The Nextar M3-MX has a 3.5-inch touch screen, built-in speaker, voice guided turn-by-turn directions, and pre-loaded maps for the US and Mexico on a 2GB SD card. The onboard address book can store up to 300 addresses and the point of interest database has 1.6 million points in it. The device can play MP3 and video files and features day/night mode for easy viewing. Power comes from internal rechargeable Li-ion battery. The unit ships with an in-home AC adapter for recharging and a car DC adapter for power during trips.
I have tried several GPS devices over the years and found most of them to be lacking for use in rural areas like mine. I live outside a city with a population of about 150,000. In the vicinity are all sorts of small communities and often the new roads, neighborhoods and smaller old streets and county roads are not listed. In fact, often my neighborhood, which has been here for four years isn’t listed in the maps of GPS devices.
The Nextar M3-MX found my neighborhood, though oddly my street was not named on the maps. The map database for the Nextar M3-MX is very detailed and is hands down the best I have used. I tested the system on a trip from my home to Austin (about 300 miles) and trusted the device to route me to an address I had never been to.
The device took me through the actual shortest route between the two places. One person traveling with me had been to the address before and actually used the route given by the GPS to get there and back minus a few enhancements. The GPS was able to shave about 30 minutes off the total travel time that it usually took for my copilot to make the trip thanks to routing us around cities via small side roads. The maps were so detailed that as we drove through the very rural countryside even single lane dirt roads were listed.
Entering an address is a bit of a chore and could be improved. The database tries to find the city as you type letters. I found that it was easy to skip over sections of the address input at times. GPS accuracy was good.
It took the Nextar M3-MX about two minutes under cloud cover and surrounded by trees to get a cold GPS fix. After the initial GPS fix was achieved, the system was able to get a new GPS lock after powering down in seconds.
When traveling at lower speeds the maps were very easy to follow with prompts that were clear and visuals making it easy to see where your turn was. I did find that lag could be an issue at times when traveling at higher speeds.
I missed one turn on the trip while on the freeway going about 80 mph because it looked like the turn was on the other side of an overpass. The system is able to reroute very quickly in the event you miss a turn, reroutes too on average about three seconds to accomplish.
The suction cup mount included with the device works well and held the GPS to the windshield of my car even over very bumpy roads with only slight vibration. Volume levels from the system are loud enough to hear over people in the car talking. Overall, the Nextar M3-MX is a top-notch GPS device.
The Nextar M3-MX is a great GPS device offering most of the features drivers want with maps that are very accurate and detailed. The Nextar M3-MX is a great GPS device.
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