“ TomTom ONE XL United Kingdom & Republic of Ireland - GPS receiver - automotive „
I have had this sat nav - The Tom Tom One XL for about 5 years, that is a guess. It may be longer, as I lived in one place 4 years and I had it before that, and I used it to drive up here to Yorkshire from Hampshire 2 years ago and it had some trouble on the A1 as the maps were a bit out of date ( more later ).
I bought it for about £100 I think, at the time I really needed it as I am always worried about getting lost, and was just getting back to driving after a few years of not driving due to ill health.
I wish I had this Sat nav when I was driving in the 1990's as it would of saved a lot of arguing! I was always going off the motorway on the M3 as I just followed the inside lane, this made driving to Bournemouth a 9 hour adventure, yes a whole day ! My only excuse was that I did have a bad memory problem, but now I plan journeys in great detail ( and also use the sat nav ).
It starts up with a Tom Tom drum beat - with a small button on the top right. It takes about 1 minute to load up.
Then you are presented with 5 ICONS -
Home / Favourite / Address / Recent destination / Point of Interest
Click Address and you have 4 options to find the address City centre / Street / Postcode / Crossing
It doesn't always find the address from the postcode, or you may not have it so the second option I go for is Street. When you click this, it actually says City in the top left which is confusing and when you start typing it comes up with postcodes to choose from !
This really confused me in the car at a few locations when looking for houses, as I kept forgetting how it worked. You have to type in the City where you are first, then the street name then it will hopefully give you a location.
The Crossing one is even harder to use, I think I found one address with it in 5 years !
Once it is on you just click , Navigate to or Recent destination, or Favourites to bring up an address.
EASE OF USE
When it gives you directions it says ' turn left in 100 yards' ( you can change it to feet ) it does not say the street name. This is the One XL, the basic model not any extras.
When I update this sat nav, which will be very soon, that is the first thing I will check, is that it says the street name, otherwise you have to look down at the sat nav and see where the street is and remember which one you are on and work out what all the info is on the sat nav.
Of course it gets it wrong as we all know, I have been asked to turn right on duel carriageways and motorways coming up to Yorkshire, but it gives you something to moan about and laugh at.
You can put points of interest on there like petrol stations or car parks, i find this of little use.
What i do is look up the local supermarkets for petrol stations and car parks etc and put the post code in too the sat nav - so I can just go to the NAVIGATE TO button and find somewhere too park or get food.
It was no use at all on the A1 / M1 and I had to turn it off driving down from Yorkshire to see a house, as I think the map was out of date.
I read that when you update the maps they don't always work, this is just something that I read on forums and may or may not be true.
I already had updated the software and had a few problems since then.
I downloaded a new Irish voice, a soft Irish accent that made it a lot easier when in traffic after driving for several hours, I like a nice calm soft voice , especially if I'm lost and late.
'You have reached your destination'
I recieved the TomTom One XL as a birthday gift and have used it now and again ever since. I am fine with navigation locally and in areas that I know well, but for longer distance trips I find that the reassurance of a companion to direct me relaxes me and allows me to drive calmly and concentrate on the road and hazzards as opposed to signposts! I think the unit cost around £129 at the time and is now available for under £100 online. I have the UK and Ireland version, there is also a Europe one aswell which costs a little more. As I don't drive abroad I chose the UK and Ireland model and I am yet to get lost with it!
The TomTom One XL is a fairly basic model, but it does come with the suction cup to attach it to your windscreen and also a lead to connect it to your cigarette lighter and one for USB connectivity to your laptop or PC. Connection to a laptop or PC allows you to update the maps directly from the TomTom website, and also allows you to download different voices to customise your Satnav aswell. I do sometimes have problems with connecting the suction cup to the windscreen, if I try attaching it to a curved area of the windscreen it often falls off, but it is very much trial and error to begin with. The XL version has the added benefit of a larger screen for clearer visual navigation, although I would say I listen to the instructions more than looking at the screen when driving. The touch screen is simple to navigate and doesn't require you to have tiny digits to control it accurately. Weather and traffic alerts can be turned on and off as well as preferences such as volume. An annual substcription is required for the updating of maps and alerts, but I recieved a year of free updates/alerts with the purchase of the product.
Directions can be obtained using postcode, road name or area, and landmarks are also available for selection. the 'Home' function allows you to navigate home with little fuss, and the whole interface is very easy to use. The unit is quite a basic system, but it meets my needs for occassional use. When navigating to a destination you are faced with a map showing where you are going/need to go, and prompts are given in plenty of time. For example, the voice will give the instruction to turn left in 300 yards, it will then give the prompt again when you at the turning.
My only criticisms are that the suction cup can be a little bit fiddly to use, but it is both secure and robust when in place. My other criticism is the batterylife. The problem I have encountered is that the battery doesn't hold charge. I can charge the unit up, then when I go to use it the next day it won't power up for long without needing connection to the cigarette lighter socket. It is a real shame that it doesn't hold charge, but with me needing the Satnav for long distance journeys only I can imagine the need to plug it in anyway. Overall a basic but very easy to use Satnav system, well worth the money.
We have had this sat nav for over 3 years now. I'm not the most technical person but I will try my hardest in giving you my opinion on it!
*Price and Availability*
As we have had ours so long it has now been updated and there is a newer version available. However, I remember we paid £179.99 for our edition and the updated version (Tom Tom XL Live) is available for £147.99 (Halfords website) or there is one which also has maps for Europe which is selling for £165.99.
For this tiny price difference I think if we were to buy a new one we would probably go for the Europe edition now as you get a lot more map for your money!
*What comes in the box?*
In the box you will find:
The Tom Tom (4.3" touchscreen)
A 12v power cable
A USB cable
To get started it was actually very simple. We actually got this Tom Tom for my Dad to use in his work van (though he hardly ever uses it so I have adopted it as my own!) and even he managed with getting it started and he's certainly not the most technical of people!
To start using the Tom Tom you simply turn it on, it was all set up and ready to go. This was great for us as it was his Christmas present so it meant we could all have a quick muck about with it before lunch.
*Programming in a journey*
To program in a journey you simply turn it on, tap the screen, then select Navigate to. You then have a number of options for example you can pick home (where it will send you to your programmed in home address), favourite (which is an address you often go to), address (where you can either type in street and town or postcode), recent destination (somewhere you have recently used the Tom Tom to visit) or point of interest (where you can select something you need to find eg. petrol station, shop, cash machine etc).
The Tom Tom will then programme in the route, show you the journey on a map of the UK (to give you a rough idea of the route you will be taking) and once you click done it will go to a map view of the road you are currently on (as shown in the picture dooyoo have got).
*Travelling on your journey*
The Tom Tom will show the road you are travelling on, I find this great for roads I have not been on before as it shows if there are any bends and it also shows what is around you, for example if there is a petrol station down a side road it will show you.
Using the Tom Tom, you always have a rough idea of how long the journey is going to take, how far away it is and what time you should arrive. These are all shown on the bottom of the screen.
The Tom Tom can either be set to silent or you can select a voice which tells you directions. For example, it will tell you to take the first exit on a roundabout in 200 yards. It also shows a little diagram of this in the bottom left hand corner which I find really useful and it will colour your route green on the screen (you can see this on the picture above).
Another thing you can set the Tom Tom to do is display your speed. I find this great for journeys I am not familiar with as it will also tell you the speed limit. It will tell you the speed you are going and then the limit for example 35/40. If you go over the speed limit it will light up red. I think this is a great help as you cant always have your eyes on the speedo and if you are glancing at the sat nav for instructions you can kill two birds with one stone.
The Tom Tom will also display where you are and nearby roads. This is helpful if you have your radio set to traffic reports as you can avoid jams. Another helpful tool is that you can select your route but also ask it to avoid a particular place, I use this option often as I live around 3 miles away from a very busy dual carriageway which gets jam packed in the summer - therefore, I like to avoid it when I can.
I usually find using the Tom Tom pretty stress free, however there are times when we would like to chuck it out of the window. For example, occasionally it will say turn right when the road actually just bears right. Or it will take a while to catch up with what you are doing and where you are. For example yesterday I was sat right at the junction but it was still saying I had 20 yds to travel.
The Tom Tom is useful on a journey, it helps plan out the way to go and tells you exactly when to turn off etc. When you reach your destination, it will tell you though if you use just a postcode you often end up not in exactly the right place!
You can also plan a route ahead of going for example to see how long it will take. Using this option you can type in start and finish points so you dont have to wait until the day of travel.
You can also change the preferences for example you can change the language or you can change the voice used. We really like this feature and often mess about with it, we sometimes have an Irish man or an Australian but we usually stick to 'Jane' the English woman, so much so that even the kids call the Tom Tom Jane now - they were most horrified when we got in the car the other day and it was a mans voice!
You can also change the colours of the maps, in addition to this there is also a night colour option which I find great because the day time colours are just too bright for me when it is dark outside.
Another great thing is the speed camera detector. Now please note it only detects fixed cameras so there is no escaping the mobile ones but it is still a handy feature to have if you are travelling on a route you dont know!
Obviously roads are changing all the time, most of the time our Tom Tom is ok but other times it will get all confused telling us we are driving through a field and saying we need to turn right on a dual carriageway etc!
To remedy this issue you can update them (thats what the USB cable is for) however we are yet to do ours! I think its about time we did though as it has been 3 years. I think this costs around £10.
We find our Tom Tom very useful. We actually have two, I have this version and my partner has the original Tom Tom One with the smaller screen. In effect, they are exactly the same just with a different screen size!
It finds addresses easily and has helped us get to numerous places that we would have never found without it! It is better to type in house number, street and town if you are looking for a particular address but often we find just the postcode is sufficient if we are going somewhere in general or going to an attraction as then we can follow the brown signs.
The only issue we have with ours is it being a bit outdated and a bit slow now but I am sure if we update it then this will be remedied.
I think the Tom Tom is great value for money and it has proved to be invaluable for us. We have had both Tom Tom's for over 3 years and not once has either gone wrong and my partner uses his on a daily basis.
It is simple to use and very straightforward, recommended for all.
As a recent user of sat navs (previously I had relied on maps) I have found the TomTom XL a good general purpose navigation tool for personal use (I don't travel for business so the review is based on personal travel only).
The maps and instructions on-screen are clear, and the screen size and 'aspect ratio' (width:height proportion) allowing a good view of the map as well as the additional information.
MAP READING AND INSTRUCTIONS
Whilst driving on a route (more later on how to generate a route), the main screen layout is that the map itself takes up about 4/5 of the height of the screen, with the section at the bottom showing extra information such as the distance until the next "decision point" (roundabout, turning or whatever) and what it is (e.g. a left turn on a roundabout indicated by a "roundabout" diagram with an appropriate arrow coming off it), current time, estimated arrival time following that route, speed limit for the road (if available - not all roads have this information recorded but most do), your current speed.
I have noticed with the 'current speed' that it seems to display a lower speed than my actual speedometer most of the time by about 3-4 mph so for example if my speedometer is saying 70 then the TomTom might "think" I am doing 66-67. I am not sure if this is because speedometers in cars deliberately 'overestimate' if anything so am unsure if the actual speed is the one stated by the TomTom, or the one on my speedometer. (I have tested this on a different car as well with the same result!) I would therefore suggest using the TomTom's speed reading as a guide and treat your speedometer as 'gospel' (assuming it is working correctly).
As a speed limit 'stickler' due to being paranoid about fines and points on my licence etc (so far so good!) the TomTom's "speed camera" warning is useful as well as the feature that can give an audible warning if you are over the defined speed limit for that road. (Both of these features can be enabled or disabled independently, as you require.)
The map display itself once you are following the route can be shown in 3 different ways depending on your preference and what you find most useful. These are:
- 2D map view with the "north" of the map always at the top regardless of which direction you are travelling. You are represented by a blue arrow showing your current position and the direction you're moving. This is the view I use 99% of the time as it allows you to see the 'big picture' of where you are and the direction of travel very easily, whilst following the audio instructions and the details at the bottom of the screen (miles/yards to next turning etc)
- 2D map view showing you always travelling towards the top of the screen. This view gives a more direct link between your current direction (as of course you are always facing 'ahead' whilst driving regardless of what compass direction that actually is!) and what you see on the screen. I tried this one but found the 'swivelling' view less intuitive to follow even though it is actually a better representation of the direction you are travelling.
- 3D map view giving a graphical representation of what you are seeing through the windscreen. It includes features such as bends in the road, angles of turnings etc. This view gives the closest correspondence between what is on screen and what you can actually see. From a 'straw poll' discussion with a few people I found this is the preferred view for most, though I think the potential hazard with this is you are likely to start reading the road ahead from the screen rather than your actual windscreen!
The different views are useful for different types of driving as well, for example on a longish motorway journey "2D with north at the top" may be most useful since it is basically a dynamic view of a map (with verbal instructions and extra info) but around an unfamiliar town/built up area you may prefer 3D "windscreen" view in order to know what to expect with what you are seeing.
Most people will be primarily guided by the verbal instructions though, since of course you will spend most of your driving time actually looking at the road, with the occasional glance at the sat nav!
OPTIONS AND CUSTOMISATION
You can select a colour scheme (day or night) for the map display, the difference being that all the features of the map will be displayed in the appropriate colours for usability. Additional colour schemes can also be downloaded (see below).
It's also possible to select one of a number of different voices and accents (and languages if for whatever reason you need the instructions in a different language). Some of the English language voices available are: 'Standard' UK English, Irish, Australian, American, New Zealand, in various male and female versions. (I have not tried any foreign language voice versions as I am a native English speaker.) Again additional voices can be downloaded if desired, with some 'sensible' ones (e.g. additional accents) and some 'novelty' ones such as Homer Simpson (the 'novelty' ones will still give the same correct instructions obviously!)
You can also choose whether the instructions will be in metric or imperial distance units, as required. I have set mine to miles since I am more familiar with them and also because UK road signs are in miles so for example when you see the 'M25 60 miles' type of signs on the motorway, this corresponds to what you are seeing on the "distance left to travel" info on the sat nav screen rather than showing a different number.
Other options such as the volume and brightness can also be customised as required. The loudest volume was more than enough for me even with motorway noise in quite an old car, with a good range of adjustment between "silent" and "loud" being available.
Some of the other options for customisation are:
- The navigation bar (which I mentioned above as showing current speed, next turning etc) can be customised in terms of either "horizontal" or "vertical" placement, and you can select which items should be displayed on it (for example, you can enable or disable your current speed, remaining distance, etc)
- different ways of choosing a route (e.g. "always use fastest route", "always avoid motorway", "always plan bicycle route" (I am not sure where you would fix a sat nav onto a bike though!) etc)
- how to deal with toll roads (always ask, always avoid, never avoid)
- battery saving (e.g. whether to turn off screen when inactive)
- how street names etc should be displayed (e.g. whether to show current street name on the map).
- you can set your 'Home' location to your own address so when returning from somewhere, you can choose to navigate to 'Home' without having to put in your address/postcode every time.
DOWNLOAD AND UPDATES
It is important to keep the sat nav up to date with the most recent maps if possible since you would be surprised how quickly the information can get out of date. Until a few weeks ago I hadn't updated my maps despite having the sat nav for about 18 months, and have been caught out a few times by roads having changed (which the sat nav was not aware of, still "remembering" the situation from 18 months ago!) and therefore some instructions being incorrect or not making sense for the road. Since running a map update this is all resolved and I have also subscribed to the quarterly map updates for a year to ensure I can download any further changes.
You do have to pay for the updates but on the whole the prices are reasonable (check TomTom website for most up to date prices) and there is not much point having a sat nav if it contains out of date information.
By default this version comes with the UK and Ireland maps, you can purchase additional ones such as Europe if required.
As mentioned above, it's also possible to download some additional bits and pieces such as extra voices, groups of additional 'Points of Interest' (POI) etc.
Some of the downloads are free (e.g. some community contributed POI sets) and some you have to pay for.
The download and update process itself is straightforward assuming you have a mainstream computer/operating system and a reasonably fast internet connection (some of the downloads especially the maps are quite large). The process is firstly to download the TomTom 'Home' software, then using this you can connect the sat nav to your computer using USB and select any updates you want to download. The 'Home' software will also automatically detect any available updates that are relevant (e.g. updates for a service you have subscribed to).
It is straightforward to set up and use the 'Home' software, you have to provide an email address and password initially (you don't need to put in a credit card until you are actually ready to purchase something) and the software is free to download. I believe there is some documentation on how to use 'Home' but I have not needed to refer to it as it was obvious how to use the software and very easy.
As a Linux user most of the time, there is currently (Jan 2010) no Linux version of the software available (and I haven't managed to get it working using the WINE system) so have reverted to using Windows for the updates only. However if you use Linux I would suggest you nicely badger ;-) TomTom by sending a comment through their customer service system, you never know, if enough of us mention it then they may respond with a Linux version!
PLANNING A ROUTE
To plan and follow a route the process is straightforward. Broadly you know where you need to go and can input this using the actual address/postcode, or specify "city/town centre", select a Point of Interest, choose from a list of 'Recent Destinations' or 'Favourites', or go 'Home' (home being defined in the options as mentioned above).
Assuming you can get a GPS signal (generally only outdoors - indoors the signal is quite patchy usually) the sat nav will then generate a route based on the destination you specified and any options you have set (e.g. "always avoid motorways", then it will automatically route around motorways). You will then be given the option to browse the route as images, browse it as text (ie stating what roads you will be travelling on etc) and other information. If you don't like that route for whatever reason you can ask the sat nav to find an alternative route.
The sat nav will then start out the navigation process, assuming you have the volume turned on (it's possible to disable the voice instructions so you only have the on screen display and obviously in that case it would not "say" anything) giving you the appropriate directions, usually starting with something like "At the end of the road, turn right" or whatever is appropriate and then giving each instruction as and when required.
Each of the instructions will be stated at the appropriate time (in some cases I would have appreciated a little earlier voice prompt, for example if a junction is very complex and you have to get in lane early) and given some time before you need to do it, and then again just before. For example "After 300 yards, turn left at the roundabout" and then as you come up to the roundabout "Turn left". The actual distance 'ahead' it warns you (300 yards in this case) depends on the type of road and the speed you are travelling. For instance on a motorway or other 70mph zone you will need a longer warning due to the speed.
The on-screen display gives you an earlier warning than this if you have the "next direction" displayed in the information panel, since it will show for example a left turn on a roundabout in 2 miles time if this is the next "decision" you have to make. Therefore it is useful to glance at the screen as well as just following the audio prompts.
The unit can be charged either using the in-car charger (cigarette lighter/12v adaptor socket) or through a USB connection to a computer. I found that in general USB will charge the unit more efficiently whereas in-car will keep it powered up for ongoing navigation but not necessarily charge it more than this. Therefore I would recommend to keep it charged via USB when possible (this will also allow you to check for any updates if using the 'Home' software).
It is solidly built and seems robust (I don't have the best track record of keeping things in good condition but have not managed to damage it in any way yet!) The casing is a stylish silver, with the screen being a quite matte 'LCD' type. It is generally possible to position the unit to avoid glare in the car since the suction cup allows you to stick it wherever you need on the windscreen and to move it on its mounting a little.
All in all a great purchase which I am fully satisfied with (especially now I have updated the maps) and have found a useful navigation tool that takes the stress out of driving somewhere unfamiliar.
Now I'm not the most tech-savvy of people, nor is my knowledge of GPS systems great as I'm a new driver, but I thought I'd give writing a review for this little wonder a go as it's taken me from South Wales to the North West and back in one piece... and on more than one occasion (and if you've seen me driving, you'd know this was a miracle eg. "Oh my god, was that my turning???" "Argh which lane should I be in???" etc etc :$)
Price and availability:
These are widely available and retail at around £150.
In my case though, it's a freebie (stolen from the boyfriend) but if I had to buy one, I'd be happy to spend my hard earned cash on this model.
TomTom are a well established brand of GPS receivers, probably the most popular brand as Sat Navs are frequently and commonly called TomTom's. When you hear the name, you know you have a good quality device.
The screen is quite wide and outlined in silver which looks very sleek and stylish. It just fits into my hand so isn't too big but will happily fit into my handbag when not in use. I think it's also quite heavy but perhaps this is to be expected, I don't really know.
To fit in your car is quite easy. You attach the sucker type contraption to the SatNav, stick it where you want it on your windscreen, then tighten it to hold it firmly in place. The only thing I don't like about this is the marks it leaves... I'm constantly cleaning after using the TomTom for a trip. If you need to charge it whilst using it you simply plug the wire into the SatNav and into your cigarette lighter. Marvellous!
Getting to where you want to go:
After turning the device on (button on top) you tap the screen and are greeted by a menu. Simply tap "navigate to..." and you will be given several options to locate your destination:
- Home (where you can save your own address for future use)
- Favourite (for locations used often)
- Recent Destination
- Point of Interest
- Point on map
- Latitude Longitude
- Position of last stop.
Personally I use "Address" then postcode as this pinpoints exactly what I want, but if you don't have a postcode there are plenty of other ways to pinpoint your target destination.
Display after choosing destination:
After choosing your destination you will be shown a map of the UK whilst TomTom analyses roads and calculates a route. After this it tells you how many miles you will travel and how long it will take you which is very useful.
Tap "done" and you will be greeted by the route plan.
Along the bottom of the screen is an arrow telling you which direction to travel and how long for, how many miles you have left and time it will take. The current time and the arrival time... and the speed limit and the speed you are travelling at. Again, all very useful tools and handy to have, especially if you don't know an area or there aren't any clear speed limit signs.
Travelling with the TomTom:
I'm yet to experience any real problems with this gadget. I have taken a wrong turn once or twice, or taken the wrong exit off a roundabout but if this happens the TomTom automatically calculates a corrective route. Once again very handy.
It does take a little getting used to, especially if you haven't used one before, but don't be put off. These are lifesavers!!!
Additional functions whilst travelling:
The TomTom will alert you of any speed limit changes and will sound a warning if you are approaching a speed camera. Well done TomTom, saved me a few times!
Also if you tap the screen you are able to find points of interest along your route, such as a maccie d's if your hungry... or a petrol station if you're running low. Not essential but make your journey that bit more comfortable.
This is another handy feature because it will alert you to a change of route in advance so you know when to glance at the screen. The female robotic type voice does somewhat irritate me... I'd make a much better voice over haha ;) but you can turn the volume up and down to suit your preference.
I tend to have the TomTom charging on my way to a destination and not on the way back. So far I have no complaints about the battery life. It lasts ages!
There are lots more features to the TomTom One XL but I'm yet to experiment with them all. I just use it for the basics, getting from A to B.
But I'm sure these other features will prove very useful to others.
For technology whizzs and gadget nerds, this review probably hasn't covered enough of the elements for you. But for drivers hoping to purchase one of these or use for the first time I hope I've covered enough of the basics and given you a little insight into the wondrous world of the TomTom One XL. There may well be better models out there, but this one does a fine job and I will continue to use it.
The TomTom ONE XL has everything you need to make your trip safer, more relaxed and more fun. At its heart lies TomTom's award-winning plug-and-go navigation software, but the new 4.3" wide high-quality touchscreen makes navigating even easier.
Your ONE XL is ready for the TomTom RDS-TMC Traffic Receiver, for up-to-date traffic information on the go. There's a large choice of route options and to make your trip complete, thousands of useful and fun Points of Interest pre-installed for on the way.
In other words, the TomTom ONE XL makes getting there better than ever.