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3.7 out of 5 stars292
3.7 out of 5 stars
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on 21 June 2011
I've been somewhat cynical in the past about owning one preferring to stick with a paper map. I thought I should get with the times and having seen a more expensive unit when a friend came around for the weekend, I decided to opt for an entry level device. The price for this Tom-Tom did not seem overly expensive.

In the box is:

the Sat Nav itself
a car charger lead [which joins to...]
a USB cable [which joins the unit itself to the charger]
a paper quick start guide

This Sat Nav can sit on a dashboard beanbag [purchased separately] if you decide to go for this. It uses a sucker which with a simple twist locks the seal. Alternatively it will attach itself to the inside of the windscreen using the same method. Out of the box and into the car then, the Sat Nav found my home position quickly after powering it up. I set this and I was up and running in five minutes tops.

The first thing to do is to find your destination and you can do this easily using a postcode or a place of interest, once it has searched for the destination, highlight it, and the machine will do the maths for the journey showing you how long it will take and details of the destination. It can also show you parking options near where you are going or if you wanted to do a trial run of the journey, you also do this and watch the proposed route.

First I gave it a local test and it found Tescos about eight miles away very easily. The display giving me adequate time to adjust lane if necessary, giving the correct number of exits on a roundabout or giving me adequate time to turn. It was here I tested the Sat Nav's ability to adjust itself when I made a mistake. It recalculated a different route very quickly without fuss.

I discovered by playing with the unit whilst parked up that there are a number of voice options to try as well. There are a number of English female or male voices to choose from however, only one English female voice will tell you the name of the road you are turning into or approaching. The rest will just say "turn right" or "turn left" when you need to.

I took it on a more sophisticated journey to London NW5 at around 3pm on a Thursday and it coped well on the A40 into central London. This would have been normally a slightly fraught journey as I am unfamiliar with driving in the city, but I came through well particulary at junctions. This is because the display shows [with a quivering yellow arrow symbol] which lane to get into in good time, and I wasn't left with that awful feeling of other drivers staring me down because of my hesitation in choosing the correct place to be.

The unit will beep if you are within range of a speed camera. This is a distracting noise but can easily be turned off along with a number of other alerts by removing a tick from a list under the settings menu.

The journey back to my house in Hertfordshire from NW5 after midnight early Friday morning was quite simply executed. I switched the Sat Nav to night mode so the screen was illuminated more clearly, set the desination to Home and off I went. Initially, it did try to make me turn right where I couldn't, but I insisted and the journey was quickly rerouted towards the M1.

I rate this Sat Nav highly for someone who wants a simple starter unit.
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on 9 April 2013
I bought a Start 20 from an Amazon online trader in January 2012. After 2 days use, the unit failed - battery would not charge. Tom Tom services advised I got a new unit from vendor under warranty which I did, no problem. This unit worked well for 12 months but then, because of weather and illness I have not used it since about January. When I came to use it yesterday (April 8th) it booted up fine and said battery was charging, but after driving for 5 minutes the screen froze, then went black. I stopped car and tried to reboot, but no luck, so took it home and followed Tom Tom instructions of charging for 2 hours and then pressing reboot button for 30 seconds - still dead, just like my previous unit. Rang Tom Tom just now to explain but they were totally intransigent (didn't query that unit was utterly dead so obviously common problem). Told me that repair would cost their fixed fee of around £75 to fix, even if it's just the battery. When I said that I could buy a new one for that price, person said that that was up to me - in other words, they don't care. I was left feeling extremely angry. If I go ahead and have the repair the same could happen again. This is not an uncommon problem - try Googling 'Tom Tom battery' or 'Tom Tom won't start'. But point is that ANY repair out of warranty will cost as much to fix as buying new, so its a huge gamble. I certainly won't be buying from Tom Tom again.
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on 6 November 2012
Got this because Tomtom advised me that it would work with the athermic glass in my Audi A8, my previous cheapo did not, neither did this one. Thanks Tomtom.
Tomtom trumpet fast GPS acquisition. Not so. In fact far worse than my cheapo.
Cannot save routes like my cheapo. So you have to reinput all the "go via bits" each time. It may just be that you need to visit relatives and so on. Do Tomtom not understand this?
IQ routes worked quite well. This draws on a database of the speed of routes at different times of the day to give a route appropriate to rush hour traffic.
By far the worst thing is that my unit only lasted two years before expiring and a "reconditioned" unit will be provided for £60 with only a six month guarentee!
Given the number of sites that talk about how you can reset your Tomtom when it expires I suspect that build quality is a major problem. In fact the guy at customer services said you can only expect such devices to last two years. What? for £120 in my case.
Sorry mate. I cannot accept that. There were also other problems when the unit stopped getting a GPS fix and that required a software update. No fun if you are on a 200 mile journey. I now always have a paper map with me. Could we all have been sent an email advising us of this problem in advance?
I am going Garmin this time. I do not expect shoddy build quality at a premium price.I suspect like so many others Tomtom have tried to save on build costs by going third world. This is not a light bulb Tom tom.
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on 15 July 2011
Bought this to replace a version several years older in the belief that the mapping would be right up to date and positioning sharper. I did check on the TomTom website (difficult to use in 64 bit until discovered OK opened with Google Chrome) to make sure maps were up-to-date. The unit takes longer to register satellites than the old, loses signal more easily, and my recent trip across southern Ireland was amusing as many parts of the main N25 / E30 are still set where they were at least three years ago and satnav placed me driving across a lot of fields! Despite the `faux sample screen' shown, the maps and lane advice have changed very little and in RoI were often wrong. On the plus side the new unit is easier to store and attach in use.
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on 22 April 2012
For the first four months, my TomTom Start20 worked well, and was a pleasure to use. However, since the widely-publicised problems with GPS updates the device has been totally worthless.

Like many other users, our Start20 now seems totally unable to reliably acquire GPS signals, so it cannot get vehicle location even after 15 minutes or more. This makes it useless as a navigation device. Despite TomTom attempting to provide recent software updates that fix these problems, our Start20 claims that it is up-to-date with software that dates from over a year ago. I have wasted far more time trying to get those software updates to work from multiple different PCs than I am ever likely to have saved by having a working satnav.

Given these problems with pretty basic functionality and critical software updates, I'd now be reluctant to ever buy another product from TomTom.
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on 4 December 2011
The device itself does "exactly what it says on the tin" and I am very satisfied and pleased with the results. However, there is no meaningful instruction book included in the package, although an adequate manual is available for free download from TomTom and there are other problems as noted below.

The internal battery only lasts a short time before it requires recharging. This is not a problem when the device is used with a permanent connection to a vehicle battery. However, trying to use it on a bicycle or on foot would be very unsatisfactory, except for the shortest of trips.

The user is invited to go to "TomTom Home" in order to download the manual and the necessary software to enable download of latest maps and operating system updates. THIS IS INCORRECT. It is necessary to go to "My TomTom" to obtain the correct manual and software. The facilities available from "My TomTom" are limited to map and system download only. There is no way to backup your existing system or to use a connected computer to perform other tasks.

At the Amazon offer price, the device represents reasonable value for money but accessories are ridiculously overpriced for what they are. A mains charger is not included in the package although the device does come with a charger designed to plug into a car cigarette lighter.
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on 4 February 2012
I bought this to replace my old TomTom and love the new features and slim lightweight design. I think the built in stalk to attach the device to the windscreen is brilliant as the old one that clipped on and off was so bulky, this is a great update.

I got a GPS signal quite quickly and was able to ask the TomTom to find another route avoiding the A40 when I realised there was traffic ahead. It went exactly the way I would have gone to avoid the jam which I was impressed by as my old TomTom would often take me on strange routes that a local would never use.

I was relieved to find I was able to connect to the TomTom website (as it said to do in the start up leaflet)and download the latest map with no problems. I was so worried it was going to wipe my device or take hours and hours to update after reading other reviews but there were no hiccups and completed the update and install in about 90mins.

Another great little feature with this product is that it comes with a car usb adapter which I could use to charge my iphone ect and not just the TomTom, very handy!

I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is looking for a device that is simple to use and gives clear instructions with a clear display for a reasonable price.
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I bought this (the UK version) 2 weeks ago as an upgrade from the Start TomTom sat nav and I've been thoroughly pleased with it. The screen is bigger (4.3") and, as a consequence, the touchpad is larger and instead of accidentally tapping the wrong letters/ digits in, as I regularly did with the Start, I now get my destination postcode right each time I plan a new journey.

I like the fact that the street names can be spoken aloud and that I can now have my sat nav attached to my dashboard and swivelled upside down, thanks to the flip screen, rather than sticking it to my windscreen, which is quite a stretch forward from the driver's seat in my car. In addition, the routes are, as the last reviewer stated, excellent; whereas my Start took me on some slightly odd routes (despite having the most up-to-date maps), the Start 20 seems to be taking me on easier/ faster routes up and down the motorway. Advanced lane guidance is also a nice touch for the motorways (although I wouldn't have minded just slightly more advance notice on which lane to be in).

My only gripe is that the 'richer maps' aren't that rich. I occasionally get a few blobs of green (depicting fields, no doubt) next to main roads/ motorways on my journeys, which aren't as 'rich' (read pretty!) as I'd hoped... a minor niggle, though, and not one worthy of the Start 20 losing a star over. Overall, a great entry level sat nav and I'm delighted with my purchase.
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on 21 April 2012
I have had this product for over 6 months and up untill about 5 weeks ago it worked perfectly fine and was more than happy with this product.
Then 5 weeks ago i was out and it was navigating me back home when it the screen went blank and then came back on saying searching for valid GPS, luckily i was on route home and kind of had an idea how to get there (although i was 40 miles away)
The whole journey home i still didnt get GPS. Once home i went on to the tomtom website where it said i had to reset my device- which i did and horay- it worked again, as soon as i switched it off, then back on again it would not get GPS again, so i emailed the support team, they said that there was a bug in a "third" party gps due to the leap year and that i had to install a mandatory upday to fix this bug, i followed their instructions to a T and didnt work, had serveral attempts, spending lots of time on this, and even tried this every day for 2 weeks, but still could not get this update- if anything my device now says "service unavailable" which it didnt do that before i started- i rang the 0845 number for support advice and after being on the phone for 47 minutes the operator said this update will not show on a start 20- so i had wasted money on a call for nothing, i emailed tomtom with my dissatisfaction over 2 weeks ago and am still waiting for a reply- great device when it works but right now not start 20 will work without this mandatory update- dont waste your time and effort peeps- its not worth it!
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VINE VOICEon 24 December 2011
I bought mine in the USA whilst on holiday. I activated it over there and it worked a dream.

The problems started once I got back home.

First: The box came with a promotion code for lifetime maps update. To enter this code I had to download MyTomTom, install it on my PC, start it up, logon to my account, click on the "promotion code" and... got taken to a web page which insisted I download MyTomTom all over again! What sort of rubbish web page is this? I searched Google and found loads of complaints from people who couldn't active their codes.

Second: I want to buy maps of Western Europe. Got as far as checkout, and it asked me for my address, the country being hard set to United States of America, with no way of changing it. And without this change, I couldn't buy any maps. What on earth do TomTom think they are doing by insisting people only buy devices in their country of residence?

Third: Starting over a year ago Tom Tom Home 2 is being phased out and replaced by MyTomTom. TomTom's web site is now a mess, with conflicting information on which device should use what software, and what steps to take where. TomTom have really shot themselves in the foot.

I've raised my first two issues with TomTom Support. To my dismay, this is has been off-shored - I've had very patchy experiences with off-shore support. I'll update this review on what resolutions to the problems I get.

Update:

Big improvements since I wrote the review. Where TomTom email support got me nowhere, the phone support line was local and really helpful. They fixed a problem with my account which allowed me to buy the maps. It took eight hours for the North America maps to be replaced by the European ones; there's not enough memory for both maps to be on the device. Eight hours is a long time but it worked without errors. Of course the North American maps are still mine, just stored on-line in my TomTom account. The phone support also sorted out the promotional code issue.

Now that it's working beautifully in Europe, I'm increasing the rating from 1 to 4 stars.
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