Fujitsu Siemens Pocket LOOX N520 review

£222
Price when reviewed

The N520 won our last satnav Labs (web ID: 88719) and is still a current model. It’s the only device here to use Navigon’s Mobile Navigator 5 and, while the maps are last year’s offering from Navteq, there are some neat features.

One is the clarity of voice instructions – you can almost rely on them alone to navigate, as many major road numbers are spoken. Plenty of POIs include company logos, so it’s simple, for example, to see whether you’re approaching a Shell, BP or Esso petrol station. Oddly, though, there’s no cash machine POI category.

It’s a shame safety camera locations aren’t included either, but some roads have signpost information and you’ll often see a speed-limit sign appear onscreen. The software supports a TMC for live traffic information, but the optional module costs £60 inc VAT.

The interface has two modes: standard and extended. Switch to the latter and many new options present themselves, including multidestination trip planning. Again, it’s a shame only five-digit postcodes are supported, as you still have to key in the first few letters of the street name before Navigon presents a list for you to choose from.

Occasionally, the software tries to offer too much. In map mode, you can choose a 2D or 3D view, but also scroll around the map or zoom in or out by drawing marquees in different directions. Tapping the map brings up a contextual menu, too, and often you end up looking at this when trying to zoom or scroll. And despite a 312MHz CPU, the N520 is generally sluggish: scrolling is fast, but zooming and calculating routes is slow.

You’ll find a mains adapter, car charger and windscreen and dashboard mounts in the box, but no carry case. And while the price has dropped since our last review, the N520 is still expensive. Factor in the sluggish performance and the Pocket LOOX loses its A-List position.

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