The button that provides quick access to the Go To menu is one of five on the right-hand side of the screen. Two of these mirror a feature we first saw in the iCN 550: tap one and it displays a list of the fuel stations closest to your current location, along with the distance to them; the other does the same for parking locations. In both cases, you tap the one you want to see a small insert map showing the destination and your current location. Tap the 'Go' button and you are directed to it.
Another of the side buttons launches the main menu screen that allows you to set up various preferences, and, importantly, access features associated with the camera. The fifth button cycles through four different screen displays: 3D map, 2D map, a screen showing the next turn diagram in a small window inserted into the main map and a list of turn-by-turn instructions.
The 2D and 3D map screens offer a zoom feature, and all screens show direction of travel information, offer the opportunity to cancel the current route, and have a display area which, when tapped, cycles through showing current time, current speed, time to destination, estimated time of arrival and distance to destination.
Spoken instructions were loud and clear during our test trips, and delivered at appropriate points before junctions. Tapping the next turn diagram in any of the screen views causes the current instruction to be repeated.
The NavPix system is not exclusive to the iCN 720 -- Navman says it will be supported in future devices. When you take a photo with the 1.3-megapixel camera, it is stored in the internal memory along with GPS positioning data. You can use NavPix as journey destinations, and indeed can 'assign' them to Favourite locations and specify that icons representing them are shown on maps. Tapping on an icon brings up the associated NavPix.
You can assign meaningful descriptions to NavPix, copy them to an SD card, delete them from the internal memory, and, when viewing them in their album, tap the Go To icon and initiate navigation to the relevant location.
The personalised online NavPix album also allows you to share pictures with other users. You can't effect this image-sharing from the iCN 720 itself. You need to copy NavPix to a PC first, either using the SD card or by making a USB cable connection and using Microsoft's ActiveSync, which is supplied alongside the SmartST software.
There are some genuinely useful ways to take advantage of NavPix. You could take a photo of somewhere you want to remember -- a promising-looking restaurant, for example. Navman suggests that professionals like estate agents and event coordinators might find uses for NavPix. If the recipient of a NavPix has a Navman device supporting the technology, they can save the image to their device and use it.
Overall, though, NavPix gives the impression of being a bolted on feature rather than a smoothly integrated one. For example, you can't instruct the system to save images to an SD card rather than the internal memory by default, and you can't navigate to a NavPix from the main Go To screen (which is where you access all the other types of destination) -- you can only do this from the NavPix album.
The iCN 720 is a high-quality navigation device with excellent usability and on-screen information display. The 102mm-widescreen display is a welcome enhancement, allowing more map data to be visible -- tappable on-screen icons and information displays can also be large without interfering too much with the maps. The bigger screen does make for a sizeable device, though. Although it's intriguing, we're not convinced that NavPix will have the revolutionary effect that Navman is hoping for.
Additional editing by Kate Macefield