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TomTom Start 60 Review

Pros

  • Clear 6in screen with good viewing angles
  • Speed camera locations
  • European maps

Cons

  • No live services
  • Not quite budget pricing

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £162.66
  • 6in widescreen display
  • Maps for 45 European countries
  • Speed camera locations and reporting
  • Advanced Lane Guidance graphics
  • RDS-TMC traffic ready

We continually check thousands of prices to show you the best deals. If you buy a product through our site we will earn a small commission from the retailer – a sort of automated referral fee – but our reviewers are always kept separate from this process. You can read more about how we make money in our Ethics Policy.
Sat-nav screen sizes have been expanding over the last couple of years. Not long ago, your main choice would be between a budget device with a 3.5in non-widescreen, or a premium model with a 4.3in widescreen. Larger displays were reserved for specialist devices and truck drivers. But the prices of big-screen sat-navs have been falling steadily, with landmarks like Mio’s 5in Spirit 685 and Navman’s incredibly cheap 7in Panoramic. TomTom clearly doesn’t want to be left out of the big boy’s party, so we have the Start 60. It’s not exactly pocket friendly, but if you have problems seeing regularly-sized sat-navs (as some of our readers have argued), it could be just what you need.

The screen itself, other than the 6in diagonal, is bright and has decent viewing angles. The surface has a relatively matt finish, so although very bright direct sunlight can wash the image out quite a bit, reflections won’t completely obscure what’s onscreen. In other words, the Start 60 will fulfil its primary mission of being easier to see than regular sat-navs, in most conditions.

Other than the huge screen, however, the Start 60 is a pretty standard member of the Start range. It has the characteristic integrated mount, in common with the Via range, which is an arm hinged from one edge. This looks like it could seriously restrict your mounting options, and certainly screen attachment can be a little more awkward than devices using a separate mount. But there is one feature that potentially makes it more flexible. The screen will automatically flip when you turn the device around, which puts the arm at the bottom, so you can mount it sitting up from your dashboard rather than hanging down from the windscreen. A plastic disc is supplied which you can permanently afix to your dashboard, to provide a more effective mounting point for the Start 60’s suction cup.

Although, when the range first arrived, the Starts had a cut-down menu
system, now they use the same menu as every other TomTom sat-navs. This
is the vastly improved and more logical arrangement first introduced
with the
GO LIVE 1000 series. Pressing on the screen calls up the menu, which
has just six icons on the first page, rather than the pages of uniformly
weighted options found in previous generations. You can navigate to an
address or full UK postcode. There’s a traditional category-based Points
of Interest database that you can search by name, but you can’t search
for an address by keyword. You can save a Home location and a list of
Favourites, plus your previous destinations will be found in a Recents
list. You can navigate to latitude and longitude coordinates, too, and
the position of your last stop is recorded, useful for finding your way
back to where you left your car.

Despite the fact that this is not one of TomTom’s LIVE devices, there’s still a Services menu option, which takes you to the few options the Start 60 does have on offer. You can set up how you want speed cameras displayed, because this model comes with locations for these as standard. There’s an icon in the map screen for reporting any new speed cameras you encounter (although you can disable this). When you approach a camera location, the icon switches to a button for reporting a listed camera is no longer in existence. Of course, without a live data link, you will need to synchronise via the TomTom desktop computer software to upload your reports, and download the reports of others. The Start 60 is also traffic ready, but only for the RDS-TMC service, which requires a £49.99 optional extra receiver hardware.

A multi-point route planner is available, so you can figure out how long a journey will take in advance. This will even show you where the speed cameras can be found on your route, and current traffic conditions, if you have this optional upgrade. You can see where the nearest petrol station can be found along the proposed route, too, allowing you to add this as a waypoint. When a route is calculated, TomTom’s IQ Routes system is called upon, taking advantage of the company’s database of real historic traffic speeds along roads, so journeys will be based on real speeds not just limits, for greater accuracy. Further on in the main menu, there’s a help section available, too, which gives you useful emergency phone numbers, locations of nearby repair services, hospitals and such like, full details of your current location, and even first aid and mechanical repair guides.

TomTom’s usual map screen guides you through the route, and there are
full spoken street names to help you navigate without needing to look at
the screen. Your speed and the prevailing limit are shown on the bottom
left. The next turning is detailed in the middle, and the right-hand
side shows the estimated arrival time and remaining journey duration. At
multi-lane junctions, the graphic at the bottom shows you which lane to
be in. At particularly important motorway junctions, the Advanced Lane
Guidance system displays a full-screen graphic as well with a
representation of the road signs to look out for as well. Overall,
navigation is clear both visually and verbally. You even get rapid
access to the car park Points of Interest category as you approach your
destination via an onscreen icon, which TomTom calls Park Assist.

Verdict

There’s
very little that’s unique about the Start 60, apart from the huge
screen, although it does come with European maps. It’s also not as
keenly priced as the oversized Mio and Navman offerings. It’s
particularly telling that TomTom’s own 4.3in widescreen Via LIVE 120 can
be obtained for quite a bit less, even the version with European maps.
So this leaves you with a choice. Regular travellers will gain
considerable benefits from the LIVE services, particularly HD Traffic,
making the lesser-screened LIVE device the better choice, even if you
will have to pay for an annual subscription after a year. But if you’re
not a rush-hour commuter and want the everyday TomTom navigational
features in a more visible format, the Start 60 is reasonable, if not
outstanding value.

We continually check thousands of prices to show you the best deals. If you buy a product through our site we will earn a small commission from the retailer – a sort of automated referral fee – but our reviewers are always kept separate from this process. You can read more about how we make money in our Ethics Policy.

Trusted Score


Score in detail

  • Battery Life 8
  • Value 8
  • Features 8
  • Performance 8
  • Design 8
  • Usability 8

Features

Screen Size (inches) (Inch) 6in
Display Type Color
General Features IQ Routes, Speed Camera Locations
Hands Free No

Physical Specifications

Live Services No
Battery life (Hour) 2hr
Height (Millimeter) 105mm
Width (Millimeter) 165mm
Depth (Millimeter) 24mm
Weight (Gram) 236g