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Entry Level Sat Nav Shoot-Out 2006 - These Budget In-Car GPS Devices Are Better Than You'd Think!

Navman F20 vs TomTom One GB vs Road Angel Navigator 6000


Budget Sat Nav Show-DownLet battle commence! But seriously, trying to choose the best entry-level in-car satellite navigation device is a daunting task, so we've picked three of the best and most popular so we can compare them side by side and pick out their best points, and maybe a winner.

We'll be looking at TomTom's new One GB (£199.99) or regional, Navman's F20 (£179.99) and the Road Angel Navigator 6000 (£249.99). Each has strengths & weaknesses and will appeal to different people, so despite when you may read in this review make sure you visit a store and try all of them out before you buy.

First up is the Navman f20, at the great price of £180. It's got full Post-Code look-up, 3d maps, voice instruction, touch-screen, and pre-installed speed-camera warnings. This is a great little device, a real surprise that it packs so much in at such a cheap price. Of course you'll have to subscribe to Navman's POI service to keep the Speed-Camera Warning POI's up to date, but that's a small price to pay to keep your license. In use the f20 is very nice. The case is slim & stylish, with a good screen, it's easy to use and the quick-nav buttons for fuel & parking a great idea if you have to use the unit while driving. The speaker isn't the loudest here, and the unit can be a little slow at times, but overall there is little to fault the Navman f20, it does it's job well and at a great price.

Next up is the new TomTom One Gb (or regional) which is on sale for around £200. The original One was a great little device - but Tom Tom have made it even better, with an even slimmer case, new maps, new GPS receiver and a new sucker mount. The TomTom One does not have any Speed Camera Warning POI's pre installed, but you can subscribe to Tomtom's Plus services to download them. In my opinion the Tomtom One gets the most important thing right in a sat-nav - ease of use. No matter how scared of gadgets or computers you are, pick up a One and you'll be navigating in minutes. Full Post-Code look-up, voice-instruction, 3d maps, area and road avoidance, auto re-routing... the One can do everything it's more expensive Go cousins can do, except the Bluetooth Hands-Free or MP3 playing. I've used many, many, sat-nav devices in my time and I can assure you that you will not be sorry if you buy a Tomtom One, in fact I sold one to my sister only a couple of weeks ago, it's that good.

Our last entry level Sat-Nav is the Road Angel Navigator 6000. I wasn't sure to include this unit in the test at first, but as you can get one for as little as £200 if you look hard enough (the same price as a TomTom One) I thought it should be included. The Navigator does everything a GB sat nav should - 3d maps, Postcodes, etc, but it's point of difference is the way that it integrates Speed Camera Warning into the Navigation. Whereas the other units just feebly bleep at you and have a small icon on the screen when you approach a camera, the Road Angel puts a red border around the screen (if you're going too fast) and you get the ex-racing driver Tiff Needel telling you that you're approaching a camera and to slow down. Great! Ok, the Navigator takes a little more getting used to than the One or F20, the , menu's are a little clunky, but once on the move it's as good as any of the other in-car GPS devices in this test. The Road Angel Navigator can also be used in warning only mode, where it doesn't tell you where to go, it just warns you when approaching cameras, a great feature when using familiar routes, but where you want to be reminded about those nasty cameras.

Now the tricky part, In our comparison test, which is the Winner? I've qualified my answer into more questions, but I hope that should give you the best idea of which one is right for you, and it's a choice between the TomTom One GB and the Road-Angel Navigator (as long as you can get it for £200.)

If you want the easiest to use, most reliable entry-level Satellite Navigator for use in the UK, there is really no other option then the Tom Tom One GB. It is that good.

If you don't mind a slightly more difficult to use menu system, but want the best integrated Sat Nav / Camera Warning device, get the RoadAngel Navigator 6000, you won't be sorry.

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