“ Brand: Binatone / Maps: Uk & RoI „
I was first introduced into the world of satellite navigation when I needed to go somewhere I didn't know for work. A friend lent me their Garmin Sat Nav. I was amazed how easy it was to use and how it could tell me where to go!
I thought, I'd quite like my own sat nav, but realistically couldn't justify the expense. I had a look around, but the cheapest was a Binatone at about £50 which still was too expensive.
A few months passed and I saw the Binatone F350 appear on Amazon and Ebay at only about £25, and it included UK and Ireland maps so I thought I'd get it.
First thing to shock me when I opened the box was how small and light it was, but I suppose as it only has a 3.5" screen I should have expected that. Also in the box was the holder, power cable and usb lead.
It was easy to set up and is simple to operate. The screen although small is very clear and particluarly in 3D mode (2D is also an option) very easy to follow and recognise the road layout.
I've tried it out on a number of journeys that I know and it has always come up with a sensible route. As well as being able to glance at the screen to see where you are to go there is also turn by turn voice guidance. The sound is clear enough, but could perhaps be a touch louder. What I do miss compared to the Garmin is that it doesn't attempt to pronounce the street names which could be quite entertaining, but not worth spending the extra money on unless you are using it a lot.
The battery life is stated to be around 2 hours, but I haven't tested this as I have always plugged it into the 12v socket when I've used it.
To summarise it is a basic sat nav system at a very low price which is well worth the money for occasional use and it certainly meets my needs. If however you are going to using a sat nav extensively for work or something like that then it may be worth investing in a more expensive system with all the extra features.
A couple of months back I accidentally left my car door unlocked outside my house. Unfortunately our village 'tea leaf' must have been checking the car doors, and upon finding mine unlocked, decided to steal my Sat Nav. I was a bit gutted to be honest. Not only had my wife bought me it as a Christmas present but I'd become quite attached to 'Mary' - the lovely lady who helped me on my travels.
It left me with only one alternative, and that was to buy a new one. As I hadn't budgeted to buy a new Sat Nav, I only had a small amount of spare cash to buy one. The rest was being used up on our annual Summer Holiday. So off I trotted to my nearest Argos store, ready to buy my new toy. It was priced at £49.99 reduced from £59.99.
Upon arriving home it just happened we were going to go strawberry picking 20 miles from our house. This gave me the perfect opportunity to try out my new 'toy'. Upon opening the box I was amazed at just how thin it was compared with my last one. However as technology has moved on, I accepted that perhaps the Sat Navs had also.
On my last Sat Nav, I did not use the stand. It slotted nicely onto my dashboard, and upon arriving at destinations, it was carefully removed, and stored away from eye view. Unfortunately this one didn't fit, and I had to spend 20 minutes trying to set up the stand. I'm not a slow kind of person, so I feel for those who aren't upto such things.
The screen itself was 3.5inch LCD and was super bright and also anti reflective. It had a multi language and user friendly interface with 2D and 3D navagation view. Like my last Sat Nav I could also search by postcode, city and address. There were also 2 million places of interest pre installed. This included such things as Petrol Stations, Hotels etc.
An addition which I hadn't got on my previous Sat Nav was an expansion slot for a Mcro SD card to add additional images and adigital picture/document viewer.
One aspect that did interest me was its boasting of a 'high sensitivity GPS receiver. On my last Sat Nav, it used to take 10 minutes or so to find the Satellite, when I was going on a journey, but as most of my journeys started from home, and I new my local area very well, it didn't worry me. 'Mary' would meet me about 10 minutes down the road. She was a very polite lady who never gave any cheek, even when I found myself going round a roundabout a couple of times.
Going back to the journey. On this particular day it took the Sat Nav 20 minutes to find the Satellite and by that time I was at the farm, picking strawberries. Very disappointing. On the way home it was similar, although this time her twin sister 'Julie' took only 15 minutes, before she started shouting at me to watch my speed. The SAt Nav had a recognised speed facility, and as soon as I hit 35mph, she was screeming at me.
I have since been on a couple more journeys with similar results. It does get me there, but I need to give her a head start. I also find the stand very temperamental which is quite frustrating. One positive aspect though, is that it is so easy to use and the interface is very customer friendly.
Contents of the box
*GPS Navigation Device
*Car Mounting Kit (what a laugh)
*In car charger
So there we have it? Would I recommend it. In two letters NO. It just doesn't pich the signal up fast enough. It doesn't fit on the stand well and is quite a disappointment. If I had my time again, I'd add money to it, and get a better one.
Copyright stebiz 2011 - also on ciao.co.uk
With my old sat nav starting to get on my nerves a bit and being a bit outdated with junctions that it was calling roundabouts, it was time to update to a newer Binatone model. The reason I got Binatone again is that it was alright in price and I have used them before so know how to work them, as well as it being quite nice in terms of appearance. I checked the features to see if it had anything a bit better but just the overall look of it seemed better and it looked more modern so I decided to buy it as I had a few spare Argos vouchers anyway.
The colour of this sat nav is black and it is a 3.5 inch touch screen. It shows the maps very clearly on the screen and has a number of different settings to ensure that you get all of the best options to make it to your destination. The sat nav as always comes with the black stand so that you can stick it to the window and it will be placed into this. The sat nav is 7.4cm in height by 9.6cm in width and 1.1cm in depth. It also weighs 115g so it isn't too heavy at all. It comes with a car charger which I mainly charge it with when driving around as there is no plug for in house charging.
This model, is newer so I was hoping for it to be a lot better. The voice over is still the same a woman and you can adjust the volume settings if the voice gets annoying while driving. You also have a menu with a lot of settings so that you can change the options for travel. A major setting is day/night mode which is very useful when driving at night as it dims the screen to stop glare. Also when you press the power on button a little piece of music plays then you are taken to the main screen which says Navigation or Menu.
Navigation just takes you to your current location and then if you click Menu it will take you to the Go To section which is where you type in where you are heading. This can be narrowed down by street, city or post code and also by recent destinations if it is somewhere you go regularly like the supermarket or something similar. You can also store an Address Book of places you may go like family members houses etc. Once done you can click the back button or the OK button and it will calculate, usually quite quickly and then shows you how many miles to go, your current speed and ETA.
Once your route is programmed in, you can also then change options such as well not change but can check the route plan and see that you are happy with it. You can also change the Map Options so it doesn't show Voice Guidance or Motorway Sign Posts and you can make it 2D or 3D if you want as well. Also on the main settings of the Menu you get a few other parts you can change such as the Speed Camera settings as you can make it alert you when exceeding the road speed limit and also put the speed camera on warning.
You can also adjust the brightness of the screen if you are finding it to be too much for your eyes. You can change the time zone too but considering this is only a UK & ROI sat nav it is most unlikely you will ever be changing time zones while driving with this anyway. If you prefer seeing distance in Km instead of Miles then this can be altered easily by touching the screen. Everything is done with quite straightforward icons so that you can see what exactly it all means.
Overall, it is a good little sat nav for the money, it seems better with the new model as it seems to send me in the right direction which is a good start. The screen is very clearly displayed and you can keep an eye on how many miles left. The voice isn't too irritating and the overall design is modern and the stand is easy to stick to the window without it falling off. I would say if you want a sat nav for quite cheap, this is the one to try, it always gives good advance notice of where to turn and is generally reliable.
I bought this sat nav from Argos and it cost me £59.99 which is a really good price. Amazon are selling it for £64.99 but it is not a direct Amazon sale it is through a seller. I think Argos are the best option here as if there are any problems they will be quick to refund or replace it which is what you want. You could always try eBay as well and check if there are any going cheap on there as you never know.
Binatone's official website is http://www.binatonetelecom.com/ but I could not find this model on there as it doesn't seem to have been updated in a while.