A very good friend of mine recently asked: "Just what is the best Sat Nav system?" Curious why he had shown interest in a piece of technology I’d previously heard him deride I asked why? "It’s for the wife… for Christmas", he qualified. Now casting aside the obvious jokes about women and directions this statement made me think. Are Sat Nav systems suddenly becoming the next big stocking filler? My mate may be a professional hypnotherapist with a Look Into My Eyes knack of convincing people to do what he wants, but I think he’s onto something and judging by the number of Sat Nav press releases I’ve received with pre-Chrimbo shipping dates I tend to agree.
Interestingly enough too, of all the announcements I’ve seen, it is an offering from a lesser known company which has most caught my eye. Perhaps I shouldn’t be entirely surprised since the Evesham Bluemedia BM6380 is co-developed by old hands Destinator, but the features certainly lift my cynical brow.
For a start it has an unusually slim and sleek exterior which is a cut above the more bulbous rounded rears seen on many devices and its large 3.5in 320 x 240 colour display can show both 2D and 3D maps. What's more, it is also a 2-in-1 system, capable not only of providing spoken directions, but pointing out speed cameras. Gatso, SPECS, Truvelo, Mobile, Temporary and Redlight radars are detected and free location updates are offered for six months after purchase. Annual subscriptions afterwards are a very reasonable £30.
Navigation looks impressive too as the display has touchscreen functionality on top of the usual buttons and four way rocker and a remote control is bundled should anyone in the back need to get involved. Trips are not forgotten once used either and can be retrieved from History, Favourites or Points of Interest and then customised to include additional areas of note such as stopover locations and pedestrian only zones.
Unlike a lot of rival Sat Nav solutions, the BM6380 also implements a full seven digital postcode search which will simplify destination finding no end. Helpfully, all maps are stored onto an SD Card (UK and Ireland come preloaded, with most of Europe available for download) which slots into the side of the device and if you upload MP3s onto it, it will play those too.
With an RRP of £299.99 including VAT, the BM6380 looks rather a steal considering it is equipped with features not seen on some systems with far greater price tags. It can be purchased direct from the company's site (link below) and a two year warranty comes as standard. In sum – though the quality of a Sat Nav system is all in the testing – I feel confident in saying anyone who receives one of these from Santa this year is unlikely to be disappointed.
Yes, even a hypnotherapist’s wife might raise a smile... without being put under.