TomTom MOBILE 5

  • Editors' rating
    7.7 Very good

Pros

  • Full postcode routing
  • excellent use of screen space
  • fast route planning

Cons

  • Bluetooth GPS receiver initially reluctant to pair with Nokia 6670
  • on-screen text is necessarily small
  • software supplied on a relatively small (128MB) Flash memory card

TomTom’s MOBILE 5 is the latest version of the company’s navigation software for smartphones. It is compatible with a range of devices running Windows Mobile, Symbian Series 80 (Nokia’s 9500 Communicator and 9300 Smartphone), and. We tested it on a Series 60 phone, the Nokia 6670. Not all Series 60 handsets are compatible, and you should check the list at TomTom's Web site.

Design & features
In our first review of TomTom MOBILE we were impressed by the fact that you could run navigation software adequately on a smartphone. Now there are several players in the phone-based navigation software market, including Navicore Personal, Destinator SP and Route 66 Mobile. Has TomTom got what it takes to keep up? Aware that it is fighting increasingly stiff competition, TomTom is offering MOBILE 5 at an upgrade price of just €79 (~£54). You don’t get a GPS receiver for this price -- just the software update and new maps. The full package (with GPS receiver) costs €299 (~£203). TomTom has changed its Bluetooth GPS receiver, the new one being somewhat cigarette-lighter-shaped; it also has a strange hole in it whose purpose, if any, is unclear. Unfortunately it took an age to pair with our Nokia 6670: in fact, we had to turn the handset on and off a few times to get started. Not auspicious, although after the first pairing things went smoothly. The software and maps are delivered on a 128MB RS-MMC flash memory card, with an SD card adapter. Installation is a simple matter of putting the card into your handset and powering on. A PC is not required, and the software installs automatically. The software and map data occupies most of the card’s space, leaving just 8.5MB free for your own use. Some competing smartphone navigation solutions come on 256MB cards with a lot more free space, so TomTom has skimped a little here. Users may need to swap cards to use their own card-installed applications or data, which could prove inconvenient given that many smartphones require the battery to be removed in order to swap cards. The updated software includes itinerary planning with more than one waypoint, navigation to map points and city centres rather than just addresses, and pre-travel route planning (so you can check your route before you set off, either viewing turn-by-turn directions or listening to a run-through of spoken instructions). These features all appear in competing navigation software, so TomTom is playing catch-up here. Another crucial feature in the new version is full postcode navigation for both the UK and the Netherlands. This works well, although you still need to know the building number to get totally accurate navigation, and you have to choose postcode navigation specifically from the options menu. Naturally there's a database of points of interest (POIs), and it's easy to configure a warning when you come within a preset distance of a POI. There are six routing options -- fastest, shortest, avoid motorways, walking, bicycle and limited-speed. However, cyclists shouldn't be fooled into thinking that the software knows about cycle lanes, cycle paths across parks, access through pedestrian (car-free) areas and suchlike: in our test it simply seemed to avoid motorways and some busier roads.

Performance
TomTom MOBILE 5 makes good use of the limited screen space afforded by smartphones, and worked well on our Nokia 6670. A map showing your current position occupies around four fifths of the screen, with information like distance to destination, distance to the next turn, direction of next turn and estimated time of arrival visible in a band along the bottom. A thin strip at the very bottom of the screen shows the current street or road name. When you are moving, the display shows a large arrow indicating the direction of the next turn instead of a map view, again with the information band below; 2D and 3D maps are available, and we found the 3D maps the most useful. Navigating through menu screens and entering navigation addresses is straightforward, and routes themselves are calculated quickly. The sound quality is impressive. Volume is down to your phone, of course, but spoken instructions are generally clear and timely. The Bluetooth connection to the GPS receiver is convenient (at least once the initial pairing is made), and the receiver's battery life is good enough to last for several hours'-worth of trips. The kit comes with a car charger, so can charge the receiver en route. You’ll need to make separate arrangements for your handset, but car chargers are available that can handle two devices at once.

Specifications

General
Receiver Bluetooth GPS receiver
Update Rate 1/second
Header
Brand TomTom
Product Line TomTom MOBILE
Model 5
Country Kits United Kingdom
Packaged Quantity 1
GPS System
Product Type GPS kit
Included Receiver Bluetooth GPS receiver
Connectivity NMEA 0183
Update Rate 1/second
Antenna built-in
GPS Compatibility
Compatible Devices (for S.D.) for Nokia Series 60 platform
Interface Bluetooth
Acquisition Times
Cold 60 sec
Warm 30 sec
Hot 10 sec
Environmental Parameters
Min Operating Temperature 14 °F
Max Operating Temperature 140 °F
Dimensions & Weight
Width 1.7 in
Depth 3.5 in
Height 0.6 in
Weight 2.4 oz

Top ZDNET Reviews

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Newsletters

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
See All
See All