Home / TVs & Audio / Gadget / Binatone Carrera X350 Sat-Nav

Binatone Carrera X350 Sat-Nav review

By

Reviewed:

1 of 5

Binatone Carrera X350 Sat-Nav
  • Binatone Carrera X350 Sat-Nav
  • Binatone Carrera X350 Sat-Nav
  • Binatone Carrera X350 Sat-Nav
  • Binatone Carrera X350 Sat-Nav
  • Binatone Carrera X350 Sat-Nav

Summary

Our Score:

7

Back in the days when men wore braces, women donned shoulder pads and advanced technologies such as sprites, bitmapping and (wait for it) floppy disks were the talk of the town, Binatone was happy to make cheap musical instruments and pong-style TV games. I remember sitting in front of the TV, paddle in hand, perfectly happy playing ‘tennis', ‘football' and ‘squash', and conjuring plinky-plonky ELO-style compositions on a friend's electronic keyboard.

But times move on, none more so than in the technology industry, and today Binatone has gone from home entertainment novelties to more mundane fare such as phones, shavers, hairdryers and kitchen appliances. Its latest venture is into the world of satellite navigation and at £100 the price of the X350 isn't far off those of its more humdrum, home appliance cousins.

So what do you get for your money? The answer, on paper at least, is a surprisingly good sat-nav system. It's perhaps understandable that maps of Europe aren't included at this price, but there are very few other bases that aren't covered. For starters, it's well designed, with a large 3.5in screen and silver and black, rubberised trim surrounding it. That screen is bright and easy to read, even in sunny conditions and the touch sensitivity is both accurate and responsive. Around the edges are a slot for SD cards, a mini USB socket for charging the device, a 3.5mm headphone output and a socket for a TMC aerial so you can receive traffic information over FM, and the whole thing is slim and pocketable.

The X350 has Navteq maps on board and during testing I found these to be about as accurate as you could expect. There's always going to be the odd road here and there that isn't quite right, but it'll get you where you want to go 99 per cent of the time. It takes largely sensible routes and, when it doesn't, the device has multipoint routing, so you can easily set up an alternative. More importantly, perhaps, when you stray off the route set out for you by the navigation engine, route recalculation is, as far as I can tell, instantaneous.

I always say you can tell how good a sat-nav box is going to be by the quality of its voice instructions, and the X350 doesn't disappoint. They're accurate and timely, and the speaker is loud and clear. On the negative side it doesn't link instructions together when two or more turnings are in close proximity and there's no automatic volume adjustment based on speed or ambient noise, but neither are great losses.

Brian Reyolds

June 9, 2008, 8:41 pm

New Sat Nav user but generally very pleased with the Binatone Carrera X350. Takes some funny routes to get me on and off the nearby motorway and has a ridiculous diversion off of the main road as I approach home involving two unnecessary right turns. OK if you know rhe area and ignore it but I wonder about strange places. Spots some speed cameras which appear only to be traffic cameras - better safe than sorry!


Detour from suggested route brings immediate recalculation and screen is fairly easy to see. Woman's voice rejected by both myself and my wife, she appears tetchy if you do not follow her route though have not noticed this with the man. Ridiculous because they would probably both say the same thing!

DIJ

July 31, 2008, 5:54 pm

Presentation is quite good, visually and verbally but navigation is very poor. The 'full post-code' navigation isn't, there are many 6 and 7 figure post codes (and not new ones either) which it truncates to 3 or 4 figures. Even in large cities like Birmingham. I also found that it failed to recognise the names of some roads (not new roads either) which were present on another Navteq mapped satnav. I didn't find it too slow calculating routes but sometimes it failed to find a route at all. If you want to rely on your satnav don't buy one of these.

Highland Park

January 2, 2009, 4:02 pm

I aggree with the comments made already but would add that although the machine itself is fairly robust and the actual navigation appears to be reasonably good, the lack of up-to-date mapping is pretty attrocious. I bought mine from Tesco on 26th December and I'm taking it back on 5th January as it is not fit for purpose. Of my four children, who live in properties built between 35 and 4 years ago; NOT ONE, had an address which was acceptable to this machine. My Wife's work did not even have a road going into it. Tesco dingwall - petrol station appears but the actual store does not even exist. The only way I've been able to get this to work for me is to save locations AFTER I've been there in the favourites. - Rating - a waste of an opportunity, hardware good - software rubbish.

Linda S

March 10, 2009, 2:54 am

I actually bought this sat nav from Argos when I was staying at a remote caravan site at Easter 2008. I went on a shopping trip and couldn't remember the way back to the site, I thought, oh well I'll buy a cheap sat nav, as I'd been meaning to get one. It did get me to the general area, and I managed to find my way back eventually, but it didn't recognise the full post code and it was quite disappointing. The maps are quite out of date, and you can't seem to get any updates when you go on the website, very disappointing. The unit has malfunctioned on a few occasions as well, and sent me around the block a few times. But on the whole, when reset it will generally get you to the general destination, as long as its been there over 10 years! On a more positive note it's quite easy to use, but can't recommend it, unless you can pick one up really, really cheap, and just want something very basic.

Jay Werfalli

March 10, 2009, 3:05 am

Thanks for taking the time to post your comments! It really helps to read everyone's opinions on each and every product we review, not only for us but also for potential buyers ;)

Steve Robinson

May 6, 2010, 10:53 pm

I bought my Binatone Carrera from a friend who won it in a raffle and already had a sat nav. I am finding it very difficult to obtain any advice on updates for this hardware. I wish i hadn't bought it now i think i am £60.00 worse off! Anyone out there know anything about software updates?

comments powered by Disqus