The following is a review submitted by Nan Palmero – Chief Inspiration Officer at . Telenav, as most of you may know, is the software behind many of the branded GPS applications found on AT&T Navigator and Sprint Navigation. The Telenav Shotgun is their first entrance into the crowded stand alone GPS space. Fortunately, though, Telenav has a few tricks up their sleeve to differentiate their device from the sea of other GPS devices out there.
The Shotgun comes as with a traditional 4.3” touchscreen with only two buttons on the device – power and a reset button on the back. On the left you’ll find a mini-usb port for charging and data connection as well as a 3.5 mm headphone port. On the right is where things start looking a little different with a traditional MicroSD slot, labeled T-Flash and SIM card slot. The SIM card in the device is what allows the Shotgun to receive data information over the air via GPRS. The rest of the packaging is standard with a car and wall charger, data cable and windshield mount.
If you have ever used one of Telenav’s applications on your phone, the mapping system will look familiar to you. The layout is simple and cleanly laid out, providing you the map, GPS signal, distance, ETA, distance to next turn, spoken street names and the ability to zoom as well as get back to previous menus. All of these features are also fairly standard on GPS devices. Where things get a bit more interesting is the live data you receive from Telenav.
With the live data you receive wirelessly using a GSM provider (it has to be T-Mobile or AT&T), this GPS device provides you updated information, similar to what you would receive on your cell phone. If there is an accident ahead, the Shotgun will inform you and ask if you’d like to be rerouted via a faster route. It will also pull data to tell you what your ETA is depending upon traffic, a cool feature. You can even see color coordinated maps, a la Google Maps that shows you the flow of traffic on the roads so you can anticipate the slow downs and delays.
For the business travelers, the Shotgun is especially helpful as it allows you to track your mileage for reimbursement/tax purposes (yes, you should talk to your CPA). You can even do online reporting to see your mileage history for the past 24 months. Further, you can export this mileage information via Excel or PDF for your records. While you’re out and about, it’s likely that you’ll need to fill up. No worries, the Shotgun has you covered by checking for the lowest gas prices in the area.
Although other GPS devices let you do upgrades to maps and points of interest, you typically have to connect them to your computer via USB cable. The Telenav Shotgun is a bit different in that it does most of the updates via the GPRS signal. It updates the software with latest maps, let’s you send address information from your computer via the internet to the Shotgun as well as preplan trips online via My Telenav.
Telenav has a number of features that are “In the Works” as they like to say. Those include traffic conditions on your commute, looking up the most popular locations in your area, address sharing with other Telenav users, and weather updates.
Overall, I found myself liking the Telenav Shotgun. It feels like a solid device with a soft touch rubberized coating that makes it at least seem more bump-proof than your standard GPS device. Additionally, the menus and the software were intuitive enough as well as the GPS signal and routing feeling snappy. I’d happily recommend the consideration of the Telenav Shotgun, especially to the business crowd for the tracking abilities that it provides as well as the constant updates that are sent via the wireless network.
What I liked:
Solid device with a growing feature set.
Traffic updates are a nice touch as well as the tracking abilities for business customers.
What can be improved:
Providing flexibility for different voices for the navigation.
The T-Flash and SIM card covers are warping a bit.
Telenav could have used slider pieces instead to keep the clean look of those covers.
Bluetooth would have also been a nice touch.