TomTom Go 730 GPS receiver review

Bigger than the TomTom XL in design and features, the Go 730 sits above the Go 530 and below the Go 930 in the features that it offers and is ideal for those not fussed about maps of North America (included with the Go 930), but want more than just maps of the UK in the box as standard (included with the Go 530).

Cased in black body, a welcome respite from the silver clones that seem to dominate the satnav market, the TomTom Go 730 has a simple, clutter-free, design - the front dominated by the 4.3in touchscreen. The only button is the discreet power button on the top – it’s almost a shame TomTom didn’t decide to use their logo as the power switch.

In the box you get pretty much everything you want from a satnav – the suction mount, 12v power lead and desk dock. You also get the software suite for TomTom HOME, to really get the most out of your device, using the supplied desk dock. The maps on this version cover just Europe with expansion to 31 countries to include the ever increasing "European boundaries".

The best thing about TomTom, and one of the reasons it has been so popular, is that it is incredibly easy to use. Out of the box, turn it on and away you go, it is a simple as that. The suction mount is worth a mention because is fairly low-profile, slipping into the back of the device, although it has to be said not as nice as the EasyPort mount found on the new One range.

The power cable has a 90 degree plug meaning your TomTom can be mounted flush with the dashboard, a nice touch.

Of course, on this level of device you get the Bluetooth link for your phone and an FM transmitter built-in. Connection also enables features like TomTom weather once you have established a data connection – but you will end up paying the data rates for these sorts of options. You can also access your address book and have incoming text message read out.

This being the non-traffic version you won't get the TMC cable in the box and means that your dash will be free from cables. That's not to say you can't get traffic, you'll just have to use your mobile phone for the data.

Connection via Bluetooth is fairly easy to set-up and our suggestion would be to do this at home rather than in a traffic jam. You'll also have to bear in mind that if you use a headset, as is the law, you'll only be able to connect to one device at a time.

You also get IQ routes, which calculates your route based on real average speed data, so you get a more realistic picture of your journey time. Advanced Lane Guidance is a gem to make sure you take the right turning on a motorway and don’t end up heading north instead of south, a problem that has blighted satnav in the past.

The Go 730 also supports voice commands, which sounds smart, and works pretty well. It basically pulls up the location menu, so you say "London" and it offers you a list of cities, with London at the top, for you to press, and again with street names. It works, but doesn’t save much time as the interface is relatively simple anyway. Perhaps it is designed to stop drivers pressing too many buttons whilst driving, but you do have to access the menu first to enable the voice input, so doesn’t really satisfy that demand.

Unlike the Go 930 you don't get a remote control in the box but it’s no big loss.

Of course the best feature is being able to access the wider community and update maps. Maps were invariably out of date on older versions, but now at least you get the chance to edit them as well as download updates from other users. In reality you will probably correct things near your home, to stop a route down a closed road and so on.

Verdict

All in all, this is TomTom doing what it does best. As a navigation solution, we think this is the best around, but this could be said of the offerings much further down the range, with a great range of options to ensure your journey goes as smoothly as possible. But do all the extra features make it a worthwhile purchase and justify that premium price?

Sure, it is fully loaded, but perhaps too feature-packed for your average user. To justify splashing out on the Rolls-Royce of satnavs you really need to know you are going to use these features, and that means some serious driving.

While you'll save some money on not getting the North America maps, if you aren't planning on travelling outside the UK we would recommend the Go 530 and if you really aren't fussed about Bluetooth connectivity the XL will suit your needs saving you a fair wad of cash.