Evesham BlueMedia BM-6380 GPS navigator
The BM-6380's UK supplier, Evesham, claims the device has "the most up-to-date and accurate maps available". Maybe they are, but that doesn't mean they are actually up to date. I used the unit to take me to visit a chum who moved out to Potton, Befordshire a four years ago. True, he move into a brand new home, on a new street, but while the street's in the BM-6380's list, none of the houses are.
The navigator is also supposed to offer seven-digit postcode searching. Again, maybe it does, but I couldn't get it to recognise any of the codes I entered in the waypoint-setting section. It did work when setting a single destination, however.
On the road, the unit seemed to take longer than other GPS receivers to get a satellite fix. When it did, it put in on a road three streets away from mine. Once in motion, however, it soon figured out where I really was and started giving me appropriate directions - but not before I'd been given a spurious traffic-light camera warning. In fact, the speed camera alert I got not long after the device's map reading and my physical location co-incided was questionable: if there's a camera there, it's unmarked.
In other respects, the software works exactly as it should. It will get you from A to B, and back on to the route if you stray from your course. And there's a nice pedestrian mode for walkers. Don't do what I did and let the battery run flat. If you do, you'll have to reinstall all the navigation software, even though it's already installed. On the plus side, it will play any MP3s and show any photos stored on the SD card.
The BM-6380 is a competent GPS navigation product. The hardware isn't bad, but I didn't take to the Destinator software - apps like CoPilot Live, Navicore and even Navman's SmartST Pro do it better. These all run on top of Windows Mobile, but the fact that the BM-6380 doesn't have all that PocketPC stuff to handle too didn't make it any faster or, crucially, more responsive - there were plenty of pregnant pauses while the screen changes what it's showing.
Still, you pays your money, you takes your choice. You can't expect the latest GPS technology and the fastest CPU for £300. That's a little cheaper than other low-end dedicated GPS devices, such as the Mio DigiWalker 268 or the Navman iCN520. Like those it does what it's supposed to, and does it reasonably well, though for me the others have controls more suitable for in-car use. ®
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