(Pocket-lint) - With the catchphrase "Drive Like a local" can the Binatone Carrera X350 really compete against the likes of TomTom, Navman and Garmin? We get driving to find out.

The Carrera X350 is one of the cheapest satnavs on the block coming with a retail price of around £99 although it has been seen online even cheaper.

For your money you get maps of the UK and Ireland, but not Europe, a 3.5-inch touchscreen display, 2D and 3D navigation, points of interest and voice guidance. You'll also get 7-digit postcode support and speed camera locations so you can avoid hitting school children or driving at 80 miles an hour in a 20 zone, something we wouldn't recommend doing.

The design of the unit is best described as square, with the square screen framed by a thick black boarder. Because of the touchscreen buttons have been kept to a minimum although that hasn't stopped the makers from putting two, yes that's right, two on/off switches, something that puzzled us at first.

As for the interface it's best described as average, neither being impossible to use or incredibly simple, and it has as much flair as the "grey" man in the corner hoping to fade into the background.

In use and we had no problems getting a signal, nor the map keeping up-to-date with the multitude of roads in Central London.

It's not all good though as there were times when we felt we were 50 yards further down the road than the GPS thought we were which caused us problems and u-turns.

Mapping instructions are fairly straightforward with plenty of options including setting them from car to pedestrian, bicycle and motorbike as well as the usual shortest and fastest routes. Interestingly there is even an option to set it to give you the least amount of turns, something that might appeal to caravan or horse box pullers.

Voice instructions are clear, although with no quick volume control a pain if you suddenly have to take a call. It's a case of letting people know you are using satnav else it will confuse the hell out of them, it certainly did the people that phoned us while we were testing it.


So what's the catch? Well there are two really, one is a lack of power, meaning everything takes an age to do, whether it's finding a route that is longer than 10 minutes down the road, or merely scrolling around the map when driving be prepared to have to wait.

The second is that, while we understand this is a budget model, there isn't really any excitement here. As we've said earlier, it's the grey man in the corner and doesn't have the nicety of the Big three; Navman, Garmin, and TomTom.

The recommendation? This won't be for most.

Writing by Stuart Miles.