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  1. #1
    GeoffT's Avatar
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    Apology in advance - treason warning!

    With so many people on here (me included) retro-fitting RNS_E this is going to seem a bit like treason, but, what the hell here goes.

    I am quite disappointed with it.

    The unit itself looks great (switched off!), but the functionality of it (primarily down to the firmware) leaves a lot to be desired IMO.

    Cons (In no particular order!):

    1) I think I might be on my own with this, but the colour scheme of the CD/MP3 & Radio screens sucks orange and white against a red dash UGH !! It looks like Ive stolen an Astra stereo to fit in my Audi! I' will admit that I have something approaching an obsession about dash colours matching - I have been know to pull apart after-market stereos to put coloured film over button lights to make them match a dash

    2)The default screen for the radio is full station list rather than the more obvious memory list so that memory needs to be selected each time you switch on.

    3)The default screen for Telephone is the dial a number directly using the wheel screen which I cant imagine Id ever use. It takes about 4 button presses and a bit of a knob twizzle (oh-err) to get to the Phone book screen which would be the most obvious starting menu. I dont think there is any real advantage in the RNS-E phone system over the existing phone prep/DIS system. Certainly not as usable as the Parrot system I had in my last car.

    4)The navigation system is way more complicated to program than a TOMTOM etc. I appreciate that the lack of touchscreen is the primary reason for this , but so far I have found it far from intuitive, and miss the full 7 character postcode support and lack of customisable POIs.

    5)The playlist display screen is another missed opportunity. The obvious thing to do would be to have the details of the track that is playing shown on 2 lines (one for artist the other for title) to give a better chance of displaying the full string, but instead it actually show less data for the track that is playing becuase the track time is appended to it. I know you can display full track data, but that gives too much info and nothing about next/previous tracks.

    6) It doesn't seem to display some tracks correctly in the playlist list screen. The odd one just shows "title" rather than "artist - title" , even though if you display the full track details for it everything is there OK.

    Pros:

    1)It looks neat and the large screen is better for the Nav than my Tomtom.

    2)Satnav instructions displayed on DIS.

    3)I do like having my MP3s on SD cards rather than on 6 CDs as in my Symphony, updating is way easier, and I like the playlist support, but because of the 400 odd track limit per card. it doesnt even hold that many more tracks than the 6 CDs do.

    If someone could crack the firmware and make each sections default menu screen user programmable (for option and colour), it would transform the units usability, but as it stands I find it quite irritating and am seriously thinking of swapping back to my Symphony and Tomtom. Im certainly glad I didnt pay to have it as a factory fit.
    A3 Sportback Sport 2.0 TDI 140 Mauritius Blue, Black/Grey matrix, GSM prep in armrest, MFSW, 17" 16 spoke wheels, Acoustic Parking rear, Cruise, Non-smoking pack, Symphony II+

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  3. #2
    Spin140's Avatar
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    Good to know, at times I have considered upgrading but to be fair don't do enough mileage to justify the cost so prefer to rely on my Tom Tom for occasional use, after reading this it can go back down to the bottom of the wish list
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  4. #3
    Amchlolor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spin140
    Good to know, at times I have considered upgrading but to be fair don't do enough mileage to justify the cost so prefer to rely on my Tom Tom for occasional use, after reading this it can go back down to the bottom of the wish list
    Satnav's always confused me really.
    Why do people spend xxxx on built-in satnav when you can get a Tomtom/Garmin/Sony for 150, which you can then also transfer from car to car?
    I'm not taking the mick, I'm genuinely curious.
    Does the built-in stuff offer an advantage over the portable ones?
    '02 to '05 - Black Audi A4 1.9tdi sport
    '05 to '08 - Akoya Silver A3 sportback S-line DSG
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  5. #4
    Spook's Avatar
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    RNS-E = good value as a retrofit for ~500 off eBay. I can cope with its relatively few foibles at this price.

    However, it's a complete rip-off at 2000+ as a factory fit.
    I wouldn't be so paranoid if everyone wasn't out to get me......

    Spook's Silv3r Ghost - with Recaro bucket seats - is here!

  6. #5
    Matt's Avatar
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    I've got a Tom Tom 910 and I'd be willing to bet its better than most manufacturers efforts. As said its also significantly cheaper and you can transfer it between cars.
    Sold: A3 2.0 TDI 170 S-line | Full leather | BOSE | Phantom Black | Bluefin
    Now: Mini John Cooper Works

  7. #6
    Personally I've always used Sat-Nav software on my PDA. Gives me more (POIs and cameras) than the built-in system.

    I also have a Road Pilot MicroGo unit to warn of speed cameras, in particular when I'm not using my Sat-Nav. Very small unit wired into the car's fuse box so it's always live whenever I'm in the car. Also gives a good accurate GPS based digital speed display.
    Dave R (h5djr)
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    A3 8V 2.0 TDI-184 Sportback Sport s-tronic quattro - Silver + lots of options - my 9th A3

  8. #7
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    I don't have the RNS-E but just had an A4 loan car with the system.

    I have to say, I wasn't overly impressed either. It does look nice and integrates well with the car but selecting destinations is slow without a touch-screen and I didn't think the map displays were as good as TomTom on my PDA.

    I'd still like one as it looks good in the car, plays MP3 of SD and you don't need wires, suction cups, chargers like you would with TomTom.

    Also have the roads around me are new and weren't correct on the map, do they do interim map updates or just yearly?

    Glad I didn't pay 2k for it, might still get one off Ebay at some point though.
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  9. #8
    Numptie of the highest order

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    If it's any consulation the latest BMW effort is still worse than Tom Tom and when linked to the I-Drive is much less user friendly in my opinion, they're also missing full post-code support.

    Still it seemed to updated better and the instructions were sometimes clearer than tom-tom.

  10. #9
    The Damned

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    Quote Originally Posted by bowfer
    Satnav's always confused me really.
    Why do people spend xxxx on built-in satnav when you can get a Tomtom/Garmin/Sony for 150, which you can then also transfer from car to car?
    I'm not taking the mick, I'm genuinely curious.
    Does the built-in stuff offer an advantage over the portable ones?
    The RNS-E unit was one of the reasons why I chose my particular car. I do in excess of 30k a year and like the fact that I dont have wires trailing everywhere or have to hide the unit when I leave the car or even clean the windscreen from tell tale sucker cup marks that is a sure give away to theiving scum.

    I purchased my car used so didn't pay the initial 2k? when purchased new and having lived with it for a year I actually prefer it to a tomtom. Don't get me wrong, It aint perfect by a long shot. Would I pay 2k new for it? No! but then again If I could afford a new car then probably yes

  11. #10
    Amchlolor's Avatar
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    Sales guys always try and push me towards Satnav.
    I usually reply "everywhere I go, I've been before"
    They can't argue with that.
    Anyone any recommendations for portable satnav, around £150?
    I prefer the looks of widescreen ones.
    Not essential to be euro-wide, as long as I can download additional stuff if I want to.
    '02 to '05 - Black Audi A4 1.9tdi sport
    '05 to '08 - Akoya Silver A3 sportback S-line DSG
    '08 to ? - Black Alpina D3

  12. #11
    consilio's Avatar
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    Having had a Navman and now the RNS-E, these is no comparison.

    The RNS-E is by far better. It integrates with most of systems in the car, MP3 player is great, no wires or adapters everywhere, its there when you want it with no faffing about, and its not so easily stolen (Navman was eventually stolen in the end)

    You never go anywhere new bowfer? how boring
    March 2011 - B8 Audi S4, Ibis White, S-Tronic, Leather / Alcantera Super Sports Seats, Heated Front Seats, Advanced Key, Tech Pack High, Electrically folding and auto dimming mirrors

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  13. #12
    Amchlolor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by consilio
    You never go anywhere new bowfer? how boring
    Never anywhere that needs 2k built-in satnav.
    But, then again, I've been driving here and abroad for 23 years without it, so it's usefulness is debatable to me.
    Hence the fact I'm happy with a cheap, portable unit
    '02 to '05 - Black Audi A4 1.9tdi sport
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  14. #13
    consilio's Avatar
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    I think anyone who pays the audi price is either very naive or has so much cash, its not a problem.

    The RNS-E is good, but its not worth 2000 I agree, which is why I had it done retro for 660 fitted
    March 2011 - B8 Audi S4, Ibis White, S-Tronic, Leather / Alcantera Super Sports Seats, Heated Front Seats, Advanced Key, Tech Pack High, Electrically folding and auto dimming mirrors

    SOLD - 8P Audi S3. Brilliant Black, FBMF wheel, Bose, RNS-E, Auto lights/wipers, Cruise control, Tyre pressure monitor, Parking sensors, Interior light pack, GSM phone prep, Armrest, Privacy glass, Electrically folding mirrors.

  15. #14
    marriedblonde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bowfer
    Anyone any recommendations for portable satnav, around 150?
    I've got a couple of the tomtom units. A Tomtom One from last year, the updated slim design one, brilliant bit of kit for occasional use. And I have recently bought a new tomtom 720 which is fantastic, the bigger screen being obviously a lot clearer and the updated software does mean it latches onto satelites quicker although it's not too slow with the other unit...

    My wife needed to use one so that was the excuse I needed to buy the 720 before any asks why I have 2 of them...

    But they are both very easy to use, enough little options and settings to play with so you can have a fiddle with the setup.

    I also prefer the looks of the TT units compared to the Garmin offerings.

    J.
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  16. #15
    Amchlolor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marriedblonde
    I've got a couple of the tomtom units. A Tomtom One from last year, the updated slim design one, brilliant bit of kit for occasional use. And I have recently bought a new tomtom 720 which is fantastic, the bigger screen being obviously a lot clearer and the updated software does mean it latches onto satelites quicker although it's not too slow with the other unit...

    My wife needed to use one so that was the excuse I needed to buy the 720 before any asks why I have 2 of them...

    But they are both very easy to use, enough little options and settings to play with so you can have a fiddle with the setup.

    I also prefer the looks of the TT units compared to the Garmin offerings.

    J.
    Cheers MB.
    I'm planning a trip to the Czech republic next year, so I can, presumably, just download French,German and Czech maps when I need them?
    '02 to '05 - Black Audi A4 1.9tdi sport
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  17. #16
    redbutcher's Avatar
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    I've had TomTom running on a PDA and have now got an RNS-E. My personal preference is to the RNS-E.

    Pros - much neater, no wires or ugly suction mounts, less likely to get stolen. Display in DIS - more precise when approaching junctions (I like the 'countdown' bar in the DIS - very neat feature. SD Card integration is handy - I have a Dension Gateway 100 as well for my iPod, but it means I can still have a shed load of MP3s without having to have the iPod in the car, and finally I don't have to remember to charge the bluetooth GPS receiver!

    Cons - no customisation of POIs hence, unable to use a 'standard' speed camera database. I travel around 30k a year as well and used to save people I'd visited in a new POI category, so I could easily find them again. The Pockegpsword speed camera database was superb as well when used with TomTom.

    It's definitely not worth 2k, but i'm very pleased with it as I paid 1/5 of that price.
    Jon

    Now A3 less......

  18. #17
    GeoffT's Avatar
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    I think the most annoying part is that the basic hardware is good and most of it's failings could so easily be sorted in the firmware. It is hard to believe that this is version 0600 of the firmware, yet there are so many ways it could still be improved. Anyone know what OS it runs?
    A3 Sportback Sport 2.0 TDI 140 Mauritius Blue, Black/Grey matrix, GSM prep in armrest, MFSW, 17" 16 spoke wheels, Acoustic Parking rear, Cruise, Non-smoking pack, Symphony II+

  19. #18
    benw123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bowfer
    Does the built-in stuff offer an advantage over the portable ones?
    Yes - the built-in stuff doesn't get nicked in huge numbers!

    The RNS-E isn't the last word in sat nav technology, and yes, you would be mad to pay 2175 for one, but mine cost 450 retrofitted which is excellent value. I could expect to recover that much come resale time, and at the very least the car would be easier to sell with a premium option.

    To pick up on some of Geoff T's points:

    1/2/3: Agree that the UI is a bit poor. The colours don't bother me but it's not that intuitive - took me a while to work out that pressing the highlighted button reverts you to the previous screen, like the destination form where you can cancel the navigation.

    4: Although it doesn't have full-length postcode support, bear in mind that it has the whole of Europe at street level, without messing around with downloading maps from the web. The 2007 release splits Europe into two to cover more information which only means swapping a DVD if driving between the two.

    Regarding the last point, work is still underway on http://www.navplus.us to try and crack the firmware with a view to customising it and maybe editing some of the software to overcome these shortcomings. Still early days.
    2004 A3 Sportback 2.0TDI SE, RNS-E Sat Nav SW0650 TMC, 17" Star Alloys, Xenons, DIS, Rear Mats & Sunblind, Alu trim, Ebony Black pearlescent
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  20. #19
    GeoffT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by benw123

    Regarding the last point, work is still underway on http://www.navplus.us to try and crack the firmware with a view to customising it and maybe editing some of the software to overcome these shortcomings. Still early days.
    Yes, I had spotted that, and I may well stick with the RNS-E for a bit to see if they crack it. As I said a few relatively small firmware changes would make it a lot lot better.
    A3 Sportback Sport 2.0 TDI 140 Mauritius Blue, Black/Grey matrix, GSM prep in armrest, MFSW, 17" 16 spoke wheels, Acoustic Parking rear, Cruise, Non-smoking pack, Symphony II+

  21. #20
    marriedblonde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bowfer
    Cheers MB.
    I'm planning a trip to the Czech republic next year, so I can, presumably, just download French,German and Czech maps when I need them?
    I'd buy the european version as I think the price difference is only about 20 which is probably cheaper than getting hold of the maps afterwards!

    You'll be able to get the tomtom one xl europe for just over 150 I think halfords website has it for 155 including delivery.

    J.
    Married and blonde yes, but still a guy with a poor taste in usernames!

    Mercedes Benze E-class 350 sport convertable, black, pacha grey leather, 19" AMG rims, HK stero and a few more toys
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    BMW 330 Coupe M sport Black, Black leather, Nav and a lot of other options.
    BMW Z4 Coupe Sport in black with a few toys - going friday and gonna be missed by my lad.
    A3 2.0Tdi S-Line DSG. Gone but not forgotten

  22. #21
    benw123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeoffT
    Yes, I had spotted that, and I may well stick with the RNS-E for a bit to see if they crack it. As I said a few relatively small firmware changes would make it a lot lot better.
    It's exciting stuff. There's a link buried somewhere in the navplus forum to a similar BMW website, where their sat nav had been cracked. A free downloadable application is available which allows you to completely customise the software - everything from map colours to POIs - and then burn a DVD for the car.

    I think there's a long way to go because there was problems decompiling the software, but attempts have been made to contact the original authors so you never know.
    2004 A3 Sportback 2.0TDI SE, RNS-E Sat Nav SW0650 TMC, 17" Star Alloys, Xenons, DIS, Rear Mats & Sunblind, Alu trim, Ebony Black pearlescent
    2006 Honda Accord EX i-CTDI, Arctic Blue, Leather, Sat Nav, XCarLink

  23. #22
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    My 2p for what it's worth. I bought an ex demo with Sat Nav in it - but I think that I would have had it if I'd bought the car new too.

    I find it very useful, more so for the local street mapping (when trying to find a new rat run!) and the ability to zoom in and out quickly. I wouldn't want wires trailing everywhere, so wouldn't want a cradle for my PDA.

    Best feature is the SD cards for music though - the car has a multichanger that I have never touched and so I don't have any CD's rattling around the car - just 5 or 6 SD cards in the armrest. Sure, the unit could be made better, but that is down to personal preference and also technology moving on so quickly
    2007 Silver S3 - DVD SatNav, MFBSW, Bose, GSM Bluetooth Phone prep, privacy glass, cruise control, lighting and rain sensor pack, piano inlays, GIAC Hammer map

  24. #23
    TDI-line's Avatar
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    At least if i had the RNS-E i wouldn't drop it, like my Tomtom.

    2013 AUDI A3 SB S-LINE : 2.0 TDIQ 184 : GLACIER WHITE :
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  25. #24
    GeoffT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuickNick
    Best feature is the SD cards for music though - the car has a multichanger that I have never touched and so I don't have any CD's rattling around the car - just 5 or 6 SD cards in the armrest. Sure, the unit could be made better, but that is down to personal preference and also technology moving on so quickly
    I agree about the SD cards (and especially the playlist capability). It is the one thing that will probably mean that I put up with the other gripes and stick with it. It was a real pain having to burn a whole new CD to add a couple of new tracks.
    A3 Sportback Sport 2.0 TDI 140 Mauritius Blue, Black/Grey matrix, GSM prep in armrest, MFSW, 17" 16 spoke wheels, Acoustic Parking rear, Cruise, Non-smoking pack, Symphony II+

  26. #25
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    I have to say the number of windowss I see being broken and Tom Tom units being nicked means that a built in unit which is covered by the insurance is a real bonus.

    BTW guys you need to tell your insurance it is a Audi standard built in unit and the likely value or guess what! they won't cover its replacement in a lot of cases as the replacement value is higher than most insurance companies will pay.
    2007 A6 Allroad 3.2 FSI Quattro - Lava Grey, sports seats, silver Headlining, Acoustic parking, armrest, multi-function steering wheel, cruise control, Xenons, , Sat nav, GSM, Audi MMI

  27. #26
    As I use my PDA with Sat-Nav software I always remove it from it's cradle and put it in the armrest whenever I leave the car. The cradle is hard-wired with on a small single wire visable and it looks very much like a mobile phone cradle so does not draw too much attention. My actual GPS receiver is a CF Card that plugs into the top of the PDA.
    Dave R (h5djr)
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    A3 8V 2.0 TDI-184 Sportback Sport s-tronic quattro - Silver + lots of options - my 9th A3

  28. #27
    SteveTDCi's Avatar
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    I'm likely to add the Alpine Blackbird to my HU, I can control it from the Alpine unit and transfer it to any other car should I wish too.

 

 

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