TomTom Start 20 Review



  • 4.3in widescreen
  • Same menu system as higher-end models
  • 4GB memory


  • The RDS-TMC receiver add-on is expensive
  • 5in models now available for same price
  • Integrated screen mount

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £99.99
  • 4.3in widescreen
  • UK and Ireland maps
  • Full UK postcode entry
  • RDS-TMC traffic ready
  • European version also available

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If you’re on a tight budget, you used to be confined to a 3.5in non-widescreen sat-nav. But with 5in models falling inexorably in price, and the Mio Spirit 685 in particular costing around £100, the 4.3in widescreen models have had to follow suit. TomTom’s Start used to be the 3.5in model, with the XL offering the 4.3in display. Now the Start 20 brings the larger screen size to the budget end of the market, and this offers 480 x 272 pixels of resolution, the same as TomTom’s high-end GO LIVE 1000.

But the bigger display is not the only enhancement. The mounting system has been upgraded to the one used on the Via Live 120 and GO LIVE 825. Instead of a detachable ring, which was always a little fiddly, a permanently attached ball-jointed arm is used. This still folds relatively flat, so the Start 20 can be carried in a pocket from car to car if required. The car power cable is now TomTom’s standard two-piece affair, so the wire can be separated from the plug and used to hook the Start 20 up to a PC for downloading extra maps and updates. The Start 20 comes with 4GB of internal memory, regardless of whether you get the European or UK and Ireland-only model. So a full set of Western European maps can be stored on the device unlike Mio’s Spirit 685.

TomTom had chosen to simplify its menu with previous Starts. This was really rather complex for the newcomer to sat-navs or occasional user. But the menu introduced with the GO LIVE 1000 and Via Live 120 is a lot more streamlined, so it made sense to bring this to entry-level devices as well. Touching the screen in map view takes you to a simple six-icon main menu, which then takes you to further submenus of extra choices.

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