Review Price £49.99
During navigation, the map view is as clear as we have come to expect from TomTom. In landscape mode, your current speed is shown on the top right, with your expected arrival time, distance and time to destination beneath. To the left is the traffic bar, if this feature has been enabled (see below), and underneath both of these is an icon showing your next turning with its distance. The map fills the rest of the screen. All standard TomTom fare, and in portrait mode, the traffic bar remains on the right, but everything else moves to the bottom. You can report a speed camera location using an onscreen icon, which is more discreet than on TomTom's standalone sat-navs. If you are in the zone of a camera on the map, you can report that it isn't there as well.
Spoken instructions, which can also be routed through the Android version of the TomTom Hands Free Car Kit, are clear and provided in good time for you to make any turnings or junctions. Also aiding with this is TomTom's Advanced Lane Guidance, which presents a full-screen graphic of a junction as you approach it. This a realistic view, and shows how far to the junction, any road signs to look out for, and most importantly which lanes on a multi-lane motorway turn into the junction, so you can be in one of them in good time.
Where TomTom's Android app surpasses the competition is where the company has been surpassing the competition for some years - live traffic updates. Like the iPhone app, on Android you can get the brilliant TomTom HD Traffic, which has recently been upgraded to its sixth incarnation. This will set you back £3.99 a month, or £26.99 for a whole year, but if you do tend to travel a lot during peak times it's an absolute godsend, providing jam-free routes much more effectively than any other traffic update system we have tested. The live speed camera updates are also extra. These cost £1.49 a month, or £16.99 a year. Even for scrupulously honest drivers, it's a very useful feature for avoiding unnecessary fines, although having both these updates and HD Traffic will set you back almost as much every year as the Europe app itself.
At least for the launch, TomTom has delivered its Android app at a relatively competitive price, unlike the Garmin StreetPilot for iPhone app. The company has also sweetened the deal by throwing in free lifetime map updates, which seems to be the trend at the moment. TomTom Navigation for Android is essentially the same as the iPhone version in its core features, give or take a few features - no social networking integration is included yet, for example. If you just make the occasional journey, in areas with good 3G connectivity, Google Maps Navigation might still be enough for you. But the TomTom app will turn your Android phone into a navigation device as good as a standalone TomTom model, for a fraction of the cost - assuming you have a model compatible with the screen size limitations.
Trusted Reviews is part of the Time Inc. (UK) Ltd Technology Network