- Page 1 TrustedReviews Awards 2010
- Page 2 Laptops Award 2010
- Page 3 Best PC
- Page 4 Computers Award 2010
- Page 5 Best Mobile Sat-Nav Application
- Page 6 Best Sat-Nav
- Page 7 Sat-Nav Award 2010
- Page 8 Best Smartphone
- Page 9 Best Budget Mobile Phone
- Page 10 Mobile Phone Award 2010
- Page 11 Best PC Component
- Page 12 Best PC Monitor
- Page 13 Readers’ Choice: Product of the Year
- Page 14 Product of the Year 2010
- Page 15 Best Software
- Page 16 Best Budget Printer
- Page 17 Best Workgroup Printer
- Page 18 Best Home Office Printer
- Page 19 Best Photo Printer
- Page 20 Printer Award 2010
- Page 21 Best Portable Media Player
- Page 22 Best Home Audio Product
- Page 23 Digital Camera Award 2010
- Page 24 Best Projector
- Page 25 Best TV Over £750
- Page 26 Best TV Under £750
- Page 27 Televisions and Projectors Awards 2010
- Page 28 Best Desktop-Replacement Laptop
- Page 29 Best Netbook
- Page 30 Best Portable Laptop
- Page 31 Best Budget Compact Digital Camera
- Page 32 Best Advanced Compact Digital Camera
- Page 33 Best Headphone Product
- Page 34 Best Surround Sound Product
- Page 35 Best Blu-ray Player
- Page 36 Home Cinema Award 2010
- Page 37 Best Overall Camcorder
- Page 38 Best Budget Camcorder
- Page 39 Camcorder Award 2010
- Page 40 Best DSLR and System Cameras
- Page 41 Readers’ Choice: Company of the Year
Satellite navigation has experienced two major trends in 2010: the arrival of competitors to TomTom’s groundbreaking LIVE services, and the resurgence of the smartphone app as a viable alternative. The two trends are not so far apart, either, as data connectivity is central to them both.
With LIVE services, data connectivity was added to sat-nav devices which were previously passive. TomTom pioneered this idea at the end of 2008, providing facilities like the more regularly updated HD Traffic service and Google Local Search. The former is the most sophisticated system yet for routing you round jams as they emerge, and the latter provides a valuable, freely searchable extension to traditional Points of Interest.
Now, however, Garmin, Motorola and Navigon have added data connectivity to some of their high-end models, and even included extra features TomTom doesn’t yet offer. Motorola takes a particularly novel approach with its Motonav TN550 and TN760t. Instead of having mobile data connectivity built in, these devices piggyback on your phone, but without using tethering. They place small phone calls to retrieve the necessary data, which means the services can be used with any Bluetooth-equipped mobile, and also in areas where cellular data coverage is poor.
Of the new features TomTom LIVE doesn’t offer, the most eye-catching is the flight status update ability. This won’t be something you use every day, unless you drive a taxi on the airport run, but will be useful if you do need to make flights a few times a year. However, no sat-nav maker has managed to outdo the TomTom HD Traffic, which remains the best reason to have a LIVE-enabled navigation device.
If you own a powerful smartphone, however, you already have a data-enabled device in your pocket. So, in theory, you don’t even need the maps installed locally on the device – you can download the latest versions when required. In our opinion, this strategy is as flawed as any pure cloud-computing strategy, as you’re unable to use this kind of service when out of data range.
Despite this, on-demand sat-nav services such as Google Maps Navigation and Telmap5 now provide a very respectable service when data is sufficient, and the former of these is even available for free with Android-based handsets. So you won’t even need to pay for capable navigation. Nevertheless, you’re still better off with locally stored maps if you want a dependable service, particularly when travelling. So two of our three contenders this year will work whether or not you have data coverage.