LatestGadget.co.uk contributor Andrew Rafter braves the freezing weather to test the TomTom GO 950 Live.
TomTom’s Live was a massive step forward when it arrived last year via the Go x40 series. It was such a step forward that TomTom’s new 950 offers less radical improvements but is now the ultimate Satellite Navigation System for professional drivers and heavy commuters.
Costing £299 it is certainly not a cheap sat-nav but this years model has come with notable additions including the ability to report new speed camera locations, which then can be uploaded to TomTom’s safety camera database. And with the inclusion of a mobile data link the database should be the most up to date possible.
Other additions come when you calculate a new route, the sat-nav figures which road to use it then offers a panel on the right which is called LIVE snapshot, which gives you information regarding cheapest petrol on route, traffic summary and of course safety cameras.
The main new component is the HD Traffic which is the best traffic resource available today, if you’re travelling over a 100 miles this new feature will certainly save you time by re-routing around traffic hot-spots via TomTom’s Live service.
Live-enabled TomTom sat-navs rely on a nifty mobile data link allowing them to access Google Local Search via the sat-nav itself. The Live services cost £7.99 a month and is definitely an effective way of saving time if you’re a regular commuter, but if you only use your sat-nav occasionally the £7.99 won’t be justifiable.
Another difference in this year’s version is that TomTom’s live services will now work in mainland Europe including France, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Portugal. Not all these countries offer all the service but they now all support the HD traffic and Google Search – which is a notable inclusion.
The device comes with voice command, which we tested thoroughly and it seemed to work around 90% of the time, but sometimes failed to recognise complex destination names.
We were able to hook up a mobile phone to the sat-nav via Bluetooth and we were able to make and receive phone calls at the touch of a button using the new and improved on-board built-in speaker, which is much louder and clearer than previous models.
The TomTom 950 isn’t a massive step forward and if you bought last year’s model there is nothing here for you to consider upgrading for. But if you are a heavy commuter and willing to splash-out the £299 and you will see notable savings in travel times and stress, which can only be a good thing.