Pros / It alerts you to the location of red-light cameras, which can help you avoid a speeding ticket.
Cons / It doesn't have any traffic services, so there are better options if you drive in congested areas.
Verdict / The Magellan RoadMate 5220 is a basic GPS with few desirable extras.
Editor's Note: This review has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it no longer ranks as a top 10 product. The original review is below, but check out our current top Navigation GPS here.
The Magellan RoadMate 5220 is a navigation GPS with lifetime map updates included in the purchase price. It comes loaded with maps of North America. This is a very basic car GPS, without the premium features that define the best ones. This unit does not have the voice-activated navigation boasted by smartphones and some of the best navigation GPS units. This means you have to manually type in your destination.
This GPS has none of the traffic alert features boasted by many of its competitors, including some that have a similar MSRP. It does, however, have a few features that are quite useful for daily navigation, such as junction view, which makes it easy to see what lane you're supposed to be in as you approach a turn. It also has landmark guidance, which enables the automated voice to give you directions based on landmarks, not just mileage. So, instead of saying, "In one half-mile, turn right," the device will say something like, "Turn right at the Shell station in half of a mile."
It also has speed limit alerts, which show you the current speed limit of the road you're driving on and your speed to help you avoid a speeding ticket. This GPS also comes with red-light camera alerts and traffic camera alerts, so you'll know where speed-checking devices are located.
In case you miss a turn, the RoadMate 5220 has automatic rerouting, so it recalculates your best route options after your missed turn. It's loaded with over 7 million points of interest, including gas stations, stores and restaurants, so you can find your favorite stores in the area.
The RoadMate 5220 uses a plastic resistive touchscreen, which is less responsive and user-friendly than the capacitive touchscreen that higher-end GPS models use. It has a 5-inch display, which is an excellent size for a car GPS.
Magellan offers a one-year warranty on this unit. Its customer service leaves something to be desired: We experienced long wait times on its phone line, and its representatives are only somewhat knowledgeable about the product.
The Magellan RoadMate 5220 is a simplistic GPS, and there are better options at the manufacturer's price point. Nevertheless, it is good at guiding you to your destination and has a few extras thrown in.