Don’t know your GPS from your GDP? The TomTom Start satnav aims to hold your hand and ease you in to the world of navigation, with a pared down, easy to use UI, so even those who can’t tell their left from right won’t get lost. But is it worth it when all those fancy LIVE frills are available on better models? Read on and find out in our TomTom Start review.
The TomTom Start may be an entry level effort from the Dutch mobile map wizard, but that doesn’t mean it’s skimped on the hardware with it. The TomTom Start is a rock solid satnav with a bright, crisp 3.5-inch screen that squeezes more info on to it at one time than the Mio Navman M400. And unlike on the latest XL model, TomTom’s genius windscreen sucker has been built right in, so it won’t split in to two pointless pieces.
So far though, so TomTom One. What’s the difference? The twist is that the menus, mapping and screens have been streamlined to help even the most technophobic of motorists shaving time off their routes with a satnav. Fire the TomTom Start up and you’ll be presented with just two big buttons, Plan Route and Browse Map, with essential toggles like sound, day or night view, help and options viewed underneath.
Setting your destination and following it is simple as, and with IQ Routes on board for routing based on statistical journey times at certain times of day, you’ll be matching any other TomTom for journey time, except those with realtime traffic info via a pricey LIVE subscription. The only grumble we have with the TomTom Start’s layout is that advanced lane guidance is a goner. It’s a genuine help on the massive outer London junctions and gyratories we test satnavs on, and a feature all motorists could do with, not just the gadget friendly drivers.
The TomTom Start’s cases are our main point of contention, however. While we’ve got no major gripes with the TomTom Start’s build and navigation, we’re a bit baffled as to why the company thought pretty colours would be a selling point, when you shouldn’t be taking your eyes off the road anyway. A more visible lime green satnav doesn’t let you show your personality, it’s just more likely to get stolen. Unless you’re a moth, don’t bother with the extra cases at £15.
The TomTom Start is a great little gadget if your tech kit shy kid has just passed their test, but anyone with the patience to read a manual and look beyond the neon shades, at £10 more, should opt for the TomTom One instead.