Product: Magellan Maestro 3210 GPS Navigation SystemManufacturer: MagellanMSRP:
$299.99Lowest Historical Price:
Going from a GPS sytem with Text-To-Speech (TTS) to one without that feature is somewhat like going from Coke to Diet Coke. They both try to do the same thing, but the full version does it in a much more satisfying way. That was my initial impression when I first started using the Magellan Maestro 3210, having come from using the Garmin Nuvi 360 for several months. Could the Maestro 3210 impress me after I had become used to a more advanced model? Read on to find outâ€¦Design
The Maestro 3210 has a pleasing combination of glossy black and matte silver finishes. The screen itself is also matte, which helps to make any reflections more diffuse and therefore less distracting. Size-wise, it is about the size and thickness of a deck of cards, but more square to accommodate for the 3.5" QVGA touch screen. There are side ports for USB/Power, and an optional Secure Digital Card. It is small enough to fit in your pants pocket with a slight bulge.Review
As alluded to in the intro, the Maestro 3210 does not support TTS. Some would consider TTS to be an indispensable feature when shopping for a GPS. I tip my hat to that camp, but if you can live with a GPS that only says "Turn Right in Half a Mile" instead of "Turn Right at Main St," you can read on.
The screen on the Maestro 3210 is QVGA at 320 x 240 pixels. It is quite clear and bright, and based on a direct comparison I would say that it is a better looking screen than the Garmin Nuvi 360. The touch screen is 100% responsive and works exactly as you'd expect. Fingerprints do not show up significantly on the screen surface unless you've been eating Cheetos.
It has standard address programming features, as well as a smart keyboard that eliminates (grays out) letters that are no longer applicable based on a comparison between your input and the GPS' database. This feature allows you to input your destination more quickly. As you navigate through the directions it gives, the Maestro 3210 will announce your next move slightly ahead of time. As you approach a turn, the GPS will sound a two-tone series, ascending tones for a right turn and descending tones for a left turn.
The internal speaker is loud and clear even over the drone at highway speeds. There is no hint of speaker strain (hissing, crackling) that were sometimes noticeable with the Nuvi 360. Speaking of sound output, I noticed that whereas earlier revisions of the Maestro 3210 have a headphone port, the one we reviewed does not. It has molded signage for headphone output, but no actual place to plug in your headphones!
As you drive around, the Maestro 3210 automatically updates the screen to show where you are. It also displays icons for useful POI's such as banks and gas stations. One annoying aspect is that it does take an uncomfortable while for the Maestro 3210 to lock on to the GPS satellites. The satellite strength bar at the top right of the screen shows you how good the reception is. If you are indoors or without a line of sight to the sky, you'll likely lose reception and the GPS will get out of sync if you move around.Conclusion
The Magellan Maestro 3210 is a basic GPS that will well serve a basic user. It does not offer compelling features such as Bluetooth or Text-to-Speech, which is definitely a factor to consider when purchasing a GPS. It does provide good navigation instructions with a high quality display, with automatic re-routing should you veer off course. At recent prices as low as $161, it is definitely a contender in its price category, however if you have the budget you should definitely take a look at more advanced models and particularly those that offer Text-to-Speech.Image Gallery Price History