When we reviewed the Delphi NAV200 last year, we gave it props for being a good value and offering accurate directions. Now, the company has come out with a step-up model, the Delphi NAV300, and once again, we're impressed with how much the system offers for its $399.99 price tag, including Bluetooth integration and text-to-speech functionality. But the admiration stopped once we took it out for a test drive. The text-to-speech directions aren't as smooth as other GPS devices we've tested, and the number of compatible phones is so limited that it almost makes the Bluetooth feature worthless. We were also given inaccurate directions on a couple of occasions. You'll get much better performance from the similarly priced and featured Mio C520.
The Delphi NAV300 sports a design that's slightly revamped over its predecessor's. The overall shape is the same, but it's slightly more narrow and heavier at 4.6 inches wide by 3.1 inches tall by 1.1 inches deep and 7.6 ounces, compared to NAV200's 5.3 by 3.2 by 1 inches and 6.7 ounces. The system also retains the flip-up patch antenna on the back, rather than integrating the receiver into the device. We much prefer the latter, since it looks neater and you don't have to worry about lifting the antenna every time, but it's certainly not a deal-breaker. The Delphi NAV300 is still a compact and ultraportable unit, so you should have no problems transporting it between vehicles.
On front of the device, you have a 3.5-inch, 320x240-pixel-resolution touch screen. The display has an antiglare coating, but we found that the map colors slightly washed out when viewing in bright sunlight. The touch screen is responsive, but once again, we found the virtual keyboard to be rather cramped. And while Delphi includes a stylus in the box, there is nowhere to stow it in on the device itself--a big pain that guarantees you'll misplace the stylus at some point. The NAV200 had a stylus holder, so we're not sure why the company decided to omit it this time.
Surrounding the display, there are four navigation controls. To the left, there are shortcuts to the main menu and Bluetooth settings page, while on the right, you have zoom-in and -out keys. The left spine of the Delphi NAV300 includes a 3.5mm headphone jack, an external mic port, and the power button. Other design features include a volume dial, a TMS-RDS traffic receiver jack, and the power connector on the right side, and an SD expansion slot on the bottom of the unit.
Delphi packages the NAV300 with a car charger, a vehicle mount (windshield and dash), a stylus, an SD card preloaded with maps, and reference material.
The overall navigation and multimedia features of the Delphi NAV300 remain the same as those of its predecessor, so we won't go into too much detail here (you can read more about the other capabilities in our Delphi NAV200 review). Instead, we'll focus more on the new features that the company has added to the product.
For route guidance, you get Navteq maps of the United States and Canada preloaded on the included SD card; you can get directions by entering a specific street address, an intersection, a point on a map, or a location on your Favorites or Recent Destinations list. The system can create itineraries by the fastest or shortest route; with or without interstates and toll roads; and in vehicle, pedestrian, or bicycle mode. Once you have a trip entered, you can review a list of turn-by-turn directions, and much to our delight, Delphi has added text-to-speech functionality to the NAV300, so you get actual street names with voice prompts.