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TomTom Navigator 5 Great Britain

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1 Review

Outdoor GPS, Handheld

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      04.11.2010 17:26
      Very helpful
      (Rating)
      1 Comment

      Advantages

      Disadvantages

      Stopped me getting lost

      This was the first satellite navigation that I ever owned. I got it on ebay for £100 which I thought was quite a bargain at the time as the full size versions were still selling for £400 or more.

      It was compatible with Symbian phones and as such worked perfectly with my Nokia N70 and later with the N95. Installation was also fairly straightforward being mostly a case of dragging and dropping files from the cd onto the phone, firstly to run the setup then to copy the maps across. It was uncommon to find phones with integrated GPS at the time but a GPS receiver would only cost £30 and many models shared the same battery as my N70; this meant that I could quickly swap them over if one had low power.

      Using it was fantastic. Admittedly the N70 had a small screen but even so it was easy to follow the instructions and I had a range of voices to choose from - I settled on John Cleese because it was the only one that was clear, funny and not annoying. Compared to modern Tom Toms the display was more basic with fewer options but it still gave you plenty to choose from and all of this was easy to find via the clearly laid out menu. When I occasionally used it in areas I knew well I was often surprised at the routes it chose - it would sometimes want to take me on very narrow roads and on one occasion the wrong way up one way streets. After upgrading to Navigator 6 I found this less of an issue so I suppose you could knock points off Navigator 5 for that but overall it did such a good job I find it hard to give it any less than full marks.

      It was possible to connect the phone to your computer to download updates to the maps but I found this slow going and surprisingly expensive. I did it the once though (mainly because I was being the route I was given through Lincoln kept asking me to somehow drive through some bollards) and had no problems afterwards.

      I ended up using the Tom Tom navigation in several different European countries and bought additional maps to enable me to do this. One annoyance was that they did not seem to sell Western or Eastern European maps, you just had to buy ones for individual countries. This meant that when I drove from England to Holland I could not start off by just setting a destination in Holland. I had to drive to Dover, change the settings to open the French map then select somewhere on the France/Belgian border. Once I got to the border I had to ask the passenger to change to the Benelux maps....all in all this was a nuisance because you had to look on the map to work out the likely route and then find a place that was shown on two maps so that you could have a smooth change between maps. If you didn't get this right you would have a big gap between where you ended up and where the next map started.

      There are another couple of downsides that also exist on the Navigator 6.
      Firstly you are using Tom Tom on a mobile phone and you are going to receive phone calls on that phone at the same time as you are using the navigation software. Every time that you get a phone call the display switches from the Tom Tom maps to your phone wallpaper for as long as the phone is ringing. This is a big problem when you are in a busy city and have to change roads quickly. It is also related to the 2nd gripe that the red hang up button on the phone would always kick you out of Tom Tom rather than ending or rejecting a call. I was driving in rush hour in Lincoln having to change roads quickly when the phone rang. I wanted to press the red button on the phone to reject the call and go back to the Tom Tom screen to see where I was going but when I did this it exited Tom Tom. I then had to pull over and spend the next couple of minutes reopening the programme and setting it back up again grrrr

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    • Product Details

      The GPS receiver uses Bluetooth technology to eliminate the need for connecting cables, and a new, high performance GPS antenna to ensure the best possible reception wherever you go.