We challenged Destinator to take us, as the crow flies, via the shortest route from north London to Malvern. Unsurprisingly, the 'shortest' route took us through some lovely villages in Worcestershire. And it took what seemed like a lifetime.

As with CoPilot, we needed only to insert the SD card containing the software and installation was automatic. We found Destinator quick off the mark if we strayed from our agreed route and, given the complexity of the journey we specified, we were impressed with how quickly it worked out a route. But it's not quite the know-it-all it seemed: at one point it confidently directed us to take the next left – down a private road to an extremely expensive-looking private school.

The Traffic Sam element of this package delivers real-time traffic updates. It has a little wire antenna that you stick to your windscreen and that attaches to the GPS receiver sitting on the dashboard of your car. It's a real plus that the Destinator package comes with a year-long subscription to the service for an overall asking price of £150.

You do, of course, need to factor in having a suitable Windows Mobile 5.0 smartphone or PDA and we'd suggest one with a nice clear screen such as the iPaq we tested it on.

For reviews of more than 20 brand-new satnav kits - dashboard, mobile phone and PDA kits included - click here.

Destinator 6 with Traffic Sam: Specs

  • Maps: Destinator 6, UK and Ireland
  • traffic updates, speed camera alerts included
  • rerouting, fastest, shortest, avoid motorways, avoid toll roads, avoid specific roads, car/pedestrian modes
  • POIs, 2D/3D/day/night modes
  • Maps: Destinator 6, UK and Ireland
  • traffic updates, speed camera alerts included
  • rerouting, fastest, shortest, avoid motorways, avoid toll roads, avoid specific roads, car/pedestrian modes
  • POIs, 2D/3D/day/night modes

OUR VERDICT

PDA-based satellite navigation systems may soon be superseded by large-screen phones with built-in GPS, but only if the software is as good as this.

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