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Ask people to name a brand of satnav and they'll probably say TomTom. It's true that TomTom put a lot of money into marketing their products, but they're not necessarily the best ones out there, as I discovered when I bought a TomTom Start. I bought a TomTom Start Europe not because I needed the European maps, but because the TomTom Start Europe was cheaper than the TomTom Start for some reason. I previously had a Garmin Nuvi which I managed to break, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to get a TomTom. Okay, I was swayed a little by the fact I learnt I could put Brian Blessed's voice on it. The general reviews of the device seemed fairly positive too, so I paid up and the TomTom arrived a few days later.
Most satnavs don't have the latest maps on them, which is understandable since they've likely been sitting in a warehouse for a bit. So the first thing you should do when you get a satnav is to update it with the latest maps - you usually get one update for free, and this is the case with the TomTom Start. So I downloaded the latest update - and hit a snag. The Tomtom Start Europe by default has the maps for the whole of Europe, including details maps of the UK. But the updated Europe and UK maps are too big to fit on the device. Yes, that's right - whoever designed the TomTom Start Europe didn't think that this might be a problem. So after hunting around on TomTom's website I found I could download the Western European maps and put those on instead, since they included the UK maps - with the same level of detail as the TomTom Start UK. Problem sorted.
And so, I took the device out and gave it a try - it worked okay, and admittedly, having Brian Blessed's voice on it - for which I paid eight quid or so - was mildly entertaining. But then I started to notice that it wasn't as accurate as the Garmin Nuvi I'd had before. The TomTom Start does give you the option of downloading user-submitted map fixes, but even with these the device didn't acknowledge the existence of certain places. For example, I'd driven to one town using my Garmin Nuvi 250W - which also had European maps on it - and it found an open car park for me no problem. The TomTom start, on the other hand, said that there were no car parks in the town centre. I had a vague idea where the carpark was from the last time I'd visited, but it was annoying to find that I'd essentially traded down.
The TomTom Start Europe is also not the most user friendly device either - the touch screen interface works okay, but it's lacking some more useful features such as the ability to avoid motorways, or to to stick to motorways. The version I bought also came with IQ Routes which is supposed to help you avoid heavy traffic, but I can't honestly say it made a difference. Essentially, if you want a good satnav, then I'd recommend one of Garmin's satnavs - TomTom may be fairly well known, but based on my experience with the TomTom Start Europe, they're not necessarily the best.
Having this satnav had made life so much easier. I have always had trouble remembering road names and following maps, so I need someone to tell me step by step where to go. This is what this satnav does.
If you type in the road name or postcode into the search section on screen the tomtom calculates the route, this may take a while but it really isn't too long of a wait. This a very friend voice tell you step be step where to go where to turn and how long til you have to turn.
Sometimes it can be difficult to follow when to turns of the road are very close to each, and it may be hard to tell which one it is talking about, but if you do take the wrong one it just recalculate and gets you back on track from where you are. A bit annoying but worth it as overall it makes driving so much easier.
Also this satnav has maps for europe on it as well which is good is you drive yourself when on holiday or if you often take business trips in europe and don't know where your meeting is, more likely in a foreign country.
Also unlike some other satnavs it is easier to update the maps for any changes in roads, which is a real money saver a my dad has to pay with his satnav, and it is quite expensive.
Battery life is nothing special but you can charge it in-car so don't have to worry about it turning off halfway through your journey.
Overall this is a good product and makes driving that bit easier
I was extremely disappointed with this model. It does the job of getting me from my house to an address I enter, but that is all, and in this day and age we expect more from technology. It is a very basic model, which does not show points of interest, so make sure you plan a restaurant stop ahead, because you won't just be able to check it for one as soon as you get hungry. The supposed IQ route, which takes lots of factors into account to give you the fastest route, also gave some weird routes when I took it on routes that I knew very well. Obviously a sat nav never will replace human common sense.
All the discrepancies aside, I found it incredibly quick at picking up my current location and also being accurate with when it was telling me to turn. My old satnav, for instance, would leave me unsure whether it was the turning I just missed, or the one that was just about to come up that I should take. However, this TomTom seems to give you enough time, making it more clear.
Living in Sheffield (terrible one way system implemented) means that some sat navs just aren't up-to-date and won't be until I upgrade to their latest model. With this, however, you can edit your map and download other people's edits so its never wrong.
All in all, it does its job and is incredibly useful in some aspects, but it misses out some stuff that all current models do now.
Simple to review this one, as simple as using this unit from Tomtom is. I give it five stars. Recieved this unit as a birthday present, after an older unit from a different manufacturer broke.
Yes, it is " low" on features, however... IT HAS EVERYTHING YOU NEED to get from point A to point B in Europe.
In the box i recieved, i got the unit, complete with a fantastic holder, a car charger, and a small instuction manual.
Everything about the piece feels and looks quality made, the holder which fixes SO EASILY to a windscreen is fast to fit, remove, and works great. The build quality is superb, doesn't feel cheap, its a pleasure to hold.
The maps are wonderful, and as most people know, the Tomtom maps are one of the best, if not THE best.
Apart from some settings options, there are only 2 choices on the screen after you first set the unit up ( which takes 2 minutes), one is " plan route" and one is " browse map". All you need. It comes complete with POI, ( points of interest), speed cameras, and many many languages.
It is a SMALL unit, but easy to read, clear display, with day and night settings, so small it fits into a small pocket easily, no need for a case.
If you are looking for a quality made, easy to use, no fuss sat nav, look no further, you have found it :)
Also, if you register on the Tomtom website using the address on the manual, you will recieve £10 of credit to use ( to buy extra voice etc, i bought Homer Simpson, lol), and you also have a 30 day newest map guarantee, so plug it into the net soon as you buy it for an updated map!
I love this unit, after having used several for work, and having an inferior unit in my own car, i feel i am now a lifelong Tomtom user and fan.
The TomTom Start is specifically designed for occasional drivers and drivers who haven't had a chance to experience the benefits of car navigation. The simplified menu displays a two button user interface, Plan route' and 'Browse map'. The device is lightweight, has a compact 3.5" screen and has a semi-fixed EasyPort mount, making the whole navigation package fit into a pocket, small bag or glove compartment.