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I was in the market for my first satnav that could get me around the uk and get me through the odd trip to Europe for the occasional track day, eg Spain, France and very rarely the nurburgring.
So I opted for the tomtom one Europe edition which has proven to be a very good purchase.
I went for a tomtom on recommendations from family and friends, who Told me that tomtoms were the way to go. I was told that they are the easiest to use and the most accurate available, and from what I've seen up to yet they were correct.
I use this tomtom almost every day for work purposes or personal and it has never let me down yet.
The quality of the tomtom is immediately obvious when you first pick it up, it's a solid compact unit with a built in sucker to attach it to the windscreen. When you first switch it on and go through the set up menu it's plainly easy to see how easy they are to operate.
The build quality is very robust, it attaches to the windscreen in a very securely and solidly, the item is extreemly easy to use and very accurate. A great feature is that you can set up favourites which means that you can ad multiple addresses ( say if you were multi-drop delivering ) and then view them on your map in order so that you don't need to back track. Also another great but simple feature is night mode which alters the colours so that you aren't distracted when driving at night. Exceptionally good value for money.
As with most people I find it very difficult to navigate through a foreign town/city and concentrate on driving at the same time. For this reason I purchased the TomTom One IQ Routes Edition Europe from Halfords.
I bought this product whilst it was on offer but even when it's not on offer I would still recommend considering the TomTom over other Sat Nav brands.
There is also another version available if you only travel within the UK and Ireland - This version is also slightly cheaper but has less memory.
- Appearance -
When viewing the product in store for the first time I was amazed at how compact the device is - So compact that in the past I have even found myself putting it in my pocket! The other great thing about the size is that it doesn't obstruct your field of vision like some other similar products do.
The product is supplied with a mount which locks on to your windscreen with ease, a USB cable and a car charger.
- Usage -
What I like about this device the most is how easy it can be personalised. The voice can be changed as well as the car and various other settings such as speed camera alert sounds, day and night display mode, which is a great feature when you are driving and night and don't want to be dazzled by a bright display.
Having had an older Sat Nav before this one I was amazed at how easy it is to enter an address. Simply begin typing the postcode and it will automatically give you destination suggestions. Users also have various options such as 'Fast Route' and 'Avoid Motorways' which means that this product really does suit every user.
The device also warns if you go over a speed limit and also if you are approaching speed cameras which can be easily updated by plugging the device into your computer and using the supplied TomTom software.
The main features which help this device stand out on the market are:
IQ Routes - This is great when you are travelling from A to B but it is rush hour. The device takes the time of day into account and if it is rush hour for example, the device will take you an alternative route which will hopefully miss the traffic.
Lane Guidance - I regularly travel on the M25 and this feature is brilliant for making sure that I stay in the correct lane. An image clearly shows you which lane you need to be in.
- Disadvantages -
This device once led me to the incorrect destination around the corner from where I should be - After speaking to someone at the destination they asked if I had used a TomTom to get there after I had said my Sat Nav took me to the incorrect destination!
- I am pretty sure that users can update this using the software by submitting the error to TomTom Mapshare.
There is no mains charger supplied in the box which means the device can only be charged via USB or 12v Car charger. The mains charger can be purchased in an extra kit but I feel that it should have really been included.
Overall I have had no real problems with this product and it has been a life saver on many an occasion! I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a neat, easy to use GPS. There are so many features on this device so it is guaranteed to suit everyone!
I must have the worst sense of direction of anyone I know so satellite navigation is a 'must have' for me. I picked up my new tom tom for £125 from Amazon last year and have been very very happy with it
What in the box?
Tom Tom device
Car charger and usb cable
Easy Mount. This attaches to your screen via a sucker pad
Very simple to do. Simply connect the car charger cable to the device, turn it on, answer a couple of questions around time, vehicle type etc and wait for it to connect to a satellite. The maps are preloaded with the default language set to English so you just need to select your destination. The Tom Tom will then click into the Easy Mount holder which in turn will attach to the windscreen via the sucker pad on the back. You then turn the locking wheel on the back of the mount to tighten it. The front part of the mount has a useful joint on it that allows you to move the screen to an angle that suits. So far the mount has been fantastic and unlike the one I used for my mobile phone it has never fallen off the windscreen!
The Tom Tom device is very easy to use and comes with a range of features to help you travel with the minimum fuss. To quickly rifle through some of these features....you get a warning noise when you are approaching a speed camera followed by a count down until you reach it, black spots on the road are highlighted by a ! And when you approach a junction it switches to a 'lane view' so you can see exactly which lane you need to be in. There are many more of course and you can configure it as you would like it - options here includes language, which voice you want the instructions to be read in, whether your current speed is shown, whether you want your position on the road to be shown by an arrow or one of the snazzy cars. I could go on and on.....
The device is operated by touch screen which can be a little fiddly unless you find something to use as a stylus. Simply touch the screen to go to the menu, click on 'Navigate to', choose It will find the route and you can either click OK to follow it or go for the 'Details' button. In this case you view the route it has decided on and if necessary tell it to avoid certain roads
The speaker is in the back of the device and can either be set to be a constant volume or to go louder as you speed up. I don't find this feature all that helpful though - what can be very difficult to hear at 20mph suddenly becomes deafening at 60mph
When you purchase the Tom Tom you have 6 months of map updates for free but even after this you can download all sorts of information including new voices, speed camera updates and points of interest such as the location of hotels, supermarkets and petrol stations. You will need to setup an account on the Tom Tom website, which only takes a couple of minutes, and when prompted correct your device via the USB cable. It is all very straightforward and only takes a few minutes to download your chosen information. A word of warning though, you can buy maps for countries that are not preinstalled on your Tom Tom. This is prohibitively expensive, so much so that you are often better off going out and buying a new Tom Tom that comes with those countries already on it.
Changing the volume involves sliding your finger along the bottom of the screen, however this is tricky to get right because as soon as I touch the screen it goes into another menu view.
The maps have been very good in the UK but I ended up getting very lost in Poland when it gave me a route but the on screen road suddenly ended and showed me driving through fields. This didn't correct itself for 100 miles by which time I was on the Czech border!
As the box only comes with a car charger you cannot charge it in the house unless you buy a separate charger. This can be a problem when you take it inside to connect to your computer for the updates
On two occasions I have bought upgraded maps I have installed these and the device has stopped working. Tom Tom did reply quickly to explain that I needed to open the device in internet explorer and remove a file each time but why are they issuing updated maps that result in this problem?
The updates struggle to keep up with all the roadworks and temporary 50mph limits on the motorway. You will find yourself driving at 70mph and getting an annoying siren warning you that you are exceeding the now defunct 50mph speed limit
Although far from perfect I really would struggle without my Tom Tom. Apart from the one occasion in Poland I mentioned above, I have driven all over Northern Europe and never had a problem with it
~~~ The new toy in my life is called TOM~~~
Why have I finally caved into my son's (AKA Gadget Boy) pleas for a Satnav? Well apart from the fact I am constantly getting lost on long journeys ( I tell the kids I like to take the scenic route), daughter number 2 had now moved to Northampton and I want to be able to get from mine to hers after work on a Friday without getting lost.
The journey is approximately 2 hrs, unless you 'take the scenic route'.
So after much deliberately and checking out some reviews - I decided on the TomTom ONE IQ Routes Edition. The reason for choosing this model - price for one and two, many reviews explained how easy the model was to use. I really didn't want anything top of the range that I wouldn't really use the all the features of. This model seemed to have features that I will use and was a reasonable price.
~~~ Price & Availability~~~
I bought my TomTom for £129.00 from my catalogue with interest free conditions.
Halfords are selling it at the moment for £129.99 so I have saved 99p.
However, I have just seen that Amazon have it on sell for £114.49 reduced from £132.81.
~~~So what have I got for my money~~~
Inside my little orange TomTom box I have:
3.5" TomTom One IQ Routes edition satnav
Documentation - 1 User Guide booklet & 1 Services and Accessories booklet
On opening the box everything was neatly packed with the TomTom's screen covered by a protective coloured sticker showing how the system will look when guiding you to your destination.
~~~ USB Cable~~~
This black, lightweight cable measures approx 90cm in length and fits into any PC or laptop that has a USB port. It then plugs into the bottom of the TomTom allowing you to connect to the internet and download many updated maps and other services.
A word of warning - always set your TomTom up inside your car so it can go through the initial start up first. It needs to be able to get a signal of where you are first. My sister had brought the same one as me and didn't do this. She plugged hers straight into her PC to upload and it kept telling her no maps could be found. She had to re-set the TomTom back to master settings then go out and start again in the car.
We did have fun downloading some new voices and it was so easy using this cable. When first connecting to www.tomtom.com - you need to create an account which took me 3 mins. There is a whole section on the site that you can choose many different areas to get help, support or buy accessories. We scanned through their list of voices - many are free and some for sell (prices range from £3 to £7.95)
~~~Other Services we were able to download (for free)~~~
Whilst having the Tomtom connected - we also downloaded the following sites within a couple of minutes:
Points of interests - theme parks, historical sites, petrol stations, hospitals, large supermarkets (are they points of interest??) anything that may be of help while on a long journey
My Bank positions all over the country - this will be helpful as I have often needed to find a branch while away
PremierInn sites - if you have read my review on the PremierInn you will know that these places are great in havens to stay - so this will be a hand link to have installed onto my Tom for when I go on one of our 'day-trips' in the summer.
So as you can see within minutes of using this USB
Pictures of TomTom One IQ Routes Edition Europe Traffic
monitor display screen Cable it has proved its worth.
We selected a fun voice and had it downloaded onto the Tomtom in approx 4 mins. It was so easy and the voice installed straight onto the memory of the Tomtom in the set up section.
~~~ Car Charger~~~
This cable is approx 180cm in length and very soft and flexible. Again like the USB cable it was very light in weight. This cable plugs into the same port as the USB cable on Tom's bottom (sorry couldn't resist it) - the charger plug then fixes into the cigarette socket so the Tomtom can be charged during your journey.
My model had some charge in it when I did first turn it on - however, it is recommended to charge for up to 2 hrs.
I was a little concerned about this lead getting in the way of the gear stick whilst travelling, however I found that the excess lead could easily be wound up and tucked into a small shelf situated under the radio.
~~~ EasyPort Mount~~~
I have been particularly impressed with this mounting system. My daughter has a satnav that I have used in the past and it drove me mad because the sucker pad wouldn't stick securely. As soon as the screen was cold it would drop off.
The EasyPort mount with my Tom is brilliant. It has a locking system positioned at the back of the plastic suction pad that looks like a wheel. You place the mount on the windscreen in the position you want and turn the wheel. This locks the pad into place and it stays locked until you turn the wheel back into the unlock position. This was a real plus for me and I was very impressed with this feature.
The hinge that attaches the pad to the durable, plastic circular holder has a ball joint feature that allows the TomTom to be moved up and down through about 120 degree angle range and then from left to right through a range of about 90 degree. I felt this range was maneuverability better than my daughter's - so again very pleased with this feature.
There are 2 booklets with the system; a Services & Accessories booklet and The User Guide - Both come in Eng, NL & FR & many other european languages.
*** Services & Accessories
This useful little booklet gives you lots of information on the following;
Make the most of you TomTom - this chapter is a brief welcome and information on how to get money off accessories or services through their website.
Most reliable maps - this explains about IQ routes and how you can update the map service through 'Map Share' (this service can be done through the website which is detailed on this page)
The clever way to beat traffic - the TomTom has a RDS-TMC Traffic feature that allows you to find out about any congestion on your planned route to enable you to avoid it. This has a charge of £7.99 a month which I haven't downloaded because for the small journeys I do daily it wouldn't be worth my while - for reps and couriers I could see this may be of benefit.
Be Aware with Safety Cameras - this is a fab feature and I wish I had this last year when I got caught doing 32 in a 30 zone!!!!!! This aspect of Tom sends out a little sound that warns you of approaching speed cameras - it worked very well when we were driving up to my daughters in Northampton on Saturday. However, I'm not sure if it detects the mobile cameras that lay in wait. I will have to be aware of this until I can confirm this.
Show You TomTom device you love it - this section is self explanatory - general care of the items.
Even More Performance from you device - information about how to plug your Tom into other gadgets such as your ipod or car stereo
This last section is information about the TomTom Home feature that allows you to access a free site that has all their services online.
This guide starts with a pictorial explanation on how to install your new toy into your car - this is important to follow for the reasons I mentioned earlier. Following this step by step instruction there is a page on written advice and tips on the view display.
I found the next page really helpful - there is a colour picture of the view you will see as you are travelling. surrounding the picture are alphabetical labels that explain each function on the TomTom's monitor. I would suggest you get really familiar with these as they will stop you getting flustered when travelling and trying to navigate around the monitor - however, I do not suggest that you drive and try to change any settings etc t the same time.
The following 8 pages take you through a really easy to follow guide of ;
making your first journey
how to use the `traffic message channel` - the symbols used in this feature are clearly explained and easy to remember
introducing TomTom HOME - this is a free application that keeps your new toy updated
Discover more - this feature is for quick access to contact emergency services & gives First Aid advice and car maintenance tips
Preferences - this is where you can change the set up of voices, sound & other features ( my son managed to change the direction arrow to `an old-timers car` - hmm think he may be trying to tell me something
The guide finishes with advice on TomTom Map Share (changing the layout of a street if you find it has altered for example if a street has been changed to one-way and the satnav hasn't shown this).
And finally the TomTom Services - a service that will show you fuel prices, traffic & safety cameras on your planned route.
~~~ Tom - so what are you really like? ~~~
Size - (yes it really does matter !) 9.2cm x 2.5cm x 7.8 cm
Weight - 148g
- Built in speakers and a sleek black surround with silver TomTom name and strip around the display screen.
The features on this model are numerous and if I talked about each one in detail we would be here for a very long time - so I will talk about what I have used so far and how I found them.
As I mentioned earlier setting up my Tom was so easy - I was up and running (well ready to drive) within minutes.
~~~ Planning My first Journey~~~
After going through the start up screen - setting country, language, time and date - all of which were really easy step by step instructions - I was instructed to bring up the Main Menu.
From here I tapped the Navigate to.. option and then Address. I then entered the street and house number of my daughter's place. Then simple tap Done and it is - I did then use the option to add this to my Favourites and labelled it under my daughter's name.
How easy is that?!
You will be asked if you need to arrive by a certain time - a handy feature is you're a rep I suppose but I didn't need to use this feature at this moment so tapped No and my Tom proceeded to calculate my route.
When starting off on my journey the first screen gives you a Drive Safely message regarding using the Tom whilst driving.
I wasn't driving today - not often I get to be co-driver?!
The screen starts up with the 'Navigate to...' menu which gives you a choice of ;
Point of interest or another option pointing to the next screen
As I had already entered my daughter's address into the system and saved it under favourites -I just touched the Favourites star icon and then her name. Within seconds the screen showed 'my little blue old-timers car' sitting in my car park waiting to go. The soft, husky (yet firm) vocal tones asked me (well my driver - who was at this point looking at me with raised eyebrows - I don't think he was impressed with my choice of voices!! hehe) to turn left and follow the road to the junction.
Oh just one more thing about the voice - when several hours later, we arrived at my daughter's the 'gentleman' said "after 300m, hi we're here, you did it baby" the expression and look I received from 'my driver' was brilliant - even my grand-daughter chuckled.
Throughout the journey we were clear instructions that gave any driver (confident or not) enough time to check mirrors and make safe maneuvers. I was very impressed with the warning signals that sounded as we approached speed cameras - it gave you enough time to check you speed and make any appropriate adjustments.
Another speed warning feature is the 'speed limit' warning aspect that tells you what speed you are traveling at and the speed of the road you are on. If you are driving more then 10 mph over the road speed a signal will sound - my turn to give the raised eye-brow look.
We had already decided to stop at a designated service station for little one to have a break but hadn't put this information into the TomTom - you can do this however and I have edited my journey planner to allow for this. The system noticed our change off the motorway and immediately started re-calculating the route and time destination.
This time of arrival to destination is a handy little feature that appears at the bottom right hand side of the monitor. When you start your journey the time left and time of arrival appears. The arrival time changes throughout the journey giving you an exact time you will reach your destination. This was spot on for us and allowed my daughter to change timings of the meal she was cooking.
There is a quick touch feature on the bottom left side of the monitor that allows you to turn the volume of the voice up or down in a split second - we found this really helpful when the little munchkin started to protest about not being able to get out of her seat. This happened just as we were approaching a set of double roundabouts so being able to quickly flick the volume up was perfect - it also made her stop for a few minutes as she suddenly realised some-one else was talking. That, however, didn't last the rest of the journey.
Another feature my driver was really impressed with was the 'Navigation Instruction for the road ahead' aspect - this gives you information about any changes ahead in the road layout, such as roundabouts or junctions and the distance in meters. This is really good for when you are traveling in unfamiliar areas. You can also tap this area of the monitor if you missed the instruction and the voice will repeat the last message - again a great feature if little ones in the back are trying to voice their grievances.
The 3.5" monitor gives a really clear coloured view (320x240 resolution) of the streets, roads, rivers, rail tracks and surrounding features of your journey.
Maps can be displayed in 2D or 3D perspective.
Roads are clearly named or numbered giving you great details of where you are and what is coming up. There is a night-time mode feature that darkens the images slightly so the monitor doesn't dazzle or distract your attention from the road. I haven't used this feature whilst driving yet but have seen the effect and can really see the benefits of this aspect to the system.
Battery life - as i mentioned earlier my Tom already had some battery life - some system may need up to 2 hours to charge. The battery will then last up to 3 hours.
On the return journey we decided to leave the motorway earlier and take a prettier route home that we knew although not too well. We made a point of not changing the route on the Satnat to see how it would cope with an unexpected change in direction.
Well it performed brilliantly - when first leaving the motorway it asked us twice to turned back onto the route but when realising we couldn't it recalculated an alternative route and gave us instructions through the next few villages. We tested it again wondering if it would be able to direct us through a small hamlet about 20 miles away from my home. Within seconds it had successfully navigated us through the hamlet and onto the main A road leading into out town.
Both driver and I suitably impressed with the speed and clearness of the recalculating and delivery of instructions - well done Tom - go to the top of the class.
When turning off there are 2 symbols that appear - a picture of a burglar sneaking off with a swag bag and a very large exclamation mark - great reminders never to leave your system in the car - I would suggest you also remove any leads or mounts connected to the satnav - take them with you.
Well what more can I say - a fantastic piece of driving technology that is so easy to use, looks fab and won't shout at you (unless you program it to) for taking the wrong turning.
I would highly recommend this TomTom to any-one - well actually I did and she brought one to.
I hope you've enjoyed the read.
x hev (on ciao and dooyoo)