All navigation and system settings on the Garmin StreetPilot i3 are accessed through a simple menu system. The main page consists of three selections: Where To, View Map, and Settings. Where To lets you create a route by entering addresses, cities, or intersections, or you can use the POI, favorites, and recent-destination menus. Routes can be created based on the fastest time or shortest distance, and you can avoid the use of toll roads, unpaved roads, highways, and carpool lanes.
Once you've established a route, select View Map to locate your position and follow the highlighted roads and direction arrows that will guide you to your destination. A bar at the top of the screen informs you of upcoming maneuvers, and you can hit the Back button to review the entire route and all associated turns. While in navigation mode, two small boxes on the bottom of the screen display the estimated time of arrival to your destination and the distance to your next maneuver. Of course, you can just follow the audible directions, which are available in 12 different languages. Finally, the Settings menu lets you adjust speaker volume and screen brightness, as well as choose map views and amount of detail, day or night screen colors, and units of measure (statute or metric).Performancewise, the Garmin StreetPilot i3 proved to be a worthy road companion. We had to wait 4 minutes to obtain a 3D fix (four satellites) the first time we powered it up, but subsequent starts took just a matter of seconds. More important, route calculation was swift and precise, as was rerouting when we strayed from our original course. The receiver and built-in antenna did an admirable job of tracking our position; we maintained a strong signal throughout most of our journey, losing it only when we traveled through a heavily wooded area in the mountains of upper New York state. Voice directions were clear, providing plenty of warning as we approached an upcoming turn, and our location on the map was accurate.
We like the fact that the Garmin StreetPilot i3 also runs on replaceable batteries, enabling you to use it on foot as a city guide or hiking navigator. Two alkaline batteries gave us 5.5 hours of power--just short of the rated 6 hours--before they ran out of juice.