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Features & Specifications
The Pharos Drive GPS 140 uses a Samsung S3C2240 400MHz CPU and runs windows CE 5.0. The display itself is a 480 x 272, 16.7-million color 4” transreflective color TFT touch screen unit. Bluetooth v2.0 connectivity allows synchronizing to a cell phone for wireless calls and data updates if you have the optional Pharos traffic plan. With SD/MMC card slot handling storage and a headphone jack, you can use the Pharos Drive GPS 140 as a MP3 player.
In addition to MP3 format wav, and wma can be played as well as video in asf, avi, mid, and wma formats. Photos in jpg or bpm formats can be displayed and battery life is rated at four hrs. the GPS chipset is SiRF StarIII with an integrated patch antenna and a connector for an external antenna. Tracking sensitivity is -159dBm and the unit has 12-channel all-in-view tracking. Physically the unit measures in at 147 x 89 x 27mm with the antenna and weighs 270g. Maps for the USA were included on a SD card for my unit. A car cigarette adapter and suction windshield mount.
Programming & Use
When turning the machine on for the first time it takes 5 minutes or so for the receiver to find the satellites before you can start to program the unit. Programming the unit is straight forward and fairly easy to do, though programming can take a while as you enter data. Entering an address takes three or more screens to accomplish and I often found that I needed to know the county that I was traveling to. If you are going to a place, you are not familiar with finding the county for correct directions can be a pain, I ended up guessing one of the two options for my trip and was correct.
Once the address is entered you are given a route directly to your address marked by a blue line on the on-screen map. The Pharos Drive GPS 140 also speaks the turn directions to you, but this could use more volume. At 70mph on the highway, with two kids in the car, it was nearly impossible to hear the spoken turn directions.
Once out trip started we realized that the route given was not the route that we normally take to our favorite beach spot. We decided to give the Pharos Drive GPS 140 the benefit of the doubt and follow the directions it gave. It appears that the maps skew towards using major highways and interstates over much faster state highways and smaller back roads. This certainly is not because the maps are not detailed enough; even neighborhood streets in newer additions in my hometown were listed.
Following the route the Pharos Drive GPS 140 gave me took about twice as long to reach our destination as it would have taken via my normal route to the Texas coast. In fact after two hours of driving via the Pharos Drive GPS 140’s route, we realized that we were crossing a Texas State highway 31 and that we were a mere hour from our home. Overall, our trip with the Pharos Drive GPS 140 directions took about 6 hours of driving, on the way home we took our normal route and made the trip in slightly more than three hours.
The directions the Pharos Drive GPS 140 gave were far from the fastest route we could have taken, but they did take me directly to the door of our hotel. Once we were in Galveston, I found the Pharos Drive GPS 140 very useful for showing directions to restaurants and places we wanted to visit, though again there were often much more direct routes to be taken that would have been faster.
After my time with the Pharos Drive GPS 140, I decided that it was great if you were going somewhere you had never been and simply needed directions. However, if you had a map or even a PC that could access Google Maps you can likely find much faster routes; I was able to in every instance where I used the Pharos Drive GPS 140 to find directions.
The Pharos Drive GPS 140 gave direction that were accurate, but seemed to neglect much faster routes to the programmed destination. This certainly takes away from the allure of the Pharos Drive GPS 140 when you are hours from your destination and realize you could have been there already had you not used the Pharos Drive GPS 140. If you have not a clue how to get somewhere and want to stick only to interstate highways, the GPS 140 is grand. If you want the fastest travel time, I strongly suggest you recheck the directions the Pharos GPS 140 gives you everything I saw says you can shave hours off your travel time on long trips.
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