I have owned this TomTom for about 5 years now, when I paid £99 for it, and just having got back from a trip to France with it, it seems a timely moment to review it.
This TomTom was an upgrade from the original ones which were the curved chunky units, so in appearance I remember being bowled over by how sleek and slimline this was. These days of course, this shape and style are very much the norm, and this particular model is a tidy size and only around 15mm deep. It's unobtrusive when in the corner of my windscreen and has a great clear display, including a choice of colours and night-driving colours which automatically clicks in when driving at night. It comes with a charging cable for car socket only, no mains charger or case although I found I needed both of those pretty early on.
This model has an array of features, some of which I've never had cause to use, but I will run over the main ones. Primarily it has Full UK & Europe maps and allows you to navigate to city centre, point of interest, full address, intersection or post code. The screen is fully customisable in terms of what data you want it to display (time/distance to destination, distance to next instruction, speed, speed limit, time etc) It has speed cameras preloaded (although obviously need periodically updating) and warns when one is coming up and also when you are exceeding the speed limit. This also applies in Europe although don't rely 100% on it there, as some of it's speed limits have been known to be wrong. Nevertheless, that is a valuable tool.
There are also options to "drive (or walk) to help" which will navigate to police or hospital, and there is an extensive section of practical information (eg emergency first aid, country-specific driving regulations etc).
Getting ready to go
It comes with a circular windscreen mount which has a suction pad to adhere to the glass, shrouded with a solid plastic casing. Attached to that, on a ball-type hinge is the actual circular mount into which TomTom clips, so that it can be angled wherever is comfortable for you to see - this works very well. The actual fixing to the windscreen is intended to be secured by twisting the plastic surround - intended to 'lock' the suction in place. This works either periodically or not at all for me. The lock doesn't stay in place but fortunately the simple adherence of the suction is strong enough to hold the unit alone.
The really tricky part of the fixing in place, however, comes with getting the TomTom to clip into its mount. This is a snug fit to say the least, and is extremely fiddly and troublesome to get in. Since you are trying to manoeuvre the unit right up close to the windscreen, at arms length, and effectively blindly, it's a pretty poor design. Once in place, however, it's reassuringly staying put.
I have had a few issues with this model giving confusing instructions, and I have developed a technique of being able to assess both visual and verbal instructions from the unit in order not to get confused. For instance, when exits are close together (especially abroad), the verbal instruction can sometimes appear to come too early so you need to have an eye on the road layout on the screen in order to determine exactly what is meant.
When driving abroad you also get reminded on every startup to drive on the right, which although you would hope would come naturally, it's still reassuring, and a little icon flashes up in the corner to remind you too.
This unit is quite slow to pick up a GPS signal on start-up sometimes, often being a couple of minutes before you can start off, but on the whole it is very user-friendly and the instructions are clear. If you do make a mistake, recalculations are invariably very quick, which is very important.
Accuracy of the road network both in the UK and where I've driven in Europe has been more than adequate. There has been the odd occasion where it has lost us where new roads have been built (in this country) but then I have never updated the maps and you are advised to do so. I believe there is a cost attached to this which is why I never got around to it I guess. On the whole it is always quick to find us again when old roads rejoin.
The biggest problem with this model is the extremely fiddly nature of the connection from the charger to the unit. The socket is recessed into the bottom of the unit and the plug is one of the very mini odd-shaped ones. It is -without exception- a problem to get this plugged in before starting your journey, there's no two-ways about it, it's a major design flaw.
The other major annoyance I have with this TomTom is that it will not hold it's charge. Although I've had it for 5 years, I can never remember a time when this wasn't the case. If the unit isn't used for a couple of days it will need recharging, which makes advance planning a real problem. When driving, if any long distance, it's best to keep it plugged in otherwise it could well give up at the most critical moment.
It does take a little longer than my patience would like to "find" me on GPS sometimes when starting off, but I understand that this depends where I am, and also comparing with friends who use Garmin it still performs quite favourably.
This is a great SatNav, very easy to set up, accurate and easily customisable. It's lightweight and very clear to hear and see when driving. It has performed brilliantly on roads all over France, in Italy and in Sicily, the times when I have needed it most.
The two main annoyances I mentioned seem quite small but are actually quite major and worth knocking a star off, considering how one of the problems (losing its charge) is compounded by not being able to plug the charging cable in easily!
As far as the TomTom brand goes, I have every confidence in it and when the time comes, I will be happy to replace with another TomTom, I have no doubt, as I'm certain those issues I've raised with this model will definitely have been designed out by then.
Had this since passing my driving test and has made driving a whole lot easier! No more worrying about where im going or getting lost leaves me to concentrate on the road. Even if i take a wrong turn, it doesnt matter because the tomtom will put me right again. Let me start off by saying if you have not got a GPS, then definetly buy one! They make driving so much easier and are not difficult to use. Dont be put of by stories of them directing people into rivers, that doesnt happen. And lorry drivers getting stuck down country lanes are purely the fault of the driver (you have to still use your brain a tiny bit) theres even an option to stick to main roads so those people are pretty stupid.
This version of the tomtom is amazingly simple to use, anybody can do it, without even reading instructions. The built in windscreen holder is handy although can come off easily. This version is also much quicker to find satellites and locate its position than older models. Many customisable features such as adding points of interest such as petrol stations and resturaunts etc (although this can sometimes be unreliable). Other than that the only downside I can think of is the speaker is not as loud as other models...but still audible.
I recieved the TomTom one as a xmas gift from my girlfriend and what i can say she is definately still in my good books for it.
The TomTom One is small and compact however this does not affect the visability of all the features which include speed, time, estimanted time of arrival (eta) road, distance till next turn and type of turn.
The speedo of it is quite good however it is about 1Mph off per 10 mph you go e.g. 70mph will be 7mph off. But concidering the satellite is working this out from space it is forgiveable
The menu is very easy to use, i managed to work it out with just 30 mins of having a look without the manual. The menu options are big and is forgiveable if you miss them as you can always easily go back. The only problem with the touch screen is that the keyboard when entering the destination is a little small in order to fit the screen so it is quite easy to miss.
The volume is very good, which automatically increases the volume depending on the speed to counter the extra road and engine noise but it can be abit too loud and has made me jump when it had been inactive for a while on a long stretch of road. However this can be turned down just by touching the screen. Meaning very little tampering is needed.
It also normally gives you enough notice to complete the manouver easily however sometimes i have missed a turn. No matter what though it will always give you enough time on the motorway. It also has emergency features on it in whcih you can call the police, ambulance, fire, breakdown and some more from it.
It has a speed camera feature as standard and you can also plug it into the PC and download new road info normally for free.
It does take some time to find the satellites though, my worst is 2 mins to date but it is normally about 30 sec - 1 min
Overall an excellent sat nav with very little faults
This is a review for the newer version (version 4) of this unit, and the picture is of the same unit. There are so many different versions, the version 4 part just means that it is the most up to date unit currently out.
This unit has UK, Ireland, and European mapping, however the european mappig is mainly just western europe, there is another version called europe 31 which has the eastern european countries on too, obviosly this is a bt more expensive though. The reason I am stating this now is that there is no memory card slot for expanding the memory within the unit as you but it, so the only was of getting more maps onto this would be to delete some of the current ones if you do not use them.
There are few features on this unit as it is an entry level unit with the addition of european mapping. It has speed cameras, turn by turn instructions and also full postcode search. The unit operates very easily and it is simply a case of touching a few buttons before you are able to type in the postcode and then you are ready to go. It will give you a summary of how far away your route is and how long it will take to navigate there. I find this very useful as you know how much petrol it is likely to take to travel your journey.
The speed cameras are only fixed cameras, yet offer a warning which is better than nothing. Sometimes they warn you that the cameras are there, yet get the speed of the road wrong, so you may infact end up going throught the camera faster than you normally would as you believe the limit tobe more than it is. For this reasonI would use the wanring as just that-a warning that the camera is coming up, yet make sure you read the road signs as usual as this may sometimes be wrong.
You have a map sharing facility whereby you can log parts of roads as being faulty and let tomtom know by connecting the device to your computer. Despite sounding quite hard it is surprisingly easy to do and tomtom will verify that certain roads are faulty and allow you to download these updates for free. They are not the official updates, but are released by tomtom and allow you to keep your unit more up to date for free, which is always good.
As this unit is a newer design, the mount is much better. It is built into the unit so as that it can be folded flat against the back of the unit and transported easily around wihtout having to seperate them. It also has a lockable feature too, which makes it much more stable than older mounts.
Overall this unit is very good at what it does. It will navigate you through the UK very well and will not let you down whilst doing so. I have never used it abroad but have heard from many people that it works identically to in the UK and is as accurate too. I think that if you are looking for smething that is easy to use wihtout all of the extras, then this is the unit for you providing you will need it for europe too.