TomTom One review
TomTom likes to impress us with high-end features – see, for example, the luxurious TomTom Go 930 Traffic. But not everyone needs a snazzy GPS, and not everyone wants to pay £350 for one. The TomTom One ditches the bells and whistles to offer basic guidance at a cut-down price.
That doesn’t mean it’s underpowered. Far from it: it’s fast and very responsive, acquiring a satellite lock in under a minute in our tests. Then it’ll give directions (in TomTom’s trademark “Jane” voice or a selection of others) to any postcode or address in the UK or Ireland. For an extra £20, you can get a version that covers all of Europe.
Its guidance is clear and accurate enough for everyday use, but be wary of following it blindly on roundabouts: by the time it says “take the exit”, you may already have passed it.
Still, its route planning options are versatile: you can choose to travel via a particular place, or avoid a certain road. You can keep off motorways or even stick to pedestrian or cycle routes. Stray from the recommended path and it’ll automatically work out a new route in a matter of seconds.
It’ll warn you about toll roads and speed cameras too, and if you get into trouble you can use TomTom’s “Help Me” feature to direct you to the nearest hospital, garage, police station or even dentist.
Through it all, the interface is as clear and intuitive as any of TomTom’s offerings, though it’s touch-screen only: there’s no voice recognition, which you get with more expensive models.
What you don’t get
The feature we really missed is TomTom’s IQ Routes system. This lets the more expensive models take real-world journey times into account when planning a route. Without it, the TomTom One has to rely on posted speed limits. As a result, in our test drives, it directed us onto main roads at busy times when a smarter system might have cut around the backstreets.
You also don’t get TomTom’s lane guidance, which ensures you’re in the right lane when you come to a junction. Nor does the One take live traffic into account – though you can buy the traffic receiver as an optional accessory.
Thankfully, it does support TomTom’s MapShare system, so if the road layout changes you don’t have to wait for TomTom’s map-makers to notice it: any TomTom user can make the correction and share it with other MapShare users.
The 3.5in screen means directions aren’t quite as clear as larger models, but the One’s compact size makes it extremely convenient. It’s ideal for throwing in a pocket or bag, and when you want to use it, a simple vacuum clamp attaches it to your windscreen – absolutely no installation required.
At £110 the TomTom One isn’t quite a pocket-money device; and though its routes are never crazy, they’re not always the quickest possible. But if you just want some reassuring guidance for the odd trip it’s a great, simple choice.