GPS review: Holux GPSmile55

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tush
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GPS: Holux GPSmile55
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GPS review: Holux GPSmile55

#1 Post by tush » Mon Feb 04, 2008 2:45 pm

I am a newbie to GPS, so forgive me if there is anything I miss out or am mis-informed (you can point it out to me).

Just got a Holux GPSmile55 GPS from EastGear last Friday:

http://www.eastgear.com/shop/product...oducts_id=1063

When I was looking around for a GPS, I did not find any reviews on this one. Most of the reviews are on Garmin. I was contemplating getting a Garmin but decided to get this instead because of the Singapore SLA Mapking map. Writing a brief review for those how might be interested. Here is a quick review without pics. Will write a longer review the next time.

Price paid $599. Bought at Eastgear on Horne Road (near Lavender somewhere). It is a touch screen GPS.

Eastgear had GPSmile55, GPSmile 53CLife and Garmin Nuvi 200 on display at their shop. My needs were: I just want a GPS with slighty more comprehensive maps of Singapore and Malaysia. I was mulling Garmin since they are trusted GPS makers but decided to get this one instead because of the SLA Mapking Singapore maps. The device comes also with the Malsing Singapore and Malaysia map as well as the Mapking Malaysia and Singapore map. The Singapore Garmin maps are not updated ones and rarely gets updated unless you count the Malsing ones - plus the original Garmin Singapore ones are very expensive to buy. The maps on Holux comes free with the device. One reason I chose the GPSmile55 over the GPSmile 53c is the larger screen. I dont want to be tapping in road names on a small screen on the road.

The GPS can be used straight from the box. The contents of the box are: The Holux GPSmile 55 unit, a SD card with the Mapking maps, a charger with home socket, a suction cup with arm mounting kit and a charger that can be connected to the car cigarette lighter socket.

The mounting is simple just attach the suction cup to windscreen but making sure that the arm rests on the dashboard. Connect the car charger to the arm and just plug in the GPS unit.

The interface is qute intuitive and simple after the shop person showed it to me. Dont really need to read manual to understand how to use it.

Currently this unit only has Singapore and Malaysia (including Sabah and Sarawak)maps. No maps for other countries yet - but then again most of us drive in Sing & M'sia most of the time. So perhaps I will buy a handheld Garmin one for trekking and for travelling in other countries. It does not use the Pocket PC or the PC Mapking update files on the http://www.mapking.com.sg webpage. East gear will email a link for the update once there is an update available. Currrently the maps available are very up-to-date (late/end 2007 I think). It has English with TTS - that means it can read out the road names too. Other languages available are: Cantonese, Chinese, Malay, Indonesian and other european languages.

So far I find it quite good. You can search by road names, postcodes and even some company names and commonly used names. It allows you to specify how it routes the journey (recommended, shortest route, expressway preferred etc). It also shows nearest petrol stations, ATMS, banks, places of interest etc. It will warn you of stationary speed camera, red light cameras and speed limit.

So far I found 1 bug: there is a case where it does not read the map. this happens when you tap too fast before the GPS unit finishes executing the program. In case that happens Eastgear told me the solution: just plug the SD card into a cardreared & a PC, backup the file that is used for favorites and delete off a folder that contains the file. Plug it into the device and the device will be able to read the maps again. Put back the file for favourites. They are working on a patch for this. I think its a small bug.

Overall, I am very happy with the GPS unit. It saves me lots of headaches since I am a road direction idiot. Hopefully it will save me petrol and time too (from not getting lost)...

I would love to hear from those that own a Garmin one. My brother is thinking of getting one and would like to know how this one is compared to Garmin Nuvi.

I actually posted this in another forum, One of the members there suggested I post it here to get more response on the comparison with a Garmin Nuvi.

gorjiam
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Re: GPS review: Holux GPSmile55

#2 Post by gorjiam » Mon Feb 04, 2008 9:56 pm

How's the sound? The e.g. the early nuvis have whiney speakers and are replaced for the later production runs. As I've mentioned, the one in the show room doesn't have proper working speakers

How's the screen under sunlight?

How long have you been using it? How's the routing so far?

Interesting to note that the Holux adopts the QWERTY key layout for it's touchscreen with the milspec 0.2mm gap inbetween "keys". However, the 0.2mm gap makes the button a bit hard to hit. I know you are not suppose to operate the unit while operating a vehicle, but how's the keys?

Have you tried using it with the MalSing Maps yet?

How's the Mapking update/warranty policy?

Sorry for "firing" so many questions.

tush
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Re: GPS review: Holux GPSmile55

#3 Post by tush » Tue Feb 05, 2008 10:59 am

gorjiam wrote:How's the sound? The e.g. the early nuvis have whiney speakers and are replaced for the later production runs. As I've mentioned, the one in the show room doesn't have proper working speakers
The sound is OK.. about the same as the Garmin ones


How's the screen under sunlight?
So far so good quite bright even under bright sunlight - no complaints there

How long have you been using it? How's the routing so far?
Been using it for 4 days now. Routing is quite good.. gives the shortest and easiest 80-95% under the "recommended" option.

Interesting to note that the Holux adopts the QWERTY key layout for it's touchscreen with the milspec 0.2mm gap inbetween "keys". However, the 0.2mm gap makes the button a bit hard to hit. I know you are not suppose to operate the unit while operating a vehicle, but how's the keys?
No problem entering the info. i use a long Nintendo DS stylus that looks like a pen...(although the unit comes with one)...err...even when driving..(I know i am not to do that)

Have you tried using it with the MalSing Maps yet?
Have not. Will tell you how is it once I try.

How's the Mapking update/warranty policy?
1 year... heard that Eastgear may charge for mapking updates after a year 9maybe $50 or so)

Sorry for "firing" so many questions.

opit
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Re: GPS review: Holux GPSmile55

#4 Post by opit » Sun Mar 09, 2008 3:20 pm

tush wrote: So far I find it quite good. You can search by road names, postcodes and even some company names and commonly used names.
Hi, just wondering how you manage to search by postcodes. can share ?

:tq:

jeryll
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Re: GPS review: Holux GPSmile55

#5 Post by jeryll » Sun Mar 09, 2008 3:41 pm

use to own 1
if i not wrong
its search in poi
i search everything in POI
unless its just road name :wink:

opit
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Re: GPS review: Holux GPSmile55

#6 Post by opit » Sun Mar 09, 2008 5:44 pm

jeryll wrote:use to own 1
if i not wrong
its search in poi
i search everything in POI
unless its just road name :wink:
Hi Jeryll

Million thanks, got it!!

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Re: GPS review: Holux GPSmile55

#7 Post by mechwarrior » Thu Mar 13, 2008 11:39 am

I bought the Holux C55 at the IT show for $499. It came with SLA mapking, SIngaopre Map King, East malaysia Map king, West Malaysia Map King, Malsing Map SIngapore and Malsingmap Malaysia.

So far so good and the direction when I use the SLA map king have been spot so far. I would like to start using the MalsingMaps soon. ANyone know how to check the version of the Malsingmap from the Holux?

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