Binatone has produced some tidy little satnavs in the past and while they don’t measure up to rivals like TomTom in terms of features and extras, are pretty adept on the road.
Its new T430 arrives with a bit of a twist. In the box you’re supplied with a digital camera that’s designed to be fixed above or below the number plate at the rear of your car. From here you need to wire the connected power leads into your reverse light and the camera wirelessly connects to the docking cradle for the GPS unit.
Once up and running, slipping the car into reverse gear turns the satnav’s screen into a rear-view camera, either to help you judge distances when reversing or make sure that you don’t run over any unsuspecting bicycles/toys/children when you pull into your driveway.
If you’re not good with cars or electronics then Binatone can arrange to have the system professionally fitted, but with a little patience and perhaps a bit of help we’re confident most people could do it themselves.
It may sound like a gimmick, but we were pretty impressed by the refresh rate and quality of the digital camera and considering the setup is nicely hidden and nicely automated we can’t think of a reason why you wouldn’t want to use it.
Elsewhere the satnav device itself is a mid-range navigator offering extras like music, video and photo playback and Bluetooth for pairing your mobile phone. Navigation on the road is extremely good, the interface is nicely laid out and controls on-screen, while small, are responsive and accurate, we had no problems making quick adjustments on the road.
While it doesn’t offer recent developments in this field like text to speech for reading road names or advanced lane guidance, the maps and voice directions are clear enough to make it easy to see where you’re going.
You’ll also find an excellent degree of control over both journey information and how the navigator plans and maintains a route while on the road.
One rather frustrating feature is that while all of the maps are stored internally, which frees up the SD-card slot for additional countries or media files, you’ll find that the media player applications are stored separately from the map, requiring you to exit them, and therefore stop playback, before you can go back to the navigation menu. This is a bit of an either/or solution and it’s a shame these features aren’t better integrated.
Overall we were very impressed by both performance on the road and the effectiveness of the digital camera, and when you consider the asking price for such a package it’s hard to complain. Binatone offers excellent value for money again with its new T430 and if you’re after straightforward navigation, aren’t bothered by the lack of bells and whistles and think you’ll use the camera, this would be an excellent purchase.