there. The route selected would have gotten me there - just not quickly. Worst I have ever seen in GPS devices
Graphics: Very good 3D graphics and autozoom for driving guidance. One of the better graphics for describing complex intersections that I have found.
Text to speech: Surprisingly good function for the price.
Route calculation: Very fast but not very good routing. Maybe the 2 are connected.
Charger: Standard mini-USB so it can use many common cell phone chargers (ie. Motorola and Blackberry) - cuts down on the number of chargers required for travel.
Mounting hardware: Very poor mounting hardware included - it comes with a window suction mount with extremely limited flexibility. Usable if you aren't too concerned about visibility or where the display actually ends up.
Usability: Aside from the typical user unfriendliness of most GPS devices (for example you have to go through 3 menu choices just to cancel the route), this has the added complication of not providing any good way to create favorites on a simpler to use device (PC for example) and transferring them to the device. It does sync through active sync so if you use Outlook address book, that might work OK. I don't so haven't evaulated it. Also backing up your addresses is not straight forward and the user manual (that is all that comes on the CD with the device) is of no value. If you are used to Windows CE and ActiveSync, then you can quickly figure this out. If not, it is non-obvious. You have to connect to the PC using ActiveSync and then explore to the SD card, find the user data folder, then back that up to your PC.
Strange quirks: It has one really odd quirk. I set my measurements to US (miles/tenths of a mile). So on the driving display, it displays everything in those units - including altitude. Altitude in miles is basically useless. On the screen that shows the satellite data, however, altitude is displayed in feet.
Other: Since it is Windows CE it is hackable and there are lots of instructions by very smart folks in various forums to help you do this. I've tried some that include various viewers (movie/picture/pdf) and they work. Of course there is no I/O capability so some of these functions have limited value. The unit also comes with a sticker across the SD card slot informing you that if you break the seal, the warranty is void so that also limits interest in some cases.
"I paid 129 for it and it was worth it. It's not the best, but it gets the job done."on by chrisjen1402
Pros It gets you to the destination. The map in 3D view is very clear. Although the street names usually dont come out right, they are close enough to be helpful.
Cons it does not always use the quickest route. The maps were not current and customer service was not helpful.
Summary The GPS got me to the desired destination, but I was driving on a 25 mph road, parallel to a 45 mph road, which could have gotten me to the same destination. The exit to the highway close to my house, which has been there a few years, was not recognized in the GPS. I called customer service and they said they could do nothing because Nevtec provides their maps and they would not provide me with an update. I called Nevtec and they said Pharos gets an update every quarter and they have to provide all updates.