Many years ago, my husband bought a rusty old camper van on eBay. In all honesty, he’d got over-excited by the prospect of travel freedom and didn’t put a lot of thought into the purchase. By the time we had Libby, we had a choice between scrapping it or putting in an extra seat so we could all use it. We took it to my cousin who is a mechanic and asked if it was worth saving. He laughed.
So the van went, we bought a sensible family car and our camper van adventure went on hold. But when we bought the rust-bucket, it came with two accessories that have since become utterly indispensable. A rather battered looking surf board and a TomTom Sat Nav. Both have been with us ever since.
The new TomTom Go
So when TomTom got in touch to see if we’d like to review the new TomTom Go Sat Nav, I knew we were going to love it. Our old one hasn’t missed a beat and still gets us from A to B. But this new gadget is a whole different ball game.
The new TomTom Go is the most advanced Sat Nav TomTom have ever made. It has built-in WiFi, so you don’t even need to connect it to a computer to update maps or software. It tells you what the traffic is like on your route in real-time, pairs with your smartphone and features world maps.
Setting up the TomTom Go
I must admit, I’m not wonderful at setting up high-tech gadgets. In fact, I left the TomTom Go in the box for a good few days thinking it was going to be a bit difficult. But when I was finally brave enough to take it out, it was actually incredibly straightforward.
The first step was to download the TomTom MyDrive App for either Android or iOS. We actually tried it with both operating systems as my phone is an android and my husband’s is an iPhone. Once you’ve got the app, you just turn on bluetooth on your phone and turn on the Sat Nav. In the Sat Nav’s settings, you can click on Bluetooth and ‘add phone’.
When you’ve connected the Sat Nav to the phone, you can access all your contacts and even use Siri or Google Now hands free. I was particularly impressed that it was fine to connect both my phone and my husband’s depending on who was using it. When his was connected, I sent him a text, which he was informed of by the TomTom Go. He was then given the option to read out the message.
You can make and receive calls in the same way, my husband has phoned me from the TomTom Go and the sound quality was great. All your contacts are sent to the Sat Nav when you connect your phone so you can operate hands free. There is also a menu within the MyDrive app to allow you to perform certain functions that would previously have been available only within the Sat Nav itself.
The screen on this device is large and totally user-friendly. It is fully touch-screen operated and interacts seamlessly with the MyDrive app. You can even plan your route on your phone before you go and select points of interest without knowing the address. Then you get your journey information in real-time so you know when to leave to arrive when you need to.
What’s more, the TomTom Go has destination prediction. So when you’ve been using it for a little while, it knows where you go at what time of day. This means you don’t even need to programme in your route, it just knows.
As well as hands-free calling and functionality linked to your phone, the TomTom Go has its own voice commands. Within a particular list of commands, you can tell it what you’d like to do without even touching the screen. No more messing about trying to alter your route.
The TomTom Go 5200 World has a magnetic mount, so you can stick it to the windscreen. Unlike our old Sat Nav, this one has never fallen off. There is also a USB charger, with an adaptor allowing you to plug it into the cigarette lighter.
I would highly recommend the TomTom Go 5200 to absolutely anyone. It is very simple to use and the lifetime world maps and WiFi updates mean this really is the only Sat Nav you will need. It’s a great product to promote safer driving using the hands-free smartphone features. This also saves buying a separate device to allow hands-free calling. In light of the change in legislation to increase the penalty for using a mobile phone whilst driving, the TomTom Go is a very sensible device to own.
For us, it will be perfect for the next generation camper van when we set off on our trip around Europe. Although this is likely to be four years away yet, I see no reason why we wouldn’t still be using the TomTom Go. After all, the second-hand TomTom that we acquired well over five years ago is still going strong, although it is now relegated to the second car.