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on 3 July 2013
If you are someone who already owns a TomTom SatNav, and if you are someone who loves the TomTom user interface design with its many features and customisations, you need to think very carefully before you cough up your cash for the new Go experience. Unfortunately it is all too easy to be swayed by the "free" headlines and the lovely map images appearing in the product marketing photos. Behind this sexy exterior, which does genuinely look nice, lies a complete concept revamp that is a hard pill to swallow to the TomTom converted.

The first major shock to overcome is the realization that this is a very stripped-down device which delivers navigation in one way only - and if you don't like it, that's tough. There is a notable absence of the many customisations that have made TomToms deliver what you want the way you want it, visually and functionally. I would guess that 90% (I joke not) of the menus you'd have found on say a TomTom Go Live 1005, are simply nowhere to be seen on the new Go 500, not even in some other incarnation. Of course that's a double-edge sword because I suspect even the TomTom officiando will admit there were many more menus than they could find the time to use and these could make the device seem a little complicated, but in TomTom's attempt to strip this SatNav down to basics, I think they've gone way too far and now omitted frequent customisations that previously made TomToms stand out above their rivals. I think TomTom are trying to appeal to the less demanding, vanilla ice cream, perhaps even slightly techno-phobic user.

Let's start with the "road view" (perspective) map display. An unusual choice of colours you'll probably think. So you'll try to change it to something more familiar. Tough! I'm afraid the default colour scheme is the ONLY colour scheme. And it's a pretty rubbish scheme at that. In "road view" practically every road which is not on your blue selected route is a dark grey colour, be that a motorway, an A, B or C-road (it seems only minor roads have the privilege of being white). So at a glance, especially when you come up to a complex junction, your screen becomes a mess of dark lines making it very hard to identify that A-road that you know must be somewhere off to the right. And as for those fancy pseudo-3D rendered buildings appearing in all of the marketing shots that give you the "Ooooo" feeling when you first set eyes upon them... Well, unless you happen to live in a major city you'll really not see a single 3D building anywhere.

Another simple but subtle change: Speed cameras no longer appear alongside the road where they were so easy to spot. Now they're off to the right of the screen in the traffic info area forcing you to follow the countdown distance to work out where they might be. Doh! Why-o-why make this silly change?

Then there's the automatic route scaling (which I had disabled on my previous device because I found it very annoying) - this is forced ON with no option to change it.

Overall, regarding the "road view" display, it now seems dull, simple an uninspiring which is really such a shame. You spend 90%+ of your time in the main "road view" display and now it really looks bad - nothing like the shots that grab your attention in the marketing photos and which probably lure the prospective customer to hit "Buy". A deliberate tactic? I don't know but I personally find it at best misleading of TomTom not to include a normal "road view" in their marketing photos because that's what you'll see most of the time.

Another item I liked on my old TomTom was to be asked whether I preferred to take the fastest route, shortest route or to avoid motorways (etc) each time I plotted a route. And now? No, that's tough. You will get the fastest route which you must then change once the route is plotted. Seems clunky.

In an earlier version of this review I had complained at the poor implementation of POIs, as others had also noted. Following some feedback from TomTom I can see that these do exist via a slightly different concept. I don't prefer it but I'll accept that I can't be quite as negative as I was before. Nevertheless, I still had the issue that the way POIs are displayed, especially regarding my local petrol stations and car parks, were misleading.

Unfortunately there are so many examples of change, big and small, that I now barely recognize it as a TomTom at all.

The other potentially very big "gotcha" that is nowhere mentioned in TomTom's marketing blurb is the precise requirements necessary to get your live traffic updates - a brilliant feature of the Live series TomToms and far superior to competitor offerings. With this SatNav these live services are obtained only by connecting to a data service through your mobile phone. But that's OK you think (as I did) because most mobiles these days come with a data contract and most have Bluetooth connectivity. However what they fail to spell out is that your SatNav needs to be "tethered" to your mobile and use it as a hotspot. For me, I have now discovered that my iPhone has had this feature disabled by the provider who is unable to change that arrangement due to some politics between BT and Vodafone. So having bought the SatNav 95% on the availability of free live traffic via my mobile (I was OK with this concept), I am now unable to use it unless I buy a separate mobile phone with a different contract. Of course if your phone does support tethering you are fine, so this need not be a problem for all. But for me, I now have a £200 SatNav that looks very pretty, has up to date maps (that's good), but no traffic. BE CAREFUL.

Despite my disappointment, there are definitely SOME positives of the device. The 2D map and route planning view is extremely nicely rendered. The pinching, scrolling and tapping are intuitive and reliable. And the operation of all the menus is much faster than I've had on any TomTom previously. The routing is quick as well and the overview clear. But these niceties sadly fail to make up for some simple but very important shortcomings. After 5 days of frustrated use, I decided to return mine to TomTom.

Overall, for many reasons I cannot give the new TomTom Go 500 more than a 2 star. But that's me - I am a TomTom lover. Well, I was. I am all for TomTom trying to make things a bit more simple but I am really disappointed with some of the radical decisions TomTom have taken with this stripped-down device which will likely take other TomTom enthusiasts by surprise in the wrong direction. Ironic.
4141 comments|272 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
TOP 50 REVIEWERon 9 August 2013
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---- UPDATED (16/06/15) REVIEW BEGINS ----
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*** I try to update this review regularly, but to see the full (and current) list of software updates, visit the TomTom website here http://bit.ly/VtrbFW. This review relates to software version 15.202 and all previous ***

This is an in depth product review (updated after around 24 months use) for TomTom's premium navigation device, the GO 6000 (but will also largely apply to any of the GO X0, GO X00/X10 and GO X000/X100 devices - for this reason, I have also placed this review within their respective pages). My aim is to provide an honest viewpoint that will help you make a decision about purchasing, whether you're a complete newcomer to sat-navs, or use them on a daily basis. In certain aspects, I will compare this device to my previous sat-nav, a TomTom GO LIVE 1005 World. In recent reviews of TomTom's latest sat-navs I have seen a worrying trend of consumers buying a product without really realising what that specific model can, and more importantly can't do. I will attempt to enlighten you all.

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---- TOMTOM GO X0/X00/X10/X000/X100 PRODUCT RANGE DIFFERENCES ----

Let's get this out the way.
Around May/June 2015, TomTom updated most of their lines of sat-navs, which makes updating this review more than a little complicated. The reason being, just because TomTom no longer sell certain models on their website, doesn't mean that you can't still buy them, so I will try and encompass every model of the GO that you can currently purchase - here goes...

GO SERIES = THREE RANGES:
There are essentially three ranges of sat-navs within the GO series. Each starts with a number. This number designates the screen size in inches (e.g. GO 50 and GO 5000 have a 5" screen, GO 600 and GO 6100 have a 6" screen). When I talk about the X0 series, I'm simply referring to either the GO 40, 50 or 60.
If you're comparing sat-navs within the same range, then as far as I'm aware, the only differences are going to be screen size and screen resolution (resolution improving as you go up screen sizes). All of the GO sat-navs have the same software within them.
I will attempt to outline the range differences below, here goes...

ENTRY LEVEL RANGE:
GO 40 - GO 50 - GO 60
This is the cheapest range of the series. They are entry level sat-navs. The major (with a capital 'M') feature that differentiates these devices from the other GO sat-navs, is that they have a resistive screen. The mid-range and premium range sat-navs all have capacitive screens. A resistive screen registers pressure on the screen, so it's older technology, therefore costing less. Capacitive screens are what you'll find on all modern smartphones; smooth glass that require no actual pressure on the screen to register input. Capacitive is more modern, and better in my opinion, therefore costing more. If you'll be wearing big heavy gloves when using your sat-nav, then a resistive screen will be better (unless of course the gloves are designed to work with touch screens!).
Connection to Live services (i.e. traffic) is done via a smartphone (explained further just below).

MID-RANGE:
GO 500 - GO 600 (both discontinued by TomTom)
GO 510 - GO 610
This is where it gets a little complicated. Until very recently, you used to be able to buy the GO 500/600 from the TomTom website; you no longer can. I realise that when they say a product has `lifetime' something (for example maps), that is for the lifetime of the product, not you! I believe if you were to buy a GO 500/600 now, they would still be supported in terms of updates, but that's something I'd recommend you confirm with TomTom prior to purchase.
These mid-range sat-navs use capacitive screens, so in my opinion are better than the entry-level range. This range compares directly to the premium range, but differs in one major way - connectivity. This mid-range (just like the entry-level range) offering connects to TomTom Live services (i.e. traffic) via a smartphone. This simply means that you need a smartphone (I believe only iPhone or Android) with you at all times if you want to get traffic updates, which you do. To find out if your phone is compatible: http://goo.gl/KQx346. Keep in mind you will be using up data on your phone, so review your contract etc before purchase.
The updated GO 510/610 models add lifetime world maps and lifetime speed cameras to the mix.

PREMIUM RANGE:
GO 5000 - GO 6000 (both discontinued by TomTom)
GO 5100 - GO 6100
These are the premium sat-navs from TomTom. They have a capacitive screen, and are 'always connected'. Simply put, they get traffic updates automatically, as they have a sim-card inside. There is no need to connect your phone to it ever, or even have your phone with you.
As with the mid-range, the new GO 5100/6100 models, now include lifetime world maps and lifetime speed cameras.

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---- AESTHETICS AND ACCESSORIES ----

It's beautiful. Simple.
I liked the look of my previous sat-nav, but in my opinion this is even more attractive. The corners are more rounded and I prefer the grey plastic on the front as opposed to the black. The 6 inch model is massive, but then it was always going to be. With a recent software update, you can now change the size of text and buttons; small, medium or large. I prefer the small, but I imagine people with eyesight issues will be glad of this enlarging ability.
Bottom line, I love the size of the 6" sat-nav and don't regret it. If justification to the wife for forking out extra for a bigger screen is needed, then you can always claim it's safer!

The supplied window mount is just like the one provided with my old GO LIVE 1005, only better. I had a few issues with the old one where I'd slot the device into the mount, and just presume it was charging, only for it to die at the most inopportune moment. This time, the charging cable (micro-USB & same length as previous) plugs directly into the back of the mount, never touching the actual sat-nav. The magnet holding the device in place is also stronger than previously, as anything less than a firm pull will simply tilt the mount. To date, this is the best window mount for any sat-nav I have owned/used, it just works.

Two years ago, none of the GO series came with a case. I purchased TomTom's own universal case for 6 inch sat-navs for £20 from Amazon. I wasn't massively impressed. In the first six months, it was a tight fit; I mean very tight. Once opened you could hold it upside down and the sat-nav wouldn't budge. This might be a plus for some, but for me it became a pain to put in and out, something that would surely push the security-stupid to leave it on show. The case provides protection from scratches, very minor spills and being bumped around in the glove box. I would NOT want to drop it from normal holding height, even onto carpet. The interior of the case is designed in such a way that forces me to put the sat-nav in backwards, avoiding the risk of the ridiculously placed positioning material scratching the screen (not the touch screen part, but still the glass surrounding it). Clearly designed late on a Friday afternoon! My leather case for my old 5 inch sat-nav was a lot better in my opinion, if they ever sell one for my GO 6000, I'll definitely get one. TomTom also do a huge case that I've never used/seen that can hold accessories, as well as varying cases for smaller devices.
All of this said, after around six months of use, the case loosened somewhat, and became slightly easier to live with. I'd still prefer my old case back however!

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---- NAVIGATION, TRAFFIC, MAPS AND SPEED CAMERAS ----

After around 24 months of use, I can confidently say this sat-nav is accurate in terms of arrival times and distances. On a recent 175 mile trip to Wales, my GO 6000 was spot on with arrival times and traffic - no issues.

The speed at which it finds your route is better than any sat-nav I have used before. I just performed a speed test. From the main map screen through to it having properly started navigating me for a 100 mile journey, took exactly 20 seconds. That included me typing in the address. The destination was new to the sat-nav, and was not stored in my favourites, or as they are now called 'Places'. Re-routing is fast. Not instant, but an average of 2-5 seconds and it realises what's going on. On previous models I have experienced lag round corners and roundabouts where it thinks I'm still an exit behind. Even while driving at speed, the GO series of sat-navs keeps up on the majority of occasions.

- THINGS YOU CAN DO TO YOUR CURRENT ROUTE -
- Clear route
- Find alternative
- Avoid blocked road (yes sports fans, it's finally here - not that I've ever needed it!)
- Avoid toll roads and more
- Add stop to route
- Add to my routes (save the route to your favourites effectively)
- Change route type (fastest, shortest, eco, avoid motorways, walking, cycling)
- Reorder stops
- Drive to route
- Play route preview (watch a sped-up version of your upcoming route)
- Show instructions

When arriving at a destination, it informs you of which side of the road the address is on and where the house number is. It is either exact, very close, or wildly off. When tested against Google Maps on my phone however, I get very similar results, with certain house number/road name combinations confusing it massively. On the whole, it is generally rather close to the house number you have entered.

- TRAFFIC -
TomTom in my opinion and experience provide better traffic updates than any other manufacturer. As mentioned previously, with all of the GO sat-navs, you get lifetime (the lifetime of the product) traffic for free. Can't complain. You again have the option of it automatically re-routing you, asking you what to do, or just ploughing on into known traffic.

- MAPS -
You now get lifetime (of the product) free map updates which results in at least four downloads a year.
As mentioned above, with the new X10/X100 models, you get lifetime world maps.

- SPEED CAMERAS -
On the entry-level range, as well as the older X00/X000 models, you get three months free speed cameras, at which point you can either try and spot those yellow ******** built deliberately behind trees with your own eyes, or pony up £20/year. Logically, £20 is a lot less than what you would pay having got caught. Fine, points, insurance boost etc. But that's how they get you; there are other options. I use a combination of TomTom speed cameras in my GO sat-nav, alongside my phone running the app 'CamerAlert', with the database from the guys at PGPSW; which from memory is a similar price.
With the new X10/X100 models, you now get lifetime speed cameras - a very handy addition, and something which I think it only fair when you're spending so much on a stand alone device.

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---- LAYOUT & FEATURES ----

At launch, the GO series was lacking a huge amount of features compared to its rivals; it was the very large, very pink, elephant in the room. I never really cared though, as they were features I never used. I fully realise that many, many people will have strong opinions about certain missing features, but at the end of the day, that's why there's more than one company that makes sat-navs. TomTom has decided that this is the direction they wish to take their company, so either hop-on-board, or jump-ship.

Below is a non-exhaustive list in no particular order (broken into twos for ease of reading), of things I like, things I don't like, and things I think you may find helpful, regarding the layout and features:

-- The navigation screen is super clean. No clutter. That's good. To the point where you find yourself looking for things. That's not so good. Only recently has the clock found its way to the navigation screen, and this is ONLY when you actually have a route input. If you're just driving around without a route, then no time is visible. This probably isn't a huge issue for most, but I regularly use this device in a vehicle where the clock has been removed, so the option of having a clock on at all times would be nice.
-- There is also no battery meter on the main screen, irrelevant of whether or not a route has been plotted or if the device is charging. It's simply not there. You must press the four little dots at the bottom left to go to the main menu to see your battery. If you are charging the device, then you can't actually see how much of a charge is remaining, without unplugging the sat-nav. Over a year ago I suggested that the vertical cylindrical shaped icon on the navigation screen for the + and - zoom buttons could simply be filled (transparently) up with colour when the battery is full, and have the colour slowly drain down when the battery does. Simple, effective, no extra clutter, and it would look great. A while ago a TomTom employee commented and said it was a good idea, but it obviously gained no traction, so don't hold your breath.

-- Another battery related issue is that no matter how good the wired connection is, at times (through either a slightly faulty wire or a nudge with my knee), the device stops charging. If you're staring intently at the screen, then this is shown with the screen getting slightly darker. If you're not looking at the screen (which chances are, you won't be!), then it's basically impossible to tell. Meaning the sat-nav can die part way through a long journey as it hasn't been charging for hours. I'd like a visual and/or auditory (user selected) warning, letting me know that the device has been unplugged. Something that means that either immediately as it's unplugged, or when I glance at it 5 mins later, it's clear that it's not charging!
-- With the new (as of 27/06/14) 'dynamic route bar', you can now have both the remaining time and distance, showed at the same time. Finally! This is only available if you actually activate the dynamic route bar from within the settings, which simply put, makes it wider. It's still transparent, so you're not really losing any of your screen real estate. If you choose to have the thinner route bar, then you can't view the remaining time/distance at the same time. You are instead forced to choose between one, or have them change every three seconds. Which is not only a personal hate of mine, but also difficult to understand at a glance. They have improved it by having 'mi' or 'min' now displayed in a contrasting white colour, which makes it easier to read, but still. At a glance it's easy to confuse them, which makes you stare at it for three straight seconds, which could create some issues! My advice (if you're just using the thinner, non-dynamic route bar) is to have it on time remaining only. The distance until the next hazard/traffic/roadworks etc is already on the screen inside the route bar. If you're lucky enough to have a clear run, this will be your total remaining mileage.

-- Typing in addresses is finally enjoyable. The speed at which the letters respond to your touch is just (fractionally) shy of the iPhone 6 Plus (my only real benchmark), which is far better than any sat-nav I've owned in the past. Gone are the days when you had to enter the city first. Just type in the road name, and boom, it sorts it out.
-- As far as I can tell you still can't change the actual map colours. However, with the new (as of 27/06/14) 'Accent Colours' setting, you can change the colour of your route, your current position arrow, and a few highlights dotted around all the menus. I like the way the maps look, especially now I can have a bright green line showing my route, it stands out and looks good. Simple.

-- Pinch to zoom is good. Not on the same level as the iPhone 6 Plus, but it's getting there; slowly.
-- Your current speed goes orange if slightly over the speed limit, and red if 5mph or more over. You can also decide if you want the sat-nav start making aggressive noises if you're driving too fast!

-- You can now reorder the items on the main menus. A handy addition, as some items on page one I was never going to use, so they very quickly got relegated.
-- The navigation screen goes from day to night mode automatically at a certain time of day (I think relating to the sunset time, but I could be mistaken). This is a feature I really enjoy.

-- There is only one voice that comes standard that is capable of reading aloud street names. There are many other voices however.
-- A fairly recent addition is the voice control. There are two ways of getting the TomTom to start listening to you; 1) Go the main menu and press 'Voice Control'; 2) Say, "Hey, TomTom". Once the sat-nav is listening to you, you can tell it to do practically anything. My issue is with the "Hey, TomTom" feature. With this feature turned on, the sat-nav is constantly listening, waiting for you to say the magic words. Saying "Hey, TomTom", is all well and good, but on a recent 2hr journey, it kept thinking I was saying it, when I was actually just listening to the radio. After half a dozen wrongful activations, I got fed up and switched it off. Not a massive issue for me, as I've never got on with voice control on any device; so it's an added feature that I'm sure many will love, but I'll happily keep off.
* As of software version 15.202, you can now choose your own wake-up phrase to activate the voice control. I don't like voice control, so haven't even tried this!

-- Another fairly recent addition is the sat-nav can read aloud warnings. So instead of just beeping, it will beep and shout at you to warn you of an approaching speed camera for example.
-- You can turn screen touch sounds on or off - I actually rather like them on.

-- From the main navigation screen, you can FINALLY, at-a-glance see if Live services have dropped out. A much needed feature, as annoyingly, it drops out more than I'd like - resetting the sat-nav quite often solves this, but again annoyingly, not always.
-- Tapping on your current-location arrow, brings up a quick menu allowing you to; report speed camera, mark location, change speed limit or avoid blocked road.

-- In 2D mode, tapping the highlighted route brings up another route-specific quick menu, allowing you to; clear route, find alternative route, change route type, add stop to route, manage route. Recently I had around a dozen different addresses to attend all within the same medium-sized city. I plugged them all in, by tapping on the current highlighted route, and clicking 'add stop to route'. These were in the wrong order, so after inputting them all, I selected 'reorder stops'. This brings up a very clear 2D map showing where you are, and every stop that you have inputted. You simply tap them in the order you wish to visit, ending up with your finish location. It's super quick, and super easy. I was seriously impressed.
-- Alternative routes. I like this a lot. You get to see the good old fashioned three route option, showing you how much longer the extra two routes will take.

-- As of software version 15.202, you can now import your own POI files into your sat-nav. These have to be .ov2 format. This is accomplished through the MyDrive software on your computer.

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---- CONNECTING DEVICE TO VARIOUS THINGS ----

The main issue I had was to discover the computer didn't recognise the sat-nav when it was sat in the window-mount, even though it registered as charging. Plug the micro-USB directly into the sat-nav and it connects to the computer straight away. I added my new device into my old TomTom account with very little trouble at all.

When I first bought this sat-nav, you synced/updated it via the MyDrive website. Now you have MyDrive software that you download onto your PC/Mac. I've been using it for quite a few months, and it's been fine - no issues.

The biggest change for me, and only just (May/June 2015) introduced, is a cloud connection to MyDrive. What this means that I can go onto my Mac, go to the MyDrive website, and after logging in, see everything as if it was my sat-nav. I can see the map, I can see live traffic info, I can plan routes, I can save routes, I can add to and edit `My Places' (my favourites list on the sat-nav) - I can do pretty much anything. Once I've planned a route, I can click `send to my device', and within 10 seconds (if my sat-nav is on; or within a minute or two of switching it on at a later date) the route appears on the device. Simple, effective, and it actually works! Already available in the US, and soon to be available here in the UK, a MyDrive app will enable you to do all of these things, but from my smartphone, on the go. This means that instead of having to get the sat-nav off the window mount to enter an address, you can just type it into your phone, and send it to your device - very cool!

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---- CONCLUSION ----

This has been a ridiculously long review, and if you've made it this far I applaud you, as well as apologise. I do hope you've found it helpful!

The TomTom GO series of sat-navs is definitely an acquired taste. In my opinion this is what the first dedicated Apple sat-nav would be like. Attractive, minimalistic, speedy, with very few options for customisation. For what I require it to do, it does it, practically flawlessly. I can't remove stars for features that I wouldn't use, and for that reason, I initially gave it 4 stars, (now upgraded to 5 stars as explained below).

In the two years I've used this device, the impressively regular software updates has meant that I'm raising this review to 5 stars. They have listened to the community as a whole, and provided updates that we've asked for. Yes, there are still little niggles that I'd like them to sort out (for example the option of having a clock and battery bar permanently on the main map screen), but on the whole, it's the best sat-nav I've ever used.

Parts of this review may come across as a little negative, so let me say this - I love my TomTom GO. It's an intuitive, helpful, speedy, intelligent, impressive and downright beautiful navigation device that would look at home on any windscreen. The decision to purchase, as with most things, but even more so with these devices, is a very personal one. Simply put, it will either suit your needs or it won't. In which case I'd suggest you look at older TomToms or even show your distaste by giving a Garmin a go. Say that quickly over and over again. I dare you.

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OVERVIEW
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Would I recommend this product to a friend? Yes, needs dependent
If lost/damaged would I repurchase product? Yes

PROS:
✓ Beautiful screen
✓ Premium look and feel
✓ Window mount
✓ Traffic is best around
✓ Route planning accuracy and speed
✓ Ease of use
✓ Typing speed
✓ Handy features that are easy to use
✓ Regular software updates

CONS (not necessarily for me):
✗ Lack of features compared to previous devices
✗ Placement of time and battery indicator and other fairly basic stuff

NB:
- Check to see if you can live without the missing features

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I hope you found this review helpful. If you have any questions regarding this product, feel free to leave comments down below - I'm happy to help...
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1010 comments|108 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 8 July 2014
Despite these new Tomtom Go's not getting the best feedback I decided to get one because the things people complain about are not really an issue for me. I previously had a Tomtom XL which I had for 5 years and the maps were really in need of updating so I wanted a sat nav with lifetime map updates and looks and performs more modern and slicker.

The first things I noticed are the map is more interactive, the touch screen is much more responsive and it's so much faster and easier to scroll around the map. One thing I found annoying about my old XL was if you zoomed in or out while on a journey it would reset back to the default position after a few seconds, also if you wanted to look at a different part of the route or map you had to mess about going through a number of pages to find the browse map option. Both these issues have thankfully been resolved, if you zoom in or out the view stays where you leave it (although I think if you go into the option screen it will reset back to its default position) and to scroll around the map all you have to do is touch the arrow icon on the screen. Instead of pages of icons there is now a row of 7 icons and a settings icon with sub menus but I can't say I've noticed any options or features missing that I've ever used, to me it just appears to have a more simplified layout so everything you need is easy to access.

It feels very solid and good quality, the mount is a big improvement in every way, the touch screen is very responsive, it's easier to operate and navigate, the graphics are a bit of an improvement but it's how much smoother they are that is really impressive. There is hardly any processing delay when scrolling around the map, calculating routes probably never takes any more than about 10 seconds, the sound is also much better thanks to a better speaker and improved spoken voices with the additional feature of being able to say names (streets, towns, city's etc.). My only criticisms are that the map updates are very slow to make it from real world to TomTom's system. There have been two roundabouts added to a very busy road near where I live and it took at least 4 months until the update was available and they aren't even the correct size and shape, whereas a free sat nav app I have on my phone updated the alteration within a couple of weeks. The other problem is the updates take forever to download, I update fairly regularly, about every month or two and I'm not kidding it takes most of the day for it to download and install. On the whole though it is a brilliant sat nav and I would highly recommend it.
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on 2 July 2013
The new GO series will get you from A to B, but then so will any satnav from £50 upwards. So why do some people spend three to four times as much? (I should add I have owned a Go 730 for some years and am looking for an upgrade.)

Well, any TomTom satnav has several features which for me are critical, and prevent me from looking anywhere else. One is iQroutes and another is the live traffic. I don't want to just get from A to B, I want to get there on time. And choosing the best route is what makes all the difference. iQroutes works on the real speeds that real drivers (i.e. you and me) achieve, not the notional speed limit on the roads (Tomtom have this patented I believe, so you can't get it elsewhere). Add in live traffic, and you can be confident of using the fastest route - and if you still don't get there on time, then you have the comfort of knowing that no faster route was available.

So, back to the GO 500 (or 400 or 600 which only appear to differ on screen size). It does have both iQroutes and live traffic - good. They even get free "lifetime updates" - that's the product's lifetime, not yours!

So, what's not to like? Its the other features included in previous/other models, that are now missing - that's the problem. Here's a list:

1. No facility to add your own "points of interest". So you can't add shops, hotels, pubs, etc. Worse, you can't add traffic cameras - that's only available from Tomtom for about £20p.a. after the first three months.

2. No route planning.

3. Voice commands not available - and I believe will never be because no microphone is fitted.

4. As for 3, the old facility to use the satnav as a handsfree interface to your phone is not available. So to use my phone I have to carry yet more bits and pieces....

5. The facility to add blocked roads, alter routes, etc is missing.

Reading the Tomtom website suggests some of these might get addressed in future software updates. Trouble is that Tomtom have a poor track record of actually keeping such promises......

Things you do get are "3D maps" and a full touch screen, e.g. pinch and zoom. Haven't tried the 3D maps, because there was no data for the town I live in. I am indifferent to the pinch and zoom - I don't care too much about refinements like this, when features such as the above are missing.

So I have been an owner of a Tomtom GO 500 for 1 day, and its now on its way back to Amazon for a refund. Not fit for purpose is my conclusion. Alternatives are the Tomtom Go Live 825/1005, which I am now considering.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 11 April 2014
If you are confused by the mix of really good and really bad reviews, it's simple. If you are the kind of person who likes to tweak everything on a device to make it exactly the way you want it, the 500 is very bad, because the tweaking is very limited. If, however, you tend to just take something out of the box and use it (like me), it's great.

The display is very clear, routes are found extremely quickly, the guidance is good and the Bluetooth traffic warnings are great. It looks good and the touchscreen interface is miles ahead of previous TomTom 730.

The only negative for the non-tweaker is the lack of ability to say the road ahead is blocked. To be fair, in my experience with the previous device, half the time you tried this it was useless, but I can't understand why there isn't a provision for it. The traffic warnings will sometimes reroute around a blockage, but they have to know about it. This omission loses it one star, but otherwise I have been delighted with it.
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on 9 April 2015
So there seems to be a lot of negativity about this device, and the main reason I can see for this is people hate change. The software is totally new, yes, but change doesn't mean worse. With free updates, traffic, speed cameras and and active cradle (I REALLY wasn't expecting this!) it's a great deal.

The device looks great, the cradle is solid, and the fact you can keep the cable plugged into the cradle and just remove the device is a massive plus for me. I like the new menu, it's very different to the TomTom of old but once you find your way round it's good.

People complain that you can't select a house number after entering the postcode. Simply by putting a space after the postcode then entering the house number will take you to the door! Different, yes, easier, yes.

Traffic is great. Syncs perfectly with my iphone and finds its way around traffic jams. I like the display on the right that shows how far the next speed camera or petrol station is. You can search it's built in list of POI's and you CAN add your own points on the map and save them.

I have previously used a slightly older TomTom and the only negative over the older model is some of the directions at motorway junctions don't seem quite so clear, but again it's just a case of getting used to it.

All-in-all a great looking, well built, functional device. Pair it with a smartphone for traffic updates and it's a great tool. Different doesn't mean worse, not in this case anyway.
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on 20 December 2013
I was a little nervous about buying this having read reviews of people struggling to update it from the TomTom site and so on, but I have to say I have had absolutely no problems.
Also, some reviews complained about missing features - these seem to have been added, so for example you can plan trips that start somewhere other than you are.
To date I have no criticisms at all of the device. If I was to be picky I'd say searching for addresses is slow.
For those who complain you can't do house numbers have you tried house number, space, postcode? It works. So for instance 12 RH5 9QA
This model has an integrated mount, the next size up (500) has a separate mount. If I lost this I'd probably buy the next one up so I could leave the mount permanently on the windscreen, but its no big deal.
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on 7 April 2014
My old TomTom Go Live 1000 with Live Traffic was stolen from my car a few weeks ago. I resorted to using my cars built in navigation system but didn't get on with it at all. What I missed the most was the Live Traffic updates. Living in London, I find these absolutely essential and my old TomTom always gave me an exceptionally accurate ETA.

So I decided to bite the bullet and invest in a new TomTom GO 400 Europe.

The Device
My TomTom arrived complete with car charger, cradle and integrated mount. I was surprised to see the mount is actually attached to the device and was initially pleased, as a separate mount is one less thing to have to cart in and out the car. However, the mount is now my one big gripe with the device (see below).
The map and software took a couple of hours to download onto my device then I was ready to go. First of all, I am so impressed with the touchscreen compared to my old TomTom. It is very sensitive and no longer do I have to stab the screen vigorously to get my TomTom to do anything! It is also completely stripped back. My old GO LIVE 1000 had so many different menus, half of which I never used. There are a lot of reviews on here complaining about this new stripped back look, and it nearly put me off buying, but I much prefer it. Everything is more easily accessible now. All the important features, such as being able to avoid roadblocks, motorways and toll roads, are there.
The map looks very different to my old TomTom, and takes some getting used to, but I like it and find it much clearer.

3D Buildings
In short, don't buy the device because you think this feature looks cool. I live in London and only the biggest landmarks are 3D like this. Hopefully one day this will improve but for now disregard this as a feature.

Mounting
This is my one issue with this device. I find it really difficult to mount it to my windscreen. I'm quite small and my car is quite big so its a big stretch and very fiddly to try and position the mount low down on my windscreen and twist to get it to stick. It was so easy with my old TomTom to just whack it in the magnetic mount so this new mount is a disappointment. As a result, I have just ordered the adhesive dashboard mount kit, costing me £14.99, which is a little bit frustrating after spending so much already on the device itself. I also fear that this mount will be permanently visible and tempting to thieves, who already smashed my window in once because they saw a satnav ring. I have invested in a car sticker stating that no valuables are left in my car when unattended, and hope this will be enough of a deterrent.

Live Traffic
The promise of free live traffic updates and maps for the lifetime of the device seemed like a good deal. I am very happy with the service so far.
Please note that you need a smartphone with a data plan and tethering capability in order to take advantage of the live traffic. They don't make this clear in their marketing material! This isn't really a problem though. You just have to link the devices once, and then they'll remember each other in the future, and remember to turn your personal hotspot on on your phone when you get in the car. TomTom estimates that on average, Live Traffic will use about 7mb of data per month if you drive for 1 hour per day at rush hour.

I recommend the TomTom hard case to keep the satnav in. The cable and charger also fit in snuggly and the case looks nice. Don't ever leave the satnav in your car glovebox! You think it won't happen to you then one day someone comes along and won't hesitate to smash your window through, so be warned.

In short, I am very pleased with my satnav and I would urge caution when reading old reviews. It seems that they have had a few good software updates since some of the reviews on here were written and a lot of the issues reviewers mention are no longer issues. I'm glad I wasn't put off.
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on 25 November 2013
I previously owned a Tom Tom Live and thought the traffic on it was great when it worked but the service on it was very unreliable and often would not connect. After a year the GPS was broken and kept disconnecting even after an update so I had to get another, I was also reluctant to renew my traffic for £50 when it did not allways connect anyway. I use the device every day and all day and despite those issues I do like Tom Tom.

I decided to look at the Garmin stuff and the new line Tom tom stuff (as despite my previous one I do prefere them to Garmin) and I have to say the slick look of the Go 500 drew me too it, it looks very nice and the screen is very well done. I no longer need to pay for traffic updates as its all free through my mobile tethering. The traffic does not really use up much phone data so no worries there and the service connection has also been much more reliable than my Live one was. I was also not bothered about it not working as a hands free phone speaker as I never find them to work very well anyway and always hard to hear and for people to understand you. Its a Satnav not a hands free unit, that's how i see it.

I have heard some negative reviews regarding its lack of options and configuration capabilities but for me you dont need your satnav to be a laptop or a smart phone, you just want it to do its job and do it well. For me this is slicker, looks better, the speaker on it gives a more rounded full sound its more fluent to navigate around the options and maps. They have basically stripped it down to what is important for a satnav and while I feel there could be a couple options in there that would not go a miss, like more configuration on the navigation display, generally it works nice the way it is.

Also you never know what they may include in an update which could maybe add a few more configuration options for people..

I also like the way you just touch the screen mount on the back and the magnet hooks it in, nice and easy to use.

To sum it up, it seems Tom Tom have just focused on doing what is important very very well, and not bothered with all the gimmicks and frilly collars that most of the time never get used anyway.
It would have got 5 stars if you had a little more control with configuring the navigation display, but gets 4 because its not a big issue and has been designed to work well. thumbs up!
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on 29 September 2013
I read all of the latest reviews before buying this Tom Tom. Let me say that, mostly it does the job, and I accept the fact that the graphics are not quite the same as my old Tom Tom. So why have I not rated it higher? Some pluses: I like the mounting for my car screen (a lot) - it is so much better than the old one, the screen is big and clear, and once you get used to where the information is, everything is there that I need, the sound is crystal clear, and it has 100 per cent got me to my destination. I also like the automatic transition from a day time screen to a night screen in the same way that my car dash board does - very sensible.
On the not so good side? Well last week, I was driving down a dual carriage way (A34) and thought that I was likely to need to come off at the next junction, but Tom Tom told me to go straight on. Oh, I thought, it must know a quicker route. When I was up to the junction on the right hand lane with no way of moving over, it told me to go right on the roundabout as if I had come off at the junction. This error therefore needing re-routing and added another 10 minutes to my journey. It means that you cannot always trust its directions. I wonder if Tom Tom had just launched a UK version (rather than Europe) we could have guaranteed something a bit more accurate. My other problem so far seems to be the software download. Whilst I have not had so many of the nightmares described by others, when the software and maps updated had downloaded, it kept telling me that there was an error on one screen but that everything else is okay on another. I think it is okay, but again, it is a bit unnerving.

Overall, I am pleased that I made the switch as I had to keep shelling out for map updates and this is a more cost effective solution in the long run. I think though that I will need to google directions in advance so that I have a good idea of where I am going rather than rely on Tom Tom. Pity - until that incident, I had wondered what all the negative comments were really about.
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