There is another contender in the growing GPS market.
HAVING researched the main companies that offered portable GPS systems before I had bought my own, I was surprised that I had not come across one from Blue Thunder before this review.
Sometimes these small companies amaze you with surprisingly high quality products, however they usually do not.
The H3020 did surprise me, but not always in a good way.
The H3020 has a very basic rectangular design. It is reasonably slim and is quite convenient to carry around.
I like the fact that it has plastic port covers on the sides to prevent any dust or unwanted substances from entering it. And the speakers and the stylus pen are well integrated into the exterior of this machine.
However, this model curiously has two power switches. One main sliding power switch at the back and another one at the top.
Also, there is a reset button that can only be pushed with the stylus or something similarly sharp.
From the moment I turned on this model I was disappointed with the user interface.
It was confusing and it took me a good few minutes to find the address search option.
Once I got there, I found the Qwerty touch pad terribly difficult to get used to. I could not remember the last time I had to push so many buttons I did not intend to.
Although, to be fair, it is much easier to navigate the buttons with the stylus.
Finding addresses is also not easy. The H3020 seems to find certain roads but not others. (I still cannot find my own street on it).
The POI (places of interest) list is also badly incomplete as I was unable to find many places around my area which I knew were there and could be found on other maps.
Trying to go back is also difficult because in some areas you have to find a back key and in others you merely have to tap anywhere on the screen.
This is an unnecessary inconvenience that could have been easily avoided.
The actual navigation was pretty decent. It shows you with an arrow where you are and what roads are coming up ahead.
However the 2D and 3D map graphics are not easy on the eyes and it takes some getting used to.
Still, for those who are not looking for anything glamorous and just want to get from point A to B, this model achieves that purpose.
Getting a satellite lock takes longer than it should especially in residential areas where there are no large buildings blocking the line of sight.
The sound system on the H3020 is quite bad.
The speakers are grainy and screechy which starts to get frustrating after some time.
The language selection is also quite bad as some languages are softer than others and the recordings are not very professionally done in terms of pronunciation and clarity.
This GPS system is by no means top-of-the-line. It is hard to get used to, I found.
However, once you get it going it gets you to where you need to go.
Pros: Quite slim; lightweight; port covers; durable exterior; good navigation.
Cons: Hard to use; bad user interface; bad speakers; maps incomplete.
CPU: Centrality Atlas III 372MHz/396MHz
DISPLAY: 3.5in touchscreen
OPERATING SYSTEM: Microsoft Windows CE.NET 5.0
BATTERY: Rechargeable lithium-ion
EXPANSION SLOT: SD, MMC
OTHER FEATURES: Car charger and mount
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