Tomtom GPS

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Given that GPS is available on most phones, and even in most cars these days, how is it that Tomtom is still selling their GPS units? Am I missing something? Are they superior?


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  • RaymondLinRaymondLin Frets: 7098
    edited February 23
    There are people who:

    1 - Still on PAYG with very little to no data
    2 - Don't know how to use apps on the phone (fear of new tech)
    3 - They stick with what they know
    4 - They think TomTom is superior (for every instance they think TomTom is, you will find another instance that GoogleMaps...and Waze, same company, is)
    5 - They prefer a stand-alone unit

    My dad is 1, 2, 3, 5 of those.
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  • My car has VW satnav in it. For getting from where you are to somewhere else, its decent enough and the iPhone isn't superior enough yet to warrant using it instead.

    My motorcycle has a bluetooth connection to an App for satnav functionality. Thats a work in progress. It gives audible directions and shows upcoming turn information but doesn't (yet) support displaying the map. It will one day, though - the "dash" is a very large colour TFT screen. On my previous motorcycle, I had a Garmin satnav and I've ported that to the new bike as well. The one thing a Garmin or TomTom does well is lets you plan a nice riding route on the computer beforehand and then move it to your satnav for your ride. 

    FWIW, when I'm walking in the countryside, I use "OS Maps" - a £2/month service that lets me look  at any 1:25000 and 1:50000 OS maps on the phone, follow routes I've planned before leaving home, use the GPS in the phone to see where I am and record the route I took. I wouldn't bother with a specialist GPS unit for walking or cycling any more. It's excellent. 

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  • zepp76zepp76 Frets: 1896
    My car has VW satnav in it. For getting from where you are to somewhere else, its decent enough and the iPhone isn't superior enough yet to warrant using it instead.

    My motorcycle has a bluetooth connection to an App for satnav functionality. Thats a work in progress. It gives audible directions and shows upcoming turn information but doesn't (yet) support displaying the map. It will one day, though - the "dash" is a very large colour TFT screen. On my previous motorcycle, I had a Garmin satnav and I've ported that to the new bike as well. The one thing a Garmin or TomTom does well is lets you plan a nice riding route on the computer beforehand and then move it to your satnav for your ride. 

    FWIW, when I'm walking in the countryside, I use "OS Maps" - a £2/month service that lets me look  at any 1:25000 and 1:50000 OS maps on the phone, follow routes I've planned before leaving home, use the GPS in the phone to see where I am and record the route I took. I wouldn't bother with a specialist GPS unit for walking or cycling any more. It's excellent. 

    The Garmin Zumo XT is a ridiculously good bit of kit for any motorcyclist wanting to go on an adventure.
    Tomorrow will be a good day.
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  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 11095
    I've owned two Tom Tom's and they both died after a couple of years. Meanwhile Google maps on my phone does a better job. 

    For large vehicles the available apps aren't great so a stand alone sat nav is usually preferable although many truck drivers will use £40 Chinese truck sat navs rather than the £300 Tom Tom ( other makes are available) equivalent. 

    I'd prefer my sat nav screen to be bigger than my phone screen so that's a selling point of a stand alone version and they often have additional features built in these days. But yes it does seem like it is probably a shrinking market. 
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  • I’ve still got a TomTom on my motorbike, but only really use it for touring. My phone’s a backup in these instances, but the TomTom saves phone battery and roaming data limits etc. Aside from that, I agree - I don’t see a great need for them in cars anymore!
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  • HaychHaych Frets: 1882
    I had a TomTom a few years ago and thought it was really very useful.

    Then one day is started acting up and refused to find a satellite.  I'd plumb in a route and it would just sit there looking for a satellite, sometimes for hours - I'd get about half hour from my destination on a long trip and it'd suddenly spring into life and tell me where to go.

    Then it stopped looking for a satellite signal completely.  I tried resetting it and restoring maps and factory settings etc but it would have none of it.  TomTom's help pages were of no help so it looked like something had gone tits-up with the hardware.

    After that I started using my iPhone for navigation and don't really see a need for a dedicated device for navigation now.

    There were also a couple of questionable occasions where it would tell me weird rubbish, like the time I was driving to Newark along the A46 but the sat-nav was convinced I was driving through a ploughed field.  On the return journey it told me to take a detour off the A46 and then after a few miles directed me to turn around and rejoin the A46 at the same point I left it!

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  • exocetexocet Frets: 1275
    I have to say that despite being quite comfortable using Android / Apple - I can understand why someone might consider a dedicated unit to be preferable.

    Much like Cameras v Smart Phone Cameras - a dedicated unit can "handle" better than a phone - not in all cases all the time but quite often this is the case.

    SmartPhones tend to have too much else going on - too many irrelevant / distracting notifications.

    I find it much easier to see "which route is this system taking me on" when using dedicated GPS compared to SmartPhone especially when a "re-route" takes place.



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  • strtdvstrtdv Frets: 2016
    Increasingly your car has screen mirroring in it so there's no point in the manufacturer even developing satnav
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  • exocetexocet Frets: 1275
    strtdv said:
    Increasingly your car has screen mirroring in it so there's no point in the manufacturer even developing satnav
    I use that feature - I agree that it appears to offer "best of both worlds". 
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  • DiscoStuDiscoStu Frets: 4015
    I've got a TomTom in my works van. It is SOOOOO slow and doesn't recognise half the postcodes or streets I put in. I actually don't use it and rely on Google Maps on my phone (which I shouldn't have to cos work provided me the TomTom) which works instantly, gives me traffic and roadwork updates, and syncs directly with my work software.
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  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 11095
    strtdv said:
    Increasingly your car has screen mirroring in it so there's no point in the manufacturer even developing satnav
    The dashboards in EVs are largely a tablet with apps which, presumably, you can update and so having a built in sat nav becomes a viable alternative again. There is a built in sat nav in my Honda which works but is crap by modern standards and can't be updated. In an EV presumably you just update it whenever and it  never goes out of date. 
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  • chillidoggychillidoggy Frets: 13350
    edited February 23
    One more nail in the TomTom coffin is that Life doesn’t actually mean Life.

    According to TomTom, “Lifetime means the useful life of the device, i.e. the period of time TomTom supports your device with updates, services, content or accessories. A device will have reached the end of its life when none of these are available anymore.”

    To me, Lifetime means the device still powers up when you turn it on.


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  • bobblehatbobblehat Frets: 320
    I'm currently using Waze via Apple carplay. Its good as its constantly updated and the user traffic alerts and speed camera notifications are great.  The built in car Satnav is ok but not great (toyota) .
    My last car was a BMW and it had the upgraded Professional Sat Nav and it was superb ,really miss it. 
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  • HaychHaych Frets: 1882

    To me, Lifetime means the device still powers up when you turn it on.
    We have this discussion quite regularly over on some of the BMW forums.  Morally I agree with you, unfortunately though, 'lifetime' is usually code for 'warranty period'.

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  • chillidoggychillidoggy Frets: 13350
    Haych said:

    To me, Lifetime means the device still powers up when you turn it on.
    We have this discussion quite regularly over on some of the BMW forums.  Morally I agree with you, unfortunately though, 'lifetime' is usually code for 'warranty period'.

    I appreciate they cannot support their kit forever more, but I wish they would drop the use of the term, I think it's misleading. I'd be happy if they said it was good for a specific period of time, 5 years, or something,


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