|Magellan Maestro 4350 4.3-Inch Portable GPS Navigator with Bluetooth & Integrated Traffic
|List Price: $499.99
Our Price: Too low to display
- New 4.3-inch wide-screen, full-color, anti-glare touch display
- OneTouch User Interface: The fastest, easiest, and most personalized user interface available saves frequent POI and category searches by personalizing shortcuts to commonly used destinations and favorites such as coffee shops.
- Integrated Live Traffic Functionality: Includes a free 3-month traffic subscription, which provides real-time traffic updates and automatically reroutes drivers when an alternate route is available.
- Pre-loaded with maps of the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico, all available in 2D, 3-D, and street-level
- 3D Landmarks: 3D versions of historic landmarks, including stadiums and bridges, in key U.S. metropolitan areas help drivers and pedestrians better orient themselves with their surroundings.
- One step back.
Decided to purchase this GPS after reading review at [...] and seeing Gold Box deal on Amazon. (Previous GPS is a Magellan Maestro 3100, which is almost 3 years old.)
PROS: Goes without saying, but display is much nicer and redraws faster, and thus better for complex navigation on local roads. Acquires signal and calculates (and recalculates) routes very fast. Symbol indicating where you are is NOT centered on screen, so more real estate devoted to where you are going (at least if you choose heading up).
CONS: Must update software before first use to eliminate high pitch buzz from speaker. Distance calculation seems to be off, leading to delays in instructions during freeway routing. During freeway routing, it does not tell you to exit, merely to "merge right." Thus, instructions are often too late for driving at SoCal freeway speeds. Also, to notify you of an exit, it only states the number, not the name (at least not until after you exit, then it tells you to turn onto whatever street). Maybe this is an option that I can switch, but I did not bother to find out given its other flaws. Lastly, it does NOT tell you which side of the street your destination is on (even after several routes to different destinations to test this).
I am frankly amazed that the 4350 is NOT better in EVERY way compared to my old 3100, given that there were almost three years, and so many other Magellan GPS models released, between the two....more info
- Magellan 4350 - Excellent GPS features (long review)
As this is a lengthy review, those not wanting to wade through the entire text can find a summary under the 'Conclusions' heading.
All tests were conducted in the Northeast U.S. Although I don't own another portable GPS, I do have a factory installed navigation unit in my 2006 Audi which I've utilized for several side-by-side comparisons (the Magellan is actually for my wife's car).
Updates to the 4350's operating system and navigational firmware are available at no-cost from Magellan's website. These significantly improve the functionality and stability of the unit and if you own one you'd be making a mistake not to install them. The procedure is made relativity easy by the CD based instruction manual that comes with the unit. It took me about fifteen minutes to bring my unit up to date and in a month of testing since, it has never crashed, frozen, or seriously misbehaved. All findings posted here are based on a unit updated to the following: OS Version 00.42.01.0919 and Navigation Version 18.104.22.168084. As the 4350's were just released in September 2008 there are no map updates available or required.
If powered by an ignition controlled power source the 4350 turns on/off with the car. Otherwise pressing the power button for about two seconds turns it on.
Acquiring satellites happens very quickly - we're talking seconds, not minutes. Only once, inside my house during a very heavy snowstorm, did it take longer (about two minutes) to lock.
The display is plenty bright and the touch screen feature is very sensitive (sometimes too much so). An optional power-saver feature dims the screen somewhat between turns when using the built-in battery. I found this very useful as besides saving the battery it tends to catch your eye when it 'wakes up' to normal brightness. Since that happens about five seconds before the first spoken notification regarding the next turn it gives you a visual heads-up that a verbal instruction is imminent (so if you happen to be blaring Hendrix on the car stereo you have time to lower the volume a bit). Touching any part of the screen will also restore it to full brightness.
The menu system is well organized and intuitive. There are a few things I'd change but overall it's very good.
Audio Quality and the MP3/Photo/Video Player:
The audio is loud and clear even with the volume all the way up, which was never necessary for me. There's a male or female voice option for each available language (English, Spanish, and French).
Like most units in this price range the 4350 announces the actual street names along with the turning instructions. The pronunciations are occasionally off but they get the point across. One odd thing was although the male voice pronounced 'county' properly the female would say 'count'. I.E... "In one quarter mile turn right onto count route 513".
The built-in MP3 player and the photo viewer are nice enough and get the job done. The video player only handles Xvid .avi files, which limits its usefulness, but I believe this is the only GPS to have a video player so you probably can't do better elsewhere.
Now to one of the two big gripes I have with this unit...
There's no headphone/line-out jack! What good is an MP3 player without one??? This restricts you to listening through the single (mono) speaker or using the FM transmitter to send the signal to your car stereo (more on that later).
POI's (Points of Interest) and AAA:
Magellan claims 6 million POI's reside in the 4350's database (my Audi only has about 1.7 million). Locating one couldn't be easier. You can search by name, category, and/or area. In addition to this is a listing of all facilities reviewed by the AAA, complete with descriptions, ratings and member discounts. AAA members also get an additional year of warranty coverage and one-button access to local certified garages. Although it's not mentioned in the rather sparse instruction manual, you can import your own POI's as Google .kml or .kmz files. To do this you'll need Magellan's 'Content Manager', a free download, which if you updated your firmware you'll already have.
Planning a route is extremely easy, as is adding interim stops (something you still can't do with many GPS models). The keyboard can be configured as QWERTY or ABC and it gray's out irrelevant letters as you type - a nice feature.
Once you've selected your destination the 4350 calculates four possible routes: Fastest, Shortest, Most Economical, and Simplest. The fastest route is chosen by default but you can examine the relative times and distances or see the routes compared visually on the map before selecting the best one for you. Some or all of these routes may be the same as multiple criteria are often met by the same route. I found the [post-upgrade] route selections to be very good, certainly on a par with my Audi's unit.
A 'One-Touch' menu allows you to store your favorite destinations as icons on a single menu. 'Home', 'Previous', 'SOS' (emergency), and AAA 'Service' icons are there by default. You can add five of your own which can point to specific addresses or POI lists. I.E... A list of all Starbucks in the current area.
Finally, being a portable device you can select your type of 'vehicle' from: Car, Bus, Emergency, Bicycle, or Pedestrian. In another undocumented feature, when switching to pedestrian mode you'll be asked if you'd like the unit to remember your car's location. Garmin makes a big deal of this feature; you'd think Magellan would at least mention they have it too. Go figure...
Guidance - On the Road:
On the road is where this unit really shines. The 4.3" screen packs in a surprising amount of map detail without looking cluttered. Maps can be displayed in 2D or 3D (I prefer the 3D view which my Audi doesn't have). Landmark buildings can also rise from the map in three dimensions but in my rural area I've yet to see this in action. Information regarding the next turn is displayed across the top of the screen and I especially like how the names of cross streets appear as I approach them, then disappear. You can select which POI categories appear on the map - I chose restaurants and gas stations. Unlike some other units this feature works in 2D or 3D mode. For major chains (BP, McDonalds, Dunkin Donuts, etc) the generic symbols are replaced by the company logos, allowing you to see at a glance what type of establishment is coming up.
An optional warning displays the speed limit on the left side of the map when you approach or exceed it by a percentage you preset from 70 to 130%. You can also set an audible alert for this if you wish (I have a wife who performs that function). Although I don't consider this an important feature, those who do should know that in my area it only worked on the interstates.
A new feature called 'Lane Guidance' is one of the primary reasons I choose this unit over the Garmin 760. At complicated interstate exits it displays a visual representation of the overhead highway signs to show you which lane you need to be in for an upcoming maneuver. The Garmin models with a similar feature called 'Lane Assist' are far more expensive. The only other GPS to offer lane guidance near this price range is Navigon's 7200T but its POI database is small and its search features are reportedly poor.
The verbal directions are extremely clear and precise. It always beat my Audi in giving me a heads-up regarding the next turn and was usually more specific as to what I needed to do.
Besides the detailed spoken instructions the 4350 also produces a 'doorbell like' chime at the point you should be turning. It even chimes differently for left, right, and U turns. This is a feature that several prior Magellan owners have mentioned missing after switching to another brand. For some reason Magellan initially omitted it from this model but the firmware update restores it along with another enhancement that tells you which side of the street your destination is on.
Lastly, recalculations (required if you go off the designated route) were very fast, taking about the same amount of time as my Audi's unit and often producing a better result.
Bluetooth, FM Transmitter, and Traffic Info:
At first the 4350 refused to find my Blackberry Curve but after doing a hard reset (as suggested by Magellan's website) the units paired right up. Bluetooth connectivity has been fine since then but all is not well... When making/receiving a hands-free call I found the audio on my end to be satisfactory but I had to shout at a distance of two feet from the unit in order to be heard faintly at the other end. In actuality I had to speak 1 to 3 inches from the built-in microphone in order to be heard properly. Compounding this issue is the fact that there's no external microphone jack like on some other brands. This was the most disappointing aspect of this test. Even though I don't use this feature, some of the people I gave these to might want to. Therefore if you need Bluetooth capability I must recommend you look elsewhere.
In my initial review I stated that the FM transmitter (which sends all sound from the 4350 to the car's audio system) worked like a charm in my Audi but didn't perform so well in my wife's Sable Wagon. I attributed this to the Sable's rear mounted antenna and the fact that the U.S. severely limits the transmitter strength of these units. However, further tests have resulted in excellent results with both cars. One thing I did notice is that the DC power cord seems to act like an antenna so if you're having reception problems plug the power cord into the 4350 (this seems to work even if you don't plug it into the cigarette lighter). My MP3's played back with FM quality and were automatically muted during turn instructions. As this feature draws universal complaints from Garmin users, I wasn't expecting much from Magellan but I'm pleasantly surprised by how useable it is. With that said, the volume from the 4350's built-in speaker is more an adequate for most applications.
The 4350 comes with a three month trial for a real-time traffic avoidance system but the service doesn't extend to my area (coverage areas are shown on Magellan's website) so I haven't seen it in action. According to Magellan's website a yearly subscription costs $39.95. Some competing GPS's come with free lifetime traffic alerts but be aware that those contain commercials.
The best things about the 4350 are all to do with its core functionality - it gets you from one place to another with clear maps and explicit verbal instructions given in a timely manner. My Audi's navigation system sometimes fails to provide all pertinent information regarding an upcoming turn, or it alerts me too late to react when driving in heavy traffic. The Magellan unit never faltered in that regard. In fact some may consider the 4350's guidance to be too chatty but I like to feel confident that I'm prepared for the next move, even in traffic, and this unit gave me that feeling.
Magellan has produced a full featured unit with superior performance at a very competitive [street] price. This was why, despite the missing headphone jack, I gave it five stars. Had I discovered then that the built-in microphone was so lacking that it made the hands-free feature useless, I might have gone to four stars. Still, it's a great choice for anyone who doesn't need the Bluetooth capabilities.
Brand new full featured model.
Excellent volume and audio quality on navigational prompts.
Highly detailed display with 3D maps.
Lane Guidance feature and informative audio prompts.
All accessories included (case, AC & DC cords, USB cable, sturdy mount, owners manual on CD).
2200 ma heavy duty battery.
Great value due to low street price.
Terrible built-in mic and no external mic jack renders the Bluetooth hands-free feature worthless.
No headphone jack!(What's with Magellan and a few five cent jacks?).
Must update the firmware to have a ready-for-prime-time unit.
Power and traffic cables plug into the unit (instead of the mount)....more info
- Decent, could be improved...
My unit came with deeply discharged battery; as a result it would power itself off automatically after disconnected from changer. It took like 2 hours of charging to get it out of critical condition and now it shows 3 bars. BTW, battery will discharge in 3-4 days when not in use. Otherwise no boot errors, all updates completed smoothly. Paired with iPhone/LG shine: works, but after unit power cycles, BT may stop working on the unit (need reset to recover). I was able to avoid this by disconnect phone first before shutting it off. The unit mic level is a little low, so you need to be loud when speaking.
On the contrary with some posts, TTS function worked as advertised and of good quality. Note: unit would not make full name announcement if it is too close to the intersection < 300-400 feet. After update, it will ding on turn and announce side of the road for destination.
Numbers on my home street are messed up, but I could leave with it. Another unusual behavior: if you are on private parking lot or away from "mapped" road - the unit would not say anything until you get close to the "mapped" road. Do not expect anything like "Proceed to the nearest road" and etc. Sometimes it may even add a little silly request by asking to make a u-turn a little further ahead instead of just making a left turn on the suggested road. It is easy to correct though.
Overall, I am pleased with routing options it offers. It seems to be more highway friendly. I have a few Garmins and the biggest issue - Garmin would take every opportunity to take you off the highway and it would not give up. I like Garmin for local trips, finding doc offices, lacrosse fields and etc, but I do not consider it suitable for interstate/highway travel unless you know what you doing and force it to follow "your" route by ignoring its suggestions. I learned it hard way during 450 miles trip to Canada - lost about 3 hours, but now I know every small town, village, stop sign and traffic light on rural roads on the way to and back. I tested 4350 with same Niagara Falls,ON Canada destination and it picked up the fast and simple route with 96% highways, a tiny Rt286(toll) "avoid" correction on a trip plan and it picked up Rt76 instead to reach Rt476N (few $ saved). Google provided a slightly faster plan, but it involved some secondary roads, so time estimates are questionable. Checked with my Garmin and sure enough it gave me same rural route with less than 25% highway even after latest 2009 map update. So if you like country side - take a Garmin with you :-)
I think another good feature - detour functionality. This unit offers way better options for re-routing. My Garmins usually acting as drunks, possibly because of Garmin does not keep track of detours taken, so if suggested alternative is blocked or wrong (double detour) - you may end up running in circles. I tested 4350 in real situation and it performed very intelligently, if you know the area you can help it even further simply by taking a different strategic turn and make it to recalculate. Finally, 4350 has shown me a way around I was looking for quite some time now, because of my Garmins would never pick up this simple one.
Line assist is functional, helpful and available at major highways (76, 95, sometimes on 202 when it involves major highway junction or passing by) and complex ramps. Sometimes it offers line assist on rt30 business.
FM traffic feature seems working fine in my area (Philadelphia). But it takes about 20-25mins to lock TMC station, my commute is over by that time, so not much of use. Once TMC station is locked, it will hold on to it for some time, but not long.
Some folks mentioned that unit lucks phone jack. The unit has a headphone label next to USB connector. May be there is a way to hook up a headphone.
I would suggest to watch out for some occasional silliness (usually at the start and the end of the trip) in directions like u-turn instead of left turn, sometimes it thinks it could not turn right or it suggests to take some sneaky shortcuts (sometimes restricted) instead of turning right a little further. It is possible some of the errors are related to maps (need to wait for map updates) or to errors in calculations (new firmware could fix it).
For everyday commute get 4350, it is using rigid LCD panel so you can leave it in the car on very hot/cold days. 4370 will treat you with absolutely the best graphic/image quality on the market, but its high-res LCD not as tough as 4350. I have both models: 4350 for commute and 4370 for travel in other car(s) or rentals.
- 4370 vs the 755t
I've decided to try again this time side by side the magallen 4370 and the 755T
This 4370 preformed a lot better than the other one so I would like to update my oringal review
While on Highway with one touch you can find restarunts, gas and I beleive services.
When off route it recaulates fast
You can plug in mutidestinatios into a single route.
Screen is Great.
POI's I think is it's stong point it's fast and easy and very update
On navagation it's pretty good but the Nuvi I think is better in routing but not by that much.
The Nuvi 755t
Has a little better routing
shows speed limits on all roads
has good lane assistance but the 3d signs are less than 4370
Can only plug in 2 destinations per route
Screen is crisp however with mine lines seem jaggaed especally when in motion. hopefully just defect.
4370 was normal with lines.
Strong point looking for poI like bank gives you miles and direction 4370 only gives milage.
Each has + & -
For practical purposes I would kind of tend to lean more with the 755t. Reason being whats inportant to me was there.
1. Need a poi fast how far and what direction vs just how far.
2. Navagation is a little better instead of telling you to make a uturn it will take you another way most of the time.
3.I like the speedometer in all modes.
However the 4370 was great also.
For my use what comes in handy is the fact while on the highway you can just touch one button and get the services you need.
I like the advance warning of a turn at .5 mile away vs .2
For work I can plug in muti destintions
and I can find address by zip or just city without state less typing
More to come later about traffic anyway at 8 tongiht all false alarms in both units
- Great features at a great price
I've owned this model (the Magellan Maestro 4350) since approximately April 4, 2009. This review was written on April 29, 2009.
This was my first portable GPS navigation unit, and I did a lot of research before deciding to buy it. My wife and I were looking for some specific features, and this was the only unit that seemed to have everything we wanted. After looking hard at the Maestro 4250 (previous model), I almost went with a Garmin because of the complaints of instability with that model. However, the Maestro 4350 has been solid in that department. I've only experienced one software freeze, and I'm pretty sure that was due to the unit overheating from being on, playing music, and left on the sunny dash during a 5 hour car trip.
After reading reviews here and elsewhere, I made sure to update to the latest OS and firmware versions as soon as the unit was charged. So I can't comment on problems people were having with older firmware except to say that I haven't experienced any annoyances when using this unit. The routes it chooses are good, and it recalculates quickly when missing a turn. One nice feature is that when a couple turns happen in quick succession, it will give brief instructions like, "Take the next left, then take the next right." This is handy when you're in a busy city area and need to be thinking a step ahead.
This unit is especially strong in trip planning. You can specify multiple destinations, and even ask the unit to optimize your route. Destinations can be added, removed, and moved around in the trip order even after you begin driving the route. With the Plan on Map feature, choose your destinations on the map screen by dragging the map around with your finger, and then touching the point where you want to go. You can also add a destination by address, of course, and the address entry is very well thought out. I haven't used other GPS units, but from reading comparison reviews, I get the impression that Magellan has a best of breed address entry system. You can also choose a destination from the Points of Interest database, or enter latitude and longitude coordinates. Geocaching, anyone?
After setting your destination(s), the unit calculates up to four routing options that you can choose from: fastest, shortest, economical, and simple. (I say "up to" four because sometimes some of the options are actually the same route.) It'll list the distance and estimated travel time for the different options, and you can choose to see them on a color-coded overview map. You can also choose to look at the turn-by-turn directions for each before you choose one, if you want. (Although in practice, the map overview is usually enough.) There's even an option to see a simulation of the route before driving. This is pretty helpful if you're in an unfamiliar area to get an idea of what you'll be doing before you're actually out there on the road.
Routes can be created ahead of time and saved for future use, although it may be more helpful just to save the destinations in the address book and call them up one at a time. I say that because when driving a multi-destination route, it seems to give the estimated travel and arrival time for the entire trip, rather than just to the next destination. There's also a quick access menu (called the One Touch menu) where you can save up to eight addresses or POI searches, for quickly choosing an often used destination. I use it to call up locations of nearby ATMs belonging to my bank and gas stations that I can use my gas card at. It's really quite handy.
Once a route is chosen, you can pull up the maneuver list and select certain maneuvers or roads to avoid, for example if you know there is construction or bad traffic. I looked specifically for this feature when doing my research, and I couldn't find any Garmin or Tom Tom units that let you do this for a specific route, ie when you create the route. You can also specify as a global setting and per-route what type of roads to consider for the route (highways, toll roads, unpaved, private access, etc).
The map screen is full of helpful info without feeling cluttered or confusing. The distance to and name of the next street is displayed prominently at the top (or the name of the current street if you aren't driving a route). The bottom left corner shows one of: estimated time of arrival, estimated driving time left, distance to destination, or current speed. The planned route is easy to see on screen, especially in night mode, which I recommend leaving on all the time (you can set the unit to switch automatically). Night mode changes the "ground" to black instead of pale green. Since the planned route is highlighted in green, it's easier to see against the black. Road names on the map are easy to read, and the map scrolls fine as you're driving.
The POI database seems very complete. Driving around the city where I live, it has listings for small businesses that I wouldn't have expected. Searching by name seems to be a better option if you can, because, especially for restaurants, the categories aren't always accurate. The AAA guidebook information is nice, but it doesn't give you that much. Their diamond ratings are misleading, because it's not actually a quality rating, more of a level of amenities rating. For example, a hotel that was a five-star type hotel when it opened is listed as five diamonds, even though the facilities may be run-down and have poor service now. It has listings for events, but the dates are all in the past, so not too helpful for actually attending one. Really the only thing you can use the AAA info for is to estimate the cost of hotels and restaurants, but I guess that's better than nothing. The Freeway Exit POI feature is really nice, though. Basically, if you're on the highway, an icon shows up on the map screen that lets you easily find gas, food, lodging, and car service spots off of upcoming freeway exits. I don't think any other GPS brand has this.
The unit has FM transmitting, meaning it can play sound through your car's radio as an alternative to its built-in speaker. The FM quality really depends on your car's antenna. In our Ford Taurus, the quality is great, even with the antenna being at the rear of the vehicle. In the Ford Fusion we rented for a recent trip, there was a hiss no matter what station we tuned the unit to (and no hiss with regular radio, so it wasn't the radio). The ability to play MP3, OGG, or WMA audio files from an SD card through the unit to your car's radio can really make long trips fly by with all the available audio content out there now (podcasts, downloadable audio books, etc). If the FM transmitter doesn't work out, or you want to listen to the radio, the built-in speaker does fine for navigation purposes. It's plenty loud and very understandable. You can play audio from an SD card through it, too, but it obviously won't sound as good as your car's stereo system. This unit does have a headphone jack, if at some point you want to use it as just an audio player. (Don't wear headphones while driving.)
The unit comes with a 3 month traffic subscription, and it can use traffic alerts to reroute you. However, I haven't enabled the traffic on mine, so I can't comment on how well it performs. I also did not test making calls using the unit with the Bluetooth hands-free feature, although it did pair with my phone (a Nokia 5310 XpressMusic) without difficulty.
I gave this unit four stars instead of five for two reasons. First, the maps seem a bit old. A new freeway on-ramp was completed near where I work at the end of summer 2008, and it's not in there, even though the maps are supposedly from Q3 2008. (I guess the maps could be from just before it was complete.) And Magellan doesn't offer free map updates like some of the other brands. My second issue is that some dead pixels appeared on the screen during our recent long car trip. The dead area is small and seems to fluctuate (it's gotten a bit smaller since the trip), so I'm going to wait and see what happens, but I might need to send it back for a replacement.
Over all, though, this is a great GPS for car navigation. It performs well, and feels solidly built. I would definitely recommend it.
- Magellan Maestro 4350
This product has some very nice features such as lane guidance and voice transmission through the cars speakers. It takes a little time to learn all the functions since the manual is on CD (not convenient). We used it on our first trip of the year and it got us through Houston, TX fairly well. We were disappointed when we got to Huntsville, TX and my wife wanted to eat at Cracker Barrel. The unit said there was one 2.3 miles away so we followed the travel directions. It lead us out into the country side and when we arrived at the stated destination, there was no Cracker Barrel; just an intersection of 2 rural roads. As we got ready to leave, I glanced over and saw an old run down gas station with the words Kracker Barrel on the sign. The next day, we needed to check on our rental contract with Hertz. The unit said that a Hertz rental office was in Huntsville, 1.8 miles away. When we got to the destination, there was no Hertz rental place. We tried calling the number in the unit and it was disconnected. Then we tried every Hertz number shown in the unit, including both major airports in Houston and all were invalid numbers. At my house in Florida, I selected the local gas stations and it did not even find the Circle K which is .8 miles away and has been there 28 years. The nearest gas station it found was 1.8 miles away. Soon after we received the new unit, I downloaded the content manager and the latest updates from the web site so that was not the problem. Be aware that the information is mostly accurate, but certainly not completely dependable. Some of the routing is less than desirable, often putting you through heavy congested areas and bad parts of town; some areas that I would consider unsafe. Once in the country side, near Huntsville, the directions led us right to a dead end road with no other way to go. We had to go about 8 miles on an alternate route to get to the State Park.
Other than these few examples where we had problems, the unit is usually very useful and a great help when traveling. The unit displays your current speed when selected, approximate time of arrival, it warns when you exceed the speed limit and speaks fairly good English. There are many other features that have already been discussed in the other reviews. In general, I am happy with the purchase and the value provided. Like most evolving technology, there is room for improvement....more info
- Magellan Maestro 4350
This Magellan Maestro 4350 is not good at all the poi on this unit is very confusing it shows u to many poi in 1 area u mite get in to a car accident
look 4 a store it give u 72 poi in 1 touch on the screen not good at all the 4250 is a better model when u touch 1 poi on the screen u get 1 poi u looking 4 ...more info
- Nice unit. Routing flaws?
I won't go into great detail regarding features, etc., since there are other reviews on here touting those (see the R. Stoer review for this - an excellent review I might add). My purpose in this review is in hoping the powers that be at Magellan may actually read these, and send them to the R&D department for improvement.
I have a Maestro 3200 which I got 2 Christmases ago, and absolute LOVE the thing (I would kiss it if it kissed back) and when I saw that they had improved and updated the maps with the 4350, I bought it straightaway.
I downloaded the Magellan Content Manager, and then updated the OS and then the Firmware. Both operations went smoothly, and I was able to verify the update by viewing the 'product info' in the 'settings' menu. So, for the past few weeks, I've had both units in my car testing them against the other:
The Maestro 3200 has four routing options:
Fastest, shortest, most use of highways, and least use of highways.
The Maestro 4350 routing options have different names:
Fastest, shortest, most economical, and simple.
Living in an area with four interstate highways with several miles, I most always used 'most use of highways' with the 3200, and was usually very happy with the proposed route. Unfortunately with the 4350 (and here is the rub), I cannot often duplicate this routing option (when programing both units together), and the 4350 often sends me on a baffling ride which sometimes even bypasses the freeway in favor of obscure secondary roads. I've tried every possible routing option several times on the 4350 in these tests, but have found that some of the trip options will simply not match those (superior routes) proposed by the 3200.
Additionally, it seems that when a re-route is necessary (if you miss a turn or something), the 4350 defaults to the 'shortest' option - even if you were using another route option as your initial choice. Another bother is the estimated time of arrival. The 3200 estimates the arrival time (which is usually within a few minutes of correct), whereas the 4350 will estimate the time an incredible amount longer than that of the 3200. It will correct itself as the trip progresses, but as I often use the estimated time to determine when to leave for an appointment, this is a nearly unacceptable flaw in the 4350.
IMHO, the new routing algorithms need some tweaking. Maybe I'm just spoiled by the 3200. If anybody reading this wants to address what I consider to be shortcomings, I'd love to have the feedback, especially, if you think I may be missing something - the reason being, I think the 4350 is an absolute jewel in every regard except for what appears to be some oddball routing issues, and I would love to keep it as my primary GPS, and use the 3200 as my backup, but as of now, I am consigning the 4350 to the backup position.
What a fantastic GPS! Easy to use, elegant operation, terrific 3D effects, helpful with a fast refresh rate and the best I one I have owned or rented. I recommend the Maestro 4350 without hesitation!
Tim in Colorado...more info
I travel alot and I'am hoping this unit wil help me in areas that I'am not sure of, and the Bluetooth should be a benefit to me also. Tell you what I have'nt had a change to use it, but this week I will, so contact me in a week and I'll give you a better answer to your questions next time, I'am hoping It's the answer to my trouble spots,I have a New SUV and it was suppose to have came with one but it was'nt in stock so your GPS was offer'd by AAA and it seemed to be the answer to my solution will find out. one other thing I wish it was a little bigger will find out. [...]...more info
I liked the Magellan gps i think i got a lemon but went back to garmin...more info
- Great, just one thing wrong.
This is the second Magellan I have owned and the first of the Maestro line. Although I have not taken a long trip using it yet we have used it for weekend getaways and found it to be a great product. I have set up the sound being broadcast through the car radio and that works great, just need to turn down the volume on the unit to make the voice clear. I also use the bluetooth connection to my blackberry and that works great, especially with the thru the radio sound. Routing is flexible and accurate. The only complaint is there seems to be no place to see the vehicle speed. Elevation, current location, and direction is available just not vehicle speed, strange. I have set up the traffic alerts but live in a small town so have not been able to test it yet. I have also downloaded the Content Manager and used it to upgrade the firmware in the unit as well as back up, works great. An all around great product. ...more info
- Great product-software glitz
The GPS unit performs very well and we thought it was a good purchase. The only two things wrong. 1.Trying to enter an address into the unit. A little bit of product testing go's a long way. And the other thing. The media player sucks but what do you expect from Microsoft. I wish manufacturers would wake up and realize there are far superior products than Microsoft. Great, while I was typing this my Nero player was stopped by Vista. Thank you so much Microsoft for your junk programs....more info
- Magellan 4350
Excellent overall with the exception of the turn "Chime".
The 5310 that I had alerts the user before the turn.
The 4350 "Chime" alerts the user at the turn, which can be disconcerting.
Infrequently the unit will announce the destination on the wrong side; same was true of the 4250 and 5310 I've purchased.
Otherwise, this is an excellent GPS with all the features I need, and then some.
Really enjoy using the local information icon that details the restaurants, gasoline stations, etc.; this has been priceless....more info
- REPLACED MY MAGELLAN MAESTRO 4250 WITH THE 4350
I've had this Magellan Maestro 4350 for about two weeks. It replaced my Magellan 4250. At first,upon approaching an intersection or a road on which I was to turn, I was expecting the warning tone as I did with the 4250. I didn't receive one. However, this Magellan does give more descript directions such as: Turn right in 1000 ft. and it reminds you again as you get closer to your turn : Turn right in 400 ft., however, I don't think about if I am 400 ft away or ask myself how far is 1000 ft from where it gave me the directions. It is especially hard at night when on unfamiliar roads. I have passed up the road on which I was to turn for lack of good road lighting. The 4250 was better in that respect. This GPS is a litte more complicated to use. Also, it cannot be updated with maps of Europe, if you plan to travel over seas.
I did not have a problem with Customer Service either. I called to ask about the alarm feature and was told there was an update. Magellan forgot to include it with this model and the gentleman stayed on the phone with me during the entire update. At first, it wouldn't load. I uninstalled it and we began over again. I'll bet he stayed on the phone with me for over 2 hours just explaining the differences between the 4250 and the 4350. He was located in the Phillipines.
Also, the reference booklet is not included in the box. All of the information is included on a CD, which you have to read online. The booklet was included with the 4250.
The FM feature is great, too. Sometimes, the voice activated directions cannot be heard while others are talking in the car or you have turned on the radio. This way, you hear the directions clearly over your FM station and can increase the volume, if needed. This feature was also included with the 4250. The other thing about this model is that you cannot access your voice command. Magellan didn't include it with this model. In other words, you cannot call out, "MAGELLAN" and expect it to ask you for your next command, which could have been done with the 4250. This is good for when you're driving and you want to know where the next gas station or coffee shop is located, which is much better than trying to touch screen what you are searching for while driving. The 3D features don't interest me much. I got this one for the pedestrian mode. If on foot, it will take you to where you need to be. Now, if it could only keep my location and tell me where I left my car, this model would be awesome.
All in all, it is an okay model but aside from the pedestrian mode, the 4250 would have been just fine with me. Oh, the download for the update did restore the alert feature but sometimes you are right on top of the road to where you needed to turn and it doesn't always work. It's easy to pass your turn. I can't complain too much about that because the 4250 has done that a few times too.....gave the alert when you are right on top of your turn but the alert on the 4250 always worked. This model's voice features a man's voice which I found to be more audible than the woman's voice on the 4250.
The cost of this one began at almost $[...] but I found it on [...] which was shipped from Sixth Avenue Electronics. I then found it online for [...] and Sixth Avenue Electronics matched the lower price and credited my charge card with the difference. I saw the credit within 2 or 3 days. Currently the price for this model is [...]. I don't know if the shipping is free but it was from Sixth Avenue Electronics and I didn't have to pay tax either.
I would recommend this to friends if they wanted the MP3,Blue Tooth and 3D effects. I am technologically challenged but I will keep this one for now. Happy Shopping and have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. :)...more info
- Magellan 4350 GPS - A Best Buy!
I purchased this GPS as a replacement for a Magellan GPS (also very good). I've been using this for almost two weeks and I have to say this is an excellent product.
I updated the firmware to the newest version (OS Version 00.42.01.0919 and Navigation Version 22.214.171.124084) and this has taken care of any complaint that I've see in some other reviews. The update using the Mageallan Content Manager is quite easy and I'd recommend doing this before using the GPS for the first time. I also updated the AAA POI file (New as of January 2009 V7.0). The GPS comes with the most current map set.
The GPS comes with both a AC adapter (a plus) and a car adapter. If powered by an outlet in the vehicle controlled by the key switch the 4350 turns on/off with the car. Otherwise pressing the power button for about two seconds turns it on. I've only tried using the GPS battery once for about 2 hours and had no problem in that period of time. The battery still showed about 1/3 charge left. As I normally do not use it via it's battery, the est 3 hours of use seem to be sufficient. Acquiring satellites occurs very quickly once it has been used. If the GPS is moved several miles from where it was turned off and several hours pass, it takes a few seconds longer than normal to lock in on the satellites.
The display is sufficiently bright and the night mode auto dimming feature works quite well. The scrolling of the map on the screen is smooth and the map detail is quite good. The three dimensional buildings displayed are also quite helpful in verifying your location. The lane guidance seems to work well.
I initially had problems with the touchscreen when entering addresses. A call to the Magellan GPS Tech Support resolved the issue quickly. It turned out that the touchscreen needed to be calibrated. There is no mention of how to do this in the users guide. You can reach the calibration settings from the main menu - Settings, System Settings, Brightness. The Calibration button is located at the bottom of the screen. Running it corrected the problems I was experiencing.
There are several voice options available English, Spanish, and French with a male and female voice for each. The US voices may not be the clearest, but are completely understandable. The was some mispronunciation on some street names but they were close enough to be useful.
Locating POI's is easy. You can search by Category or Name.
The AAA Tourbook POI are included and there are free quarterly updates availble on the AAA web site.
Using the content manager software you can add custom POI's to the unit.
Routing is quick and accurate for all routes I entered. The routing will sometimes take an extra turn or two to avoid making left turns at busy intersections. The routing usually has you end up on the same side of the street as the destination. Also the latest firmware reports the side of the street that the destination is on. You actually have 4 choices of routing with the latest firmware, Fastest, Shortest, Economical and Simple.
I really haven't used the mp3 player much as I normally use Sirius or my iPod for my music. The picture viewer is ok too, but these are not features I would normally use on a GPS.
I originally had three Garmin units that I really liked. But once they started to raise their prices as far out of line as they did, I started looking at other brands. The Maestro 4040 was also an excellant product for the money and when looking for a replacement unit, the 4350 came up as a top choice. I really have not found anything that I don't like about this unit, I'd be hard pressed to find a Garmin that could even come close in features for around the same price.
I'd recommend this unit for anyone looking for a lot of features and good routing for a reasonable price.
The Maestro 4350 price was very competitive to include free shipping. Item arrived ahead of schedule. I love the 4350, easy to use, very versatile. The AAA software is very helpful. I have used for restaurants and several campgrounds with very good results. Voice is strong and clear.
Only problem is an occasional lock up that requires a reboot. After reboot it instantly goes back to the trip in progress without any action by me.
I will recommend to my friends and you as a reader. Enjoy.
PS -- Even my wife thinks it was worth buying!...more info
- Magellan Maestro 4350
Very fast at recalibrating. Always has a signal. VERY EASY TO USE. Has so many features, I'm still finding new ones. ...more info
- A wonderful GPS that leaves you wanting little
Just some brief background on my experience with the GPS device. I used my first GPS device Before the year 2000. The experiment was not a good one as the technology was not ready yet. 3 years ago, I purchased a Garmin 330c GPS and used it for about a year. I love the little GPS but I wanted a larger screen. I then purchased the Garmin 205w. It uses about the same software as the 330c but the screen is wider and the typing is a lot easier.
I use my GPS every day at work. Sometimes I use the POI to find restraints, stores and such, but I mainly use the GPS to go from house address to house address. Quite often I am in the middle of nowhere and the GPS is all I have. I go to hotels, motels, airports, malls, plazas, hospitals... any where a person can be, I have delivered my medical equipment there. Including the county jail, state prison, federal prisons and funeral homes. I have taken the GPS on several vacations too.
I really do like the Garmin software, but recently, the 205w has started messing up. For some reason the delicate insides of a GPS does not like the Arizona heat, also I just took a trip with a local youth group (drove 800+ miles) with an older Magellan GPS. Although I was less than impressed, I figured maybe I was a Garmin man and anything else would not do, but after looking at the prices of GPSs, I decided to go ahead and try the Magellan 4370.
Just some data about the GPS:
POI database is pretty good.
Blue tooth is slightly above a rating of fair
It will be difficult to get the most out of the GPS with the manual.
The screen is very nice to look at but reflections are easily seen.
Update software before using.
Traffic Service is great and sixty dollars a year
You can set popular routes, places or POI categories into a one touch find. Very nice, All the Starbucks at a touch of a button.
FM modulator works, but I like to listen to the radio while driving.
Video and music play back.
Works great for those with AAA
Picked unit up from a local retailer, plugged the unit in and took off to work. I had the Garmin and Magellan both up and running. The first route recalculation was not far ahead. Both the Garmin and Magellan noticed the need for recalc at about the same time, but the Magellan took longer in the recalc of the route. Your location is noted on the Magellan by an arrow, and when you reach an intersection, the middle of the arrow is where the front of you car is. A little confusing, but not a deal breaker, I did notice that the finish on the Garmin product did look better, and for some reason the car charger adapter would not work in one of the 12volt outlets in my car.
If you happen to have AAA (triple A) you can use this device to call AAA and give the exact position of you vehicle. That is a nice feature to have if you or your loved one is locked out, broke down or the like.
When I got to work, I received my route of 10 stops, plugged all ten into the Magellan, something that you cannot do with the Garmin, and just before leaving to start my route, a stop had been moved up (it went from stop #6 to stop #4). Placing the stop from 6 to 4 was very easy (I have not the instruction manual yet) and off I went. As a side note, date entry is easy. I am not satisfied with how you have to enter the data, more on that in day 2.
I am very color blind and the Garmin GPS is easier for me to see as compared to the Magellan. Again, that maybe something that I can get used to
The routing of the route was very good, stop for stop; the Garmin and Magellan were neck and neck. I spend time coming out of apartment complexes often during the day and I need to know if I am turning to the left or the right. This is the Magellan's weakness. The Garmin shows the direction that I am traveling and the route line shows me which way to turn. The Magellan does not point the way you are going and assumes you are driving down the street. So, thumbs up for the Garmin here. Another fine point to mention is with the Garmin I can just press button, and enter the address, the Magellan requires the user to enter the city or zip code, then the street name, and finally the house number. The entry of information is easier with the Garmin.
As far as routing goes, or show I say the point "a" to point "b". The Magellan did a better job in some places than others and sometimes the Garmin stumbled a little too. I would have to say that as of day one, both devices are equal as far as routing goes. The Magellan has a choppy voice commands. The lane guidance for the 4370 is off from time to time and the speed notices are off to. (I drive in the nation's 5th largest city, it should be there and correct), but the real question is can you get to where you want to go easier with lane guidance? Maybe; some of the errors were pretty drastic, and the errors were present 50% of the time.
When I got home, I update the software, can't wait for day two.
Software update is completed. Traffic Service is activated. One problem noted with the GPS is that the Magellan keeps saying that the battery is low. I went to the web site and the web FAQ states that I should send the unit in for service. The GPS was plugged into the car battery for over 10 hours on day one and 7 hours over night. Why is there a problem with the battery?
The Second day consisted of 230 plus miles, in the city, country roads, highways and going to a small town too. The software update did allow the GPS to choose better routes than day one, but one route took me a mile out of my way, but the good part about the unit is that the stuttering from yesterday with vocal directions has disappeared, but the lane guidance is almost completely useless. Another annoying problem is that the GPS keeps recalculating the route although I have not deviated from the planned route, and the GPS is very slow at recalculating a route. I almost missed a turn off the freeway because the GPS was recalculating. I guess Magellan saved money with the production of the GPS by choosing a slow processor. The Garmin has never done recacls like the Magellan does.
One nice feature is the traffic service. I worked very well and directed me around one traffic accident and a closed freeway. The big problem is that the unit uses grey, red, green and orange indicators. We color blind people cannot see all the colors. Remember that 20% of the male population is color blind.
The 4370 does not live up to all the hype that I have heard and read from "professional" reviewers. I not only use the GPS but my whole family uses the GPS. I am not completely convinced that the 4370 doesn't need to be returned. The Garmin 760 has dropped in price and now costs less than the 4370 does. However, I have a couple friends with older Magellan GPSs and they think this 4370 is the best, and dislike my Garmin. I would like to see the price for the 4370 around two hundred dollars and then it would be worth the money.
I am really up in the air about keeping the 4370 or not. I am going to get the Garmin 760, compare them side by side and let the best GPS win.
- Magellan has no Customer Service
I purchased a Maestro 4350 based on superior professional reviews and price value. My limited usage to date shows it has excellent features. Some nice features my daughter's NUVI 760 does not. That's where the good ends!!
Magellan provides little or NO service. I downloaded the software updates and the unit hung up, said "please wait" for over 18 hours. I called C/S and reached a person with very limited English skills and could not solve the problem but gave contact to get return instructions. A week and a half later got a call to give instructions for return and repair, a really fast response you think?? I had already returned the unit for a refund. Bought a second one from Amazon/BestSeller21 and received FANTASTIC service. It was delivered in less than 3 days!! At the Magellan web site, which overall is infantile, you can't tell what it is that you are going to download as an update!! To make sure that I didn't foul up the 2nd unit I sent three text message about more information on the downloads and proper procedures. NEVER GOT A RESPONSE!! I received a request from the Magellan Web Master asking for a review of my experience. I gave them this same information and got no response from my previous messages or the surveys input. Before I wrote this review I visited Magellan's site and they have eliminated the down loadable updates??#*...more info
- magellan 4350
I had a magellan previous to the 4350 loved it. So when we needed to buy a new gps we stayed with magellan, bought the 4350 and in one week it froze 5 times. very unhappy with the unit. Sent it back and bought our first Garmin, so far I am very happy with Garmin....more info
The Magellan unit is my second GPS purchase, the first being a Tom Tom XL which performed very well, but I wanted more functionality. So far I've been disappointed with the Magellan's accuracy. It indicated that my home location was a half dozen houses away from where I was actually located and on a recent trip had us shown as nearly ? mile from the route we were actually traveling on. In addition, the unit would "freeze" up while in use and I had to power it all the way down and then back up again to "unfreeze" it.
On the positive side, it refreshes and replans the route very quickly and has only twice directed us to inappropriate roads.
I plan to write Magellan about the operational problems and I hope they'll respond with a fix.
My purchase experience using Amazon was fabulous and I would not hesitate to purchase through Amazon again.
- Inadequate update instructions
I have no problem with the GPS itself but some information is not provided. The CD that comes with it is, in general, just an ad. The only thing useful on the disc is the instruction manual. The best way to use it is to print out the 77 pages. The one important item in the manual that is missing is how to upgade from the Magellan site. There is a major upgrade for new purchasers. If you go to the Magellan site you can find it but it does not tell just how to get it on to your GPS. You have to download the Content Manager to your computer first then with the GPS unit turned off connect the USB data cable to your computer and the other end of th cable to the GPS. The GPS will show it is connected and the program will do a search and if elegible it will download the updates. I hpe this helps some of you.
- POI significantly reduced by S/W update v126.96.36.199084
Overall experiences were positive. Some addresses were not found, but that is common with auto GPS units.
Unlimited (?) via points
POIs are comprehensive. For example, restaurant sub-categories are VERY helpful. You may look up Thai, Belgian, ... cuisine according to your taste.
One touch feature
Updated nav. software version v188.8.131.52084 resulted in many restaurant sub-categories being wiped out (you can no longer see Belgian, Thai or Vietnamese restaurants, for example). This is a serious problem for me.
Magellan should address this problem with a S/W update ASAP.
Name of current road that you are on is not shown
I called Magellan and Garmin to see if either one made a GPS that would also show commercial routes. I work in NYC and drive a commercial van and cannot use Parkways. Garmin said they did not but Magellan said they did and the 4350 was the one. I went to several stores to see and demo the unit but no one had one, so since the price was right, I bought it. The unit has a vehicle option for a bus, car, bicycle and pedestrian, nothing for a truck which would have been the one I would have liked. The only way I get around the city is in the bicycle mode. I was very disappointed. ...more info
- Great Product!
WOW! Saved us when we traveled to Florida from Illinois. While in Florida, we were able to get around without any delay. The traffic feature is awesome! We were timely to every event because of the quick reroute feature. Even when we would take a wrong turn, the reroute calculation was so quick, we didn't panic. Love this device! Once you get the hang of using the menus and the flow of how to do things, it is just awesome. Yes there is a learning curve as with anything else electronic, but once you get it, WOW! Don't know why I waited so long. Great for my kids too! Don't worry anymore about them getting lost to an event....more info
- Navigation & Speaking Street Names is questionable....
I was excited to receive my new Magellan Maestro 4350 GPS. I still own a Garmin StreetPilot c340 which is several years old and the model is discontinued. Magellan did add some nice bells & whistles, but it was with the basics that I felt the Magellan lacked in performance. By the way, I did upgrade to the latest firmware incase you're wondering if that is the fix - it's not.
- Navigation: I tested the Magellan with routes that I am familiar with and found the Maestro 4350 went where no other Garmin would go. And for that matter, I checked with Mapquest, Yahoo Maps, Google Maps and Expedia and found they all agreed with the way I would navigate and with the way my Garmin would. I also had a newer Garmin (the Nuvi 265WT) and it also did not agree with the Maestro. This surprised me since Magellan uses the same Navteq maps as Garmin but have since learned it's not just about the maps and that is where differences start showing up between different GPS companies.
- Speaking Street Names: This was absolutely disappointing. The Magellan Maestro says a lot of "turn left", "turn right", "make the next left" but only occasionally speaks the actual street name. Not only did I find this not as advertised, but it is actually quite annoying to hear the same commands over and over again. When you happen to be driving locally, it may not be uncommon to hear directions like turn left, make the next left, turn left... It gives you the feeling like you are being given the same direction over and over again. I think it should say turn left on Main Street, etc.
- Touch Screen: Either too sensitive or just the opposite, having to tap several times for the command to register. Sometimes rather sluggish when responding.
- Voice: Only 3 choices, American English, Spanish and French. I personally use British English, so again disappointed to see this omitted.
- Sound: I found sound quality to be good. This is one of the reasons why I only had that Garmin 265 for a short period of time - the sound was terrible as if it was coming from a cheap speaker and vibrating off the plastic casing. Made it difficult to hear street names. If not for that, I would never have purchased the Magellan in the first place. But other than lacking in voice choices, the Magellan has much better sound quality. No complaints there.
- POIs: Though the Maestro 4350 has many options for POIs, I think navigating around to find what you want is a bit confusing and too many steps. The AAA info is separate and feel there are too many places to look to find what you want. Too many screens to have to tap into - and therefore making it less safe to use while driving. Also, once into some of these screens, there was no easy way out but to tap your way out page by page back to the home page. I looked and read the manual too - there seem to be no shortcut to get back.
This was a nice looking unit, loved the interface for entering info, gives you more options and control over the unit than most Garmins, but the awkward routing and lack of speaking street names was a deal breaker for me. Also wasn't happy with only 3 months of free traffic when even Garmin is offering Free Lifetime Traffic on many models now.
Would I recommend this unit to a friend? Sorry, but the answer is NO....more info
- Magellan 4350 GPS
In my opinion the Magellan 4350 is not as good a unit as my Magellan 4250. Some of the main items that the 4250 had on the screen were elimiated on the 4350, such travel direction on screen(N,S,E,W), when in the navigation mode the screen does not tell you the current street you are on as the 4250 did. The 4350 does not give you vehicle speed except in the navigation mode as the 4250 did. The volume is much lower that the 4250. Last but not least Magellans Customer service just stinks, you call them and they try to help, but "Nobody" speaks "Engish".
I have had several Magellan products and I have liked them, but Magellan has gone from being a decent company to a "Poor" company with poor customer service and also a company that does not listen to what the customer wants in a product. The only way they are selling what they are is because of price. Looks like my next GPS will be a Garmin....more info
- Has it's own issues.
Before I provide feedback I would like to admit that I'm a picky consumer.
I bought this GPS and it's 5 pixels on corner of the screen started wearing out in a 2 weeks of normal use.
It's packed with list of features, but not good for basic navigation.
It gave me different direction while driving to a friends place and driving back home and traffic alerts were not activated on the unit, so it cannot mess with my route calculations.
FM transmitter on this unit is a joke. I've $10 FM transmitter that works better as compared to FM-Transmitter that came standard with this unit.
Overall it's decent GPS unit if it works.
Acquiring Satellite lock is pretty quick, it's very quick in re-calculating route if you missed a turn. Text-to-Speech feature is nice and works without any issues.
Craeting playlist on MP3 player is a not very intuitive. You will need a manual and it's multi-step process.
It lacks Audio-out jack so you are stuck with internal speakers/ rely on weak FM transmitter. Thus, I doubt you will be able to use MP3 feature effectively.
I was able to use Bluetooth featuer without any issues and it was very clear.
I'm giving it a 2-star since it's lacking basic fucntionality i.e. good driving directions. No matter which option I choose to calculate route it wasn't optimal direction to reach my destination....more info
- Combines the best of Garmin & TomTom. Worth checking out.
I have owned the 4370 version of this unit for several months. The only difference between the two is that the 4370 has an even higher res screen but is available only at a big box store.
I have probably owned about 10 different GPS units over the years, going back to when they did nothing more than display a 3" monochrome map. Current units include this one, a TomTom, a Garmin, a JVC, and a defunct DASH.
This series marked a major upgrade to the Maestro interface which had been growing kind of old. The engineers did an exceptional job. The interface is, dare I say, even more intuitive that Garmin's. The predictive text is still the best in the industry. The display is detail rich yet easy to read. The lane guidance is amongst the best I have seen, it is very easy to follow.
Routing is also excellent. It very quickly calculates and presents a variety of route options. This lets you quickly add your own knowledge of roads, traffic, etc. to determine which route is right for you. Much easier than recalculating each option and then deciding which you want to follow. Most of the time "fastest route" is indeed fastest but again, none of these systems knows that route XYZ is a parking lot every morning.
Physically the unit is small, light, and attractive. The traffic receiver connects through the power cord and is unobtrusive. Traffic is actually better than expected.
Configuration is a plus, especially compared to Garmin. You can set quite a number of options and preferences to tailor the system to your liking. It is the balance between configurability and ease of use that really sets this apart from some others.
Magellan has always been good about providing software updates that adress problems that improve the system. One big concern is, what will happen now that Magellan has sold off the GPS business to Mio??
The bluetooth microphone is the worst I have seen in years. The speaker is OK but people on the other end of the call will not be happy. Almost unusable.
I have had the system hang up on my 2 or 3 times in 3 months. Just driving along and it locks up requiring a hard reset.
Although the windshield mount is well designed, a minor nit is that the power cord attaches to the GPS and not the mount. This means you need to unplug the cord each time you tak eit down from the windshield.
I have yet to find the perfect GPS, they all trade off something. However, I will say that the 4350/4370 are now at the top of my list of favorite navigation units. It looses a star for the poor sound quality when using bluetooth but is otherwise overall excellent.
I would look at the 4370 as well.