- Review Price: £243.00
Regular sat-nav watchers may have noticed subtle changes in TomTom’s latest naming strategy. The model number is now last, after the LIVE, and the 5 in the 1005’s name denotes a 5in display. This may be only 0.7in larger diagonally than the GO LIVE 1000’s 4.3in screen, but the result is a noticeably bigger device. With the same extremely clear LCD panel technology, the GO LIVE 1005 has one of the easiest displays to see currently available.
As with the GO LIVE 1000, and Via LIVE 120, the GO LIVE 1005 has a much improved menu structure compared to previous TomToms. Instead of offering a seemingly endless series of option pages, the initial screen presents just six icons, including the all-important location search. This is split into the usual address or Points of Interest (POI) sections, so you can’t search by keyword across both databases.
The POI system does have a free search, but the address database requires you to know the postcode or city location of your intended street destination. This is not as friendly as Mio’s Navman Spirit or Motorola’s MOTONAV devices. These offer a single unified keyword search that will bring up both addresses and POIs, in particular allowing you to find a street without knowing precisely which town it’s in.
Routing, however, is the most sophisticated yet. The GO LIVE 1005 doesn’t calculate its routes in the traditional way, on the fly. Instead, like the GO LIVE 1000 and Via Live 120, it has all possible routes between different destinations pre-calculated, so it simply has to look up the right one. The system also incorporates IQ Routes, so it takes account of the time of day and day of week you’re travelling to figure out road speed. We tried a selection of destinations, and found those closer than 50 miles took a couple of seconds to calculate, and even routes of hundreds of miles between the centres of distant cities took 10 seconds or less.
Another important icon on the initial screen leads to the LIVE services, TomTom’s mobile data-enabled facilities. Chief amongst these is of course HD Traffic. This augments the traditional Trafficmaster-based RDS-TMC system with triangulation of TomTom LIVE devices and Vodafone mobile phones to provide a more detailed picture of traffic jams. With updates delivered every few minutes over the mobile data link, this is the most responsive jam-detection system currently available.
The rapid routing really comes into its own when you encounter a jam, too. Assuming you’re stationary, and HD Traffic has picked up the blockage, just hit the bar on the right of the screen, then the Minimise Delays menu option. Within a few seconds, an alternative route will be displayed, and you can make your way out of the gridlock. Most traffic-enabled sat-navs offer this kind of facility, but having an alternative provided this rapidly means you can use it safely in stop-start jams. The software may also reroute you automatically, depending on your settings.
The remaining LIVE services aren’t unique. Google Local Search is on hand, providing a much wider database of POIs than the one stored locally. You can find these freely by keyword across an entire country. There are up-to-date weather reports for your current location, your destination or another place of your choosing. The locations of speed cameras are also kept up to date via LIVE, and the mobile data link itself is used to provide a quick, rough coordinate fix, to speed up GPS lock.
Overall, TomTom doesn’t offer as many LIVE services as some data-enabled sat-navs, such as Garmin’s, but the most important ones are in evidence, particularly HD Traffic. You can get some of the features in other European countries, too. TomTom has also significantly reduced the cost of its LIVE services. You get a year’s usage out of the box, and then the annual subscription is £47.50, around half what LIVE cost when it was launched at the end of 2008.
In use, the map screen is essentially the same as before, with TomTom’s trademark comprehensive array of information at the bottom, and full-screen guidance graphics at complex motorway junctions. The most significant enhancement is the traffic bar on the right. This provides more data about incidents, telling you the distance to the next one and an estimate of the delay it will cause. Delays beyond that are also illustrated along the bar.
There are one or two other additional features, like the ability to add function buttons to the home screen for rapid recall, for example adding your current location to the Favourites list or enabling voice commands. The latter is a little rudimentary, as although it will recognise a number of voice commands, you can only enter addresses via the city-street-number method – you can’t even search for a postcode verbally.
The mounting system is also worth mentioning. This is the same as the GO LIVE 1000’s, and uses magnets to hold the device in place. The car power adapter cable is also held firmly onto the device by magnets. So all you need to do is place the GO LIVE 1005 approximately on its cradle and it snaps into place. Similarly, removal is a doddle.
The extra screen real estate may be the only difference between the TomTom GO LIVE 1005 and the European mapping version of the 1000, and you pay a £40 premium for this 0.7in greater display. But that means it’s still the same cracking navigational device, only easier to see. For everyday travellers, we’d still recommend opting for the smaller version as our premium choice, but if visibility is important, the GO LIVE 1005 is just as good, in a bigger package.
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