TomTom 520 GPS receiver review

4 out of 5
£299

For

FM transmitter, speech recognition, clear map data, speed camera database

Against

Pricey

TomTom has updated its TomTom range to follow in the thin widescreen footsteps of the TomTom One. But do you need the extra space and features? We get driving to find out.

"Incredibly thin" as Mrs Pocket-lint put it, the TomTom 520 features a 4.3-inch screen, the same as the TomTom One and brings the previous 510 into the new design.

Also slimmed down is the windscreen sucker and this makes the whole package easier to fit in your bag or jacket - something which is now possible.

Offering considerably more than the TomTom One, the 520 also features speech recognition address input so you can just speak the address you want to go to rather than typing it in.

Unlike those cinema booking lines that always end up giving you listings for Southampton even if you've said Newcastle, the unit worked very well in listing our road, and if there is any doubt in the device's mind as to what you said you get alternatives that you can simply press to select.

It's a lot quicker to use, especially if you are prone to visiting long addresses.

Other features include the introduction of a built-in FM transmitter to transmit sound over you car's stereo and there is also a feature that allows you to plug in your iPod giving you onscreen control.

The 520, like the TomTom 720, works with TomTom's new Map Share technology which lets you correct the maps as well as check out improvements made by other users and again this is very easy to use.

Other features you'll find useful are the ability to pair your mobile phone for handsfree calling and a built-in MP3 player and picture viewer so you can listen to your favourite tracks if you are bored of the radio or the road ahead.

Finally for those who like to speed, the system includes a database of all the speed camera locations around the UK. This combined with a flashing logo and beeping alarm means you should get that few seconds warning before hitting the brakes. However one problem we did find, and this isn't new to this model, is that the speed camera database doesn't store directional data so the camera could be facing the other direction. Finally on the speed front, the unit will also beep at you if you are exceeding the speed limit by over 10 miles an hour - don't worry you can turn it off if you wish.

Verdict

For the extra £100 on top of the TomTom One you get a stack of useful features that you are likely to use on a daily basis. The larger screen, the FM transmitter, the speech recognition address input and the more.

It might be pushing up the price of satnavs again and compared to the entry-level stuff available a bigger jump. But if you are looking for a unit that does more than just give you the A to B, then this is worth a closer look.