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Pocket GPS World :: View topic - Becker Z101 Europe Review and Hands On
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Becker Z101 Europe Review and Hands On

 
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StonedSteve
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Joined: Jun 04, 2008
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sat Jan 10, 2009 8:48 pm    Post subject: Becker Z101 Europe Review and Hands On Reply with quote

I have been looking for a cheap bargain to upgrade from my Garmin Nuvi 610 to a unit with lane assit and ended up buying the Becker Z101 from Halfords. I specifically needed one that had a 4.3" screen, auto on/off, the newish Lane assist, turn previewing and was less than 100. The Nuvi 205 fitted the bill but was 109 so when you take into account the gift voucher was 22 more than the becker and did not have the Europe maps and TMC.

I love the simple interface of the Nuvi and the fact you can add your own Poi's but initially I thought I was getting a better deal with the Becker. The Becker unit looks very nice in its gloss black surround but as I was fitting it into an Astra Mk4 Sat Nav console I intermediately ran into a problem. The Nuvi detects power from the charger when the ignition is on, so you don't need access to the power button. Then, navigating the menu's is done purely with the touch screen the same as the Tomtom units. With the Becker, unless its in hibernation, you have to push the red button in the left bottom corner to switch on and then to go back a menu option you press the button again. Essentially that meant I needed to drill a hole in the Satnav console surround and stick in an old Sky Remote rubber button but it works and looks factory fitted Smile

Anyhoo I digress, so lets get back to operation. From switch on to free roam map view is a little longer than the Nuvi but if the Becker is in hibernation its instantly on and all you have to wait for is a Satellite lock.
Switching between menu options can be annoying for some if they are impatient as it can take a couple of seconds to switch options when compared to the Nuvi's instant changing.

Route navigation compared to the Garmin seemed the same as I ran both in the car for a couple of days. Maps are supplied by Navteq that are also used by Garmin so the maps are quite upto date.

I haven't used the TMC as I drive at night so you don't get many jams in the middle of the night.

Night time view is no so great as with the Unit being made by Germans its typically Dark blue, red and grey so it can be hard to make out if you are turning in the right direction.

One of the major downfalls is there is no way of adding the PocketGps database as it looks like the POI's are intergrated into one file that can only be accessed by paying 30 Euro's for Poi-Warner Rolling Eyes

Thankfully it seems to have 1000s of POI's built in which shows the essential places like petrol stations, Macdonals, garages and such like but it would be nice to be able to add your own.

Speed camera updates are supplied by Navigon for a Year and cover 18000 Euro camera sites but how many are for the UK is anyones guess (I also don't think they cover mobiles sites)

Pro's:
Price: 97.98 at Halfords With 10 gift Voucher.
4.3" Widescreen.
Lane assist and turn previewing.
Western Europe maps (Navteq) built in with Northern Europe maps on DVD
TMC built in (although route avoidance only available in some European Countries)
Free Europe wide Navigon Speed Camera databases for 12 Months.
Auto on/off when charging power is detected on hibernation but only fully auto off from shutdown (the only way to auto on is from Hibernation it will not come on from a complete shut down.

Con's:
No charging light.
No indication of unit charging or battery status while charging until charging power is cut.
Night time road colours could be better defined as a light grey road on a light grey background can be confusing.
Can be annoyingly slow to switch menu options compared to my old Garmin Nuvi 610.
No Activesync connection so not hackable.
No content manager for this model.
No way of adding Pocketgps camera databases and 3rd party Poi's unless you shell out 30 Euros for Poi-Warner

Its major downfall in my opinion is not being to add your own Poi's without shelling out another 30 for a program you will probably only ever use for this unit. I naively thought all Sat Navs would have an easy or hacked way of adding POI's and it never occurred to me that they all wouldn't as ive previously used Tomtom and Garmin units.

Saying that if you want a cheapish Sat Nav with Europe maps, TMC, and all the other things listed in the Pro's then this is quite a bargain BUT if like me you want to add your own Poi's the price of Poi-Warner takes the price upto what you would pay for a Garmin Nuvi 205T which includes TMC (obviously lacks Europe maps and a free speed cam subscription though)

Il probably keep this unit for a while hoping that in a few Months time Becker will release a content manager so you can add your own POI's but im not holding my breath.

Lastly as this is the only decent review of this unit I welcome corrections and edits ;)
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StonedSteve
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Joined: Jun 04, 2008
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After a Weeks worth of searching, trying to decipher the Russian language and then having no luck in hacking this unit ive finally made some progress. Ive seached through dozens of websites looking for ways of unlocking this unit only to find OTHER people asking for the same information so its been a long and tiring process. Anyhoo, after just about giving up by accident I clicked on a link to a Youtube video of a hacked older Becker unit where access to the CE operating system was accessed by going into setting/about and then double clicking on the Navigon icon. I wasn't expecting this to work as nothing else had but it did! Laughing

So its a step forward being able to access the locked to activesync operating system BUT its what I can do with it. Hopefully its now just a PNA and unlocks just the same but I haven't got round to that yet.
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Darren
Pocket GPS Staff
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Joined: 11/07/2002 14:36:40
Posts: 23848
Location: Hampshire, UK

PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve, welcome and thanks for taking the time to post such an interesting review.

Let us know how you get on with the hacking!
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StonedSteve
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Joined: Jun 04, 2008
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darren wrote:
Steve, welcome and thanks for taking the time to post such an interesting review.

Let us know how you get on with the hacking!


Thanks Darren although I can't edit my original post because of the code added. I just wanted to add that there is 1.9 million built in Poi's ;)
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Darren
Pocket GPS Staff
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Joined: 11/07/2002 14:36:40
Posts: 23848
Location: Hampshire, UK

PostPosted: Thu Apr 09, 2009 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Member banned for sharing database.
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