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TomTom One V4 Europe 22 review



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Satellite navigation has become such a commodity over the past couple of years that it's hard to see where premium brands can compete at the budget end. You can pick up sat-nav software for your phone for well under £100 now and low end dedicated units are now not much more expensive. Move up in price just a fraction and slightly more capable products, such as the Navigon 2100 Sat Nav, become available for around £100 - still a very reasonable amount of money.

With that in mind, it's rather surprising to find that TomTom even bothers to try to compete any more at the low end, but it clearly wants to, as the firm's latest 'low-end' product clearly demonstrates. Unfortunately, for TomTom at least, at this moment in time the TomTom V4 simply isn't that cheap. Even the Great Britain version comes in at £140 and the Europe 22 version we've been sent will set you back over £160, which is a quite astonishing amount of cash these days for a sat-nav with a 3.5in screen.

It's worth noting, too, that for that money you get neither traffic information nor Bluetooth hands-free phone features. It's a basic sat-nav for mid-range money - a disappointing start.

What's less surprising is that the TomTom One feels every bit the quality product that its bigger, more expensive siblings do. In fact, there are elements of the One that are better than the Go 530, 730 and 930 products. It shares the same design as the TomTom One XL range of products - a newer, larger speaker at the rear, a slimmer more pocketable design and a much more solidly engineered windscreen mount.

With previous TomToms - and the current range of x30 products mentioned above - one of the few weaknesses was the push-on windscreen mount, which needed frequent reseating if you didn't want it to drop off into your lap, or worse onto the floor beneath your brake pedal. The TomTom One's is a much better design: its suction cup mount isn't merely push-on as before and can be pushed on then wound up to top attach it more firmly. The mount is also designed so that it can be folded flush against the body of the device, so you can stick the whole lot in a pocket or bag, not just the navigation unit.

And the One is as easy to use as TomToms have always been. The most important options always seem a click or two away, the screen is responsive and address entry sensibly easy. The One has a very usable touch screen keyboard and there are also options to use it in QWERTY, ABC and AZERTY modes, depending on your preference. Other sensible touches abound: it will return automatically to the map screen once an option has been changed, and it's really easy to see an overview of your current route or change volume - a single click on the main navigation screen in the status bar will do that for you.

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Alan 1

August 18, 2009, 3:18 pm

Have also noticed that the current position can lag but you do get used to it. I did find the first time you connect up to Tom Tom home, you get told there is an update to your device. Whatever you do, don't say yes to install it. Say NO and get to the Tom Tom home main menu then take a backup. This is because Tom Tom home can often trash your satnav instead of updating it and with no backup, you are stuck. Once you have a backup, go ahead and try the update. The Tom Tom also came with safety camera database installed, but no free trial period. The data was very out of date so I purchased the 1 year subscription to get the lastest update only to find there was no difference! TomTom support admitted they can't verify or guarantee the accuracy of the data so I can't recommend the safety camera service. Overall, the SatNav works OK and I got it in a sale so didn't pay full price. It has been usefull around Europe as well as in the UK so apart from the initial startup with TomTom home software and the safety camera database, I have no complaints.

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