Road Angel 7000 Review

Billed as "2 great products in 1" I would actually say the advertising sells this product short!

The Road Angel 7000 is your traditional in-car GPS unit but with some special features that make it attractive to people like me.

Ease of Use

My first impression is that the device is not easy to use or quick to learn, but this is simply due to the poor design of some of the icons. Once you understand what an icon represents it becomes easier, so a quick scan through the manual first won't do any harm!

Pro:

One great plus-point is the ease of use from the perspective of someone who like to know what is going on behind the scenes, and doesn't want to install bloated software to perform a simple function.

I refer to the fact that the SD card can be removed and files added without the need to install "Installers" or "Active Sync" on the PC.

Con:

I don't like the way that a tap on the screen turns off navigation. If the screensaver (batterysaver) has turned off the screen you need to tap it to turn it on again. But doing so turns off the navigation!

Despite the fact that it comes with Europe maps it doesn't work properly in Europe -- it assumes you are driving on the left side of the road and so gives inverted directions at roundabouts for example.

Memory-Map

Despite my criticisms of the Memory-Map company (see my other pages!) I find the Memory-Map software and maps useful for my needs. The fact that Memory-Map runs on this device is a fantastic feature. Of course Memory-Map runs on many PDAs but none of them are waterproof and suitable for taking outdoors.

The great benefit of having Memory-Map on an in-car GPS unit is that you can see the full Ordnance Survey maps - a huge amount of detail about where you are compared to the simple road layout on traditional units. Use the routing features as normal to get close to your destination then switch to the OS map for the countryside. Stop the car, remove the unit, and proceed on foot or bicycle, boat etc. using the OS map. You don't get voice prompts when using the OS map but you can plot a route in advance and follow it using on-screen arrows. You can also download your track afterwards if you want to save it, see it on your PC, or calculate profiles.

Simply purchase the cheapest Road Angel 7000 you can find and then install the Memory-Map files to it; this is much cheaper than the RA+MM bundle if you already own some MM maps on your PC.

Unpack the zip file onto your PC and copy the contents onto the SD card. Next find some maps in qct format, you can get these from your PC installation of memory-map. If you want a small region simply use the route tool to draw a boundary and right-click inside to get the option to save it to the SD card.

Start the RA7000, select menu, scroll through to Memory-Map and run it. Select a map, wait for GPS lock, click on the padlock and away you go!

Hints and Tips

To charge the device via the USB-style cable switch it on, plug in the cable, then put it to sleep using the button on top. Wait until the light changes from red to green.

Extra batteries can be used using a simple AA-to-USB adapter.

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