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Saturday, June 19, 2010

CarNavi Manila launches GPS navigation

CarNavi promises to have the most affordable, accurate and commercially available GPS navigation device in the Philippines.

It's a simple looking 3.5" (or 4.3" depending on the model) touch screen, car dashboard-mounted gadget, that will provide a map of any location on the Philippines, and provide turn-by-turn navigation directions while you are driving.

I was able to watch a demo of the device, and it seemed functional and convenient to use. Although I couldn't really test the GPS signal, since the demo was staged indoors and stationary only. The maps look accurate enough and the CarNavi staff showed me maps of other cities in Manila. Apparently, the capital and other major provinces are fully mapped out, but some of the other provinces were just mapped until main road level. They also provide maps of other South East asian countries as a bonus.
The directions are given by voice (either in English or Filipino), and works similar to the GPS navigation devices found in the US. The driver selects his destination either by searching it on the device, or choosing it on the map. Once the navigation is on, a voice will dictate which turns the driver will need to make in order to reach that destination.

CarNavi has 2 models to choose from: a PhP14k or a PhP10k model ($300 or $200), which only vary by size and additional features like mp3 and video playing, but both will have the same basic GPS navigation capability. These units are now available in Robinson's Appliance center, S&R, and selected electronic dealers. You may contact them at 632-8282023 for more details.

I was tempted to get one, but decided to wait for more feedback first. I will settle with the Google Maps on my iPad as my driving guide for the meantime. But for those people who frequently drive around the country, or get lost easily, you may want to check this out.

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