TomTom Go 720 review

£281
Price when reviewed

Although TomTom is the clear leader in the UK satnav market, the firm isn’t resting on its laurels. The new Go 720 isn’t just bursting with features, but boasts some genuinely brilliant innovations which are sure to become the norm in the future.

As well as using the latest version of the excellent Navigator guidance software and including the latest maps of Western Europe on its internal memory, there’s a bright 4.3in widescreen and integrated Bluetooth.

This means you can pair your phone with the 720 for “Plus” services such as weather and traffic. What’s more, it can also be used for hands-free calling, while incoming text messages can be read aloud using the text-to-speech engine. You can even type text messages on the unit, call contacts from your phone book and copy the entire address book across to the device.

If you have a Bluetooth-enabled car stereo, audio can be routed through that, but for those who don’t there’s also a built-in FM transmitter to do the same job – all you have to do is tune your radio to the frequency you set in the 720’s menu.

However, the killer feature that makes the Go 720 the king of satnavs is Map Share – the ability to make map corrections via the device itself. You can add new roads, block or unblock streets, change names, reverse traffic directions and add or remove motorway entrances and exits. You can also update Points of Interest, including safety camera locations.

The 720 comes with a USB dock, allowing you to connect it to the TomTom Home software on your PC to upload or download the latest changes. You can choose which updates to download, so you can opt only for TomTom-verified changes or – if you’re more trusting – all updates submitted by other Go 520 or 720 users.

As the number of Map Share users increases, companies who make and update maps should start to worry – click here to find out why. Currently, though, Map Share is only available to users with the latest maps. That means you have to buy a map update from TomTom at least once a year – at a cost of 99 Euros for the Western Europe map – in order to carry on sharing changes. It means that Tele Atlas and Navteq won’t be putting a Closed sign in their respective doors just yet.

Another useful inclusion is the ‘Help me’ menu button. This includes options to phone for help (phone numbers for emergency services, the AA, police stations and hospitals are pre-loaded) and buttons for drive to help, walk to help and a first aid guide provided by the Red Cross.

There’s also a repair and maintenance guide which gives instructions for emergencies like changing a wheel.

Finally, there’s an MP3 player and photo viewer crammed in – up to 2GB of photos and music can be loaded using the SD card slot underneath. Add the light sensor for auto brightness control, road names and numbers that are clearly read aloud, the ability to record your own voice – and then speech recognition for navigating to stored addresses – and the Go 720 is great value even at this lofty price.

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