GEAR TEST // HEMA HX-1 NAVIGATOR
THE HEMA HX-1 Navigator is the latest satnav receiver from Hema Maps. Unlike many run-of-the-mill satnavs, the HX-1 comes preloaded with Hema’s excellent on- and off-road touring maps, as well as a full complement of topographic maps covering all of Australia and New Zealand, so it keeps guiding you when the bitumen turns to gravel. ON-ROAD NAVIGATION On-road navigation, called ‘Drive’ mode, is typical of many dedicated satnav devices. It offers full street mapping for Australia and New Zealand, with easy to set destinations, voice guidance, traffic light and speed camera warnings. You can set your destination by typing in the address on a keypad or via POIs (Points Of Interest), which are listed under sub-categories such as Accommodation, Auto Services, Emergency, Entertainment, Camps and Locations, Caravan Parks, Medical and Petrol Stations. Route options can also be selected to avoid tolls or motorways etc.
The ‘Drive’ mode screen displays upcoming turns, current road name, speed, speed zones, estimated arrival time, distance to destination and more. There’s also a comprehensive trip computer. Once your route has been calculated, you can preview it prior to departure and check out any POIs along the way. You can then alter the route with Detours and Alternatives, and you can queue up numerous destinations in one route by using the Multipoint Route feature. OFF-ROAD NAVIGATION Off-road navigation, or ‘Explore’ mode, is what sets the HX-1 apart from traditional satnavs. The main map in this mode is the Hema Explorer Map (1:150,000), which includes more then 1.2 million kilometres of 4WD tracks and outback roads. More detailed maps can be downloaded via Wi-Fi, and there are additional map sources including digitised Hema touring maps, state government topographic maps and HERE Street, Terrain and Satellite mapping.
As all Hema maps have been physically field checked, they offer more than 40,000 overlaid POIs, split into various subcategories. Drill down to individual POIs and you’ll find information such as coordinates, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, website details and more. You can even overlay weather radar information on the map to monitor conditions as you’re travelling.
Route planning is easy and can be done by either plotting positions on the map point-by-point or by using the Quick Routing tool, where the HX-1 calculates the optimum route for you.
You can save traditional waypoints when travelling and then easily add notes, photos or videos to them thanks to the HX-1’s camera. This allows you to recall conditions/features at a particular waypoint when reviewing the images/footage. Recorded information can be stored either on the device’s inbuilt storage or a MicroSD card, and can be manually transferred to a computer via the supplied USB cable.
Recorded trip information (routes, waypoints, photos etc.) can be synced with your Hema Explorer Cloud account via Wi-Fi. This can then be shared with friends, family and other Hema explorers. Likewise, you can view the trips recorded by other explorers, and even download them as a route planner for your own adventures.
At 700 bucks, the Hema HX-1 Navigator is good value for money, and it comes with 4WD map updates for the life of the unit as well as three years worth of street map updates.
The Hema HX-1 offers on- and off-road navigation and Hema’s excellent four-wheel drive touring maps, topo maps and more.