If you flipped through any Black Friday advertisement this year, you’ll know that traditional, stand-alone GPS units are still alive and kicking. They may not enjoy the spotlight the way they once did thanks to modern smartphones and Google Maps, but they’re still popular and still a market companies are investing in. Moving away from the influx of Android tablets and wearables, we’ve got something else running Android to talk about today.
At CES yesterday, Magellan showed off their newest model, the RoadMate 5430T-LM, which looks every bit like a run-of-the-mill GPS navigation device. What makes it different, however, is that it’s powered by Android. Magellan hasn’t said which version of Android is powering this unit, but it doesn’t really matter since users won’t ever see it or even know it’s there. Magellan’s custom GPS interface covers the traditional Android interface you’re used to, so don’t think of this as an Android device, but rather a GPS unit that happens to have Android at its heart.
Responsive, empowering, and intuitive, the affordably priced units bring all the benefits of high-end smartphone touch screens to more consumers than ever before. The initial introduction features the 5″ 5430T-LM with traffic and lifetime maps.
This unit features a large, 5″ capacitive touchscreen, which haven’t been used on many GPS units in the past. That along with the Android code powering it mean it should be very responsive and easy to use. Traditionally, GPS units have used cheaper resistive touchscreens which are difficult to press while driving. The fact that this device also comes with lifetime map updates and free traffic will also help it appeal to average consumers and fleet operators.
While it might be easy to dismiss traditional GPS units like this one, they do still have many practical uses. For example, fleet vehicles or rental cars where the GPS unit needs to remain in the vehicle. Or for people who either don’t have smartphones or don’t want to waste the battery on navigation.
The 5430T-LM will go on sale in Q1 of this year and will cost $180. Does a device like this appeal to you? Will you be picking one up?