Most expensive automobiles have it already, but what do we do if we do not have this opportunity. HUD isn’t a luxury anymore, it decreases the risk of an accident and reduces the tiredness of the driver who doesn’t have to lower his eyes towards the navigation system. Basically, this system projects images onto the windshield of the car at eye level and offers the necessary GPS information without creating discomfort or blocking/obstructing the view of the driver.
Sygic is the first who integrated this feature on a GPS app for Android operating smartphones. We have already spoken about Sygic for iPhone here . The manufacturers are permanently updating this app and are trying to bring forth useful innovations for the driver. If up to a couple of years back we couldn’t even compare a GPS navigator to anything else (on board or stand-alone) nowadays, navigation apps have made serious progress and managed to offer the same advantages and more recently are able to offer premium features like the Sygic app for Android with Head-up Display.
Sygic for Android is an extremely popular app now. It was released a couple of years ago and thanks to the way it looks and the way it routes, using the newest maps it has seized an important segment of users that frequently use the smartphone in their travels.
Like other similar apps, Sygic for Android offers the possibility of using maps from more than one map supplier: Navteq or TeleAtlas. I couldn’t say which of them are better because they both offer regular updates and try to give the most accurate information on roads and points of interest.
Personally, I am very satisfied with Sygic’s routing. I have used the TeleAtlas maps and the routes are accurately calculated using the map info correctly along with the personalized options on avoidance and routing mode.
The route can be calculated in three ways: the fastest route, the shortest route or the economical one. I always choose the fastest route (knowing that in this way I will bypass congested areas such as city centers). We also have the possibility to avoid: toll roads, traffic incidents (only if we have the live info service activated to receive info on road conditions), turns, ferries, highways and unpaved roads. Once the route has been calculated we are able to see the map or even view a demo of the route as on other GPS software for Android smartphones.
Voice guidance is well set up, the voice is clear and the necessary information is timely received.
Extras / Extra feature
We need to mention two features of this navigation app for Android which we really enjoyed:
Battery saving mode
The biggest problem that smartphones have (which I don’t believe will be fixed anytime soon) is the extremely short battery life. Sygic comes to our aid by allowing us to set the mode in which the smartphone’s battery is used when the navigation app is turned on: energy saving, optimization or high performance are the available options on how the phone’s resources are used.
The SOS/ Help feature
It is the second feature which we enjoyed on this app and on which we have already discussed in the Sygic for iPhone article.
Display, graphics and HUD feature
We have tested the app on a Samsung Galaxy S3 which has a pretty good display resolution. The graphics and colors on Sygic are to our taste. The main screen displays the map full screen and at the bottom of the screen we can find the toolbar which is of reasonable size and doesn’t obstruct the route. The speed limit is permanently visible on the right and the route to be followed has an intense purple color easily noticeable compared to the other streets which use white-yellow colors. The information on speed and maneuvers to be made are placed on the bottom part of the screen as well. Overall the placement of the elements on the screen is an efficient one which makes this app easy to use.
When talking about HUD, the launch button for this feature is placed in the bottom right but is a little undersized. When you tap it current speed is displayed, the maneuver we need to make, the distance to it, current time and speed limit. The information is projected onto the screen using an intense green color on a black background on the phone’s screen. The position of the information can be changed by tapping anywhere on the screen. Here is a sampling of the operating mode.
As you can see this app is very well designed and offers the exact information we need. If we compare its viewing mode to the classic view mode (tracking the info on the smartphone screen) the advantages are obvious: with head-up display our eye fatigue is greatly reduced, the driver’s attention is affected to a lower degree and these two aspects are extremely important if we also take into account that this feature is mostly used at night when the dangers the drivers are exposed to are higher than during the day.
Undoubtedly, the HUD feature may be affected by your phone model and the display characteristics. A dimly lit display will not give very good results. Also if the colors aren’t intense enough, the information projected on the windshield will not be so easy to read. It is extremely important that you test this feature before going on the road.
As smartphones become more and more complex, they take upon them many of the premium benefits of various devices and incorporate them into one gadget. Sygic for Android is such an app, which bring HUD benefits at a much lower price than if we would have chosen this option on purchasing our car . I am certain this is only the beginning and Sygic will continue to implement new features and improve this navigation app for Android.