Road Angel EVO
- Ease of use and setup, Easy to read backlit display
- No Internal battery, Speaker quality
The EVO is a welcome driving companion and, although not perfect, works well for providing early warning of safety hazards.
Price$ 299.00 (AUD)
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The Road Angel EVO is a comprehensive road safety unit using GPS technology to provide a simple way of receiving safety warnings while on the road. It warns against a large number of road hazards, including red light cameras, accident black spots, school zones, speed cameras and railway crossings. For the safety conscious driver this is quite a handy device.
The EVO safety warnings are similar to those seen on the Road Angel Navigator, only the EVO doesn't have navigational capabilities. This means the unit is much smaller than a fully fledged GPS, measuring just 103 × 45 x 75 mm and weighing only 100 grams. The biggest drawback of the EVO is the fact that it doesn't have an internal battery. This means it has to be plugged into your 12V adapter (cigarette lighter) at all times.
The EVO can be mounted on the windscreen of your car using the included bracket. This bracket features two suction cups that stick to the glass as well as multiple anti-vibration dampers to ensure the EVO fits snugly into its base. The unit then simply slides into place, with a magnet at the bottom ensuring it sits firmly in the bracket. This makes it ideal if you use the unit in more than one vehicle or constantly need to remove it. Alternatively, you can mount the EVO to your dashboard via the included mounting pad.
Operation is simple with only three buttons - menu, delete and store. These are large and easy to press, but the unit's magnetic base means you can't press them without the EVO spinning to the left or right. Squeezed between these controls is a fairly small LCD screen. The screen has a bright blue backlight during most operations, except it changes to red when a safety warning is displayed. It isn't the best at displaying graphics and text but for the job it's designed for, it works quite well.
Once up and running, the EVO is very effective. Whenever you come close to a hazard the unit sounds an alert and quickly gives you a spoken warning. It then tells you what the hazard is by displaying it on the screen in the form of a small graphic alongside your current speed. The EVO is preloaded with Core Road Safety (CRS) information from Road Sense and covers most safety hazards - school zones, accident black spot areas, traffic safety cameras (speed and red light) and railway crossings, but it isn't capable of detecting mobile speed cameras.
The EVO package includes a free six-months of Road Sense updates, meaning that the database of stored safety locations is always up to date. Optional updates are then $9.95 per month or $129 for a yearly subscription. Updating the EVO is a simple matter of connecting it to your PC with the supplied USB cable and running the update software.
In addition to the safety warnings, the EVO features a driver fatigue timer, which chimes an alert if it detects continuous driving for two hours without a break. There's also a user preset over-speed alarm which alerts you by using both audio and graphics when you're going too fast. The EVO allows you to store up to 50,000 hazard locations and you can add and delete these as you wish. Adding a safety warning is as simple as pressing the store button when the EVO is traveling more than 8km/h, choosing the type of warning and pressing store again to add it to the database.
The EVO has two audio options - a female voice or that of Australian motorsport legend Peter Brock. We found the sound quality suffered from a little distortion, especially when the volume is set at its maximum. The speaker is quite small and sits in between the menu and screen buttons - we would like to see this improved for future models with the use of a larger speaker.
All up the EVO is a comprehensive road safety device, although its lack of internal battery and poor speaker quality detract from the package.
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