Pros: inexpensive, points of interest, lots of options, gets me places, nice to have for emergencies
Cons: can't be updated, Bluetooth, windshield mount, not easy to use, battery life
I named my GPS "JOHN" JENSEN since it says Jensen on the top of the GPS and Navigation System on the bottom. "John" will be the name that I refer to when speaking about the Audiovox NVX430BT system. My dad waited outside of Circuit City for an hour about 2.5 years ago to purchase this GPS for me for $150 on sale. Now, the GPS is worth about $50-100.
DISCLAIMER: Let me start by informing you that I am NOT an electronic guru. I can't give you specs about this, that, and the other thing. What I can tell you is the trials and tribulations about this particular GPS that I have used for a few years. If you are looking for some specific, hoity toity review, my apology, for you will not find one here.
In The Box
The GPS unit comes wrapped in bubble wrap. There is a car charger to put into your cigarette burner outlet in your car and then goes to the GPS. There is also a computer USB charger. There are directions included, that I did not read. Also, a windshield mount is included. One piece suctions to your windshield, the other piece clips onto your GPS. A black, soft carrying case (that is currently missing) is included as well.
John gives you maps of the United States, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and Canada. It will tell you your speed, distance to destination, estimated time en route, and estimated time of arrival. John's voice will chime and tell you to "Turn right in 400 feet" but does not say street names. The antenna is built-in. There is also a "digital player" to play MP3s, photos and other digital imaging, but I have not used, nor will discuss this feature. John also features built in points of interest, built in speakers, 2D & 3D views, and hands free calling via Bluetooth.
Before I go into details, this GPS gives you many different options for how you want to view your GPS. There are a few different views like "fly-over" which gives you an aerial view. You can what you want on the left hand side of the screen (ETA, speed, milage left, time countdown, etc). You can set how you want to your screen to look like (2D, 3D, fly-over, etc).
The LCD screen is 4.3 inches. It has a color screen & is touch screen. There is a stylus inside of the screen (that my friend pointed out to me) to navigate through the different screens, however, my finger usually does the job. And, John likes when I touch him. Buttons on the side control the volume and screen brightness. A button on top turns the unit on or off.
The big clinker with this GPS is that there is no possible way to update maps. It doesn't give you that capability. So, the maps on this GPS are obsolete. New roads, new developments, and anything that didn't exist in 2007 will not be shown on this GPS. As for the maps it does have, I have no qualms with the maps. It gives me a pretty accurate location of houses, buildings, and other points of interest.
Sometimes, I'm picky and tell John to do certain things. I can tell him to avoid highways, avoid toll roads, avoid ferries, avoid u-turns, and use minimal motorways. I can also tell him that I want to get to my location the fastest route possible or the shortest distance possible. John tells me when to turn (upper left hand corner of the screen), what road I am on (top of screen) and what road I will be going on next (bottom of screen), my ETA, time countdown, and miles left to travel on the left hand side. The right hand side shows battery life, a GPS signal (red for no signal, grey for signal), sound, and arrow (indicating direction traveling). John is pretty quick with rerouting me whenever I make a mistake or decide to go an alternate way.
It takes time and patience to learn how to navigate through the menus and options. There are many different aspects to this GPS, and to the non-savvy electronics person, this might not be the easiest piece of equipment to use. It took a lot of playing around to know what I was doing with this device.
One word - sucks. The battery is integrated and uses lithium polymer. You can fully charge the unit on your computer and the battery won't even last you an hour car ride. So, I just use the car charger the unit comes with and have the GPS plugged in whenever I use it.
My Humble Opinion
John and I have a love/hate relationship.
I love John because he's gotten me out of some pretty hairy situations. The reason why I received the GPS from my dad is because I got lost in Irvington, NJ, which is a ghetto, run-down, poverty stricken area. Since John and I became friends, I don't get lost as frequently and he always gets me home, even if I don't think it is the most direct route. You can also tell John that you are walking, a car, SUV, or truck. He likes knowing more about you.
I hate the battery life. John just doesn't have the endurance and stamina for a long car ride. Even when fully charged, he does not have much life.
I love John because he is has a lot of options & is pretty easy to use. John can be programmed to your liking. I have what I want on the left side panel (ETA, timer countdown, mileage remaining). I have the view that works best for me and the options that I like to see when reaching a destination. I usually have the address of where I am going and then I add it in the address section and it routes me there. If you have the coordinates of the location, you can plug them in as well. The touch screen is easy, the sound is clear and loud, and the options are plenty. You can have a man speak or a woman speak, as well. Since the GPS is named John, I have a man speak.
I hate how this is the second John Jensen I have had. One day after the 2 year warranty expired, I get into my car, plug in my GPS and find that John is not making any sounds. After playing with it a little, I figured I blew the speakers out. I called the company, with all of my information & box handy, and told them that if they don't get me a new one, I will never purchase another Audiovox product ever again since there products only last up until the warranty. I went to UPS, sent in my GPS (I missed John, and was lost, for 2 whole weeks!), and they returned me a refurbished GPS. The last user was from Montana, since some addresses were from that state. The latest John is working fine. The company serviced him and made me a happy Audiovox customer.
I love John's points of interest, especially when I am in need of gas or food. John knows a lot of information. When my gas light is on, and I am in a panic, I usually go to the points of interest section (separated by category - restaurants, gas, church, bank) and see what is near where I am and have John route me to wherever I need to go. John is so helpful!
I hate the windshield mount, for it is a piece of garbage. This is kind of foul, but I literally spit on the suction piece to make it stick to my windshield. Otherwise, the piece of garbage falls every 5 feet. In the warmer months, the suction stays where it was placed, but in the colder months, I would love to glue it to my windshield.
I like the screen. It's not too small. It's in color. The words are clear. You can visualize yourself on the road. You can see the upcoming streets. You can see little markers for banks and gas stations.
I don't like the Bluetooth. I've used it in the past and about 9 out of 10 people say they can't hear me through the GPS when the unit is fairly close to my face, the windows are rolled up, and the music is off. The feature is useless.
I like how it has a history of addresses. For places that I don't go often, it's nice to just go back in the history and have the address already there. Also, it has "home" and "work" options that you can press and it'll route you there as well.
I don't like that John cannot be updated. The maps are old. My boyfriend lives in a new development and according to John, he lives in the woods. The biggest flaw of this GPS is that you can't update the maps. It doesn't have real traffic time. It doesn't have some of the bigger and better features that the newer (and more expensive) GPS's have today.
I like how much John prompts me. He keeps me on my toes. He tells me when to turn, where to turn, and warns me a few times before the actual turn. John keeps me alert.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Purchase this GPS if you see it priced at $50 or lower, live in a high car theft area, or really, really need a GPS since you get lost all the time. You must be somewhat tech savvy to use this GPS because the features, options, and menus take some time to get used to.
Do not purchase this if you have the money to spend on a better quality, easier to use, GPS.
John is my driving buddy. He's gotten me out of bad areas. He's dealt with me screaming at him when he tells me to make a left hand turn when I can't. John loves me and I hate him. John probably hates me, and I love him.
You definitely get what you pay for with this product.
John is average. 3 stars.
Thanks for the read,