TomTom Go 720 Review
I am in a good position to review the TomTom having previously owned a Navman. I have a friend that has recently purchased a Navman S80 and I can report that many of the frustrations that I had with my Navman 510 still exist today with the newer Navmans.
I love my TomTom Go 720. The screen is excellent quality and the menu is really easy to use. It has some excellent features that I haven’t seen (or seen as well executed) on other devices. The Bluetooth hands free kit is much better than I thought it would be. It actually gives me a reason to always take the TomTom with me when I go out. It gets a bit of a hassle taking the device with you “just in case” you need it, whereas the Bluetooth hands free kit makes it worthwhile all the time.
The navigation planning is superior to anything else I have seen. It has more options to easily select your destination, including natural voice recognition for suburbs and street names. There is also an option to plan your trip in advance (without GPS reception) plus you can store “Guided Tours” which can be used later or shared over the web.
The spoken street names is a killer feature for me. When you are driving in an unfamiliar location, the difference between “turn left in 200m” and “turn left into Long Street in 200m” is significant. I have found that the instructions are more intuitive than the Navman as well, particularly when you get to a roundabout.
The way the TomTom handles POIs is really good. You can create your own POI category with your own icon, and if you are using a computer voice, you can specify your own custom spoken warning message as you approach the POI group. It also allows you to search for POIs that are not actually currently displayed on your TomTom, something the Navman wouldn’t do.
It has a neat feature whereby it senses if it is day time or night time, and switches the screen colours accordingly, making it easy to read the screen in all conditions.
Last, but by no means least, I have found the routing to be excellent. My friend’s brand new Navman S80 says the “fastest route” from Adelaide to Sydney is via Melbourne (as at Dec 07) – can you believe that! No such problems with the TomTom.
The TomTom Go 720 is very easy to operate and works out of the box. There are some quirky things that you should be aware of however.
The device comes installed with recorded voices, but not with computer voices. This means that you will not be able to get the TomTom to read out the “street names” until you install one of the computer voices. If you are like me and don’t read the manual, the only quick start thing you need to know is that in TomTom Home V2.x, there is an icon called “voices” to install recorded voices and there is another icon 2 pages further through the menu titled “computer voices”. Make sure you don’t select the first icon or you will pull your hair out trying to install the computer voices.
There are some other things you should be aware of that you may not know.
- The SMS to TXT feature only works with certain model mobile phones (not mine!). Refer to the list available here.
- The “”map share” feature that allows users to amend the maps and share the corrections with other users has been disabled for use in Australia. This apparently is due to Sensis (Telstra) insisting that this feature not be enabled for their maps.
- TomTom Traffic is a subscription service that is not available in all states of Australia
The TomTom Go 720 is a classy device, and I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to purchase a GPS.
TomTom Go 720 Cool Stuff
This section contains links and information about things you can do with your TomTom Go 720.
TomTom Go 720 Voices
Most people realise that you have virtually unlimited choice with voices using a TomTom. You can record your own voice (or your wife’s – god help us!). You can also download celebrity voices from the net. I don’t plan to replicate the list of voices here, but just provide you with one really good link that has lots of quality voices. Yoda is my favourite!
TomTom Go 720 Change Splash Screen
It is quite straight forward to change the slash screen that appears when you turn on your TomTom. To do so, just follow these instructions:
- Connect your TomTom to your PC
- Browse the folder structure in the TomTom and go to the root folder
- Locate the file “splashw.bmp”. This is a 480 x 272 pixel BMP file that you can either edit or replace with any other bmp file you like.
I recommend you taking a back up copy of this file before you edit it. I kept the standard bmp file, and added my name and phone number using a windows paint. I realise you can set the owner information using the feature in the TomTom, however I like this approach better.
You can do the same thing with the “anti-theft” reminder screen which is called “antitheftw.bmp” and is also located in the root folder of the TomTom.
TomTom Go 720 POI Data
The TomTom Go 720 comes loaded with speed camera and red light camera data. It is not immediately obvious, but you can customise the warnings for Red Light and Speed Cameras.
I prefer to only get warnings from speed cameras and not for red light cameras. If you want to do this (like me), you will need to adjust the warnings as follows.
- From the Main Menu on your TomTom, browse to the third menu page
- Select TomTom PLUS services
- Select Safety camera warnings
- Select Change Warning Preferences
TomTom Go 720 Trip Logging
One thing I really missed with my Navman 510 was the logging feature. It would keep track of everywhere I went, and this track log could then be downloaded from the TomTom into Google Maps etc. Unfortunately the TomTom does not have a logging feature as part of the standard offering
When surfing the net, I found this great free product Trip Master It is an add on software product that you can load onto your TomTom using TomTom Home v1 or v2. There are instructions at this website on how to load the software. Be aware that there are some quirky things you have to do with the newer version of TomTom. I just followed the instructions however and everything worked fine, first time.