GPS/Sat Nav

By February 5, 2009 Read More →

QSTARZ BT-Q1000X data logger

The other day I started looking at different solutions for Geo Tagging my photos. There are quite a few ways to achieve this from GPS dataloggers that will accept your camera’s memory card and update the EXIF data to solutions that connect to supported cameras. Unfortunately my Canon EOC 50D does not allow you to connect an external GPS unit (unless you buy a £800 wireless transfer unit) so my only option is to look for an external solution.

That’s when I came across the QSTARZ BT-Q1000X which looks like an ideal option for me. Not only is it reasonable inexpensive but it has a 42 hour active battery life but can also log over 200,000 positions in memory at 15 second intervals which is good for over 30 days worth of data, perfect for logging your position when you are on holiday!

I’ve just ordered the BT-Q1000X and will be trying out as soon as it arrives. I’ll let you know how I get on and how I end up tagging my images!

 

QSTARZ, a global leading GPS brand, is proud to introduce the BT-Q1000X as the most powerful Travel Recorder in the world. With the MTK II technology, people will be able to enjoy the faster fix time, longer battery life and 1-5Hz eXtreme mode. With the exclusive Wizard interface in Travel Recorder software, it makes photo geo tag easiest than ever.

MTK II technology

• Adopt MTK II latest chipset with high sensitivity -165dBm and 66-Channel tracking

• Ultra lower power consumption up to 42hrs operation

• Less than 15-Sec. AGPS fix support: download almanac data to realize faster TTFF and positioning under warm start

• Update Rate 1~5Hz changeable by utility provided

• G-Mouse + Bluetooth in one: wired and wireless GPS receiver

QZSS, DGPS(WAAS+EGNOS+MSAS) support

image

Hardware feature

• Stand-Alone travel recorder to log up to 200,000 records (*)

• Easily switch Travel Recorder to LOG mode or NAV mode (Navigation + Log)

• Support button push manually to memorize your location immediately

• Auto On-Off function for smart power control

Personal/Portable Navigation (PDA, Smartphone, PC, etc.)

Travel Recorder T

• Support Multi-mode setting to record data (Vehicle, Bicycle, Jog)

• Provide Travel Recorder PC Utility V4 with built-in Google Map, Multi-language support, and Visualization UI

"Wizard interface" for Utility to easily manage importing and exporting tracks

• Provide RaceChrono 5Hz software for high speed sport racing

• Auto track split function helps you organize your travel path

• Support Track Edit function allowing you to remove unnecessary waypoints

• Track playback function, changeable different track color and name

• Active NMEA protocol VTG / GLL manually via Qstarz setup tool

• Output your travel record as GPX / PLT / CSV / NMEA / Google Earth file format.

• Draw your navigation path immediately on Google Earth as default

• Support GeoTagging function for digital photo and generate KMZ file easily

• The waypoints would be decreased when the more options of Log Format are selected

Posted by: Matt

Posted in: GPS/Sat Nav
By December 2, 2008 Read More →

Touch HD & CoPilot News

The team at Devicewire.com have just given us some great news based on an eMail from ALK/CoPilot :

L1_AV-PDA-ACC-00040

The current version of CoPilot that you are stocking actually supports the Touch HD rather well, and we are simply working on an enhanced version that will improve screen resolution and also operate in landscape mode. In terms of updates, ALK will eventually post the new Touch HD version for existing customers to download when it becomes available.

So if you want a copy of ALK Copilot 7 for your Touch HD then click here for the European version and here for the UK & Ireland version

Posted by: John

Posted in: GPS/Sat Nav
By September 5, 2008 Read More →

Glofiish X610 and V900 by E-TEN

Announced back in February, the Glofiish X610 and V900 are finally nearing release (or so E-TEN claim).

V900_TVMode_left_screen  X610_Front_screen

V900 & X610

Whilst we know that the X610’s specs aren’t screaming out "I’m fantastic", it’s a pretty good looking device with Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional. The more "I’m Fantastic" of these two is the V900, a device that can handle DVB-H, DVB-T, T-DMB, and DAB broadcasts on a VGA display that certainly doesn’t hurt its case.

So far, the launches on these two are noted simply as "soon," so best keep your eyes open for further release details (or subscribe to our blog via RSS)

We have been promised a trial of these units soon so again watch out for our usual un boxing video’s and detailed reviews.

In the meantime lets have a look at the specs that come with these handsets.

clip_image002[16]

Glowfiish V900

First of we will look at the V900:

  • Windows Mobile® 6.1 Professional (Crossbow)
  • Samsung S3C 6400 533 MHz Processor
  • 256 MB Flash ROM, 128 MB SDRAM
  • 2.8", 640 x 480 (VGA), 65,536 colors, TFT-LCD
  • 106 (L) x 60.5 (W) x 17(18.15) (H) mm
  • 147g
  • HSDPA / UMTS ( 2100 / 1900 / 850 MHz )
  • Quad-Band GSM?850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz
  • GPRS class 10 / EDGE class 10
  • Bluetooth® v2.0 class 2 + EDR (Enhanced Data Rate),
  • WiFi IEEE802.11b/g Certificated
  • Digital TV
  • DVB-T / T-DMB
  • GPS
  • Embedded SiRF Star III chipset, TMC function supported*,
  • FM 76 ~ 108MHz, support Channel Search
  • FM Transmitter
  • 87.5 ~ 108MHz
  • Built-in 3.0 mega pixels Auto-Focus CMOS camera, up to 2048 x 1536 resolution
  • 0.3 mega pixels Fixed-Focus CMOS camera for conference call usage
  • MicroSD card slot
  • Built-in microphone and speaker, external stereo headset jack, hands-free mode supported
  • USB Sync, Composite TV out support
  • Touch screen for stylus or fingertip, navigation button, power button, send/end button, record button, volume control, left soft-key, right soft-key
  • Lithium Polymer rechargeable with 1,530 mAh capacity
  • Windows Mobile® 6.1 Professional, Microsoft® Office Outlook® Mobile (Calendar, Contacts, Tasks and Inbox), Picture, Notes, Microsoft® Office Word Mobile, Microsoft® Office Excel® Mobile, Internet Explorer Mobile, ActiveSync, Calculator, Game (Solitaire, Bubble Breaker), Voice Recorder, Microsoft® Office PowerPoint® Mobile, MSN® Messenger, Microsoft® Transcriber*, Windows Media® Player 10, Direct Push Technology, Microsoft Reader* (* subject to change by region)

E-TEN Exclusive Applications

  • Phone Tools: Phone Application*, Phone Setting, SIM Toolkit, Speed Dial, Call Filter, Wireless Modem, Wireless Manager, Dialer Skin, Add Ringtone, CSD Type, Voice Commander*, Connection Wizard, SMS Sender, SIM Manager, Video Telephony (*subject to change by region)
  • Multimedia Tools: Image Wizard, Image Maker, Multimedia Manager, Camera, Camcorder, FM Tuner* (*subject to change by region)
  • MMS Composer* (*subject to change by region)
  • Utilities: Quick Link, Battery Meter, Zoom SMS, Bluetooth Manager, M-Desk, Scenario, Backup Utility, Namecard Manager
  • GPS Tools: Location SMS

Packing List

  • Glofiish V900, stylus
  • USB sync cable
  • AC adapter
  • headset
  • leather case
  • getting started CD
  • quick start guide
  • standard battery
  • TV-out cable

Accessories (Optional)

  • USB Sync Cable
  • AC adapter
  • car-charger
  • car-mount
  • battery pack
  • Bluetooth® Headset
  • leather case
  • headset
  • TV-out cable

clip_image002[14]

Glowfiish X610

So now lets look across to the X610:

  • Windows Mobile® 6.1 Professional
  • Samsung SC3 2442 400 MHz Processor
  • 128 MB Flash ROM, 64 MB SDRAM
  • 2.8", 320 x 240 (QVGA), 65,536 colors, TFT-LCD
  • 107 x 58 x 14.7 mm
  • 134g (with battery)
  • GSM/EDGE Quad-band: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
  • GPRS/EGPRS Class B, Multi-slot Class 10
  • Bluetooth® v2.0 class 2 + EDR (Enhanced Data Rate)
  • WiFi IEEE802.11b/g Certificated
  • GPS
  • Embedded SiRF Star III chipset, TMC function supported*, (*subject to change by regions)
  • Built-in 2.0 mega pixels, Fixed Focus CMOS, up to 1600 x 1200 resolution
  • MicroSD card slot
  • Built-in microphone and speaker, external stereo headset jack, hands-free mode supported
  • Mini USB Sync, headset jack
  • Touch screen for stylus or fingertip, navigation button, power button, 2 quick application buttons, send/end button, record button, volume control
  • Lithium Polymer rechargeable with 1,530 mAh capacity
  • Windows Mobile® 6.1 Professional, Microsoft® Office Outlook® Mobile (Calendar, Contacts, Tasks and Inbox), Picture, Notes, Microsoft® Office Word Mobile, Microsoft® Office Excel® Mobile, Microsoft® Office PowerPoint® Mobile, Microsoft® Office OneNote® Mobile, Internet Explorer Mobile, ActiveSync, Calculator, Game (Solitaire, Bubble Breaker), Voice Recorder, MSN® Messenger, Windows Live TM, Microsoft® Transcriber*, Windows Media® Player 10, Direct Push Technology, Getting Started, Microsoft Reader* (* subject to change by regions)

Glofiish Exclusive Applications

  • Phone Tools: Phone Application*, Phone Setting, SIM Toolkit, Speed Dial, Wireless Modem, Wireless Manager, Dialer Skin, CSD Type, Voice Commander*, Connection Wizard, SMS Sender, SIM Manager (*subject to change by regions)
  • Multimedia Tools: Album, Camera, Camcorder, FM Tuner, MMS Composer
  • Utilities: Spb Mobile Shell, Quick Link, Battery Meter, Zoom SMS, Scenario, Backup Utility, Quick Bar, Task Manager, Memory Optimization, Backup Utility, Default Setting, Application Recovery, System Information
  • GPS Tools: Satellite Data Update (Not supported in USA), Location SMS, GPS Viewer
  • Free Download Programs: Image Wizard, Image Maker, Birthday Reminder

(The programs are posted on the website: http://www.glofiish.com for downloading)

Packing List

  • glofiish X610
  • stylus
  • USB sync cable
  • AC adaptor
  • headset
  • leather case
  • getting started CD
  • quick start guide
  • standard battery

Accessories (Optional)

  • USB sync cable
  • AC adaptor
  • car-charger
  • battery pack
  • leather case
  • headset

I’ll let you make your own mind up as to which device is best of these two but for me I’m gonna go with the "I Don’t look too great but I am fantastic" one.

Posted by: John

Posted in: GPS/Sat Nav
By November 5, 2007 Read More →

ALK release CoPilot version 7

ALK, the people behind the fabulous CoPilot sat nav software have just released the latest version, v7, of CoPilot Live.

CoPilot Live 7

CoPilot Live 7

The award winning CoPilot Live 7 has arrived! With completely redesigned map views, a simpler user interface and the latest street maps – CoPilot Live is now better than ever.

Providing full-featured voice-guided satellite navigation onboard a mobile phone, CoPilot Live 7 offers the same performance and ease of use as a dedicated or in-dash system. Redesigned destination entry makes going to places simple, with step-by-step address entry, finger-touch buttons and predictive address matching. Frequently used features are quickly accessible such as changing the view, finding a detour or locating the nearest petrol station or car park.

The new 2D and 3D map views on CoPilot Live 7 enable drivers, cyclists or pedestrians to see their exact location and the way ahead clearly and easily using their mobile phones. As with all CoPilot navigation solutions, Driver Safety is the priority so by default a map is only shown close to a turn or junction, progressively zooming-in before returning to the non-distracting safety screen. Comprehensive voice directions are spoken at each turn, further removing the need to glance at the screen.

CoPilot Live 7 incorporates the latest street mapping and points of interest from NAVTEQ with streets of Western Europe accurate down to house number and 7 digit UK post code. Additional map regions are available to purchase and download from the supplied CoPilot Central desktop companion, including Eastern Europe, South Africa, Australia, Middle East and North America.

Now you can enjoy the same navigation experience on your Smartphone or PDA as you’d expect from a dedicated or in-dash system.

Features:

  • NEW! Smooth and clear 3D/2D maps, 3D Points of Interest Icons and choice of colour schemes
  • IMPROVED! Redesigned user interface with larger buttons, simplified destination entry and choice of keyboards
  • NEW! Route preview – review an entire trip before you set off.
  • NEW! Updated Points of Interest with ‘call a POI’ feature
  • NEW! walking, cycling and motorcycle routing options
  • NEW! Speech Engine- natural voice directions provide clear instructions in over 20 languages
  • NEW! CoPilot Central Desktop planning software
  • One Software Version: for Windows Mobile Pocket PCs and Smartphones
  • IMPROVED! The lastest NAVTEQ maps with updated full UK postcodes and additional world map options
  • IMPROVED! Real-time traffic service optionally available (certain regions only)
  • Head on over to the CoPilot Live website for more details.

    Posted by: Matt

    [Post tag(s): smartphone blog, Pocket PC blog, copilot, Satnav, navigation, GPS, Tracy & Matt]

    Posted in: GPS/Sat Nav
    By October 28, 2007 Read More →

    Mio Digiwalker P560 preview

    We just managed to get our hands on the new Mio Digiwalker P560 demo unit and thought we would share a couple of photos. As it’s a demo unit there is no unbox video yet, but that will be here online just as soon as we have the retail boxed version.

    Mio Digiwalker P560

    Mio Digiwalker P560
    Mio Digiwalker P560
    Mio Digiwalker P560

    The all new Mio P560 is the upgrade to Mio Digiwalker’s very successful Mio P550.

    With similar specification as the P550, the Mio P560 benefits from improved design and ergonomics as well as Windows Mobile 6 classic operating system.

    Windows Mobile 6 and a 3.5” display gives you increased functionality in dealing with your everyday tasks. View and edit Word and Excel files, view a PowerPoint presentation, all from the palm of your hand.

    Need to access your email away from the office? Simply utilise the 802.11b/g WiFi connection to download your emails with ease.

    Need to get somewhere? With an in-built SIRFStar III GPS receiver, satellite reception is fast and accurate, enabling you to travel easily to your destination (software required).

    For further functionality you can use the Bluetooth 2.0 connection to connect to other mobile devices and peripherals.

    When its time to relax, you can sit back and enjoy the media facilities of the Mio P560 thanks to Windows Media Player. Store movies, music and images on an SD or SDHC card and enjoy quality video and audio playback.

    Mio Digiwalker P560 Specification:

    • Windows Mobile 6.0 Classic
    • WiFi 802.11 b/g
    • Bluetooth 2.0
    • Built In GPS
    • SDHC/MMC expansion slot
    • Processor: 400 MHz
    • Memory: ROM 2048MB/RAM 64 MB
    • Display: 3.5” Colour transflective TFT , 240 x 320
    • Wireless LAN 802.11b, 802.11g
    • Satellite Navigation: SiRF Star III , 20 channels
    • 170 grams (battery included)
    • Dimensions: 72 x 115 x 17.8mm

    Posted by: Matt

    [Post tag(s): gps, navman, Mio P560, sat nav, Tracy & Matt]

    By October 11, 2007 Read More →

    New Sat Nav devices from Lonely Planet & Route 66

    ROUTE 66, the personal satellite navigation pioneer, will soon be announcing the launch of its new MINI and MAXI ranges of ultra-slim navigators. The new personal navigation devices (PND) run on the same award winning software used to power the Nokia 6110 Navigator handset. The sleek 19 millimetres thick brushed-steel devices come in either a 3.5 inch screen (MINI) or 4.3 inch widescreen (MAXI) and both are suitable for pedestrian and in–car navigation.

    Route 66 Mini

    Route 66 Mini
    Route 66 Maxi

    Route 66 Maxi

    The MINI and the MAXI are both available in regional (UK and Ireland maps) and European (all of Europe map) versions. Users who purchase the MINI or MAXI regional versions can download additional maps directly to the PND, be it an individual city for an impromptu weekend away or an entire country providing users with the capability to tailor the device to individual travelling needs or upgrade it to full European capability. In addition users who buy a Route 66 Mini or Maxi will be able to download Lonely Planet guides absolutely free.

    We’ll bring you more news as we get it.

    Posted by: Matt

    [Post tag(s): smartphone news, Pocket PC news, Route 66, Satnav, Lonely Planet, GPS, Tracy & Matt]

    Posted in: GPS/Sat Nav
    By August 30, 2007 Read More →

    TomTom Introduces New High-End Model: TomTom GO 920 T

    The worst kept secret in the satnav world is out…

    TomTom, the world’s largest portable navigation solutions provider, today revealed its new flagship model, the TomTom GO 920 T. It comes preinstalled with complete maps of Europe* and USA & Canada on the 4 GB internal memory. The GO 920 T includes the new Enhanced Positioning Technology which results in a more continuous navigation experience. An RDS-TMC Traffic Receiver to receive up-to-date traffic information is included in the box. The TomTom GO 920 T features a slim high quality design with soft-touch finish, and a new metallic colour scheme.

    “The new flagship TomTom GO 920 T offers the best in satellite navigation,” says Harold Goddijn, chief executive officer at TomTom. “Pre-installed maps of multiple continents combined with innovative technologies such as the new Enhanced Positioning Technology, TomTom Map Share™ and plug & play traffic information offer outstanding quality and performance. The TomTom GO 920 T is the most advanced navigation solution on the market today.”

    Most complete set of maps

    The new TomTom GO 920 T offers a seamless map of 41 countries in both Western and Central Europe and the most-up-to-date maps of USA and Canada preinstalled on the 4 GB internal memory of the device. This makes the TomTom GO 920 T the personal navigation device with the most complete set of pre-installed maps available in TomTom’s entire navigation solution portfolio.

    Best navigation with Enhanced Positioning Technology

    TomTom’s new Enhanced Positioning Technology uses movement and gravity sensors to calculate drivers’ positions when GPS signals are unavailable. TomTom GO 920 T users will have a much more continuous navigation experience as the Enhanced Positioning Technology ensures the device continues to navigate to its destination, even in circumstances where there may not be a direct line-of-sight connection to a satellite. For example, when driving in a city with tall buildings, underpasses or bridges. In addition, the TomTom GO 920 T comes with the latest version of TomTom’s award winning software and all the features of the current TomTom GO 720 and TomTom GO 520. This includes TomTom Map Share™ Technology to make easy changes to the map and to share map corrections with other TomTom customers so that users always have the most up-to-date maps available.

    Traffic

    An RDS-TMC Traffic Receiver to receive up-to-date traffic information is also included in the box.

    Remote control

    The TomTom GO 920 T comes with an improved Bluetooth™ remote control that is the same colour as the device. This way drivers can operate their device safely from anywhere in the car without having to reach to touch the screen.

    Extensive set of features

    TomTom GO 920 T replaces the current TomTom GO 910 and offers the best in navigation and performance. On top of all new and exclusive features that the TomTom GO 920 T includes, the model comes preinstalled with the latest navigation software and features, such as: –

    Large 4.3 inch touch screen with high quality graphics, an intuitive user interface and building footprints for a better overview of drivers’ surroundings.

    TomTom Map Share™ Technology: allowing users to instantly correct maps, share changes with other users, and benefit from improvements made by other users.

    TomTom RDS-TMC Traffic Receiver to give users the most-up-to-date traffic information (RDS-TMC Traffic Receiver comes in the box)

    Speech recognition: voice address input to easily direct drivers to millions of cities and street names; Enhanced hands-free kit with high quality sound system to allow drivers to keep their eyes firmly on the road whilst making phone calls in the car

    Extensive safety features including ‘Help Me’ menu to give drivers direct access to emergency services and roadside assistance

    Built-in FM Transmitter to play music and navigation instructions over the car stereo

    Clear voice instructions and text-to-speech, to enable street names, places, traffic alerts and SMS messages to be read aloud as part of the spoken instructions

    New smart & fun extras to personalize users’ devices, including recording your own driving instructions, view documents, exchange positions via SMS and Bluetooth™ wireless technology and select a favourite car icon on the screen

    TomTom desk dock to easily charge the TomTom GO 920 T and connect to a computer and TomTom HOME, TomTom’s free software application, to access ready to use online services such as Safety Cameras, Traffic and Weather

    Availability

    The new TomTom GO 920 T will be available in the last quarter of 2007.

    Product technical specifications

  • 4.3” widescreen 16:9 format LCD (WQVGA: 480*272 pixels)
  • CPU 400 MHz, 64MB RAM
  • 4GB internal flash memory
  • SD card socket
  • High sensitivity GPS receiver
  • Compatible with RDS-TMC traffic information receiver and TomTom’s subscription based traffic service
  • Integrated FM transmitter
  • Bluetooth™
  • Lithium-polymer battery (up to 5 hours operation)
  • Optimised integrated microphone and speaker for high quality hands-free functionality
  • Dimensions: 118 mm x 83 mm x 24 mm
  • Weight: 220 grams END
  • Posted by: Mark

    We’ll hopefully have a review device here soon, and you can always take a look at our TomTom Go 720 review as well.

    [Post tag(s): smartphone news, Pocket PC news, Tom Tom GO 920, Satnav, navigation, GPS, Tracy & Matt]

    Posted in: GPS/Sat Nav
    By August 28, 2007 Read More →

    TomTom GO 720 review

    Can TomTom improve their already well respect range of ‘Go’ products?

    TomTom GO 720 review

    The x20 range is the latest Portable Navigation Device from the market leaders TomTom. Thanks to the guys at Clove Technology, we’ve managed to get our hands on a Go 720 to review.

    The 720 was launched in Europe alongside its little brother – the 520. A 920 is noticeable by its absence currently, but there are a few pointers to suggest an announcement won’t be too far away.

    These new x20 devices come pre-installed with the latest firmware, and navCore7 software. The x10 range, and indeed the PDA/Smartphone software currently runs navCore6 – which lacks some of the newer features found here.

    The first improvement we see with navCore7, is an improved GUI. It’s really only a different skin – but for what its worth – it is an improvement.

    As you may have seen from Matt’s unboxing video, the TomTom branding is omnipresent as usual, and the box is packed full of pretty much all the main peripherals. A car charger (rather obviously), and a natty desktop docking station found on the newer model – I assume because they are now so slim they won’t stand up!

    TomTom GO 720 stand

    TomTom GO 720 stand

    The spec sheet for the 720 is really quite impressive; a 4.3in widescreen TFT ‘matt finish’ screen using a 480×272 resolution, and backed up by a 400MHz CPU and 64meg of RAM. The TomTom 720 comes with 2gb of onboard memory, but the vast majority of this is taken up by the supplied maps and addons. Bluetooth, and, a first for TomTom, a built in FM transmitter. The battery life is stated as 5 hours, and it weights just 220g.

    TomTom GO 720 review

    TomTom GO 720 back

    Environment:
    This device has been used for the past 2 weeks on every journey, as a direct replacement for TomTom Navigator 6 running on my personal iPaq PDA (A rx3715 from a few years ago). Consider this a comparison review between these methods of satnav, and my experiences with other brands.

    Highlights:
    Form Factor: At 118 x 83 x 24mm, TomTom have managed to shave a fair bit off the older 710 model, and I can’t really see them being able to go much smaller, since a decent size screen is mandatory on a satnav device! It’s still not exactly easy to carry about with you though – especially if your a male without your manbag! Luckily this problem goes away if your partner is with you.

    FM Transmitter: Finally! This feature is a real winner in my opinion. It works well, its easy to turn on and off – and unlike those cheap things you buy off ebay, there is no sign of crackle or interference. It just works, and works well. You are able to select whether music and navigation announcements are made over the FM transmitter, or either or. Music is stopped during announcements, and resumes automatically when it’s finished telling you what to do!

    Speech Recognition: To be honest I was expecting this to be appalling. Having been around the IT industry for the past 10 years or so, I know that by default, all voice/speech recognition products are 1) appallingly bad; or 2) none-functional. Surprisingly I’ve not managed to get the 720 to get anything wrong! Once again, rather like the FM transmitter, it just works. It seems like a simple thing to say, but it amazes me how TomTom have managed to get it to recognise my voice, in a clapped out 10 year old car! By selecting the navigate via speech option, you are told to say the city you need to get to (as per usual TomTom define any city, town or village as a city!). A list of possible matches is displayed, to which you say the number.

    Text-to-Speech: The TomTom 720 has also applied some massive improvements to the core of the satnav system Road name are now spoken by the new “computer voice”. This feature was also seen on the Go 910, but the 720 massively improves on even that. Its got a few bugs, a few oddities, some street names just don’t quite work, but the majority of the time, its very clear, and does help out over the standard “Turn left” style commands.

    TomTom GO 720 screen shot

    TomTom GO 720 screen shot

    Package: As I’ve already said – the whole package is pretty impressive. A carry case or sleeve would have been nice, but the inclusion of a dock is welcomed, and I can’t really fault the content much at all really.

    Screen: The screen seems to be covered in some sort of matt finish cover. This might sound nasty but in practise it works well at keeping the screen visible in strong sunlight. Although its perhaps not as clear in normal lighting because of this, on the whole, the cover does improve things.

    TomTom GO 720

    TomTom GO 720 screen

    Low Lights:
    Battery Life: Still not ideal in my eyes. The advertising spiel says 5 hours, and it is a bit less than that I reckon. I would normally always use this plugged into a car charger – but clearly the fact its got a battery suggests that not everyone works this way. I guess the screen size limits what can be done about the battery life. Hopefully 5 hours is enough for the majority though

    Sound quality: This was the biggest problem I had with the TomTom. I’ve used quite a few of these PNDs, and PDA software navigation system from TomTom, and the early PNDs such as the Go 300 had excellent loud and clear speakers. Much better than my iPaq’s speaker. These new systems, presumably because of the smaller size suffer from very poor quality speakers. They aren’t particularly loud either. While I’m sure it will be bearable to most – its extremely disappointing after the quality of the earlier models.

    No Bluetooth Network Connection support: Since we like our Windows Mobile 6 devices here at TracyAndMatt, It very, very disappointing to find that these new models STILL don’t support Bluetooth PAN. It has the usual Dial Up Networking profile, and will work with most normal phones. However WM6 supports a new Bluetooth profile – The Bluetooth PAN connection. Effective this allows ‘Internet sharing’ within WM6 to act as your internet router – no messing about with dial up – connect to the PDA and you’re connected. Unfortunately even the brand new x20 range doesn’t support this, and what’s worse, because WM6 no longer includes the old DUN profile, you cannot use it for Internet Sharing with the TomTom

    Speed: Oddly the system isn’t as quick as refreshing as my iPaq – even with all POIs turned off. I’ve noticed this before, and I not 100% why this is the case. However, its perfectly usable, the GPS fix is found ultra quickly, thanks to the software downloads available via TomTom Home.

    The unknown!
    Unfortunately I didn’t manage to get the MapShare technology to work at any point. Everything seemed to go ok, my own fixes appeared to be uploaded OK, but nothing even changed on the map itself. I tried many different options to get it going but nothing seemed to give me much success. I do have the device for a couple more days, so I’ll update this should I make any progress!

    Review

    OK, so I admit I’m a bit of a SatNav obsessive (according to Matt!) and I am a big big fan of TomTom stuff. I prefer it to iGo and CoPilot. I’ve never used a Garmin device, but I think in terms of ease-of-use – nothing comes close to TomTom.

    I’ve tried to use the device as a ‘noob’ but to be honest its a bit difficult since I’ve used these products in various forms for years. Even so, I’ve tried to remain impartial.

    However, the first thing to say is that this is a damn good satnav. The new features are well thought out and genuinely improve an already good range of products. TomTom appear to have listened to the community as well. The system allows a much greater level of control over the look and feel of the built in OS. You can (finally) change the position icon (formally the blue arrow), to a logo or images of your choice, or one of the built in ready made pictures. I went for an orange F1 car.

    Equally useful is the ability to move the status bar from the bottom of the screen to the right hand side. I wasn’t sure if I’d like thus, having been used to the standard look of TomTom, but its a great idea – certainly on widescreen models like this. It seems to use the screen space better, and still allow a large driving view.

    There are many other minor improvements, that I’ve seen people moan about in previous editions of navCore. You can turn on an audible alert when travelling x% over the speed limit. You can now turn off the speed limit monitoring completely – something missing from earlier versions. A built in light sensor allows you to choose to automatically dim the screen when it gets dark. All minor updates, but it shows an attention to detail that was perhaps lacking in the early TomTom releases.

    The current version of the software (7.0) is, being honest, a bit crash happy. It doesn’t seem to want to open some of the photos I’ve uploaded to it, and just jams itself until I’m forced to press the reset button. The menu also has a tendency to hang either permanently, or for a few seconds at a time. Unusually though when on a route, and the device is left to its own.. erm.. devices, its perfectly stable.

    The suction cup and mount is somewhat different to the old Go models. There is no built in charger, or any port replication. Many people believe this to be down to the problems TomTom faced with the old active mounts. The suction cup is, as ever, very strong, and ‘parking’ the device takes a bit of getting used to, but very intuitive once the learning curve is complete! I can see the mount being a pain in the **** for people having to plug the charger, an external GPS aerial, and a FM Traffic receiver in every time they set off!

    There are improvements to the way TomTom handle SD cards. In older models, the SD card ‘replaced’ the onboard memory – so a complete copy of the software and maps had to be loaded onto the SD Card. This is no longer the case, and the TomTom combines any folders called the same on both memory areas. This allows you to use all the space on your memory card. As ever though, images have to be in /images, mp3s have to be in /mp3s etc etc. Otherwise they just aren’t seen in the Jukebox or picture viewing software.

    TomTom GO 720

    TomTom GO 720 bottom

    Operation

    The overall operation of the device is exactly like any other TomTom. I think the buzzwords are evolution not revolution. If you can handle your current TomTom device, you’ll be fine with this. There are minor improvements, for example the user-configurable quick launch menu, and depending on how old your device is, you’ll be surprised to find Postcode navigation now hidden in the ‘address’ area. Routes can, as ever, be calculated by the quickest route, shortest routes, various different methods for pedestrians and fixed speed vehicles. Routing seems good, if not perfect – and the mapshare technology will only improve this.

    Disappointing to me was the recent announcement that TomTom are to buy TeleAtlas mapping. Having used one of the few TomTom rider units supplied with NavTeq mapping, I think in comparison, the TeleAtlas stuff is lacking – even in Europe. Routing also seemed much better using the Navteq maps. However, I fear this is something that we’re gonna have to manage with. It’ll be teleatlas all the way from now on.

    A minor gripe is the car mount. It’s a little too small, and too short. This means that the unit is held firm, and shake-free, but it a long way away from the driver – especially for control with driving. My PDA mount for example sits a lot further away from the windscreen, and closer to me – meaning its much easier to control without stretching.

    Stability

    Overall stability is pretty good while routing, but as stated earlier, its prone to crashes, especially when modifying settings within the large menu system.

    Ease of Use
    Its TomTom. Its like the rest, and I don’t believe its that steep a learning curve for people new to satnav. For a new entrant to the world of satnav – you won’t find a much easier starting point than this.

    TomTom GO 720

    TomTom GO 720

    Overall Assessment
    TomTom have really raised the bar with the release of the 720. 2gb onboard memory, and a wide variety of major and minor fixes and feature improvements. While I have a few issues with it, I can’t help but heap praise on TomTom who have made possible the biggest improvements to the devices since the original TomTom Go.

    It’s a great device for both new users, and old pros looking to improve what they already have. The FM transmitter is exceptional – and space saving since it’s all built into the small case. The text to speech, and speech to text systems are the best I’ve ever used. They are highly useful, and I think that’s the main plus point for me – all the new features are genuinely useful to the end user. So silly gimmick here – just solid feature requests being added to an already good base product.

    In conclusion, if you are looking for a new satnav right now – this is the best on the market. It’s well supported both officially and unofficially, and the ‘fan’ sites have large communities of experts ready to help out with any problems. The pricing is highly competitive, even against its stablemate the Go 520.

    TomTom GO 720 Specification:

    • CPU – 400MHz
    • Memory – 64MB Ram, 2GB Internal Storage Memory
    • Screen Size – 4.3″ 480 x 272 pixels
    • Dimensions – 118 x 83 x 24mm
    • Bluetooth
    • FM Transmitter
    • Built-in speaker and mic
    • SD memory card slot
    • Weight – 220g
    • Battery Time – 5h
    • Pre-installed maps of Western Europe

    Note: Since writing this, I noticed Clove have reduced their price again – just £255 (£299.62 inc VAT)

    Review by: Mark

    [Post tag(s): smartphone news, Pocket PC news, Tom Tom GO 720, Satnav, navigation, GPS, Tracy & Matt]

    Posted in: GPS/Sat Nav, Reviews
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