updated 02:30 pm EDT, Wed August 27, 2008
Sony NAV-U August 2008
Alongside its Xplod updates, Sony today also overhauled its NAV-U mapping devices with a handful of key updates. A new photo viewer lets owners of Sony's cameras swap Memory Sticks to view their JPEG images from the larger 4.8-inch screen. Every GPS unit also a better search, Sony claims: a faster search routine is also mixed with a Quick Link shortcut feature that automatically searches for a favorite restaurant chain or similar point.
As the head of the new updates, the U94T also has stereo Bluetooth audio support for both hands-free calls and for relaying music to the car's sound system; the device itself supports Traffic Message Channel notices and can serve as a media player for either AAC or MP3 music as well as MPEG-4 videos. A new gesture control system gives drivers the option of navigating content through swipes and similar motions without having to read the screen itself.
Other models give the user the choice of screen size or features. The U84 has the same 4.8-inch display as the U94T but scraps Bluetooth and traffic; opting for the smaller U47T brings both those two features back in return for its smaller 4.3-inch screen. An entry U44 device has a 3.5-inch screen and drops the wireless and traffic features for the sake of cost.
Prices top out for the NAV-U replacements at $400 and drop in $50 increments down to the $250 price of the U44. Sony declines to set a release date but says preorders are already underway for the four devices.