Motorola TN30 review:

Motorola TN30

Pricing Unavailable
  • Recommended Use automotive
  • Features built-in speaker

Roadshow Editors' Rating

4.3 Overall
  • Design 5
  • Features 6
  • Performance 2

The Good The Motorola Motonav TN30 features crisp graphics with an intuitively designed menu. Bluetooth handsfree and text-to-speech directions are great safety features.

The Bad The TN30's software was slow, unresponsive, and extremely buggy, requiring a hard reset every other day.

The Bottom Line While there is much to like about the Motorola Motonav TN30, buggy software limits its usability.

The Motorola Motonav TN30 is part of Motorola's first foray into the world of portable navigation devices (PNDs). Like most first-generation devices, the Motonav TN30 is a charming unit with a fresh look and high ambitions, but it still has a few kinks that need to be ironed out before it can be considered a true contender in the PND market. Specifically, we found the TN30's software to be quite buggy, which ultimately hurt the usability of what would have otherwise been an excellent device.

The Motorola Motonav TN30 doesn't vary wildly from the tried-and-true PND form factor. Its 4.3-inch wide-format touch screen is crowned with a silver Motorola "M" medallion and surrounded by a glossy black bezel, with a matte black body. On the upper-right side of the bezel there is a multicolor charging-status LED and at the upper left is a pinhole microphone. The top side of the Motonav TN30 features the power button, which must be held down momentarily to activate and deactivate the device. The right side of the device is home to the SD-card slot and micro-USB port, used for charging the device and connecting to a computer. A recessed reset button can be found on the bottom of the TN30, while the left side is devoid of features. Flip the TN30 over and you'll find the rear-firing speaker behind an interestingly designed grille.

The Motonav TN30's menu is handsomely designed, with dark graphics and a simple home screen that features only four choices: Go, Map, Call, and Settings.

Drilling down into the Go menu, we found the various methods for destination entry, including address, recent and saved locations, points of interest, and a home button. The Call button takes you to the Make a Call screen. Finally, the Settings button brings up the various options for personalizing the Motonav TN30's functions.

The Map button brings up the map of your current location. It's worth noting that there is a Map button in the lower left corner of nearly every menu screen, making returning to the map a simple one-touch affair. The map itself features semitransparent buttons on the left side of the screen for changing map mode (2D or 3D) and volume control. The right side is home to the zoom buttons, a phone button that leads to the Make a Call screen or answers incoming calls, and icons for battery-charge and Bluetooth-connection status. The bottom of the screen houses an info bar that can display information about current location, time and distance to destination, or speed, direction, and altitude information, as well as the Menu button.

Finally, the Motorola Motonav TN30's cradle is a bit of an odd egg. Out of the box, it seems like a mounting bracket attached to a suction cup by a rigid plastic arm that sticks straight out. When mounted on a slanted windshield, the device pointed straight down at the ground. Confused by this odd configuration, we contacted Motorola and were informed that the arm was, in fact, flexible and--with some effort--could be bent into the position that best suits your car. Once bent, the cradle holds the Motonav TN30 firmly in position without wobble or droop.

Motorola says it has focused the Motonav TN30's functionality on the handful of features it thinks buyers will want at the device's price point.

Bluetooth handsfree is easy to use, offering onscreen dialing, a list of recent calls, a redial button, and a voice that activates your phone's voice-activated dialing, if so equipped. Caller ID information for incoming calls is displayed in a pop-up window, with options to answer or ignore the call. The internal speaker is expectedly harsh sounding, but it is loud and easy to hear.

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