Happy New Year!! it’s a new year and time for a new review from me!
A couple weeks ago I took a look at the TomTom One Xl GPS, today I’ve got another GPS unit for review but it’s much more than just a GPS device though. It’s from our friends at Geeks.com who have many discount GPS devices like the one I have today. It’s the Advent ADV800XM 4” Touchscreen portable GPS navigation System and it’s not only a GPS device but an FM transmitter, MP3 player and even a photo viewer with the option of adding XM Satellite radio and even a Back Up Camera to the unit for even more functionality.
I was curious how something like the Advent, which is from Audiovox, compared to the ever popular TomTom series of GPS devices. I’ve found that TomTom is still the king of GPS devices, but this little Advent does have some very cool features that even I appreciate. Sp read on to learn more…
Advent ADV800XM 4" Touchscreen Portable GPS Navigation System w/USA & Canada Maps, MP3, FM, Voice & XM Satellite Ready
This Advent ADV800XM 4-inch Touchscreen Portable GPS Navigation System will amaze you by everything it can offer you! It comes equipped with a 12 GB Hard Drive with USA and Canada Maps, an MP3 Player, JPEG Photo Viewer, an FM Modulator, Voice Prompts, and even comes XM Satellite Ready! If you’re planning a road trip or find yourself in search of how to get from point A to point B in the shortest time, this GPS System is exactly what you need!
This ADV800XM provides door-to-door navigation for both single and multi-point routes using adaptable route parameters. Navigation with XM is capable of planning routes throughout the whole map region installed on the memory card. Unlike some other products, the ADV800XM does not require that you change maps or switch to a poorly detailed general map to navigate between map segments or countries. Get complete freedom to go wherever you wish!
-4-inch TFT Color Anti Glare Touch Screen
-Digital 24 bits RGB Display Interface
-480 x 272 Panel Resolution
-320 cd/m brightness
-350 Contrast Ratio
-16.7M Maximum Color
-11 Million Points of Interest
-12 GB Hard Drive with Full US & Canada Mapping
-Built-In MP3 Player
-Built-In FM Modulator
-XM Mini-Tuner Ready
-Turn-by-Turn Voice Prompts (Male or Female)
-English, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, German, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Portuguese, Swedish
-Playback format: MP3, JPG
-Maximum Audio Output: 0.5 watt x2
-3.5 mm Headphone Jack
-For Back-up Camera Input a Cradle is required
-SMB XM Antenna Input
-MCX External GPS Antenna
-4 GB max SD/MMC Slot
-USB 2.0 Full Speed Interface
-Master Reset Switch located on the bottom
-3.21 x 6.25 x 1.48-inches (H x W x D, approximate)
Now you know the specs and features, here’s an unboxing video for you:
…and then of course I’ve got the still pictures or you as well.
The Advent GPS is actually from Audiovox if you didn’t know that, and it actually runs Windows CE.
If you saw the video then you’d know that this products comes with a lot of stuff besides just the GPS unit.
We’ve got a remote control, both AC and car chargers, headphones, carrying case, battery, antenna, cd and mounts.
The GPS unit itself is rather large especially when compared to the TomTom I reviewed previously. it’s about as tall as the TomTom but it’s much longer. Considering it’s got a lot more features, I guess the size is relative… It’s black and has a large red button on the front with a house on it, it’s the ‘home’ button in case you didn’t figure that out. To the right of the 4” touchscreen is two speakers, they’re small but fairly loud.
On the top you’ll find a volume knob and that’s about it.
On the left is where you’ll find the audio, power and USB connections:
On the right side is the SD card slot and the Xm mini slot as well.
On the bottom is a data connection of sorts and the main power button.
On the back, not pictured, is just the spaces for the mount and antenna jacks.
The Advent GPS is packed with features making it much more than a GPS device, but we’ll start with the GPS part.
The main screen has six options, Navigation, XM Ready, Music, Back Up Cam, Media and Setup. I’m not covering the XM Ready or the Back Up cam as I don’t have any of those add-ons, but you can get them separately.
If you click the XM ready button it says check XM tuner. If you click the Back up Cam button it gives you an error saying no camera attached.
Like any GPS device it takes a few seconds to start up, and you’ll have to agree to the terms of service or warning.
I’m accustomed to TomTom on both my phone and the stand alone unit, so using the Advent is a very different experience for me. The map can have three different views, and all three just seem small to me. I think the main reason it’s seem small is that a lot of the screen is taken up by information and buttons, you can get rid of some of them but not all, and you could even add more if you wanted to.
The actual navigation with the Advent seems to work well but I immediately noticed a very big difference between it and the TomTom I have. The Advent is much slower to update the position, it take about t2-3 seconds before your position registers on the screen.
As I was playing with it I also found that it’s nowhere near as configurable or customizable as the TomTom is. So you won’t be changing icons, changing the start screen and the voices are very limited. Then again with the TomTom you don’t have to change anything it works as is, but it’s nice to be able to customize it.
Hitting the menu button take you to the settings for navigation to Edit Route, Edit Favorites, Setup, Trip Computer, Home Address and Office Address.
Under Edit Route you don’t have many choices, just Detour, Cancel and Find POI.
Under Edit Favorites you’ve got an Address Book, Home Address, Office Address, Trail Book and Trip Book. These are just options to edit these things and nothing more.
Under Setup you can adjust Navigation preferences, Display options, User Input Settings, Location Reset and System settings. These are all pretty much self-explanatory options…
Now I used this GPS on regular roads and never went on the highway or anything like that. I checked the trip computer and saw my max speed was 82 and I averaged 47.16 and I was like that’s impossible than I realized it’s in Kilometers per hour and not Miles per hour as we normally use in the states. For a product that is sold in the US you’d have to wonder why it’s set to default at Km/h… oh well, you can just go into the preferences and change it..
The navigation system works, but it’s not a TomTom that’s for sure. I think if I never used a TomTom then I might like this, but after using the TomTom for so long it’s vey hard to get accustomed to something else really.
The satellite acquisition time of your location is comparable to the TomTom, it’s fairly fast, but as I mentioned it seems there’s a long lag between when you move and the the Advent updates itself. Not sure why, but it can be annoying… the TomTom is almost instantaneous in the way it updates.
Ok well let’s jump back to the main menu and take a look at the other features in this unit.
If you click Setup you’ll have three choices, General, Audio and System.
Under general you’ll find volume, calibration of screen, brightness settings and duration of menu settings.
Now under Audio you’ve got two choices and this is where two of the main features come into play. The Advent is actually an FM transmitter also so you can transmit the music stored on it through your car stereo. You can also just use the built in speakers as well.
The last option is System and this just tells you the version etc. There is a newer version available but I didn’t update as I wanted to review the unit as is.
If you click the Media button you can view your photos of the store demo, and no you can’t get rid of the store demo option…
The photo browser is basic but it works, the quality is actually fairly decent. You can view them through the viewer or full screen in slide show format.
The Music player works fine for what it is and the speakers actually sound pretty good for such a small unit. You can put your music directly onto the hard drive via the USB cable or on a memory card. The media player has all you basic controls needed for playback and it’s easy to use.
I have to mention the remote, while it’s an interesting addition I don’t see myself using a remote control while I’m driving. It might be useful for other situation like if you’re not in a car though.
That brings me to my next point, this would make a great portable GPS system for hiking or camping. You can take it with you for navigation and have your music as well. if you’ve got the XM Satellite add-on you’ll have access to that on the go as well. You can buy portable GPS units just for hiking etc, but this one would be much more valuable I think as it’s really a couple devices on one.
It would be the perfect little device if it played movies and videos as well, but sadly it doesn’t.
Battery life seemed fine I used it for several hours without charging it, but since it comes with dual power you most likely won’t have to worry about battery life.
Overall the Advent GPS isn’t a bad device, but when compared to the TomTom it just doesn’t stack up too well. The TomTom is a much superior device really.
For what it is though I like it honestly, but it won’t replace my TomTom in my car that’s for sure. As something to take with me places other than driving, yes it can be a valuable tool or product really.
+Lots of features
+Both car and AC chargers included
+Great little all-in-one device
-Slow to refresh after position change
-Large compared to others
-Only MP3 and JPG formats supported
Disclosure: This product was given to MobilityDigest for review by the company for review purposes only, and is not considered by us as payment for the review, we do not, and never will, accept payment from companies to review their products.