Navman is a well-established name in the world of navigation devices and today we’re having a quick look at the DriveDuo 2.0 with integrated dashcam.
Combining these two functions seems to make sense as the fewer obstructions in your windscreen the better, right?
Let’s see how this works out.
For starters, the box lists all the main functions and features on the outside which are too many to list here.
Here are the main ones that for me are interesting and important:
1. very high quality recording , delivering Full HD (1080p) resolution
2. Incorporates a bluetooth handsfree for safer taking calls
3. Live traffic updates and driver alerts
4. Free monthly map updates
Most of the other functions are pretty well standard on any other decent GPS device.
Because of the camera the best place would be in the middle of the windscreen as high or low as possible so as not to interfere with your vision. At the same time, because of the fact that it has a touchscreen, it needs to be within reach.
These things are incompatible in most cars. I have a Territory Ghia and I could not comfortably reach the screen at this recommended position even if my arm was twice as long!
The other option is the lower right hand corner of the windscreen which brings it within reach but camera angle is not as optimal, nor is the cable routing ideal.
That brings us to the main issue I have with this unit: the brightness of the screen – or lack of it.
Placement and the right tilt of the screen is important as it’s not an IPS screen that is easily viewable from all angles. I had noticed that readability problem already when going through the settings in my office but when I tried to install it in my car on a fairly sunshiny day, the screen washed out almost completely! No matter which way it was tilted or angled.
Of course the brightness level was turned to max but this unit fails in the most important area it needs to have: good visibility, both during the day and at night. In dark or overcast conditions it is fine but this is Australia: a sunburnt country...
This problem will be a major issue for most motorists that it negates all the other features it may have. After all, you don’t want to be squinting trying to interpret the screen, trying to navigate a tricky intersection when just a cursory glance should suffice.
I checked out a few of the other features, like the intelligent address entry: it knows as soon as you’ve typed one or two letters what the possibilities are for that location and highlights only the relevant letters for typing in the existing roads for that place.
Not a big thing and fairly standard these days but nice.
Recording is also of good quality. Given the skewed angle of where most people would install it, the video results are still useful.
Lane Departure warning is not optimal from that angle either...
Built quality throughout is excellent – minus that screen brightness issue, of course.
The bluetooth handsfree feature is good to have but don’t expect any great sound quality. We had the same disappointment with the TomTom we reviewed last year. If you need a good dedicated BT unit get one like the Jabra Freeway.
The free monthly map updates is great but you need to have a PC to make that happen. Most folks don’t even have a PC anymore. Why not have WiFi updates like the TomTom?
This particular model takes two microSD cards, one for recording dashcam video and one for data.
It has also two mini USB ports: one for power and the other one is to plug the optional rear camera in. Don’t confuse these two!
All in all: as much as we like some aspects of this full-featured DriveDuo 2.0, the screen problems let it down majorly.
For me and my team we’re awaiting the 3.0 version with a bigger, better and brighter screen.
DRIVE DUO 2.0 Unit
In-vehicle Mounting Bracket
Vehicle Power Adapter
USB Active Sync Cable
MicroSD 16GB - Class 10 included
Screen : 5" LCD Touchscreen
Product Dimensions : 13.9cm x 8.5cm x 3.6cm
Processor : 800Mhz
Internal Memory : 8GB
Memory Expansion : MicroSD up to 64GB for Video Recording
Warranty 2 Years