GeekMom’s review of the Sony nav-u portable navigation device

I hate to reinforce gender stereotypes, but when it comes to my innate navigation abilities, I’m pretty girlish. My hubby never gets lost, and he teases me when I don’t remember how to get someplace I’ve been before.

On the other hand, he also says I’m a bit “mannish” when it comes to using new gadgets, because I detest instruction manuals. I’ll be playing with a new toy, asking questions about how to do something, and he’ll ask me, “Did you read the instructions?”

Instructions? Ha! I don’t need no stinkin’ instructions. I usually skim the “quick start” guide, if there is one, so I know how to not break the thing. Then, I power it up and start pushing buttons.

The latest gadget I’ve been able to test is the Sony nav-u portable navigation device (NV-U83T). Luckily, it is easy to start using, and I didn’t have to read through a long instruction manual. It was a very simple start-up.

Once I got it plugged in and running, I took it out on the road. It figured out where my car was, and showed me my local area on the big, colorful, touch screen. As far as navigation goes, I’d say it’s pretty much like other GPS devices. I think they use some of the same satellites to do the mapping stuff, so they’re not all that different. I’d used a couple of other handheld GPS devices before, but the Sony has a bigger screen, and more features, than any other I’ve used.

My favorite feature of the nav-u is its Bluetooth compatibility. I was able to pair it with my cell phone, and make hands-free calls through the nav-u. Setting up the pairing was painless (no instruction manual required!), due to excellent on-screen help.

One really cool thing about the nav-u is how you can combine mapping with communications. For example, say you want to find a restaurant. You use the touch screen to get to the list of restaurants in your area. Browse it and narrow it down until you find one you like. Then, just click and call to make a reservation, right through the nav-u! Being the geeky homebody that I am, Hubby and I don’t get out to fancy downtown restaurants very often, but if you’re a traveling diner, I can imagine this function would be pretty handy!

And, of course, you can use it to find lots of other types of businesses and destinations, as well. Hotels, hospitals, gas stations, fast food, etc.

On the down side, the nav-u had trouble finding my home. It would get me close, but even when I was parked in my garage, it kept trying to navigate for me. I guess that’s because we live in a newer neighborhood, and whichever satellite provides maps to the unit is not quite up to date, but Hubby’s TomTom doesn’t have the same problem. However, once I was out on the main roads, it knew exactly where I was.

Overall, the nav-u was fun and easy to use. I didn’t have to read the whole manual to get it working, and I didn’t have to ask for directions while I was using it! If you’re interested in all of the features (live traffic information and more) and specs on the device, please visit Sony.

I did not receive any compensation for this review.

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4 thoughts on “GeekMom’s review of the Sony nav-u portable navigation device

  1. Ooh nice! Any idea if it works for Canadian points of interest? I would love a GPS, but anyone we’ve tried is only beneficial once we cross the border and drive around in the states. 😦
    Nice review! 😀

    Lisa365/starbursidereuss last blog post..the rains came down…

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  2. I just bought one of these. The Navigation seems to be navigating me through non-existing roads when I use the “take me home” feature or going to places from my house and completely ignoring the easy and simple route that i take daily. I’m not sure if this has to do with gated community or just the unit having issues calculating the route.

    I also found it planning the most stupidest route. i.e. from point A to point B instead of maximizing the freeway it’s taking more local roads then needed. i.e. I could’ve make a right and fellow the road for 2 miles and get on the freeway. Instead the unit tells me to go straight ignoring 2-3 roads that have freeway on-ramp and then tells me to take a longer route.

    I requested the firmware update from Sony. hopefully that will fix the issues.

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  3. dont buy this item…..looks good and it works ok..some times it takes you a block or 2..around b 4 u get to destination.. but the big issue is… the lcd screen.. the glass….yes.. i had mines on the dash…it fell of since the stick anywhere piece is not that good anyway.. and fell face first on the stick shift on my car… it cracked… and that was the end of it…cant use it.. i call sony they told me to send it because it was under warranty…they received the unit…told me they did not have one in stock that they were going to send me the updated version…. well 2 weeks later well 3 weeks later i call to see what was the problem.. they told me i have to pay $217 to get it repair…(never the less i paid $199 for it new at comp usa) i spoke to everybody i could think of.. no one care to help…look up ebay…. they have them there all the time with broken glass… they are not good…dont waste your money.. i m going back to tom tom.. or any other company that knows how to make a gps.. i got pics to show rickyginobox@yahoo.com

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  4. Don’t buy sony. Their warranty is nothing but a scam. My nvu83T cracked by itself from upper left corner and I sent in explaining there is no hit on the device. The service replied “any physical damage is not under warranty”. Holy crap what is “mental” damage for a GPS? And they asked for $155 for it while it cost me $150 to get it from the source.

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