With the adoption of smartphones, many consumers are relying on their phone to direct them to their destination rather than a GPS. Why clutter your life with two devices when you can easily make do with one? This is no doubt one of the reasons Magellan is rolling out the RoadMate 5175T-LM; it has built in WiFi, a web browser, and a new more robust trip planner called TourDirector. A portable web browser with no data plan does sound appealing, but can these new features keep the GPS competitive in the evolving smartphone world?
One of the biggest complaints consumers have had in the past with any GPS was the costly expense of updating the maps. In some cases the new map download was more than half the price of simply buying another GPS. Owners of the RoadMate 5175T-LM will no longer have to worry, as free lifetime map updates are included with purchase. This will help the GPS stay more competitive, since Google Maps users never need to purchase upgrades.
The web browser is also a nice touch. Not everyone has a smartphone yet, and browsing the web is very cumbersome on most traditional cell phones. Giving users the ability to use the GPS for quick browsing may cause some consumers to delay the purchase of a smartphone and simply rely on their GPS. Not having a monthly data plan or other monthly charges is also another benefit over a smartphone.
The Magellan RoadMate 5175T-LM has a 5 inch hi-resolution screen that can be viewed in portrait or landscape. The suggested retail price is $299.99 and is likely to hit stores soon. With that kind of price tag, will consumers opt for the GPS, or decide to go for something with more features like a tablet? The RoadMate 5175T-LM definitely solves some of the main issues that have frustrated GPS users for years, but will it be enough to compete against new feature rich smartphones and tablets?