The Lowrance IWAY 350C is one of the newest auto navigators on the
market, featuring pre-loaded maps for North America, color touch screen
and text to speech voice directions. Comparable in price to
Garmin's StreetPilot c330
and the Magellan Roadmate 360, the IWAY 350C adds the features
of an MP3 player, picture viewer and features "text to speech"
directions. It lists on the street for
discount prices here.
The IWAY 350C is similar to the IWAY 500C, however it is much
smaller, similar in size to the Garmin c330 series. The IWAY
350C is fully loaded with detailed auto-routing maps for the entire
United States and Canada, using Navteq data. Overall the 350C
seems to be a
good competitor for the basic GPS car navigator with some bonus
features for the road, including the MP3 player and a built in FM
The Lowrance IWAY 350C package comes with the
basic accessories needed for operation out of the box. It
The Lowrance IWAY 350C GPS receiver, fully loaded
with detailed maps of the USA and Canada (Navteq data)
A 12 volt cigarette lighter adapter for power inside of a vehicle
A USB cable to connect to a computer for unit operating software updates
A windshield suction cup mount-- gooseneck style
A screen cover
An owner's manual
SD card slot (card not included)
The IWAY is easy to use, right out of the box with its
map data. The only physical button is the power
which is centered underneath the screen. On the left is an SD
Card slot. On the right side, there is a USB connection,
inch stereo headphone jack and a 12 volt DC power jack. All of the
other controls are made using the touch screen. The main menu
screen features four selections. Map, Music, Find and
You can navigate to a location and also listen to music on
MP3 player at the same time. In fact, the music will pause,
while the unit gives voice directions. The unit is very simple to operate, and we believe you will rarely need to
reference the included instruction manual. Here is a
breakdown of the features and a brief description of what they do, as well as comments
about what we found while using the IWAY 350C.
Main Menu Screen
The map page is the main page for use while navigating. You
the ability to zoom in or zoom out. By touching the left side
the screen, a vertical bar will appear. The X on the top,
make it disappear, the arrows allow you to create a square for an
automatic zoom of the area you choose. The + and - are for
zooming in and out.
The IWAY 350C allows for North Up, Track Up and 3-D map perspective.
By pressing the icon in the lower right corner of the screen,
can switch between these options. The N with the arrow up is
North Up, the N inside of teh black arrow is for track up and 3-D is
for 3-D navigation. The 3-D view is very good in our opinion
keeps most of the detail in view, while you are navigating a route.
This is found in the upper right hand corner. Pressing the
will give you your lat/lon in mm.mmm format. It will also
you the date and your altitude as well. You can also create a
saved waypoint at your current location. It will be saved in
the Address Book.
The main menu is accessible in the upper left hand corner.
Pressing it, will bring up the main menu. If you press the
strength meter in the upper left hand corner, you will get the
The options page allows you to customize your IWAY 350C. In our opinion
it is easy to use. It is divided into three pages, accessible
the tabs at the top of the page. For some reason, some
are for setup, while other options are for actual functions, they are
combined on all three option pages.
When you are navigating a route, the directions list will give you step
by step directions to your final destination, including time and
This allows you to decide if you want the map to automatically zoom in
or our, depending on your location, to what the unit believes is an
appropriate view of the map. I prefer to have this off, but
users may enjoy it.
Overlay Data Setup
This is an important function, with it, you can customize your screen
and what you want to see on the map page. Selecting too many
items will clutter the screen, you will want to experiment to see which
data fields are most helpful to you.
Route Via Waypoints
It is here that you can create a route. For example, if you
four stops you need to make, you can program in each stop in order and
get navigation directions for your entire trip. Select a
‘New Route’ and then name it. You can
then select the
points of your trip from the Find menu or by scrolling on the map
page. Once you add these points, you can change the order, if
want to make the stops in a different order than planned. You
save several routes, if you make the same trips often.
This is an important function, because it seems that the IWAY does not
always cancel your route, even after you arrive at your
destination. I occasionally was prompted to "Cancel your route"
but not usually. Before you start a new route or if the
trying to route you back to your last destination, hit
Navigation.” You can then select Quit Route or add
if you want to add an additional stop on your route.
This allows you to select how you want the IWAY to create a route for
you. You have the option of avoiding cross- traffic turns,
meaning if you would rather turn right, than have to turn left on a
busy street, it will create a route to make it easier. You
also avoid Toll Roads and select the degree of how often you want to be
routed on Interstate Freeways. This is also where you select
you want the Turn Preview Page to pop up, while you are driving.
This is a feature that I really like. Instead of just
at what map scale you want to see business or other POI icons, you can
actually select what you want. If you want to see
but only certain types such as Fast Food, you can select
With all of the included POI’s, you can in this option
exactly what you want to see and don’t want to see on the
map. I have not seen this feature with any other car
navigators. Be careful with the option however, because you
also make roads and highways disappear. If this happens, make
sure they are checked on Categories Drawn.
The My Trails option, allows you to create a trail, commonly known as a
track. You can see exactly where you have been. In
option, you can save several trails, and can select which color you
want. What is nice about this feature, is that you can select
track and then navigate it, if you need to follow your trail to find
your way back, if for some reason you are in an area where there are no
roads to route you on.
This helps you keeps track of your trip, including time, and average
speed as well as trip distance. You can reset this
for each time you want to monitor this information.
This is a common feature in all navigators now. When the GPS
senses you are moving, it disables your ability to make changes to the
unit. This is a safety feature to keep you from being
while driving. With Safety Mode on, the unit will continue to
give you voice directions. If you disable it, a red X will
over the icon.
Sound and Voice Setup
This is a setup menu, where you can select the sounds you
You can select if you want a tone to sound, every time you touch a
key. You can also choose if want any voice directions and if
want the unit to pronounce street names and distances, when you get
voice directions. You can also turn on or off, the FM
on this page. You can also do this in the music
than the key sounds, I would suggest leaving the defaults for this page.
This is called Interface Options, but it is really the screen
setup. You can select from the Simple, Default or Nighttime
screen options. Unfortunately, they do not automatically
depending on day or night. You can also select when the
times out and also calibrate the screen. And on the keyboard
entering address information, you can select either a standard keyboard
arrangement of characters or one that is alphabetical.
Units of Measure
This is where you can select between miles (Statute) and kilometers
(Meters). You can also change your heading from True North to
Magnetic North as well as your preference for military time or
standard 12 hour format.
This is where you reset all of the options back to the factory
defaults. You will be prompted once, before this happens to
prevent an accident.
This is where you see which software version your unit is operating on,
as well as the copyright message on the map data.
This is the satellite page. This is where you can get your
current lat/long and altitude, as well as to see which satellites are
getting reception and have a satellite lock. If will also
if you have 2D, lat/lon, but no altitude, 3D, lat/lon and altitude as
well as WAAS which means you are getting lat/lon, altitude and
This is where you can send information to the data card or retrieve it
from the data card.
You can select if you want the unit to simulate GPS
Helpful if you are inside and want to see the unit give you directions
for a trip or want to demonstrate to someone how your IWAY works.
This is the menu where you select where you want navigation direction
for. There are three pages, with tabs at the top of the page
want to select.
The Find Menu
Search All POI by Name
Emergency and Government
With most of the selections, there are then several sub categories to
break down your search. For example, in the Attractions
there are the following sub-categories: Amusement, Auditoriums,
Historical, Marina, Museum, Parks/Zoos, Recreation Center, Sightsee,
Sports, Stadiums/Arenas, Theatre Live, Theatre Movie, Tourist,
I have noticed the categories are similar in Garmin and Magellan units,
however, each company breaks the categories down into different names
and groups them a little differently. However, all companies
seem to use the same vendor for the data, so most of the actual data should be close to the
same. Overall, Lowrance says that the IWAY includes "more than
five million points of interest for the U.S. and Canada."
Finding an Address
This is probably the most important function, where you select where
you want to go. Inputting an address with the IWAY works
average, as compared to other units. You first select the
number, then the street name. The state and city are also
critical as well. After all of this information is inputted
the screen, select “Find Address” The
search time was
about average as well, before you are given options on which address is
the one you were searching for. Typically you are given a few
possibilities, with variations on North, East, West or South, so look
carefully to make sure you select the right one. You then
the right one and will get a screen which will ask you, “Add
Addressbook” “Find on Map” or
To” If it is a location you will go to frequently,
want to add it to the address book. If you want to see on a
where this address is located, then press Find on Map. The
does NOT have Auto Fill or Quick Spell, like other models which will
anticipate what you are trying to spell out.
The IWAY 350 seems to do a good job in determining the best
for you to travel. This seems to be an improvement from
occasional routing errors in the IWAY 500C. In the 2000
have logged with the IWAY, I did a couple of times see a route
that was different and possibly longer than I would have taken.
However, the unit seemed to be trying to keep me on the
interstate longer and was trying to avoid smaller highways,
even though the
distance of the route using the freeway was longer, by up to
ten miles. I
routing issues with the RoadMate 360, although I have never seen this
Garmin c330. As far as routing through cities on surface
the IWAY did a good job and when running with the Garmin c330, the
routes were almost always the same or similar. The IWAY
the option of when creating routes, to avoiding left hand turns.
This can be nice when trying to turn left onto busy streets.
I have not seen this option in any other auto navigators
The unit also offers automatic re-calculation of the route,
you miss your turn and will automatically find a new route to get you to your destination.
voice quality is
the best in my opinion of any other car navigator. The voice
sounds real and is easy to understand. The voice sequence,
typically follows this standard as you approach a turn:
at 15 miles, two miles, one mile, half mile, then on final approach. Here are some sample voice commands given by the IWAY:
"Take next left "
straight ahead on South 3 oh zero West"
"Take next right onto Highway 68
"Exit left in point five miles to I-5 South"
"Take next exit left to I-15 South"
"Exit Right in 27 miles onto Exit 282, then take next ramp
"Take ramp right in 1 point 2 miles to I-5 South"
entrance on the left in point four miles"
The text to speech feature will give you verbally the names of highways
and freeways and other streets that are numeric, such as 6800 West.
It does not give you the street names such as "Elm" or
"Washington." However, this information is visible on the screen
in the navigation display.
will provide both voice and some on screen navigation directions. They
will appear in the lower right hand corner. Your final destination
will be listed at the top of the screen in the middle of the page.
There is also a 'pop up' preview page of your upcoming manuver, which
will show you the distance to your turn, the direction and the distance
to your final destination.
The IWAY 350C includes a built in MP3 player. You must load
music or other recordings onto an SD card and put the card in
SD slot. You then select Music from the main menu, and you
select the songs you want to play. Press the Music Note and
Binoculars icon in the upper right hand corner, which will list the
music files. I have found no problems in using the MP3 player
found it to be a nice feature in the unit. You
can listen to
the music with the built in speakers, which I believe sounds pretty
good, considering the size of them. There is also a 1/8th
mini headphone stereo jack. You can listen to the music, at
same time you are navigating. When the IWAY gives navigation
directions, it will pause the music, make the announcement and then
resume the music. There is an equalizer, to adjust the tone of the
music. However, I suggest you use the factory settings to
preserve the quality of the sound. You can also select between 'shuffle' and 'repeat.'
The IWAY also has a built in FM modulator, which will broadcast the
music audio along with the navigation directions, onto a close by FM
radio. You can select one frequency from the entire FM band,
MHz to 107.9 MHz. I found the audio quality
varies, depending on which vehicle I was in. This is probably
attributed to the quality of the built in car radio. To
between the built in speaker and the FM modulator, you select it on the
Music main menu, in the lower left hand corner. If the
selected, there is a volume control you can select. If the FM
modulator is enabled, you can adjust the frequency it will transmit on,
using the arrows. The frequency is displayed on the right
You can also use the IWAY as a
picture viewer. To do this, insert an SD card with photos on
Then on the main menu page, select "Pictures" and you can
images on the screen. This is a nice feature, if your camera
a compatible data card. It makes it easy to view digital
pictures, however this works the best if you are not
The gauge page, which is in the lower right hand corner of the Main
Menu page, is a trip computer. Here you can get data on your speed
in a speedometer type display. You can also see the
day, your ETA and maximum and average speed. You are not able
change the data fields on this page.
The IWAY 350C has the option of "Skins." Lowarance has
available so you can create and modify your own designs for backgrounds
on the screen. There are also a couple of different "Skins"
already created you can download for a different look.
Once you download them to your unit, you must select either
"Cabo" "Default Easy" or Defaut" in the interface section of "Options."
You can find out more and download the Cabo and Default Easy
skins from Lowrance by clicking here.
"Cabo Find Page"
"Cabo Setup Page"
350C has a good
display. I found my self confused at first, because the
the power button gently, will either increase or decrease the
backlight, there are four steps of brightness. After I
this out, it works quite well. The unit will hold the
level you set, between uses. However when the unit is
battery power, it will automatically dim to conserve battery power, but
when you touch the screen will bring it back to the previous
level. Overall the IWAY 350C is quite bright and is
the brightness control in the options, but the easiest way to do it, is
by pressing the power button. The display does not
switch between a "day" and a "night" screen. I never had any
problem easily reading the screen, day or night, and on either cloudy
or sunny days. According
to Lowrance, the screen is a 16 bit TFT touch screen, that is backlit,
with 320H and 240V resolution, with a 3.5 inch screen size.
more comparison of car navigator displays, read Joe's
The touch screen is where all of the commands except for power must be
made. You can calibrate the screen in the options.
should do this after you have mounted the unit where you will
it. I had good luck using the touch screen, except when
select a street in an address. For some reason, it would be
responsive at times. The other problem I had, was that some
the fields when selecting an address, were too small for my finger and
hard to trigger.
The 350C is powered by either the included 12 volt cigarette adapter or
the internal Lithium Battery. The battery lasted for about 15 hours,
before it needed re-charging, so far the longest battery life I have
seen in a comparable unit. When the unit is plugged in, it
power the unit and also charge the battery at the same time.
According to Lowrance, the IWAY 350 has a 16 channel receiver
and is WAAS enabled.
Acquisition times are about average, usually less than one
minute. There is a signal strength meter for satellite
in the upper left hand corner of the main menu.. When you
press this, you get a
satellite page and can see if your reception is 2D, (location only) 3D,
(location and altitude) and WAAS, (location, altitude and
correction) You can also access the satellite page in the
Options on Page Three under "GPS Status."
The included hardware with the IWAY 350C all works fine. The
gooseneck windshield suction mount remained very solid during our
testing. I also like how the unit slipped into the mount and
could easily be removed when you want to take it out of sight
or out of the
car. The included cigarette lighter cable works well and had
trouble staying connected to the unit. The plug easily made
connection when plugged in. The included dust cover is also a
nice feature, allowing you to cover the face of the unit when it is not
The processor in the IWAY 350C seems to be about average. It
slower than the Garmin StreetPilot 330 series, but seems to be faster
than the RoadMate 360. We would say that the processor speed
acceptable. The hard drive is said to be 4GB.
Can I enter waypoints?
There is no waypoint category, however you can save
"waypoints" in the address book, from either panning the map, or saving
your current location, by selecting the "Locate" button and hitting
save. You cannot enter a waypoint inputting lat/lon however, only by
street address. The address book will store up to 1,000
locations. You can also choose from numerous icons, to represent
what type of location you are saving and there is also a field where
you can store a phone number. You can also 'edit' waypoints after
they are created.
Is there a one button "Home" option?
No, but if you frequently route to your home, it is easy to find in the "recent destinations."
What about the quality of
the map data?
The pre-loaded map data available in the IWAY 350C, is
by Navteq and seems to be the most current mapping data available.
There is good geographic type data included as well, such as
rivers, streams, etc.
Does the IWAY 350 have NMEA data in/out?
Is there a Lat/lon readout?
Yes, accessible by pressing the red flag in the upper left
hand corner on the map page. You can then see it on the map.
Which map datum does the IWAY 350C use?
From what we can tell from the lat/lon readings, it is WGS
84, however there is no way to change this setting.
Is there any altitude data available?
Yes, the same way you get the Lat/long readout, the red
the map page. You can also get in in the options section
Can I use an amplified
Can I enter in Custom POI or
speed cameras or proximity alerts?
No, this unit does not have this feature available in many newer auto
navigators developed by other companies.
What is the USB
According to Lowrance, the USB port is for possible future firmware
updates and offers the ability to update the mapping data in the
future, although likely for a fee. Lowrance is currently offering
an update DVD for the IWAY 500C for $75. As of this writing,
there is no update for the IWAY 350C since it is new to the market.
data in the IWAY 350C
seems to have more detail, including geographic type details, such as
streams, parks, forests, railroad tracks, trails, etc. It is
most detailed geographic mapping I have seen in a car navigator.
When you are playing music in the MP3 player, you will see an
icon flashing in the lower right hand corner. It is really an
icon of the SD card, which apparently flashes to signify it is working.
The internal battery has a very long life and seems to have
longest battery life of any navigator I have seen so far, our testing
seems to be in line with Lowrance's estimate of up to 15 hours of use.
So far, there is no software by Lowrance you can use to manage
your addressbook in a computer and then save it back and forth on your
computer. Using the IWAY itself is the only way to do this.
The unit does not come with an SD card, however, the additional
cost for getting a good size card for use with the unit keeps coming
while navigating close to an interstate, would occasionally go from the
freeway lane you are traveling, to a frontage road or other nearby road
that runs paralell and lock onto the street. This would be
annoying, because the unit would think you were now on the side street
and then keep recalculating a new route. I did look at
reception and this occured even with good reception, so it is probably
and issue with the "lock on road" feature. Hopefully this can
corrected in a future firmware update.
The touch screen at
times was difficult to use because the fields were so narrow, my finger
could not trigger the button. I also experienced times when
touching a field would be un responsive, even if I used a stylus to try
and trigger the field.
speech to text
language uses a combination of alpha and numberic wording, when
announcing street names that are numeric. For example, if it
a direction of turn right on 700 West, the unit would say,
right on seven-oh-zero West." Why it does not say oh oh or
zero is not known.
The IWAY 350C seems to be a good product. I was
surprised at what I found while using it. There are a few
I did not like, but overall we can say it is a good product.
was awarded the "Best New Mobile Electronics Entertainment Product
Award for 2006 at the SEMA (Specialty Electronic Market Assocation)
show in Las Vegas. When you take a look at the price you pay
features you get, such as text to speech directions and the MP3 player,
it seems to be the best value out in the market right now for
this type of auto navigator. Hopefully some of the minor
issues we discovered can be corrected in an upcoming firmware update. You can download the IWAY manual online by clicking here.