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I really like the 5" screen it's bright and clear and the voice is clear and very loud. The new holder remains with the Sat Nav when you remove it from the windscreen and folds flat - which is a very good idea. If you did have any problems with it, it can be easily removed and cheaply replaced. Putting it on a windscreen and removing it is simplicity itself. Having spoken road names is great and you are sometimes surprised by the fact that you never really knew the name of a road you travelled on for years! Not all the voices work with spoken road names you must choose one that says it speaks street names of which there is only one English one on my Sat Nav (Serena). I found it picks up the satellites very quickly and the speed at which it processes routes is very very good. All the new features are really good and worth having and the Points of Interest are amazing - they even give you the telephone numbers so that you can call to book a table or to check if an item is in stock etc. I was originally frustrated by the fact that it didn't have a battery indicator, so I couldn't tell if it needed to be charged or if it was fully charged, but one suddenly appeared! I don't know whether it came with a download/update or whether it needed a good charge first before it appeared but it's there now - hoorah! I found that the home charger for my Blackberry phone which has a micro connection charges it up perfectly or it can be charged by your computer with the lead supplied in the box.
All in all this is a really excellent Sat Nav and I am absolutely delighted with it. I have no hesitation in recommending it to all those who don't need to use it as a phone; don't want the Live Link traffic updates and get frustrated by voice recognition systems that don't recognise what you say.
I bought a Start 25 last year , and I am very happy with it. It is different with my old tomtom go 700 nav,but is in several ways better.
I'd had a Go 700 which was working well, and for which I'd maps for .All Australia and New Zealand. I supposed I could transfer these to the brand new apparatus.
The Beginning and other newer models doesn't use the old "Tomtom Home" program, but instead has a new app "My Tomtom". This operates fairly differently from Tomtom Home. The latter stores a copy of everything in your computer, whereas My Tomtom downloads everything as crucial subsequently passes it on to the Device. This takes about an hour or so, half each to download and then copy around, with a ~3 Gbyte map.
My first issue was that I then tried to log into the account I had set up for my Go 700 and installed and downloaded My Tomtom. This seemed to confound everything. I don't know at what period it went wrong, but I contacted Tomtom phone support and after literally hours of phone calls, found that:
a) You need an alternate email for every account/device
b) I couldn't transfer my old maps
C) Having attempted to install the map but was failed, nothing worked.
Eventually, someone technical reset my new account and eventually all worked.
Subsequently I bought a USA map and found that there was not room on the device for it. There was just 4 Gbytes of memory on the Beginning 25. So, I had to allow it to delete the Europe map and replace it with that for the USA.
OK, this form of worked and I only needed to spend an hour each time we went the US and then another. I asked about the SD card, but was told I couldn't use that yet.
Afterward the Beginning 25 began to act peculiarly. It was as if the screen had been touched whilst driving along. It might dive to the menus. I finally deduced that it was when it was bright and was a temperature effect that was related. I made up a little screen from aluminium kitchen foil and duct tape and shielded the back.
A couple of weeks later I got a replacement back. My Tomtom discovered this and offered to replace it. I said yes and it carried on to fail to do that! Back to support. (incidentally, I discovered that they do not close for UK public holidays and are really in the Netherlands).
In conversation, whining ABOUT the download times I FOUND the SD card was supported. I've have two maps now and since I bought one.
POI's are excellent when you see that you need to utilize the community menu choice.
Just about to leave for a month in Portugal, Spain, France and I am hoping that it continues to work.
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.