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Magellan SmartGPS 5390: The connected car GPS

Magellan SmartGPS 5390: The connected car GPS
Magellan SmartGPS 5390: The connected car GPS
Magellan GPS

Magellan SmartGPS 5390: The connected car GPS

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Having used a Magellan RoadMate for a couple of years, I was curious to see the improvements that were incorporated into the new Magellan SmartGPS 5390. This new addition to the Magellan GPS product line has taken a simple GPS unit and created a navigational experience unlike previous GPS units or even a smartphone. Magellan's cloud-enabled SmartGPS Ecosystem integrates a variety of content from social, local, and mobile content for a truly amazing experience.

Magellan SmartGPS 5390: The connected car GPS
Magellan GPS

In the Box

  • The Magellan SmartGPS 5390 GPS unit
  • 1 sturdy Dashboard stand with a suction cup attachment
  • 1 Car charging cable of about 5' in length which connects to the car's data port or cigarette lighter.
  • 1 MicroUSB charging cable approx. 30" in length
  • 1 Single port USB charging cube which plugs into a wall outlet or powerstrip.
  • Printed Quick Start Guide in English, French, and Spanish
  • Instructions for downloading the free Magellan RoadMate App from the App Store or Google Play.

The SmartGPS 5390 has a 5" capacitive touch screen which has a High Resolution display of 800 x 480 WVGA. The unit is equipped with a microUSB 2.0 port for charging the battery as well as connecting it to the dashboard stand in the car or a computer. A MicroSD slot allows for extra storage for any additional maps you may wish to purchase. A 3.5mm audio connector allows you the option of connecting the GPS unit to external speakers but the sound quality is so good you probably won't need to do that. There is a 3.5mm AV connector is for use with the Magellan Backup Camera which is not included but can be found on Amazon.

When the GPS unit is powered, on it determines the correct time of day for your location, the time zone and Daylight Savings Time status in order to display the local time on the screen. Connecting the device to your wireless router is as simple as connecting your phone or tablet for use on your home network. The familiar WiFi symbol will be displayed on the screen to show the state of the connection to the Internet.

Connect the unit to your Bluetooth enabled smartphone. The SmartGPS receiver will sync content using your phone and Sync to MiCloud when it's enabled in the settings. You must first set up your MiCloud account when you register the product online.

When pairing the SmartGPS to your smartphone, make sure the phone is set temporarily to be visible to any Bluetooth device or the Magellan might not connect. At first the Leagoo Lead 1 couldn't see the GPS and it couldn't be seen either. The old DroidX that I use with many of my tests had no problem and was immediately paired to the GPS. As soon as I changed the above setting on the Lead 1, I was able to successfully pair it with the GPS as well. When connected to your smartphone, you will also be able to make and receive hands-free calls through the GPS.

There is a new App available free for iOS and one for Android devices that will link the device to the GPS. I installed the Android App onto the Lead 1 phone with Android 4.4.2 and Bluetooth 4.0. I downloaded the file from Google Play and launched the App but all I got was the message that the app had unexpectedly stopped. I tried several times but I never got any farther than that. I expect the software might need a bit of tweaking and a future update will correct the issue.

The SmartGPS incorporates a High Sensitivity GPS that is accurate to between 3 and 5 Meters or about 9 to 16 feet. Each time the GPS is powered on, you will see a little safety message about appropriate use when the vehicle is in operation. It is a bit annoying but it goes by pretty quickly and then the Home screen appears. The Home screen will have your present location on the left and on the right of the screen will be such things as Traffic events, Safety Alerts, Weather, Lowest Price Gas nearby, Local Restaurants, and other alerts that you may select from the setup menu. Plus, you can receive Yelp and Foursquare reviews and deals based on your location with no subscription fees required. There is a wheel at the top of the touch screen that you can use to adjust how many alerts appear on the screen at one time. If you wish, you may select to have the map fill the entire screen instead of a split screen with the alerts. You may also select the Map Style at the bottom of the screen from 2D and 3D options.

The impressive features of the SmartGPS are too numerous to mention them all here but it includes:

  • Preloaded Maps for the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico
  • 7 Million Points of Interest
  • Turn-by-Turn Routing
  • Lifetime Traffic Alerts
  • Highway Lane Assist
  • Lifetime Map Updates
  • Multi-Destination Routing
  • OneTouch Favorites Menu
  • Speed Limits
  • Spoken Street Names
  • Branded POIs
  • POIs Along Route
  • Smart City Search
  • Smart Detour

The spoken street names and directions mean you can keep your eyes on the road which is safer for everyone. When I reviewed the Magellan RoadMate 1700 a couple of years ago, it was said that no matter how lost you are, Magellan will get you home. That is still true today, but the Magellan SmartGPS will also make sure you find a place to eat on the way home and low price gas if you need it. This is an amazing product which will keep you connected wherever you are and always bring you home safely.

Setup is not always intuitive but there is a good printed Quick Start Manual to help you through any rough patches and the Home button on the top edge will always take you back to the map screen. I was particularly impressed with the strength of the suction cup on the Windshield Mount. It holds on really tight to the surface where you place the stand. Then just connect the GPS unit and the car power adapter and you're good to go. If your car doesn't have a cigarette lighter or data port, a simple USB power bank (from ADATA, Aukey, Anker, Lepow and others) will provide the power you need for the GPS to function normally. A full User's Manual in PDF format and more product information can be found by visiting Magellan online.

The Magellan SmartGPS 5390 is compatible with:

  • Computers running Microsoft Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7.
  • Mac computers with OS X 10.6 and higher are also supported
  • A high speed Internet connection is required for upgrades
  • USB 2.0 Port
  • SmartGPS will data Sync with iPhone 4S or newer and is compatible with most Android Smartphones.

The MagellanSmartGPS 5390 has a List Price of $229 but you will find it available new on Amazon at prices ranging from $190 to the incomprehensible price of $518.18 from a Marketplace seller.

SmartGPS 5390 Specifications
Product Number: RM5390SGLUC
Dimensions: 5.3" x 3.4" x .53" / 135 mm x 85 mm x 13.5 mm
Weight: 0.45 lb. / 204 g
Battery Type: 1100 mAh Li-ion rechargeable
Battery Life: 90 minutes
Microphone: Yes
Speaker: Yes
CPU: Texas Instruments Cortex A8
Expandable Memory: microSD
Temperature Range: 14 degrees F to 158 degrees F
MicroSD Slot: Yes