WorldNav 3000 XL
Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been using TeleType’s WorldNav 3000 XL GPS navigation system. The main attraction to this device is the combination of features and price. $399 gets you a GPS with a 3.5 inch touch screen display, text to speech driving verbal directions, MP3 player, and preloaded NAVTEQ maps. That is a great featureset for $399.
When I fist opened the box and turned on the device I noticed it was already tuned into my home state. Coincidence? Special treatment from TeleType? No. According to the printed user guide if you purchase the WorldNav 3000 XL directly from TeleType it comes set to your home state. Nice touch!
The WorldNav 3000XL is fairly light weight, about 8 ounces. It comes with a suction cup mount for the windshield which was strong and I never had trouble with the GPS vibrating or moving. The antenna flips up in the back; the signal was strong and it quickly acquired my position. Once when I forgot to flip the GPS antenna up and the device worked fine anyway. Inside the GPS is powered by the SiRFStar II chipset.
After powering on the device the WorldNav 3000 XL will great you with “GPS position fixed, ready to navigate” within a few seconds. The majority of the screen shows a map of the current location with two buttons up top for “Where To” and “Menu”.
“Where To” allows you to advance plan a route by entering a start and then destination or just entering a destination and routing from your current position. Entering locations can be done either by address, POI, Intersection, saved locations (My Points), a history of prior addresses used, or your home.
A disappointment with the WorldNav 3000 XL was finding addresses. I frequently was greeted with “No match found, please modify your search”. In one case I was trying to find the Apple Store in Tampa, FL. I knew it was on “N West Shore Boulevard” but didn’t know the street number. So I searched by Address, Florida, Tampa, then “N West Shore” as the street name and left the house number black. No results.
Eventually after trying several other spellings of the street name I found the street I was looking for. I had also tried finding it as a POI. I selected ‘Where To’ -> ‘Destination’ -> POI -> ‘By Address’ -> ‘Florida’ -> ‘Tampa’ -> ‘All’ (since I didn’t know the category) -> ‘Apple’. However this sequence would always confuse the WorldNav 300 XL and it would reset. Selecting the ‘Shopping’ category did the trick though and found the POI.
A subsequent firmware update provided by TeleType fixed the crash I experienced while looking for the POI. Company engineers also told me they are currently working to make the street search more forgiving.
Other GPS systems on the market will start to narrow down the list of all street names in the city/state you have selected while you are typing. The WorldNav 300 XL has you enter your search then click next before displaying any results which made finding addresses tricky sometimes. However there was never a case that I didn’t end up finding the address eventually.
Routing was not quite as fast as other GPS navigation systems, however it wasn’t doggedly slow either. (I’ve seen much slower systems.) Routes of about 60 miles would take about 20 seconds. A route of 860 miles was calculated in just under one minute.
While navigating the voice directions were plenty loud enough to be heard over the radio while zooming down the Interstate. The voice prompts have a volume control and the voice was clear even at a high volume. The text to speech worked great speaking clear street names in the directions. Prompts were given frequently ahead of time and a chime alerts you when you are directly at the turn. When I purposefully missed a turn the device quickly and accurately rerouted me.
The WorldNav 3000 XL Standard (which is what I reviewed) does not come with any SD cards since all of the maps come preinstalled, but does come with an SD slot. I had an SD card kicking around anyway so I decided to try out the MP3 player. You can use the included software to transfer MP3 files to the device. The software is PC only however I figured out that Mac users can trasnfer MP3 files onto an SD card (put them in a folder called MP3) and then pop the SD card into the WorldNav 300 XL.
The audio quality while playing MP3 music isn’t going to win any sound awards, but it does work. You can pick what you would like to hear from the MP3 player and then return to the navigation screen to keep an eye on where you are going. The music stops to issue voice directions when necessary and then resumes playing, just as I hoped it would.
The directions and maps displayed on the screen were bright with the route clearly marked. The screen will automatically zoom in on your intersection as you approach an intersection however in some cases I would have liked it to have zoomed in a little earlier. I could be wrong but it appears it decides how soon and how far to zoom in based on speed. Sometimes while merging on or off higher speed roads it was a little difficult to tell which way to go without zooming in more.
The night mode worked well to reduce glare and keep night-vision. Using night mode I would turn the display brightness all the way down and when turning back to day mode I would turn the brightness all of the way back up.
For $399 the WorldNav 3000 XL is a great GPS navigation system combining “pro” features like pre-installed maps, text-to-speech directions, 3D touch screen display, and an MP3 player at an entry-level price. Further good news is that most of the issues I had with the device were not hardware based (except for the MP3 sound quality) and can be addressed with firmware updates. Thumbs up for the WorldNav 3000 XL!