Newsflash! Sony sat-nav “still an absolute piece of shit”


This little beauty is Sony’s NV-U50 sat-nav system, which you can buy right now. Don’t. After extensive testing, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s still an absolute piece of shit.

Back in May, I posted about the problem with the Sony’s maps: driving around Ireland, I spent most of the time with the sat-nav telling me that I was in the middle of a field because its maps were out of date (some bits of Glasgow are affected too – one-way systems that have been in place for a while that the satnav doesn’t know about). Sony promised to update the maps in August and of course, didn’t.

But that pales into insignificance when you look at the more fundamental problem: the system’s bollocks. It doesn’t let you enter street numbers and only accepts the first half of postcodes, although you can make it more precise by telling it which street junction you’re going for – which is handy if you ALREADY KNOW WHERE YOU’RE GOING AND THE NAMES OF THE SIDE STREETS. If on the other hand you’re using the system because you’ve no idea where you’re going, it’s about as useful as a roller-skating pig in a tu-tu.

The postcode thing is just crap: for example, Glasgow’s Great Western Road is approximately two and a half million miles long, and narrowing it down by half-postcode means you can get within, ooh, at least seven hundred miles of your destination. The other week I used the Sony to help me find a hotel on the Strathaven Road near East Kilbride, which again is a billion jillion miles long. I ended up hopelessly lost in the middle of nowhere, with the sat-nav telling me I’d reached my destination.

In the bad old days, to get anywhere new and unfamiliar you needed two things: a map, and a telephone to call for directions. Now, thanks to technology, all you need is a £200-plus sat-nav system, and a map, and a telephone.

Sony’s current advertising tagline is “like no other”. Yeah, other manufacturers’ sat-nav systems actually bloody work.