Riding time with the WorldNav 3500 has been pretty limited to this point in time.
But the time accumulated so far, along with lots of use in the SUV and static playtime has allowed me to build up a fair list of pros and cons, and a fair assessment of the system.
Once past the issue of getting a more streamlined mount set up for the system, living with the WorldNav 3500 Cycle GPS has been relatively uneventful.
For the most part it works as advertised and I continue to discover settings and abilities that are usually positive and add to the user experience. So with having said this, the following are my main observations, in no particular order.
The small flush-mounted switch is hard to find and even harder to activate when wearing any type of gloves, especially when the WorldNav 3500 is mounted in the carrier.
But on the positive side, the switching is positive and being able to put the device in Sleep mode is an appreciated feature.
The device can be powered from its internal battery or the more permanent wired connection or via a compatible USB charging connection.
With a USB power output now available on all the motorcycles and in the SUV, the WorldNav GPS can go anywhere at any time.
At 3.5 inches with a 320 x 240 pixels or RGB standard resolution, the display is the minimum I consider useful for a GPS.
And appreciating all the usual factors, a screen module with a larger display and higher resolution would do the trick for me, especially since TeleType offers them up in other models.
Backlighting is adjusted under the Setting – Preferences – Backlight menu.
It can be set to turn off after one, two or five minutes to conserve battery life or it can be left on. A touch-slider on the screen allows the user to set the intensity level.
The navigation tool settings allow the user to manually set the display for Day, Night Vision or Automatic — my usual setting.
I found that during typical daylight use, intensity was best set at 60 percent or greater and if direct light is an issue, the screen will virtually disappear, sunshade or not.
As the sun sets or when completely dark, intensity can and should be set to a comfortable non-distracting level.
I do find coloration an issue; defaults do not provide much distinction between features and in the right conditions, anything other than main features and bold lettering can be hard to discern. Other users may not see this as a problem whatsoever.
The touch screen, albeit small, works really well, with just the right sensitivity, at least for my use, with or without gloves. It can get tricky in activating the right control or scrolling the map though.
Mounting the device on the left handlebar or centre-mounted provides direct, easy and safe access and also aids in viewing the screen.
Battery Life and Charging
As claimed, with typical use, two to three hours can be squeezed out of the on-board battery, although at times, during some heavy interaction and using the Bluetooth, it needed to be plugged in after just over an hour.
A small but appreciated feature is the utility that pops up when the USB cable is plugged, letting the user select either the charge or data option by pressing the appropriate icon.
I must admit that so far the Bluetooth receiver hasn’t been used much except for static and limited riding.
Installed in my Nolan N-103 (review) the Bluetooth module works fine with the single speaker doing a good job of reproducing navigation instructions and music albeit in mono. As a dedicated connection it is very reliable.
With Bluetooth active, indicated by the industry icon to the centre right of the top panel, the two devices pair up in a few seconds.
Even after turning the GPS device on and off, bringing it out of Sleep mode or doing a hot reset, the connection is made almost immediately.
As noted in the Hardware User Guide, I found that it is indeed better to set the audio output levels on the GPS module at or close to maximum and then use the Volume + and Volume – buttons on the receiver to control the volume level.
WorldNav 3500 Applications
Appreciating all the pros and cons of any operating system, desktop or mobile, the CE-based platform provides some interesting application errors, typically when running some of the media services and occasionally during navigation activities.
In many instances, it was obvious that processing constraints were causing problems with long timeout periods observed, usually just before a general application error fault screen appeared that could only be resolved by doing a hot reset.
Being able to only use one application or feature at a time is not my ideal, but in reality, it works.
Without a doubt the navigation software is the sweet spot for me. It is very familiar in many ways but at the same time provides some real and tangible differences in getting me to where I want to go.