Magellan is one of the most recognizable brands in GPS hardware. But like other GPS navigator manufacturers, the company faces challenges in the automotive GPS device category as other recognizable brands continue to innovate while car makers come up with models that already have GPS and superior software. Magellan’s approach to the problem is to simply give car owners one less reason to upgrade to a more advanced car by offering feature-rich GPS devices at highly attractive prices. The Magellan RoadMate 5330T-LM is just one these navigators and it commands a price of just $160.
About the Magellan RoadMate 5330T-LM
The Magellan RoadMate 5330T-LM is a GPS device with a 5-inch display built for cars. It was first announced in January along with a plethora of other Magellan RoadMate device and later hit the scene a couple of months later. The Magellan RoadMate 5330T-LM is similar to older RoadMate devices in a lot of ways. The resistive touchscreen feels understandably cheap but the most important thing of this 2015 is bringing high-end features to a budget device.
Looking at the model name, the RoadMate 5330T-LM has a letter “T” in it which signifies its ability to track traffic updates in real time. The device uses this information to provide meaningful alerts so you can easily avoid traffic jams. Magellan also partnered with PhantomALERT to provide traffic camera alerts for a full year enabling the device to show off alerts when speed cameras and red lights are detected. This feature can be found across all new RoadMate devices so you can opt for something cheaper if prefer having that feature alone.
Magellan RoadMate devices are famous for their easy interface and the Magellan RoadMate 5330T-LM maintains that reputation by keeping the QuickSpell and OneTouch Favorites Menu intact. QuickSpell is great for the typical traveler thinking where to go next. It makes keying in a destination easier than it should be by highlighting certain keys that would complete the destination as you type even if you are not sure of the spelling. Those looking to find the most efficient routes to their favorite local destinations will find the OneTouch Favorites Menu more useful as it lets you bookmark destinations and assign icons so you can easily plan a route to these locations from your current location. Doing this is easy as the OneTouch menu rests on the corner of the main navigation screen.
These interface features aren’t new and the interface as a whole hasn’t really changed all that much but the map graphics look great. Certain buildings are rendered in real 3-D and popular landmarks have a greater significance. This is because the RoadMate 5330T-LM has its own Landmark Guidance feature allowing to use landmarks as references when necessary. For instance, the 5330T-LM may tell you to make a right at a certain hotel rather than mentioning an unfamiliar street name.
City dwellers will like the Best Parking feature which lets you plan a route directly to a parking garage’s entrance. You will also know key details like the hours of operation. The database has lots of parking garage locations and can be conveniently updated through the Content Manager.
The Magellan RoadMate 5330T-LM just wouldn’t be complete without a big, easy-to-update map database. The internal maps cover all 50 US states, Canada and Puerto Rico totaling more than 7 million points of interest. Unlike the Traffic Camera Alerts feature, you are entitled of 4 free map updates every year for the life of the device. It isn’t that surprising though given the fact that all entry-level GPS devices have it.
The Junction View further highlights the RoadMate 5330T-LM’s capability of showing of great graphics. When you enter a freeway, you are treated with a large view with arrows that show you exactly what lane you have to be in.
• Very easy to learn and use.
• Lifetime traffic alerts and speed camera detection (for 1 year) is great value for a $160 device.
• Landmark Guidance works very well.
• Interface looks dated.
• Performance could be better.
The Magellan RoadMate 5330T-LM isn’t a particularly exciting GPS navigator especially if you used a Magellan device in the past. But it has more features than similar $160 devices and it makes the sacrifices a bit more forgivable.