Magellan RoadMate 3065 Commuter review:

Magellan RoadMate 3065 Commuter

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Once you're under way, the RoadMate 3065 offers text-to-speech spoken turn-by-turn directions, graphic lane guidance for freeway intersections, an autozoom function that magnifies the map view of upcoming turns, and a choice between 2D- and 3D-map views.

As mentioned earlier, the RoadMate 3064 features an RDS traffic receiver that provides the device and its user with free traffic flow and incident data for the lifetime of the unit. This traffic service is ad-supported, so periodically text ads will appear on the map screen just below the top status bar. Also, when your destination has been reached, an end-of-trip screen will be displayed that features a large text ad and offers options for finding parking, selecting the next destination, or heading home. The overall experience is no more obtrusive than the Garmin's free ad-supported traffic feature, but if you are opposed to advertising on your GPS device too, then this may not be for you.

A feature called Traffic Wakeup asks first for the times and destinations of your morning and evening commutes. Once set, the 3065 will boot 30 minutes before you depart and begin receiving traffic updates along your chosen route. The idea is that by allowing a wider window in which to receive traffic updates from the RDS broadcast, the RoadMate can have a more complete understanding of the road conditions when choosing your route to work or back home. You can choose what days of the week the feature is activated and can input unique morning and evening times for each day of the week.

Bluetooth hands-free calling also makes an appearance in the RoadMate 3065's feature set. You can pair your phone using a four-digit PIN. Once paired, and if the your phone supports PBAP, the 3065 will automatically import the first 100 contacts from the handset's address book. The phone functions are located in a discrete phone menu that is separate from the main menu and accessed by tapping a Bluetooth phone icon from the map screen. From the phone menu, access is given to the 3065's imported phone book, a list of nine speed dial entries, and a call log. You can also access your paired phone's voice command system with the touch of a button for safe dialing of numbers that are not imported into your phone book.

As the flagship model in Magellan's RoadMate lineup, the 3065 Commuter is doing pretty well for itself. We like its snappy performance for menu navigation and routing, as well as the accuracy of its GPS antenna once linked. Not once during our testing did the 3065 get confused by an access road running parallel to the highway and it was almost never fooled by our attempts to trick it by taking incorrect exits and turns along our route. Within seconds of each attempt, the RoadMate had already rerouted our path and begun reading off directions. However, we'd like that antenna to do a better job of holding on to its satellite lock in urban environs. Starting a trip from within the urban canyons of downtown San Francisco's financial district often ended in frustration while the device fruitlessly searched for its location until clearer skies were found.

Free lifetime traffic data--even of the ad-supported nature--is always a welcome addition to our navigation experience, and the Traffic Wakeup feature is an interesting solution to the latency issues that are inherent in RDS traffic systems.

Bluetooth hands-free calling is also a nice addition to the 3065's package. We like that the system supports PBAP address book importing. Although we like that there's an easy-to-hit button for phone features on the map screen, we were a bit confused that the phone options weren't located in the main menu where the rest of the device's options reside. Calls made over the RoadMate's Bluetooth speakerphone were rather clear and quite easy to hear over normal road noise, although not nearly as loud as from a standalone Bluetooth speakerphone.

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