The Magellan RoadMate 3065 Commuter is the flagship model of the manufacturer's 2010 line of GPS navigators. With its RDS traffic receiver and Bluetooth hands-free speakerphone, it's already one of the most fully featured units in Magellan's current lineup. However, the 3065 truly distinguishes itself from the rest of the line--and from any other GPS device we've tested--with its Traffic Wakeup feature. Once set, the RoadMate 3065 will attempt to capture a more complete snapshot of the traffic on your morning and afternoon commutes by booting itself ahead of time to download its data.
Starting with its extra-large display, the Magellan 3065 is a fairly imposing portable navigator. The unit measures 5.4 inches wide by 3.4 inches tall by 0.6 inch deep and features a 4.7-inch color resistive touch screen with a WQVGA resolution of 480x272 pixels. The screen is quite responsive and can be used while wearing gloves; it is also fairly easy to read even when it's bathed in direct sunlight, which is a huge plus for a device that will live on your windshield.
Surrounding the screen is a glossy, black bezel with a small pinhole microphone for hands-free calling. The unit's edges and rear panel are finished in a less reflective silver plastic. Along the top edge is the power/lock slider. Along the bottom edge are a Mini-USB port for charging and syncing and a microSD card slot for expanding the unit's 2GB internal memory. On the 3065's back panel is the device's loudspeaker, which is powerful enough to overcome moderate amounts of road noise with its clear spoken directions, and here also is the attachment point for the windshield mount--the source of much frustration during our testing.
During our last Magellan GPS review--of the--we criticized the device for the awkward placement of its Micro-USB charging cable. Magellan has fixed this on the 3065 by integrating the charger into the windshield mount. However, this model is plagued by a slightly more frustrating issue: the 3065's mount features a plastic tab that slides into a slot on the PND's back panel. The problem is that either the slot is too small or the tab is too thick, because we found it darn-near impossible to remove the 3065 from its mount with one hand once it was snapped into place. Anytime we got out of the car, we had to force 3065 from its mount, often sending the unit flying and knocking the dock to the floor. Perhaps over time the connection will break in, but we were a bit disappointed by this detail.
The RoadMate 3065 Commuter ships with the aforementioned windshield mount, an adhesive dashboard mounting disk, a 12-volt charger with a Mini-USB tip, and a Mini-USB cable for connecting to a computer.
The Magellan RoadMate 3065 is preloaded with detailed, street-level maps for the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico and over 6 million points of interest, including a selection of AAA tour book destinations with extended information. For example, a restaurant may include information about its type of cuisine, operation hours, detailed venue descriptions, price range, and a rating.
You can search for your destination by browsing or searching within the preloaded POIs or by inputting an address or intersection. The 3065's onscreen QWERTY keyboard is large and easy to use. Thanks to the responsive touch screen and Magellan's QuickSpell predictive text engine, we were able to input most of our addresses with only a few key presses. From the destination confirmation screen, the 3065 offers quick access to the RoadMate's multiple routing modes. You can choose from the shortest or fastest route, avoid freeways or stick closely to them, or navigate on foot with a pedestrian mode.
Magellan's OneTouch menu is yet another quick way to access destinations on the 3065. This shortcut menu, located at the top right corner of the map screen, drops down to reveal 13 customizable shortcuts that link to commonly accessed destinations and search queries. For example, you can designate a OneTouch shortcut to begin a search within a category of restaurants nearby, search for a chain of restaurants by name, or automatically set a specific restaurant as a destination. Also in the OneTouch menu are a customizable home shortcut and an emergency services button, which displays your current location and links to the nearest car repair facility, police station, or hospital.
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.