Holux TwoNav Sportiva Plus review
Plenty of features for the outdoor navigation enthusiast, and good on-road guidance with the optional maps, but the screen isn't the best and the interface needs polish
Review Date: 14 Oct 2011
Price when reviewed: £400
Reviewed By: Jim Martin
The Sportiva Plus is a satnav for outdoor enthusiasts, rather than in-car use. Despite being billed as a cycling satnav, it comes with topographical maps for the UK. That's fine if you plan to do most of your riding off-road, but you'll want to add the optional UK & Ireland road maps (V-map) for 29 Euros (approximately £25) for road cycling.
The kit includes a chunky bike mount, a heart rate monitor and a speed/cadence sensor. Installing the system on a mountain bike was easy thanks to the use of cable ties - pull them tight and snip off the excess. The speed/cadence sensor mounts on the rear chainstay, but only one magnet is supplied so you have to choose whether to mount it on your pedal - for cadence - or a spoke, for speed. Unless you want to purchase an extra speed/cadence sensor to cater for both measurements, it's best to use it as a cadence sensor, and let the GPS receiver calculate current speed.
The Sportiva's green and white finish might not be to everyone's taste, but it's a rugged device rubber covers over the mini USB port to make it showerproof. It takes standard Nokia batteries, so additional packs are cheap and widely available. Battery life is around six hours with the screen on, and up to 20 hours with the screen off and recording your movements. Under the battery is a microSD slot which accepts up to 32GB cards. It has a three-axis digital compass and barometric altitude measurement (which you can opt to use instead of the GPS reading).
As you'd expect from an outdoor satnav, the Sportiva Plus supports waypoints, routes and tracks, but it can also calculate a route to a destination on-road when using the V-map. With the latter, you can navigate to a destination by postcode, address, point of interest, point on the map and co-ordinates. Custom POIs are supported.
The menu system is complex, so you'll need the user manual to begin with. There are handy contextual menus which pop up when you press the menu button on the side of the device. Our main gripe is that the interface is designed to be used with a stylus, so zooming in and out of maps is tricky with a chubby fingertip. You can tap and drag to scroll through menus, but this is unreliable on the resistive screen. Another problem is that the menu automatically exits after you change certain settings, forcing you to retrace your steps to make another change.
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