View Full Version : Magellan 4250 Review

08-21-2008, 03:16 AM
Here's my review on Magellans top end GPS system.

In a quickee sumary, this thing isn't worth full retail price by any means. If your looking to pay full "MSRP" for one of these pass on the deal, if you can find a deal on one for half or less the actual MSRP then grab it.

I've used now all of the top GPS systems as of 2007. I've been using the Magellan 4250 for about the past 7 months and at first loved it when compaired to what was out there, hated it for MSRP price though, bought one anyhow, got a smoking deal I couldn't pass up... $250 new in the box on Amazon. Had I paid full price for this thing it would have been sent back the first week I owned it.

Any questions by anyone buying one of these and hopefully I'll cover them in this post, or feel free to ask.

Do I love mine, yes, could it be better, yes, very much so yes.

The wide screen is great, probably a waste of money though if you're looking to upgrade from a standard screen to a wide screen. Here's why... The screens are wide in the wrong direction, if you could turn it so the things were taller instead of wider you'd have a benefit. This would allow you to see further up the road instead of the areas you'll find you could care less about off to the sides. It would look funny having a wide screen display standing on end, but it would serve a better purpose.

Of all the GPS units I've used when it comes to routing and expected arrival time this Magellan rules hands down. It has a knack for picking the absolute best routes. It has pin point accuracy for giving me an exact arrival time. These two things are its huge pluses.

The wide screen isn't as much of a plus as I'd wanted it to be when I made this transition. The info to the sides you'll find to be irrelevant to you. It's info up the road you want to see. Wide screen is good, they just need to make these things so you can turn them 90 degrees and get more up front info out of it.

Voice commands are worthless with this. Voice commands would be great if you could use it to enter in an address, with this model that isn't possible, the voice commands you can give it are worthless, I've disabled the feature entirely. Don't buy this if that's what you want, and if you find another model out there capable of this go for it instead, it would be a great feature if it works. From what I've heard it doesn't work perfectly on any of them so ignore it till someone gets this ability actually working as expected.

Magellan did just release a patch thats easy to download and install for all of their GPS units that makes route calculation considerably improved, If you have one already go to Magellan GPS (http://www.magellangps.com/support) and download/install the patch. It'll take your route calculations from about 10 seconds to 3 seconds or faster.

Most annoying bug with this model (hopefully they will fix in the next patch)... Route recalculations. You enter in your destination while parked, usually in a parking lot. It initialy gives you a good route, however, as soon as you pull out of the parking lot onto the street it wants you to start on it wil always immediately go into a calculating route mode again. This next route it then recalculates for you will always be insane. Often/always telling you to go several miles in the wrong direction, then having you turn around just to get back to the same point you started from to place you on the actual route. This in time you'll find to be a very annoying bug in their software.

Another annoyance in this model is their claimed ability to route around an area. This doesn't work for **** with this thing. Perfect example... you have a section of highway that is good to travel on, however in town at a point it becomes gridlock congestion. You can only tell this model to reroute you around specific points in your route. More specifically, you can only tell it to reroute you at turns. So you could travel down a 100 mile stretch of highway knowing at 101 miles traffic gets congested and you want a way around it. There is no way to do this despite how they claim the ability. Trying to reroute around a known congestion area by removing the turn to it doesn't work either, it will instead route you backwards out of your way just to get you back into the area you were trying to avoid in the first place.

It gives you the best route, this is for sure, however it has no ability to route you around known problem areas. Depending on the time of day this "fastest" route it gives you may not be the fastest and you have no control over routing around it. Newer Tom Toms claim to give you time of day known traffic habit routing, this would be far superior if it actually works (I have my doubts). Magellan claims the ability to do this in a way with FM transmissions for an additional monthly fee. Its expensive and doesn't work either (as far as Sacramento, CA where I tried it), not to mention its only available in limited major cities.

Another annoyance with this model, they put all the cord connections on the wrong side of it. It works fine if you're in some backwards ass country that drives on the wrong side of the road, but in the US the cords should have gone into the right not the left side of this. The USB style connector also doesn't make for a tight connection. The plug repeatedly comes loose and you get a "stay on battery power" prompt at random times when the cord is plugged in.

It does do what its supposed to do very well though. It gives superior routing over all the other units I've tried. It also gives you a realistic and reliable expected time of arrival. Other units I've used seem to exaggerate the drive time, Tom Tom's being the worse for doing this, example, telling you the route will be 2 hours and in reality it turns out to be 2 and a half hours. I can set my watch by the time estimations this Magellan gives, almost to the second.