Published on October 13th, 2009 | by Greg0
Quick Hit: Griffin Navigate
Sure, you can carry around a ton of songs on your iPod and iPhone- but what happens when you want something beyond your own tracks? Music apps can fill the gap, but for local coverage, breaking news, and variety, it's hard to beat radio. And despite the inclusion of radio service on some other portable music devices, Apple has stuck to their successful formula and avoided it so far.
That's where the Griffin Navigate comes in. We'll get the primary downside out of the way- it's FM only, but who really listens to AM anyway? Beyond that, it serves as a handy in-lin controller, giving you easy access to volume functions that aren't included on many headphones, and play/pause/next/previous functions that often are (even if they require tapping out Morse code on your microphone button). We especially liked the Artist and Track information being nicely displayed on the OLED screen, even if it wasn't quite bright enough for us always.
The unit is surprisingly light, at a bit over two ounces, and the buttons are easy to determine by feel alone so you aren't wondering if you actually did skip to the next song or paused your music accidentally. It can clip easily to your pocket or bag, even if the clip isn't perfect. And the Navigate is the first accessory that connects to an iPhone or iPod Touch App, iFM, available in the store for free. It helps find radio stations in your area, provided that you are in the United States. Overall, we liked it quite a bit better than some other Griffin items that we've used in the past. And at $40 or so from Amazon, it's an easy way to add a few nice features to your iPhone or iPod.