Pros Fast Sirf III GPS chip, multiple waypoints, bluetooth
Cons Can't see turn by turn directions, not text to speech
Summary I paid $289 on costco.com, much less than other units with the same or less capability. I've had it for 2 weeks and love it. Map displays are clear, and navigating through the menu is simple. Touch screen and buttons are well situated and responsive. Several ways to set a destination, including past history. Detour function is great. You can create a route with multiple waypoints which many more expensive units don't offer. Voice guidance is not text to speech but it is nevertheless spoken cleary, frequently enough, and, in conjunction with the clear map display, almost as good. Not being able to see turn by turn directions is a drag, but you can see the entire route displayed on the map which is the next best thing. Bluetooth for phone is much more practical than the MP3 and photo viewers other brands carry, and the speaker and mic work well.
Pros You made a wrong turn? No problem!
Cons Doesn't like to be cold, of course, neither do I...
Price. Need I say more? I think my wife paid about $389.00.
Portability. I travel a bit. So, after a good airline trip, it’s nice to have a GPS for my car rental when I’m in a foreign state.
Route. Very fast route recalculation. If you miss a turn on accident, no problem, usually within a second or two, you have a new route.
Bluetooth enabled. This is one of the few units that allows you to take phone calls right through the unit itself. You can import your entire cell phone address book right into the unit so you know who is calling you before you answer. Everyone we called from the unit seemed to be able to hear us just fine. I was actually surprised at this consider the high level of road noise my car generates. It worked from both my Treo 650, and my wife’s Motorola phone. If you put more than one phone in the unit, it will search for that first phone and try to connect to it first. If it can’t find the first phone, it will automatically look for the second one. This isn’t a quick thing.
Mounting bracket. I like this part of the unit. It uses a very strong suction cup mount. I can't imagine why anyone would mount it any place except from the windshield (you can mount it from your dash if you prefer). If you don't like the location, it's easy to adjust. Now the arm of this unit is VERY stiff. I hated it at first, until I saw how little the unit was affected by car vibration, then I understood why they made it that way. In any case, with some muscle, you can bend the mounting arm.
Wheel. Yeah, it comes with a "mouse wheel", just like the one on your mouse, only it's wide so your fingers can easily find it. It allows you to scroll quickly and easily through an address book. This mouse wheel is also a button to click and select the address you want.
Screen. Very bright and clear. The unit allows you to set your preferences for Daytime (make the screen very bright), and night time mode (when the screen dims so you're not blind while driving).
User Friendly. Well, ok, I could see someone putting this as a con too. It IS easy to use, but it DOES take some time to readjust your thinking. However, I found this to be the case for ANY GPS unit. They think backwards.
History. You know how your internet browser keep track of where you’ve been, or at least what web sites you visited? So does this unit. Sometimes, you add a destination, but don’t want it in your address book. Then if you need to go back to that address again, you can find it in your “Destination History”.
MP3. Yes, you can load MP3’s on here and use it like an iPod. I prefer not to, but I can if I change my mind!
Does Dishes. Just kidding. You wish it did though!
Way Points. You set up a trip and add way points. If something happens (like in my case, my alternator died and had to get my car repaired. It took 4 ½ hours to repair the car, thus I had to skip a visit with an uncle in Portland) you can simply jump to the next way point. Great for long trips only.
Expansion Port. Yeah, that means as accessories come out, you can add them to the unit.
Expansion Port. Only thing out for this so far (of course, it's still a fairly new unit), is an external antennae. I would like to connect an external speaker. Pioneer relies on 3rd party manufacturers to come up with these.
Volume Adjust. When adjusting the volume, I want to shut the lady up that says "Louder" or "Softer" each time the volume is a tick higher or lower.
Bluetooth speaker. Again, because my car has a lot of road noise, when driving I can't really hear the speakerphone (it’s on the back side), even when set to full volume. If an accessory external speaker was offered, I would snatch that up. Keep in mind, I have not purchased a Bluetooth device yet that goes loud enough (yes, even the headsets).
Importing Phone Numbers. I could not get my Palm Treo 650 to sync the phone book with the device. Now this is a problem with my Treo 650, not the GPS. I had to export all my Outlook contacts on my laptop into VCS cards, and one by one, import them from the Bluetooth on my laptop into the AVIC-S1. My wife’s Motorola phone worked fine.
Cold. When left out in the cold, the unit had issues coming up until the car got warm. I suggest taking it inside at night. Hard to dock them for this however, since it's stated plainly in the documentation that comes with the unit.
I got this before Christmas of 2006. My wife had me open it early, because we drove from California (Bay Area) to about Redmond, Washington. The unit, for the most part, worked flawlessly. I had the most problems in Medford, Oregon. When trying to get to my Uncle’s house, it had me pull into a high school parking lot and try to drive through their hallway area. It looked like it used to be a through road though. It also had me try to take an onramp where one didn’t exist. Fortunately, when I missed that onramp, it did know where the new one was and rerouted me correctly. I attribute this to the fact that no GPS is going to be 100% accurate as city roads do change frequently. Pioneer will release new maps as they become available to update the unit (you must register the product to get this feature, and the new maps are free).
In Washington, when going to Sammamish from Sumner, the unit told me to take an overpass off to the left, when I could’ve taken an exit to the right when nearing my destination. I discovered this, because I accidentally took the road to the right the first night. The next night, I took the overpass to the left, which then rerouted me back around close to where I would’ve gone to begin with. I decided to try Google maps to compare. Google gave me the exact same route! So I assume that the unit is compensating for traffic problems (which a family member that lives there confirmed).
When traveling home (back to California), we decided to stop to see Mt. Saint Helens volcano. You can’t type “Mount” or “Saint” to begin with, but rather “Helens” to find it. In the state of Washington, whoever named the streets was obviously very uncreative. All streets there are “South West 128th”, or “East 159th Street”. I found that this unit will come up with the proper address if you don’t bother to enter “east, west” but just put in the actual street name (which in this case is usually a number).
Yesterday, I came from Fresno, California, and was trying to drive back to San Jose, CA. I noticed the unit took me through regular city streets across town to get to highway 99. I could’ve taken longer (but faster) freeways instead. I only followed the GPS out of curiosity.
The bottom line is, no GPS is going to read your mind and tell you the best route to take. Every GPS is going to have some routing issues, so I take those with a grain of salt. The most important thing this unit offers, is that if you do make a mistake, it’ll pitch in… and quickly!
Pros It looks nice and it`s cheap
Cons Software problems, it freezes, useless costumer support
Summary "Good for the money" it`s the best comment this unit seems to get.
What it means is "you get what you pay for"!!
Althogh it looks very nice the software on my unit it`s full of bugs, it freezes constantly, it always picks the longest route......soft reset , hard reset....it`s just painfull!
I called costumer service twice and their only suggestion was to send the unit back without even try to assist me.
My suggestion....Pioneer stick at what you do best....TVs!
"best investment"on by aigleias
Pros small, light nice screen gets you where you gotta go
Cons traffic update would have been nice, traffic update would have been nice
Summary I just got it last week, started a business and need to travel from house to house all over new york, my first job was upstate different areas i put in the locations in the itinery 8 in total and it got me to all with out a problem. With out it i would have never made it then when i finished i hit the HOME button and it took me home with no problem. A+++
Pros easy to use touchscreen
Cons no updates yet available, trouble aquiring satalites, sometimes slow
Summary When I first purchased this unit (Dec 06/$500) it was an excellent unit. Now Pioneer said they would have updates available (for purchase) on SD card in Sep of 07. However, they now say there is no estimated time for these updates to become available. My boyfriend bought a Tom Tom One about 6 months ago, for $300 and all his updates are FREE. His connects right to the computer for all available updates and optional features. The AVIC-S1 does have bluetooth capabilities that work with more phones than the TomTom.