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TomTom GO 600 review

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Reviewed:

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  • Recommended by TR
TomTom GO 600

Summary

Our Score:

9

User Score:

Pros

  • Speed warnings as you approach jams
  • Lifetime European map updates and Traffic service
  • Redesigned menu interface with unified search

Cons

  • Speed camera updates still require subscription
  • Weather and local search not part of online services
  • Premium over smaller-screened GO models

Key Features

  • 6-inch widescreen
  • Maps for 45 European countries with lifetime updates
  • Lifetime TomTom Traffic via smartphone tethering
  • New simplified menu system
  • Unified address and points of interest keyword search
  • Manufacturer: TomTom
  • Review Price: £229.99

What is the TomTom GO 600?

The TomTom GO 600 is a fully featured 6-inch widescreen sat-nav with lifetime traffic and map updates. Its arrival coincides with a new version of TomTom Traffic, the sophisticated jam detection system that was recently renamed from TomTom HD Traffic. Although this will be available for all new LIVE-enabled TomTom devices, the GO 600 is the first we have seen with the updated service.

SEE ALSO: Best satnav round-up

TomTom GO 600

TomTom GO 600: Features

Like the TomTom GO 500 we looked at a couple of months ago, the GO 600 offers LIVE Services, but relies on your smartphone for the data connection. So in order to use them your iPhone must have the 'Personal Hotspot' feature or your Android phone the 'Tethering and portable hotspot' setting. You have to pair the TomTom with your phone and then share the latter's Internet connection.

We found this worked just fine with our test iPhone, though you do need to be on a network plan that allows tethering, something only a select few do. Current traffic incidents were then all visible in the map screen. You can tap on an incident to get more information, including the type of incident, its length along the road and the duration of the delay it is currently causing. But the new version of Traffic brings some extra capabilities, including one very overt one, although most are lurking under the surface.

You are now warned if you are approaching a traffic jam at too high a speed, the danger of which has been particularly underlined by the recent mass accident on the Sheppey crossing. The detection of road closures has been improved, too, alongside more accurate detection of road works, so you can avoid these. Earlier versions of Traffic could occasionally mistake a closed road for one with no jam at all, with potentially annoying results - for example, when the Hammersmith flyover was forced to close in December 2011 for emergency repairs.

The new Predictive Flow Feed more accurately figures out traffic speed on a route, for an improved estimated time of arrival, although we never had much issue with this aspect of TomTom sat-navs. As it is, TomTom Traffic reportedly uses data from 350 million vehicles around the world and covers 99 per cent of UK roads, compared to about 10 per cent for the venerable TMC alternative. So the accuracy is about ten times as much, with TomTom claiming jams are detected down to 10m accuracy compared to 100m for TMC. In our experience, this can make a noticeable difference in predicting delay duration.

TomTom GO 600

The fact that you can now get this service without a subscription, with just the cost of a few megabytes of data a month (TomTom estimates 7MB for an average daily commute), means you don't have to be a regular commuter anymore to make it cost effective. It is hard to test the efficacy of the new TomTom Traffic features, although we did see the jam warning pop up at one point during testing. However, we have been impressed for some time just how accurately the TomTom service can represent traffic, with the beginning and end of gridlocked sections of road being almost exactly the same in real life as they are on the road.

You also get lifetime updates to the maps that came with the device - either UK or EU, depending on model. There are some downsides, however, particularly with the European mapping version of the GO 600 we tested. If you want to use the GO 600's Live Services abroad, you have to be prepared for the data roaming charges associated with this, which could be expensive even for just a few megabytes. Also, although the map updates and Traffic service are free for the lifetime of the device, speed camera information is only available for three months, after which a subscription costs £19.99 a year.

MattMe

September 24, 2013, 11:57 am

I hope they're going to release a new device with US maps as well as Europe. Mine's been invaluable over the last few years, and I'm about ready to upgrade.

toboev

September 25, 2013, 7:54 am

Widescreen was spawned as a cinema format, which it suits well. By what leap of logic is something tailored to the immersive big-screen movie theatre experience ideal for a small sat nav device? I ask because "wide screen" seems to have taken on a life of its own, unhinged from its original purpose, and now it infects anything with a screen, willy nilly.

With sat nav I like to know the way ahead, not the way to either side, so I'd have thought "tall screen" format would be better than "wide screen". But do they even ask the question, or is "wide screen" just the only name that sells?

racey1979

September 30, 2013, 12:00 pm

Does this one keep telling you to "Keep to the right" every time you drive past a layby on an A road? My Go 950 does this and it drives me up the wall. Also, does it know the difference between a sharp bend and a junction?

Bernard

November 4, 2013, 5:57 pm

Tom Tom completely screwed me last summer. I have one of their nav. devices that had the data for North America (NA) loaded on it at purchase. I traveled to France last summer and so, prior to my trip, I bought and attempted to load the Euro data onto it via the Tom Tom web site. To make this work I had to delete the NA data first. I did this and then attempted to load the Euro data. The loading process did not appear to work and when I tried to run the software it gave me a “no data” message. So I called the customer care and technical services and some numskull assured me that the error message was purely the result of me trying to run the unit in NA when the data was all European. I explained that I did not think it was actually loaded and I was assured several times that I was simply confused and that the data was on the device etc. etc. Of course when I got to France the device gave me the same bloody message. What a surprise!! So I ended up using my phone for all of my navigation and had to pay a few hundred dollars to cover the related roaming charges. To cap all of this, when finally got home the stupid device would not load the NA data either. So I now have a useless Tom Tom, and their stupid, inept, technomoron department are unable/unwilling to help.

Andrew

January 1, 2014, 12:53 am

sorry to say good features but rubbish maps in Australia last week travelled to Great ocean rd and it kept taking to long and incorrect routes finally the Information officer said to stop using Tomtom as it was the worst in that area really depressed and had to follow the maps

Guest

July 19, 2014, 7:36 pm

They say lifetime updates, but if you read on the TomTom page it says something else. Free updates as long as the device is supported. I just ordered this one and didn't read the fine print until after I ordered.

Ron Rice

July 26, 2014, 3:58 am

Tomtom 600: pretty, but not too useful. When my tomtom 570xl died i tried the other brand. I was tempted to toss the thing out the window on several occasions. I do a lot of driving for work so when i got fed up with it, i wanted to buy the best navigator I could find. The tomtom 600 was the latest product they produced so I bought one. I was excited to use it but have been very disappointed. When i called tomtom to see if i could get the time of day to display on the screen they hung up on me. I have to find 8 addresses a day around town. 1st. I have to tap the screen a lot more to find an address. Ex: Tap search>alpha keyboard showes up. then you got to switch to numerals to start the address. then switch to alpha for street names/>adress shows you tap it>location of address shows on map>you tap again>route shoes on map>you tap again to navigate. NUMBERS AND LETTERS SHOULD BE ON ONE SCREEN. ONCE ADDRESS IS FOUND YOU SHOULD ONLY TAP ONE TIME TO START NAVIGATION. Its a huge screen! Plenty of room for numbers and letters and symbols and stuff like : ave, st, pl, ln, and other thoughtful shortcuts. 2nd. No clock. no option for a clock, date or time left on travel. 3rd. No road blockage detour function. If you come up on an accident and the road is blocked, this unit will not help you find an alternative route. 4th. address of destination does not show or is audible as you arrive. "destination on the right" is not helpful when there are 6 houses there. I always have to go back to my work order to find the right house. 5th. Traffic data. Once its set up, it works pretty good. Maybe "once" is misleading here. You have to "pair" the unit every time you power it up. Unlike an ear piece that once you search, and approve and pair, it automatically connects and works when powered up. Not this tomtom. Its only after you find yourself in bumper to bumper that you realize the traffic data is not working. 6. Stock voice. ARE YOU KIDDING ME! Its like its the female version of Hawkings in there. Hello atari 64. the alternate voices are better but you have to change the distances from feet to yards. 7. No real option settings. Regrettably , I give this one a "3" on a 1 to 10 scale. I gave it that only because the large screen and decent mounting. Defiantly not a professional device.

MasterElwood

August 27, 2014, 4:07 pm

"However, the TomTom GO 500
and 400 reduce the price still further, with the only downside being
smaller screens, so they are more economical if you don't need a massive
screen."

Not true. The 600 has a MUCH higher screen resolution. That makes a BIG difference...

Darren Pardoe

September 28, 2014, 3:55 pm

Hold down the top row of letters, they turn into numbers within a second ;)

Darren Pardoe

September 28, 2014, 4:00 pm

I just purchaded this from Halfords for £149 & im getting a rebate of £30. Awesome bargain. This tomtom is 100x better than previous tomtom devices I have owned. Cant rate it enough. If your having problems, then your doing it wrong or the device is faulty.

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