With demand for navigation devices rising steadily we review the Tomtom Start 25 to see if the latest devices are as useful as they claim to be
Satellite Navigation devices are a segment that has off late picked up a lot of traction in the Indian market. With ever-increasing footprint of our cities and towns, it is natural that drivers are now looking at navigation devices to help them reach their destinations. So, it comes as no surprise that one of the most renowned navigation companies in the world – TomTom has launched their range of devices in India.
We got our hands on their Start 25 unit, which is one of their entry-level devices sold in India. Fitted with a 5” touchscreen, the first impression of the device is that of quality. It is a good-looking unit, which is well finished and has impressive build quality. Interestingly, the windscreen/dashboard mount of the unit is integrated behind the unit itself – rather than as a separate attachment – and it gives the unit a small form factor. However, while the suction mount fits well on to a windscreen, fitting it on to a dashboard – as claimed by the company – can be a tricky affair, since it often fails to find grip on vehicle dashboard’s, a factor that is also influenced by the surface finishing of the dashboard.
Using the device, the screen makes an immediate impression with its brightness and the design layout of the maps. Landmarks and direction changes are well designed and very clear – also helped by the large 5” size of the screen – while the screen has enough resolution and brightness to make it easy to read even in bright sunlight. As far as the navigation capabilities go, TomTom claims that their maps already cover over 7,300 cities and towns in India.
As for the actual navigation, we found the unit to be quite useful; destinations were easy to find – at least in the Delhi NCR area – and the navigation quite accurate. It also has a spilt screen feature, so when the user is nearing a turn or an exit which has to be taken, it splits into two separate views, which makes the directions much more simpler and easier to understand and follow. The voice guidance – which is available in 14 different Indian languages – also works very well and is loud enough for use in regular traffic conditions.
Overall, we find the TomTom Start 25 a very useful navigation device. It’s well designed in terms of both hardware and software and is easy to use. What makes it also more attractive from a customer’s point of view is the manufacturer’s offer of a lifetime of free updated maps and the price, which is quite reasonable at Rs.10,999. So, if you’re looking for an entry-level navigation device, the Start 25 comes highly recommended.