Review: TomTom One IQ Routes Edition

 
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Published: June 20, 2009 11:00 PM
By Vincent Lheur
While the sat-nav market has been plummeting, TomTom has played a strong card including the IQ Routes system in its entry-level models such as this TomTom One IQ Routes Edition.

Remember that IQ Routes allows you to calculate routes based on historical data on traffic on given roads according to the day of the week and time of day. This is a great feature for those who regularly drive though large towns or cities.

The kit

With an entry level positioning, you'd expect this sat-nav to be sparely equipped. And indeed it has the essential and no more: a 3.5 inch screen in 4/3 format, a cigarette lighter charger and a USB socket. There is no card reader.
As on previous models, the suction mount is housed in the oversized speaker at the back of the casing.

We're fans of this system that is both practical and compact. After using it, it's hard to go back to older, larger adjustment mounts.


Even including the mount, the TomTom One IQ Routes Edition is slim. Best to use a slanted surface so that the large speaker is fully uncovered and can give out full sound.

Build and design

The TomTom One IQ Routes Edition almost gets top score here. It uses all the same menus and address entry system that have made the Dutch manufacturer so successful and even allows you to choose between an ABCDEF and AZERTY keyboard setup.

The only fault we have is that the settings menus are sometimes a little too deep; the novice will get a bit lost when they first use it. Everything else is fine and you won't need to read the manual before you start pressing buttons: it's intuitive, practical and fast.

Of course there's no voice recognition but this option, when it is included on other models, is far from being perfect yet.

Route guidance

Once again, you'll find a good number of options in the route guidance system that were until recently reserved for the top end models: lane guidance to indicate where you should be at motorway junctions. This is displayed in the form of arrows at the bottom left of the screen and in realistic photo form when you're on motorways or dual carriageways (see inset). Speed cameras are of course included but the default alert comes a little late. Happily it is possible to set the alert earlier.


Of course it's the IQ Routes system that makes this sat-nav of real interest. As we said in the intro, this system allows you to adapt to generally expected traffic conditions. Lets take an example: you're in a city with a ring road that is generally jammed at rush hour. The IQ Routes system helps you to avoid the ring road at the times when it is jammed, if it finds a faster option. On the other hand, outside of rush hour, it will take the ring road if this route constitutes the fastest journey.



IQ Routes is not however a traffic tracking system. It simply calculates routes by taking into account average traffic at the time of your journey. So as to avoid one-off jams (holiday season, accidents, roadworks) you'll need a traffic tracking system. This won't be included with your One IQ Routes Edition but it is available as an added extra.


Optional RDS-TMC receiver and subscription to TomTom Traffic

Another feature that is missing is Text-to-Speech that you'll only find on higher spec models. Here the voice only gives driving instructions (''turn right'', "in 200 m take the exit,...) without giving the names of roads ("M25'', ''Old Kent road'' etc).

The route guidance is excellent and you'll never find yourself waiting for the next instruction. The only weak point as far as we can see is in initialisation of the GPS positioning. It is sometimes quite long and occasionally takes two or three minutes.

Extra features

The TomTom One IQ Routes Edition has route guidance and that's it! No Bluetooth, no FM radio, no multimedia player. But we won't hold this against it. It does the essential and it does it well.
4/5 TomTom One IQ Routes Edition DigitalVersus 2009-06-21 00:00:00

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • IQ Routes will be very useful for city dwellers
  • Small practical suction mount
  • Compact

Cons

  • The GPS sensor however is sometimes slow to start up

Conclusion

This is a must-have sat-nav for the regular driver. In addition, its IQ Routes feature is the ideal companion if you live in a city. Those of you who live in your cars will probably want to go for a model with traffic tracking.

OUR SCORE 4/5
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