Sony announced today that it is updating and expanding its line of Nav-U personal navigation systems to include the new NV-U94T, NV-U84, NV-U74T, and NV-U44 models.
The top of the line NV-U94T model replaces the NV-U83T and features improved software for faster routing and Position Plus, a technology suite that uses accelerometers and, interestingly, a barometer to route the unit when the satellite signal is lost. The NV-U94T's cradle has a built-in RDS-TMC real-time traffic receiver, while the NV-U74T model has its RDS-TMC function built into the main unit. Nav Traffic is a subscription-based service. The NV-U84 and NV-U44 do not offer traffic.
Sony says that it's increased the point of interest database to more than 5 million points. To help sort through these POIs, Sony has expanded its catalog of brand icons and is now offering a Quick Link feature to allow users to specify their favorite points of interest for easy access. For example, if "Starbucks" is quick linked, the unit will find the nearest Starbucks without having to dig through a menu.
Over the outgoing model, the NV-U94T adds MP3 and non-DRM AAC audio playback, MPEG-4 video playback, and JPEG slide shows from its Memory Stick Duo card slot. The unit supports Bluetooth streaming of audio to A2DP capable devices (such as the Sony MEX-BT5000 receiver) and retains the outgoing model's hands-free calling with the addition of automatic full contact syncing.
A wide-screen 4.8-inch screen, gesture commands, an improved super suction cup, and updated design that's 30 percent thinner than the outgoing model and featuring a new gunmetal finish round out the NV-U94T's feature set.
The NV-U74T steps down from the U94T, losing music/video playback and reducing the screen to 4.3 inches. The NV-U84 steps farther down, losing Bluetooth, position plus, and traffic data, but retaining the 4.8-inch screen. Finally, the entry-level NV-U44 steps farther down to a 3.5-inch screen, but adds wine red and silver colored models to the standard gunmetal gray.
The NV-U94T, NV-U84, NV-U74T, and NV-U44 Nav-U personal navigation devices will be available in September for about $400, $350, $300, and $250 respectively.