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January 25, 2008

Harman/Kardon 810-GPS Review

GPSmagazine Rating: 3 of 5
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8. Finding A Point of Interest

In GPS speak, a "Point of Interest" is a business address saved on the GPS. You can think of the POI database as a pre-loaded yellow pages. Most modern GPS devices come pre-loaded with a Points of Interest database, allowing you to find nearby businesses, such as restaurants, gas stations, hotels, and more.

Harman/Kardon's 810 has 12 million POIs (Points of Interest). This is double the amount of Garmin units 6 million POIs, and almost three times as many POIs as Magellan's high-end units.

Navigating to a POI is very similar to navigating to an address:

Searching for a POI
Figure 37: Searching for a POI

To search for a POI, tap Plan a Trip -> Place from the Navigation Menu

Telling the GPS Where to Search
Figure 38: Telling the GPS Where to Search

The 810 lets you search for Points of Interest:

  • Near your current position (Nearby)
  • In a specific city (Near City in your current State)
  • Any place of your choosing (Near Other Location).
  • A place near your destination (Near Current Destination)

You will only get the Near Current Destination option if you have a route already planned.

Selecting a Category
Figure 39: Selecting a Category

After telling the Harmon/Kardon 810 where to search you are given two options Category and Spell Name. The categories are as follows:

  • Services
  • Transportation
  • Shopping
  • Entertainment
  • Culture
  • Sports, Recreation
  • Emergency, Government
  • Food & Drink
  • Lodging
  • Artificial Landmark

The list is pretty short, but there are a lot of subcategories that you would expect inside of each menu.

The blue markings you see indicate that you have items that are always displayed on the navigation screen when they are available. Currently, I have it displaying all gas stations along my route.

9. Bluetooth (hands-free) Operation

Accessing the 810's Bluetooth Phone Features
Figure 40: Accessing the 810's Bluetooth Phone Features

When paired with a bluetooth-enabled cell phone, it is possible to use the 810 as a hands-free telephone, placing and receiving calls via the GPS.

To access the Bluetooth menu, tap on the Phone Option from the Main Menu, as shown above.

Phone Menu
Figure 41: Phone Menu

From the phone menu, you can access your phone book, voice dial, check your call history, manage your phone connection, access the dial pad or redial your last call.

No matter how I tried, I could not get my phone book to transfer to the 810.


Figure 42: Phone Calls

The phone pad is easy to use. The buttons are a nice size and respond nicely.

Connecting a new phone
Figure 43: Connecting a new phone

Tap Connect to a new phone to begin the process of pairing your bluetooth cell phone within range.

Pairing...
Figure 44: Pairing...

Note that the cell phone must be set to be discoverable in order to be "seen" by the GPS.

The pairing process had a couple of hick-ups, but I was able to get my LG VX10000 connected after a little trial and error.

Overall, the Bluetooth performance is sub par at best. I consistently had problems using the 810 with a Bluetooth device. Calls dropped frequently, the connection between the GPS and the cell phone was on and off, and sometimes the 810's menu froze up altogether. HK has some serious work to do cleaning up the 810's Bluetooth support and reliability.