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When it comes to Sat Navs I am not the best for choosing as I tend to buy cheaper products which hardly help at all. Recently my older TomTom kept on asking me to do a U-Turn on a one way street over and over, I thought it was time to get a new one.
== The Design ==
This sat nav is like many others you see in the shops a basic looking device with a screen and a backing to it. However, this device has got lots of other design features which might appeal to potential new buyers.
The first would be the size of the screen which is not over the top in terms of size and is not going to get you searching forever by looking at the map. Some of the models recently tend to have longer screens which are very off putting to say the least.
This item is light in weight so it means you're not carrying around an item which is going to be heavy and you know it is going to be safe from any bangs due to the case it comes with.
The speaker is located into the top corner of the device and is very small so it does not overpower the main screen which is extremely handy.
On the back of the device is where the power button is located and this is literally all there is to say about this product in terms of the design.
== Features ==
This sat nav has many useful features and one of those is the lane identification you have when approaching a junction. If you're heading towards a motorway merge such as the M6 and the M1 and you're unsure where to go exactly this Sat Nav will actually show you on the screen which lane to stay in and to remain in.
You get given spoken street names and in the past with my previous Sat Navs you just got told to go right or left and never given a street name at all so when this device reads them out to you it adds extra confidence in your journey.
When approaching a speed camera on the road you can guarantee this device will show up a camera image in the corner to let you know that the speed camera is around but also sparks a sound which alerts you to the current speed you should be doing.
This device has a touch screen so you have no annoying keypad to type in various postcodes and street names which is very handy as well.
You can get this Sat Nav to help you locate a parking area on your journey. If you're unsure about the various parking areas in a place your visiting you can just turn this on and the Sat Nav will take you directly to the nearest parking area.
== My Experience ==
I do a lot of travelling to various places and some are new to me and I have no idea where I am going or where to park and some I am used to but still end up getting lost or confused when problems arise like roadworks.
When I got this Sat Nav it was very easy to set up but a major pain when it came to registering the free lifetime maps. You had to provide a receipt number along with where you brought the product from which was difficult since I had no receipt.
After eventually doing this route I found that the device was already up to date and if you are not sure if you are you can plug the device in and use the setting buttons to find out if you are or not.
I decided to visit Coventry on my first outing to visit my brother who currently lives there and I know all about the various speed cameras on route through the dual carriageways and I was waiting to see whether this Sat Nav would pick them up.
I was not disappointed at all, within around 100 metres before the camera was even due to be seen this device picked up I was approaching one and instantly played a loud sound like a ping sound to let me know something was coming up.
I found that not only did it assist me with speed cameras but any type of camera at all. At times it was playing this loud ping even when I did not notice a camera on my side of the road but it was on the opposite side.
So far so good, and then I went to a concert in Oxford, this is one place I have never really been to before and parking seemed to be a major problem in terms of where to park and how to get to my destination.
Upon arriving in Oxford the Sat Nav actually directed me to an underground car park which I never knew existed whilst looking online and it was directly behind the theatre I was visiting, so again I was very impressed.
I also like the fact that when you're travelling down a motorway and you begin to creep up the speed you get told to slow down. You hear another ping and the speed in the corner of the Sat Nav will tell you that you're currently going over the speed limit.
Every road you visit your told the name of the road and the speed limit and also you're told updates on the estimate time of arrival at your destination which is just fantastic. However the voice you pick you need to be careful to choose one which speaks street names because some of the options for the voice do not do this.
On my journeys so far this device has not once let me down and got me to every single destination. I have found that perhaps one issue is when you have to type in a street name the Sat Nav in my view prefers the postcode option and locates the road much quicker.
I found that the screen offered plenty of colour when it camera to pointing out my speed and the road layout as well and listening to road names you previously never knew before helped me an awful lot.
== Final Thoughts ==
I love this Sat Nav the free lifetime maps worth around £75 alone which is free of charge is amazing but the fact this small device constantly wants to assist you.
This item gives you great speed in terms of finding routes and alternative routes and also the fact you get given spoken road names helps you identify if you're actually going the right direction in the first place.
You get told about speed and the cameras at all times so you're aware of your surroundings and it helps you avoid those horrible fines for wreck less driving.
Overall this item in my view due to the weight, the screen size and the overall price which is around £120 I think offers amazing value.
== Other Information ==
Screen Size is 5 inches.
Battery life is around 2 hours.
There is an SD card slot to help you put in information.
Weight is 216 grams.
Screen dimensions are 134 x 95 x 20mm
Available on Halfords and Amazon.
TomTom Start 25 M with UK and ROI Maps - Get started with navigationFree Lifetime MapsAlways drive with the latest map. Get to your destination faster with FREELifetime Maps. For the life of your product you can download 4 or more fullupdates of the map on your device every year. You receive all updates to theroad network addresses and Points of Interest.Whether you're driving familiar roads or venturing somewherenew the TomTom Start gives you peace of mind. It's the bestdevice in its league and surprisingly easy to use. See high qualitymaps on its larger screen and trust it to guide you safely throughcomplex junctions for a confident drive.Whether you're driving familiar roads or venturing somewhere new the TomTom Start gives you peace of mind. It's the best device in its league and surprisingly easy to use. See high quality maps on its larger screen and trust it to guide you safely through complex junctions for a confident drive.5" touch screen (13 cm)See more and drive easily with an extra wide screen. Touch screen technology gives you the easiest operation to make using your device a pleasure.Advanced lane guidanceClearly shows which lane to take at junctions so you don't miss your turning. On the most difficult highway intersections realistic 3D representation of the junction keeps you relaxed and safe.Spoken street namesHelping you to keep your eyes on the road spoken instructions now include street names to make turnings even clearer.Plug & GoYour device couldn't be simpler to use - just plug in and tap the touch screen. You will be on your way very quickly with our intuitive user interface.Quick GPS fixQuickGPSfix speeds up the time it takes to fix your GPS position to help you drive off more quickly.Eco RoutesDriving with these more fuel-efficient routes saves you money as well as reducing your impact on the environment. Your device can show you the route which has a lower environmental impact using the driving data of millions of TomTom users.TomTom Speed CamerasYour device has speed camera locations including reports from other users. It also warns you of other alerts such as fixed speed cameras and average speed checks for the road ahead. It saves you money on speeding fines helping you drive safely and relaxed.IQ Routes technologyOnly TomTom uses actual speed data collected from millions of users to accurately calculate the travel time of your route. It allows for rush hour traffic lights - even shopping crowds. So no matter what time it is you can rely on IQ Routes to tell you when you'll get there.Integrated mountingA convenient foldaway mount that's integrated with your device so it's always there when you need it. It attaches easily to your windscreen. And using the optional mounting disk you can turn it upside down and position it on your dashboard too where the screen automatically flips to the right way up.