TomTom Start 60 Europe review
Satnav apps on smartphones are so cheap nowadays that standalone devices seem almost old-fashioned. Yet they’re still TomTom’s bread and butter, and its new range is certainly worth considering.
The Start 60 sits at the top of the firm’s “basics” range, and is notable principally for its huge screen. Measuring 6in across, with a resolution of 800 x 480, it’s the biggest standalone satnav device we’ve tested.
It certainly makes for a better driving experience than satnav on most smartphones, but it does require a little more care than usual as far as positioning is concerned. The Start 60 is extremely wide, measuring 165mm across, and its broad profile can eat into your view of the road.
Otherwise, TomTom has done a good job in keeping things shaved back physically: it’s very light and slim, and features a hinged, integrated mounting system that sticks it securely to the windscreen and folds flat against the rear of the device when not in use.
As it’s one of TomTom’s bottom-end satnavs, the Start 60 doesn’t have an integrated SIM card and GPRS modem, and that means no traffic alerts via TomTom HD Traffic. It is possible to add an FM-based TMC receiver for traffic, but this isn’t as comprehensive or accurate a service.
Critically, however, it does have both TomTom’s IQ Routes and Map Share features, with full mapping of 45 European countries onboard. On the road, the Start 60 performed impeccably.
We tested it while driving around London for a couple of weeks, and couldn’t find fault with the accuracy of the maps. The voice instructions were always timed to perfection, the volume of the speaker loud enough to make out over a radio at moderate volume, and the routes chosen were on the money every time.
There are criticisms. In central London, among the tall buildings along Upper Thames Street, the device lost GPS contact a couple of times. The lack of GPRS connection means no Google search, so there’s no fall back if your destination doesn’t happen to be in the POI database.
As a result, it failed to locate by name some of the locations on our test route: Stapleford Airfield, Redbridge Library and Seven Kings High School. Clearly, with this satnav, it pays to have the postcode and full address details for a destination or you might well get stuck.
Perhaps more significantly, we think the price is on the high side. With the similar, yet only slightly smaller 5in TomTom Start 25 available for around £120, you’d have to want the extra inch awfully badly to want to spend another £40 on it.
|GPS recommended use||In-car|
|Map data provider||Tele Atlas|
|Resolution||800 x 480|
|In-car mount type||Windscreen|
|External GPS antenna included?||no|
|Front panel memory card reader||yes|
|Sync via cable?||yes|
|Sync via cradle?||no|
|Traffic information||Via optional TMC receiver|
|Dimensions||163 x 37 x 103mm (WDH)|