Pharos Drive GPS 140

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At a Glance
  • Pharos Drive GPS 140

You get much more than driving directions with Pharos's new $490 Drive GPS 140. Unlike competing GPS models, this unit also lets you view videos and still images, and even play audio files.

As a navigation device, the Pharos 140 offers the speed and accuracy you need to traverse unfamiliar routes. But it's missing some of the nice touches found on its competitors, and I quickly came to miss the map details and night views, for example, that you get with products such as the TomTom One. Even some of the driving details were lacking: The directions that the Pharos 140 provides can be less clear than those of competing GPS devices.

The shipping unit I tested worked right out of the box. Maps and points of interest for the United States and Canada are preinstalled on the device's 2GB SD Card. I found that the Pharos 140's windshield-mounted cradle stayed firmly in place over some bumpy roads, and I could easily see my route on its bright, 4-inch screen.

The unit did a great job of keeping up with me as I traveled. Still, I was caught by surprise by a couple of the turns: The device doesn't warn you about turns that follow quickly one after the next, something the TomTom One and other GPS systems do.

In addition to its multimedia support, you can link your Bluetooth-enabled cell phone to the Pharos device for hands-free calling; however, it's difficult to follow the many steps that are required to sync it with your phone.

The Pharos 140 is slightly more costly than GPS systems that offer features this model lacks. Still, the Drive GPS 140's ability to play media files may make its extra cost worthwhile if you want a GPS to do more than just navigate.

Dennis O'Reilly

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At a Glance
  • Pros

    • The product is ready to use right out of the box
    • Has built-in media player


    • Maps lack the detail of other GPS devices
    • Driving directions could be more accurate
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