Navigon’s most accessible satnav has a solid feature list. But can it hold its own as the smartphone looms?
Navigon 20 Easy vs TomTom Start 20 Europe
If the thought of a owning a feature-packed satnav gets you excited, but handing over hundreds of pounds for the privilege doesn’t, then take a look at this. At £80, the Navigon 20 Easy is the cheapest in the Navigon range, undercutting the similar TomTom Start 20 Europe by £20 – but it still has the bullet points on its box that you’d expect to see. The unit is just 16.9mm wide and 98mm long, but manages to incorporate a lithium battery and 3D European maps.
Navigon 20 Easy - software
Cast your eyes further down the list and you’ll see active lane assist, traffic information, speed camera locations and a pedestrian navigation option are all packed inside the Navigon, too. But cast an eye on the 20 Easy’s exterior and things are less impressive - there are no shiny plastics or chrome details here. However, at this end of the range, functionality plays a bigger part than aesthetics. So, does it do the job?
Like the more expensive units in the Navigon range, the 20 Easy comes with an effective windscreen suction mount, making the assembly and set-up of the satnav really quick and simple.
Unfortunately, though, that’s where quick and simple stops. As the physical size of the unit shrinks, so does Navigon’s usually brilliant interface, in order to cater for a smaller display. The first screen gives the option to search for a new destination, pull up a saved one or takes you to a pre-saved home address and the maps and menus are quick to appear. But you’ll only experience this slick software if you manage to press any of the buttons. The individual letter keys are particularly problematic for anyone with fingers.
Navigon 20 Easy - screen
The small screen continues to hamper the 20 Easy on the move. Even with its ‘maximised map’ feature helping to make the most of the limited space, information about time, speed and points of interest are hard to read at a glance. The routing and street layouts are much simpler to understand thanks to Navigon’s use of colour and 3D, but the more time you spend peering at the screen trying to decipher information, the less time you're spending on avoiding pedestrians.
Ultimately the Navigon 20 Easy is exactly what you would expect for £80. It performs to a good standard, but is held back by the size of its screen. As a pedestrian navigation tool it works much better, yet with the closest TomTom competitor sporting a bigger screen – and with free apps like Google Navigation on smartphones left, right and centre, the Navigon 20 Easy will have a job competing.
Navigon 20 Easy review
While the Navigon 20 Easy is cheap, it doesn’t offer a particularly pleasant user experience and has multiple free smartphone navigation apps breathing down its neck