new Maestro 4250 is the latest flagship GPS model being offered by the company.
The 4250 offers a thin, elegant design that is completely mobile thanks to the
built-in lithium-ion battery. The design features an easy to read anti-glare 4.3"
(wide aspect ratio) WQVGA color touch screen and is preloaded with maps of the
U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada, with 6 million preprogrammed Points of Interest
(POIs). Additional features include SayWhere text-to-speech, LIVE traffic
report capability (with subscription) and an integrated Bluetooth® interface
for hands-free phone calls with your Bluetooth® capable cell phone. Magellan
has also teamed up with AAA (American Automobile Association) to provide the AAA
TourBook guide information as part of the built-in database, so users can
easily locate AAA approved restaurants, lodging and other services, complete with
ratings and discounts. In addition, members can use the roadside assistance button
to call for help in the event their vehicle is having trouble. A feature called
SmartDetour automatically prompts the user to route around any sudden freeway
Maestro 4250 is a compact unit measuring only 3.25" x 4.88" x 0.7"
(H x W x D) and weighing less than 7 ounces. It can easily fit into a shirt pocket
and the 1200mAH rechargeable lithium-ion battery gives it true portability lasting
for several hours on a single charge. The unit features a WAAS/EGNOS-enabled,
20-channel SiRFstarIII chipset and an integrated multidirectional patch antenna
for exceptional reception, even indoors in many cases. Signal sensitivity and
the built-in high-sensitivity antenna results in fast position acquisition.
The Maestro 4250 comes with all the accessories needed to use
the GPS in a vehicle. This includes the basic cradle with an adjustable mount,
adhesive mounting disc, cigarette lighter adapter with FM antenna, AC power adapter,
protective pouch, and user manual CDROM. The protective pouch comes in handy and
keeps the unit from getting scratched up with daily handling when mounting and
unmounting the unit. Magellan also sells a 2nd Car Kit designed to make it easy
to transfer your Maestro GPS between different vehicles and includes the windshield
mount, basic cradle, vehicle power adapter and adhesive disk for on-dash mounting.
This saves from having to transfer all the accessories from vehicle to vehicle.
Maestro 4250 includes a memory slot that accepts either SD or MMC memory cards.
Vital data such as custom POIs and address/phone information can be backed up
onto the memory card using the User Options menu and selecting Backup/Restore.
The user will be asked to confirm before a backup or restore is initiated. Losing
data can be a real pain, so this is a great feature. No memory card is included
with the unit, but they are inexpensive. The unit gets its external power from
the mini USB connector on the right side of the unit and can be charged from either
the 120VAC adapter or the car charger provided with the GPS. The same USB interface
allows the user to access the files when connected to a computer. The top right
side of the unit has the power button. Pressing the button for 2 seconds will
turn the unit on or off. Holding the button down for more than 5 seconds will
reboot the unit. This may be required should the unit freeze during operation.
The car charger also has an FM plug that provides an antenna
for the optional Live Traffic Report feature. Magellan provides a free 3-month
service subscription to entice users with an easy way to avoid traffic (Requires
activation). The integrated traffic receiver scans the FM band for traffic data
and sends real-time incident reports to the screen with alerts for slow-downs,
accidents, road closures, severe weather and more. FM signal strength for each
of the frequencies can be monitored in the Traffic Status menu. The Maestro
4250 will automatically prompt the user to reroute when a quicker way is available.
The user can select the specific traffic events to be notified with by selecting
the alerts in the Incident
Options menu under Traffic Options.
a traffic condition is reported to the Maestro 4250, an icon appears in the lower
right corner of the screen. Tapping the icon shows the Traffic
Event List with all of the reported events listed in ascending order based
on distance from the current GPS position. Only those alerts selected in the Incident
Options menu will appear for the user. There is a traffic map icon
shown on the bottom of the Traffic Event List that displays all of the
traffic problems on a map for easy viewing. Since we are located near three major
freeways, it is not uncommon to have many problems reported. In one case, 11 traffic
events showed up on our screen.
the Maestro 4250 features an integrated multidirectional GPS antenna patch, the
top back of the GPS has an MCX input connector for an external antenna if no signal
is available at the unit location. The left side of the unit does not have any
interfaces, but does have a built-in microphone on the front for accepting verbal
commands from the operator. The speaker is located on the back of the unit and
provides Turn-by-Turn guidance announcing exit numbers and names of the streets
as you navigate.
The Maestro 4250 has the unique ability to respond to voice commands.
Users can start by saying "Magellan" and the unit prompts them to proceed
with a request for additional information. Users can go home, find the nearest
coffee shop, restaurant, gas station and ATM or get their current location. Users
can say "Nearest Restaurant" or more specifically "Nearest Italian
Restaurant" to find a particular ethnic food. The unit does a good job of
recognizing the words, but you must speak clearly with minimal background noise.
This is a great feature once you learn how to use it because there is no need
for the user to press buttons.
Maestro 4250 comes with a basic cradle that clips to the unit and attaches to
an adjustable mount. The cradle has two small openings that slide over the mount
flanges. Installation and removal is quick and easy with this design. The GPS
can be removed without having to detach the suction cup from the windshield. Alternatively,
the adhesive mounting disc can be attached to a surface such as your dash and
then to the suction cup mount. The two axis mount design allows the unit to be
moved into in a variety of positions for optimal screen access. Two knobs are
used to loosen or tighten the horizontal and vertical joints. The vertical axis
snaps into discrete positions. The design is rigid with the short arms and does
not easily move around while the vehicle is moving.
The Maestro 4250 comes with a basic cradle that attaches to the
adjustable mount. The adjustable mount is designed to attach to a smooth surface
such as the windshield or the included adhesive mounting disc. Unfortunately,
some states such as California and Minnesota have laws in place that restrict
the use of suction mounts on their windshields while operating motor vehicles.
We found an aftermarket product that attaches to air vent and mates directly to
the Maestro cradle. Since the Maestro units are lightweight, little stress is
placed on the vent assembly. We have been using this for months and it works well.
map can be displayed even if a route has not been determined. If a route is defined,
the road that needs to be followed will appear in green with a blue arrow indicating
the direction. The map screen has several buttons that give the user quick access
to commonly used features. The upper left displays the current heading and the
right side displays the signal strength. The "-" and "+" buttons
are used to zoom in and out of the street map. There are a total of 23 zoom levels
available, ranging from 100 feet to 1200 miles. The lower tab next to the menu
button displays the current time and vehicle speed. When in route mode, the right
information tab displays Remaining Time, Distance to go or the Estimated Arrival
Time. Points of Interests such as gas stations and restaurants will also appear
on the screen. In many cases, the Maestro database includes detailed information
such as store hours and phone numbers. The speaker button allows the user to quickly
set or mute the audio level.
The 2D map gives the user a two-dimensional view of the map with
the the top of the screen pointing in the direction of your heading or pointing
North (user selectable). The 3D mode gives the user a three-dimensional view of
the map with the top of the screen always in the direction of your heading. The
TrueView mode gives users a 3D view of the upcoming maneuver. The SplitView
mode divides the screen into a two dimensional view of the map screen along with
a three dimensional view of the upcoming maneuver.
Pressing the compass symbol in the upper left corner of the main
map screen will take the user to the Current Location screen. The current
street along with the past and upcoming cross streets are shown on the screen.
The current latitude and longitude positions are displayed with the heading, altitude
and speed of the vehicle. The time and date are also shown at the bottom of the
screen. The user can select the Save button at any time to capture the location
of the vehicle. The user can name the location and use it at a later date as a
Pressing the signal strength icon in the upper right corner of
the main map screen will display the GPS Status. Each satellite the unit
is tracking will be displayed on the screen with the corresponding signal level.
The total number of satellite being tracked along with the GPS fix (2D or 3D)
is displayed in the lower left of the screen. This information is useful when
trying to determine the signals being received by the unit. GPS positional data
is updated approximately once every second. The satellites being used to determine
the user's position are shown with green bars, while those that the Maestro 4250
are trying to lock onto are displayed with orange bars. No bar shown indicates
the satellite is not being tracked with a signal. The longer the bars, the stronger
Bluetooth function of the Maestro 4250 allows the user to make and receive phone
calls using the unit's touchscreen with the on-screen keypad, address book, call
history, or redial functions. One of the most powerful features of the Maestro
4250 is the ability to choose a Point of Interest (POI) and with a touch of a
button, initiate a phone call to the POI. With over 6 million POIs, having the
4250 is like having portable Yellow Pages. This is especially useful when traveling
on the road.
The main menu consists of six icons that include Show Map,
Enter Address, Points of Interest (POI), Trip Planner, Exit
POI's and User Options. The lower icons are for navigating Home, AAA
Roadside Assistance, and Cell Phone options. As part of the POI's, the Maestro
4250 includes AAA's integrated travel information from their TourBook. There are
4.5 million points of interest (POI), making it easy to find gas stations, restaurants,
ATMs, airports, parks and a whole lot more. Users can take advantage of the smart
location search by name, category and region. Pressing the Show Map icon on the
screen will display the current position regardless of whether a route has been
QuickSpell is a powerful database driven entry system that automatically
sorts, searches, and checks the spelling of entered names, thereby minimizing
the number of keystrokes required by the user. Only valid name options will appear
on the screen based on the region selected. Once the unit has determined the matching
names for a given area, only the appropriate keys on the screen will be enabled.
The fewer the letters entered, the more possible names to choose from. For example,
finding Los Angeles only requires the first three letters "LOS",
a space and the "A" for the built-in database to determine what city
you are entering. The unit automatically displays the six possible matches. The
last five are shown on the screen with "LOS ANGELES, CA" as the last
possible match. Users can select OK at any time to get the possible matches. Obviously,
the more letters entered the easier it is to match the final name. The process
is very simple and time efficient when using the GPS.
The Maestro 4250 also has Bluetooth built-in and allows
calls to be made or received using a compatible cell phone. We linked our Motorola
RAZR V3m to the unit without any issues. The Maestro has a huge database of phone
numbers associated with the POI's (Points of Interests) and making the use of
these numbers even easier once the Bluetooth is active. Searching for a restaurant
or other establishment and calling it only requires clicking the number on the
screen. It is not totally hands-free, but it is a whole lot easier to make a call
while on the road. Users should always keep their attention on the road and have
a passenger make phone calls when needed. Emergency AAA roadside assistance is
even easier with dedicated buttons for quick access to phone numbers. No longer
do you need to find the number on the back of the AAA card since this information
can be stored ahead of time in the unit for use in case of an emergency.
Selecting the System Settings lets the user choose Volume,
screen Brightness, Power setting, Language, Time Zone, and Units. The signal icon
on the screen will take the user to the GPS status screen. Each satellite the
unit is tracking will be displayed on the screen with the signal level. The total
number of satellite being tracked along with the GPS fix (2D or 3D) is displayed
in the lower left of the screen. This information is useful when trying to determine
the signals being received by the unit. GPS positional data is updated approximately
once every second. Up to 12 satellites can be tracked at any given time. The second
screen provides Diagnostics for the touchscreen, audio and video as well
as Product Information (Product info, serial number, firmware and hardware
The Magellan Maestro 4250 is one of the best GPS unit we have ever reviewed. The
unit is powerful and easy to operate with an intuitive user interface. The unit
is so sensitive that it has no problem acquiring a reasonably good (3D) signal
in the house or in the garage. I have never had a problem with reception except
for tunnels and other large structures. I can't say that for all GPS units that
come our way.
larger 4.3" screen is easy to read and Magellan has made excellent use of
the area. The auto night view (based on time of day) adjusts the screen color
and contrast for easy night viewing. The SmartDetour feature built into
the Maestro was smart enough to know when we encountered heavy stop-and-go freeway
traffic on major roadways. This feature helped determine if an alternate route
was available and gave us options to get to our destination. This along with the
realtime Traffic Notification makes this a state-of-the-art GPS.
Maestro is small, yet the SayWhere text-to-speech commands are very intelligible
through the small speaker located on the back of the unit. It actually reflects
off the surface that it is mounted on and projects sound well in the vehicle.
The battery life is limited to a few hours depending on how the unit is used (screen
brightness), so it is important to keep the car power adapter connected at all
times. The AC power adapter can also come in handy when a charge is needed and
the user is not in a vehicle.
An address can be inputted into the Maestro by entering the city, zip code or
previous city entered. Users can also quickly route themselves to an intersection
by entering the city and street names. Once the unit is up and running, the user
simply selects a new address or chooses from the existing address database previously
saved into the unit. The Select Destination screen lets the user choose
from Select Address, Address Book, Points of Interest, or
an Intersection. If the Select Address is chosen, the user can enter
the city, state or previous city, then enter the address of the destination. The
user is then prompted with the Route Method which includes Shortest
Time, Shortest Distance, Least Use of Freeways or Most Use
of Freeways. There is also an option to Avoid Toll Roads. We almost
always picked Shortest Time and received quick and accurate information.
Selecting the Map icon displays a map with your current position. The Home
icon determines the route to the defined home location, such as your place of
residence or other common destinations.
The Magellan Maestro 4250 is an easy to use GPS that offers a large number of
built-in maps, POIs, Bluetooth, and the integrated AAA TourBook® guide information
and is certainly more powerful than the sum of its parts. Key features also include
Magellan's SayWhere text-to-speech and LIVE traffic report capability. The
Bluetooth feature allows users to operate their cell phones virtually hands free.
The Maestro 4250 comes with a one year warranty. As a special bonus, AAA members
can get an additional year of warranty added to the manufacturer's one year warranty
by registering their GPS unit within 60 days of purchase.