Navman PIN 570 PDA Sat Nav

This article reviews the Navman PIN 570 which is a combined PDA and sat nav system. It is at the budget end of the market. So how does it compare to the more expensive models?

Here is a brief rundown of the technical specifications:
  • Microsoft Windows Mobile 2003
  • Pocket PC versions of Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Internet Explorer
  • 3.5” touch screen panel
  • Samsung 266MHz processor
  • 64Mb RAM
  • Integrated SiRF GPS receiver
  • MMC/SD (SDIO) expansion slot
  • TeleAtlas maps
  • Navman SmartST 2005 version 3.50.0510 navigation software
Inside the box you will find the following items:
  • Navman PIN 570 with integrated GPS receiver
  • Memory card with maps of local country preinstalled
  • 12V DC in-vehicle power adaptor
  • 100/240V AC mains power pack for indoor use
  • ActiveSync USB cable for synchronization with your PC
  • Protective carry case
  • Vehicle windscreen mounting bracket
  • User manuals
  • CD-ROM containing Microsoft Outlook 2002

First Thoughts

The PIN 570 has a nice rugged feel to it which is just what you want for a device like this. It looks like it is built to withstand being dropped and the materials used in construction don’t look like they would scratch very easily.
The PIN 570 comes with a protective case which will offer good protection against the screen getting scratched. Many sat nav systems today don’t come with any carry case included so it is always nice to see a system with this included at no extra cost.
There are four buttons on the front of the PIN 570 for quick access to common functions. These are:
  • Navigate
  • Calendar
  • Contacts
  • Today screen
These is also a 4-way toggle button in the middle which, depending on the application you’re using, enables you to move up, down, left and right.
On the back of the PIN 570 is the GPS receiver which you flip out when using the navigation features.

Pocket PC Setup

When the device is first switched on you are guided through a few initial setup screens to get things configured correctly.
The enclosed CD-ROM contains Microsoft ActiveSync and Microsoft Outlook. You will need to install both of these applications onto your computer if you want to synchronise data between the PIN 570 and your computer.
Once both applications are installed onto your PC the ActiveSync software will automatically synchronise data between the Pocket PC and your computer. If you already use Outlook on your computer then your Outlook calendar, email inbox and contacts will be transferred to the Pocket PC. There is also an option to create a shared folder on your computer for synchronising other types of data, such as Word and Excel documents, between your computer and the Pocket PC.
The whole setup process from start to finish went very smoothly.


You can navigate around the PIN 570 using either the provided stylus or by using one of the quick access buttons on the front. I preferred to use the stylus most of the time but the quick access buttons are there should you need them.
The 266Mhz processor was fast enough for using applications like Word and Excel. These applications loaded quickly and I didn’t observe any delays navigating from screen to screen. I did find the processor sluggish when using the navigation features, entering address details often being a slow and somewhat tedious process at times.

Office Software

Outlook is probably the best piece of software on the PIN 570. I found it straightforward to check my emails, manage my appointments and lookup contacts.
In my opinion the screen is too small to work effectively with applications like Excel and Word. This is not a criticism of the PIN 570, it’s a problem with any Pocket PC like this. I just find it too fiddly to use.
If you open an application like Excel, just displaying the toolbar and row and column headings take up a large chunk of the screen, leaving little room to view anything else. You can configure the view to hide unwanted features like the toolbar but I still found it too small to use.
If you just want to use the PIN 570 for storing documents or for transferring documents from one PC to another, then it will perform fine.
When using applications like Word and Excel there are several options available for entering text. You can either use an on screen keyboard or use one of the handwriting recognition methods. I found the Block Recognizer and Letter Recognizer methods very difficult to use. I found the Transcriber Only method easier to use. I found this method much more natural, more closely resembling using a pen on paper, although still a bit fiddly at times.


Connectivity on the Navman is limited. The PIN 570 can receive an infrared beam from another Pocket PC or similar device but that is it. There is no bluetooth or wireless support out of the box. No wireless support doesn’t surprise me but I was disappointed to see no bluetooth support either.
Bear this in mind before purchasing. Once the PIN 570 is disconnected from your computer you will no longer be able to receive new Outlook email messages and meeting requests until the PIN 570 is reconnected to your computer.
This may not be an issue if you only want to synchronise the PIN 570 with your computer once or twice a day, but if you want to perform tasks like checking for new email throughout the day, then you will need to look at purchasing a separate bluetooth or wireless card.

Windows Applications

The PIN 570 comes with the usual Pocket PC applications such as Microsoft Outlook, Word and Excel. It also includes Internet Explorer and MSN Messenger, but you will need a working network connection on the Pocket PC before these will work. This is typically done by purchasing a separate wireless card to plug into the SD/MMC slot.


So much for the Pocket PC side of things but what about the navigation features of the PIN 570.

GPS Signal

The GPS receiver on the PIN 570 is adequate although not as strong as other sat nav systems I have tested. Many GPS devices today can establish a satellite connection when situated inside a building, this can be useful for planning routes indoors, but you will need to stand outside for several minutes before the PIN 570 picks up a GPS signal.
This is probably not an issue for many people, but a strong GPS receiver can be beneficial, especially in urban areas where tall buildings and tunnels can make reception more difficult.

Mapping Software

The PIN 570 comes pre-installed with TeleAtlas street level maps of the UK. There are also 3 CDs included which provide street level maps for several European countries. You can install any of these additional maps using the SmartST Desktop software that comes with the Navman installation CD. The free European maps are a welcome addition to the PIN 570, but it falls short of the coverage offered by the Garmin Nuvi 250W.
Overall I’m not a big fan of TeleAtlas maps, although other people have reported them to be reliable.
In my tests I came across 3 main issues:
  • Map data not comprehensive enough. When navigating to a destination the PIN 570 was unable to recognise several street names, even established streets which have been around for years. This only happened in a few areas, but I have not seen this problem with Tom Tom, Garmin, Mio or Sony devices when navigating to the same destination.
  • Map data inaccurate. The PIN 570 suffered the same problem as the Navman N40i in displaying the wrong road name on the map. This only happened in one area but it was a bit disconcerting and again was not seen on either TomTom, Garmin, Mio or Sony systems.
  • Map data out-of-date. The maps on the PIN 570 are several years old which means it will not recognise recently built roads. I found this a problem when driving along a bypass built in March 2004. The PIN 570 map showed me driving through a field which was quite funny to look at.
Issues like this can normally be sorted out by updating the mapping software but Navman no longer produce software for this device so support is limited. The PIN 570 product range is now discontinued.
Navman are able to offer though, on request, a map update only to SmartST 2006SE as used on the Navman iCN 510/520. This is an improvement over the 2004 map data, but it is uncertain whether you can upgrade the map data any further after this.
If there is no upgrade path beyond the 2006 maps then this will further reduce the PIN 570s appeal.

Routing Options

The PIN 570 supports the typical routing options you get on most sat nav systems. You can plan routes by either the quickest or shortest route. There are also options to avoid motorways, unsurfaced roads, ferries, toll roads and urban areas.

Points of Interest (POI) Options

A basic POI database is included with the PIN 570, although it falls well short of the likes of Garmin in this department. This is understandable given the cheap price tag of the PIN 570.
You can decide which POI categories to display on the map. This is a good idea if you’re only interested in certain POI categories, such as restaurants or petrol stations. It avoids the map being cluttered with too many POI icons.

Sound Options

This screen allows you to adjust the voice instructions volume. There are also options to sound an audible alert if you exceed a certain speed or if you take a wrong turn. For example, you can tell the PIN 570 to sound an audible warning if you exceed a preset speed such as 50mph or 70mph.
It’s a shame the PIN 570 doesn’t support dynamic speed warnings based on the road you’re currently driving along. Several sat systems will recognise the speed limit of the current road and automatically warn when exceeding the speed limit of that road.
The PIN 570 speed warnings are preset to a fixed speed which makes the usefulness of this feature rather limited.


Many GPS systems allow you to set the navigation mode, such as pedestrian or bicycle. The Navman PIN 570 does not support these different modes. It assumes the vehicle being used is always a car. For most people this is probably not an issue but bear this in mind before purchasing.
The PIN 570 only supports partial postcode entry (5 digits) rather than full postcode support. This means you’ll need to enter most of the address details manually using the on screen keyboard.
I found entering the address details cumbersome and awkward to use. The user interface is not that friendly and the system can be very sluggish at times when entering data. This makes entering address details frustrating at times.
There are options though to store frequently used destinations and the PIN 570 stores a list of recent destinations too. This allows you to bypass the fiddly job of entering the address details again when navigating to frequent destinations.
Once out on the road the PIN 570 did a pretty good job. Apart from the map data being several years old, it managed to navigate me correctly to each destination. It was also able to handle taking wrong turns, automatically recalculating the route as necessary. It also did a good job of selecting the right type of roads for each destination, using the same route I would have taken had I not been using a sat nav system.
I’ve seen more expensive sat nav systems choose what I consider unorthodox routes of getting from A to B, but the Navman I felt did a good job with the road selection.
Apart from the traditional map view, the PIN 570 also supports a turn by turn screen. The instruction list screen will show the current turn and the next 5 turns after that. I like this feature on sat nav systems so it was good to see this feature available.
The map layout and display is not as good as other sat nav systems I’ve tested. It is starting to look a bit dated now, but for a cheap and cheerful system it does the job adequately.


The Navman PIN 570 is not a bad performer from a navigational viewpoint, but it is let down in too many areas for it to be considered a good buy in my opinion.
The Navman PIN 570 is starting to look dated compared to the competition. The mapping software contains some minor bugs with road names and is several years out-of-date. There is also limited upgrade potential due to the product being discontinued by Navman.
This coupled with the fiddly on-screen controls and cumbersome user interface makes for a product that can be irritating to use.
If you can put up with these points then it performed reliably from a navigational viewpoint. When you consider it also includes a decent Pocket PC (albeit with no bluetooth or wireless out of the box) then it isn’t all doom and gloom. The cheap price is arguably the best aspect of the PIN 570. You will be hard pushed to get a combined Pocket PC and sat nav system any cheaper than this.
I would take a good look at the competition before settling on the PIN 570. Spending a bit extra on an alternative system would in my opinion be money well spent.
  • Pocket PC and PDA system all in one
  • Cheap price tag
  • No bluetooth or wireless connectivity out of the box
  • Mapping data out-of-date and inaccurate
  • Full postcode entry not supported
  • Sluggish performance
  • User interface cumbersome and fiddly to use
  • Discontinued product with limited support from Navman

Where to buy

Buy the Navman PIN 570 from Lemon Digital.
Quote “Technical Itch” when ordering to receive a special price discount.
Buy the Navman PIN 570 from Amazon.

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