GPS navigation systems haven't really been the best-looking of devices, what with most of them being chunky and nondescript. Fortunately, all that is about to change thanks to Taiwanese GPS specialist, Holux, and its latest offering, the ultra-slim GPSmile 62.
The first thing you'll probably notice about the Holux GPSmile 62 is how slim it is. At only 1.45cm thick, it is easily one of the thinnest 5-inch GPS car navigation devices available in the market now. To top it off, the Holux GPSmile 62 also boasts a 5-inch TFT screen with a resolution of 480 x 272 pixels. It looks great, but more importantly, the screen is legible even under the harshest afternoon sun. It's not just about the screen however, as this unit is easily one of the better looking GPS navigators we've seen.
The Holux GPSmile 62 is powered by Papago's X3! navigation software, which has been specially developed for Singapore and Malaysia. The unit came preloaded with two map sets of Singapore and Malaysia, one set being the official maps by the Singapore Land Authority and the other by Malfreemaps, an online mapping community. Together with the Papago X3! navigation software, it offers unique features like 3D navigation, which shows the maps in a 3D perspective and displays prominent landmarks.
Other useful additions include the Reality Junction View, which helps drivers to identify the correct expressway exit to take; and the Lane Assist Feature, which guides drivers into the correct lane.
The best feature of the Holux GPSmile 62 is how it searches for your destination. Because it is loaded with the official maps from the Singapore Land Authority, its database contains all possible addresses and postal codes. This is extremely useful if you need to reach a certain location for the first time and all you have is an address.
If your destination is a place of interest like a shopping mall or tourist attraction, you can use the Points of Interest search option. In it, you can find places such as shopping malls, nightspots, tourist hotspots, restaurants, car parks and even auto workshops.
The actual GPS performance was nothing to shout about. It took ages to get a lock-on from a cold start, and the voice commands can be a bit slow to arrive and therefore confusing. Routing wasn't always ideal either as it sometimes offered us a longer route (since it was trying to plot a route in the direction of the destination and that could mean more turns and traffic lights versus charting a smoother route).
Should you miss a turn or accidentally follow another route, the re-routing was pretty quick, although we found that it has a penchant for telling us to make U-turns, and illegal ones at that!
Despite the average GPS performance, the Holux GPSmile 62 is a fairly capable GPS navigator. Destination search was a peach, and we found the new 3D navigation, Reality Junction View and Lane Assist features really helpful. To end, the Holux GPSmile 62 would have been excellent if not for its average routing and its sluggish voice command