TomTom's latest top of the range in-car GPS unit adds a few new features and continues TomTom's largely successful user interface. Text-to-speech, Bluetooth handsfree calling and a "Help Me" function are just some of what it has to offer.
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Perhaps the best improvement to the GO 720 has been made in design. Previous GO units were large and bulky, but the GO 720 is thin, stylish and fairly light, offering a similar design to the ONE XL. TomTom continues with their insistence on having just a single power button, despite the fact that external volume controls would have been an ideal inclusion.
Most operations can be accessed via the main menu, which is split into three pages. The interface is similar to previous models -- clearly labelled, graphical menu icons in a simple grid layout. The unit filters street names by suburbs, narrowing down your search results to a manageable number. You can further narrow down your search by navigating to a city centre, specific street and house number, crossing or intersection and even via postcodes. The general navigational experience is superb, with highly detailed maps, clear voice instructions and quick re-routing times. The GO 720 manages to maintain a clear GPS signal, even with an obscured view of the sky.
The maps are very detailed and can be zoomed in and out easily. If you don't hear the voice instruction, you can tap the left-hand side of the status bar to repeat it. The GO 720 features text-to-speech technology, which means that it can say street names as you approach them -- though this isn't pre-loaded onto the unit. It's fairly accurate, though does tend to struggle with long and confusing names. An excellent feature is the ability to record your own customised warnings and instructions. In addition, when connected to your mobile phone via Bluetooth, the GO 720 can also read out your SMS messages.
Bluetooth handsfree means you can make and receive calls as you drive, using the touch screen. There is a separate menu for your mobile phone and from here you can redial your last number, make a call, read and write messages and adjust preferences such as auto-answer. Conveniently, you can also copy your entire phone book to the GO 720's 512MB memory. For best voice quality, you'll need an external microphone accessory, as the microphone on the unit itself isn't great.
The GO 720 supports Map Share, allowing you to share and make adjustments to your maps -- although this feature is not available in Australia as yet and there has been no word from TomTom regarding an Australian release. An excellent addition available in Australia is TomTom's "Help Me" safety feature. This displays information and allows you to navigate (either by car or on foot) to a multitude of services including police stations, hospitals, mechanics, public transport, and pharmacies. It even includes first aid, traffic regulation, and repair and maintenance information in case of emergency. The GO 720 also comes preloaded with fixed speed and red light camera warnings.
Other features include a music player, iPod compatibility, an FM transmitter, an image viewer and a document reader, though the cable needed to connect the unit to your iPod isn't included.
Battery life is rated at up to five hours. TomTom disappointingly doesn't include an AC charger in the sales package, so you'll have to charge the unit via the USB cable or cigarette lighter adapter.