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March 19, 2009

Magellan Maestro 4350 Review

GPSmagazine Rating: 4 of 5
Buy this GPS from Amazon

Verdict: Magellan Finally Hits A Home Run

Magellan Maestro 4350 Review

Compared to previous Maestro models, the 4350 feels like a completely new GPS that's been re-designed from the ground up. Priced well under $300, the Maestro 4350 is one of the most capable, powerful, and price-friendly GPS units on the market today.

Table of Contents

  1. What's In The Box (Unboxing)
  2. Mounting the Maestro 4350 In The Car
  3. Navigating with the Magellan Maestro 4350
  4. OneTouch Menu (Shortcuts/Favorites)
  5. Finding An Address
  6. Finding a Restaurant
  7. Searching the AAA TourBook
  8. Traffic
  9. Bluetooth
  10. Using the FM Transmitter
  11. Keeping the Magellan Maestro 4350 Up-To-Date
  12. Technical Specifications
  13. Pros
  14. Cons
  15. Conclusion


Conclusion / recommendation / ratings are based on the opinion of the author. I recommend that you read the entire review before making any decision.

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1. What's In The Box (Unboxing)

Magellan Maestro 4350 Retail Box
Figure 1: Magellan Maestro 4350 Retail Box

What's in the Box
Figure 2: What's in the Box

Maestro 4350 includes the following items in the box:

  • Magellan Maestro 4350 GPS
  • Receiver Cradle
  • Windshield Mount
  • Cigarette Lighter Adapter (12V DC) with built-in traffic
  • Dash Adhesive Disk
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Manual on CD-ROM
  • AC Adapter
  • USB Cable
  • Protective Pouch

Magellan Maestro 4350, Front
Figure 3: Magellan Maestro 4350, Front

Maestro 4350's bright, crisp LCD display is framed by a handsome, glossy black plastic casing. Except for the power button on the top of the unit, there are no physical controls on the Maestro 4350. All GPS functions are operated via the touch screen interface.

Magellan Maestro 4350, Back
Figure 4: Magellan Maestro 4350, Back

An internal speaker is located on the back of the 4350.

Magellan Maestro 4350, Right Side
Figure 5: Magellan Maestro 4350, Right Side

The right side of the 4350 has an FM (traffic) antenna connector, USB connector (also used for power), and an SD/MMC memory card slot.

Magellan Maestro 4350, Left Side
Figure 6: Magellan Maestro 4350, Left Side

The Maestro 4350 is relatively thin, measuring 0.7-inches thick.

The Maestro 4350's case is constructed of silver and black plastic.

Maestro 4350, Top
Figure 7: Maestro 4350, Top

The top of the 4350 is home to the unit's only physical control: the power button. Pressing the On/Off button for 1-2 seconds powers the Maestro on or off.

Maestro 4350, Bottom
Figure 8: Maestro 4350, Bottom

The reset pin is located on the bottom of the Maestro 4350. Using a paperclip (or something similar), pressing the reset pin will force the GPS to reboot.

Maestro 4350's Windshield Mount
Figure 9: Maestro 4350's Windshield Mount

The Maestro 4350 includes a slightly updated windshield mount that's smaller and more ergonomic that the mounts used on previous Magellan GPS units.

The mount consists of a large suction disc that attaches to your vehicle's windshield (alternatively, you can use the included adhesive mounting disc if mounting things in the windshield is illegal where you live), and a dual-joint arm that can be articulated into the desired viewing angle.

Attaching the Bracket to the Mount
Figure 10: Attaching the Bracket to the Mount

A mounting bracket, shown above on the right, snaps onto the tip of the windshield mount.

Bracket, Attached to Windshield Mount
Figure 11: Bracket, Attached to Windshield Mount

It takes some force, but the bracket slides down onto the front of the windshield mount.

Maestro 4350, Docked to the Windshield Mount
Figure 12: Maestro 4350, Docked to the Windshield Mount

The GPS snaps into the docking cradle.

AC Charger
Figure 13: AC Charger

The included AC adapter can be used to charge (and use) the GPS outside of the car.

Included 12v Power Adapter / Traffic Receiver
Figure 14: Included 12v Power Adapter / Traffic Receiver

The vehicle power adapter is both the power cable and the traffic receiver.

12v Power Adapter / Traffic Antenna Connectors
Figure 15: 12v Power Adapter / Traffic Antenna Connectors

Notice that the cigarette lighter power adapter actually has two connectors: a USB connector that provides power, and the mini-plug connector provides the FM Traffic data.

While I'm glad Magellan has abandoned the bulky traffic-enabled windshield mounts of previous models in favor of a combo traffic/power adapter, it would be even nicer if both cables could be integrated into a single wire. Having to hook up two connectors every time you mount the GPS in the car is a hassle compared to just snapping the GPS into a powered mount. Similar, traffic enabled GPS devices from Garmin, Navigon, and TomTom feature powered windshield mounts for added convenience.

USB Cable
Figure 16: USB Cable

A standard USB cable is included in the package, and can be used to connect the Maestro to a PC for updating the firmware, or uploading custom POI files.

Maestro 4250 Carrying Case
Figure 17: Included Carrying Case

A neoprene carrying case is included with the 4350.

Documentation Pack
Figure 18: Documentation Pack

Also included in the box are the warranty, quick-start sheet, traffic coupon for 3-months of free traffic service, and the complete instructions manual on a CD-ROM.

Adhesive Mounting Disc
Figure 19: Adhesive Mounting Disc

If you happen to live somewhere where it is illegal to mount anything in the windshield of a motor vehicle, you can use the included adhesive mounting disc to mount the Maestro on your dashboard instead.

I'm personally not a huge fan of this method, as the strong adhesive can permanently damage your car's interior if you ever try to remove it. Nevertheless, local laws may dictate that you use this method, and Magellan includes it in case you need it.