TomTom's high-end GO GPS navigation device has been given a complete refresh: The TomTom GO Live 1000 has a new design, a 4.3in capacitive touchscreen, and a refreshed interface. A successor to the TomTom GO 950, the GO 1000 also includes Bluetooth hands-free and voice commands, making it one of the best-equipped navigation devices on the market.
TomTom is well known for the simplicity of its GPS devices, and the GO 1000 continues this tradition. It features just a single power button in the top-left corner as the only physical control; this doubles as an indicator light when the unit is charging. The latest GO GPS units include a brushed aluminium rear that houses the external speaker. The key features remain the same as all TomTom units — the GO 1000 uses an interface that's controlled by a finger-operated touchscreen.
One of the best features of the TomTom GO Live 1000 is the Easy Click magnetic mount, which held firmly on even the bumpiest roads and is effortless to mount and remove. The locking mechanism is sturdy and easy to apply with one hand. An even bigger plus is the use of a capacitive touchscreen, a first for any TomTom device. Dubbed "Fluid Touch", the GO 1000's screen is more responsive and accurate than previous TomTom devices and its benefits are especially evident when entering text via the on-screen keyboard.
TomTom has also updated the user interface on the GO 1000. It's more of a slight revision than a complete overhaul, but the changes are generally positive. The overall look and feel is more modern, with rounded edges on selection boxes the main highlight. Though there was nothing especially wrong with the previous look and feel of TomTom's UI, it was starting to look a little old and the new changes are definitely welcome.
One of the best is the ability to make your own customised "menu" — here you can choose to pin certain functions to the display screen, such as a parking, voice control, call, and help me icons. If you select more than two buttons, you can tap the arrow button to see all the shortcuts you've added. TomTom has also revealed that the new UI will support third-party widgets and applications from next year, though further details aren't available yet.
Usability hasn't been compromised and in many cases has slightly improved. The GO 1000 is as easy to use as any TomTom sat nav thanks to a well laid out main menu and an excellent on-screen keyboard for text entry. You can also navigate to a destination by using voice control, which allows users to access core functions of the TomTom GO Live 1000 by speaking.
There are more than 140 commands available; in addition to navigating to an address you can also avoid a roadblock, zoom in and out of the map, increase the volume, and add a location to your favourites. The voice command function is available by tapping the microphone button on the home screen. Simply tap the button, say a command and the GO 1000 will react. Like most voice recognition technology, it is far from perfect; we found it often struggled to understand our commands, and you need to speak relatively closely to the built-in microphone on the unit for it to work effectively.
In addition to a regular address, the TomTom GO Live 1000 GPS unit can navigate to a recent destination, a point of interest (POI), a saved favourite, a point on the map, a specific GPS coordinate or even the position of your last stop.
Once you've selected a destination, the TomTom GO Live 1000 displays a redesigned summary screen. Here you can see the fastest route available using IQ Routes with the time and distance to destination displayed. You can calculate an alternative, avoid a roadblock or travel via a particular point. Conveniently, if you decide to change your route the summary screen will show both the new route and the previous one.
The IQ Routes technology used by TomTom is based on real-life user data rather than the traditional maximum speed method. We found the GO 1000 still preferred to calculate routes using main roads rather than backstreets that are often slightly quicker, and it still missed a few no right turns along common testing routes.
The TomTom GO Live 1000 has text-to-speech technology, which means that it speaks the names of streets as you approach them. The unit tends to struggle with longer street names and can only speak them using a UK voice. The voice is loud and clear; the GO 1000's speaker is one of the loudest we've heard on a GPS unit.
Bluetooth hands-free capabilities are included and this function has improved compared to previous models, with a louder speaker and better range for the microphone. You'll still get better sound quality from a dedicated Bluetooth speakerphone, however. TomTom is no longer providing live traffic updates on any of its GPS models.
Correction: in Australia where this unit was reviewed, TomTom is no longer providing live traffic updates; but for the UK there is the HD Traffic service which provides updates every two minutes, as well as mobile and fixed speed camera locations, Google Local Search, and five day weather reports for your destination.
Access to the HD Traffic service costs £47.50 per year, with the first 12 months provided free.
Advanced lane guidance, fixed speed and red light camera alerts, school zone warnings and an over-speed alert are all part of the package. Lane guidance is very useful on freeways and motorways — an icon on the map screen highlights which lane you should be in, depending on your destination. At busy highway junctions this is enhanced by arrows indicating the lane direction combined with a static image of road signs. The signs are the same colour as the ones displayed on the road, in order to minimise confusion.
The GO 1000 also includes TomTom's Map Share and the 'Help Me!' safety portal. In addition to corrections and improvements to the maps being uploaded every month by other TomTom users, Map Share allows you to make adjustments to maps through the unit itself. Users can add their own POIs, update road changes, edit phone numbers and add new streets. You can then share this information with other TomTom users, uploading the changes via the included TomTom HOME software. The Help Me! safety function displays information and allows you to navigate (either by car or on foot) to a multitude of services including police stations, hospitals, mechanics, public transport and pharmacies. It also has first aid, traffic regulation, and repair and maintenance guides.
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