TomTom GO Live 820
TomTom GO Live 820 review: The TomTom GO Live 820 is one of the first GPS units in Australia to feature TomTom's HD Traffic service
- Ease of use and design
- HD Traffic and Live services
- Slick navigation experience
- Voice commands hit and miss
- IQ Routes still prefers main roads
- Live services cost extra after 12 months
TomTom's GO Live 820 is an impressive GPS unit, but the real story here is the integration of the company's HD Traffic service. While not perfect, its integration is seamless and easy to use. The GO Live 820 is good value at this price, but we wish the Live services were free for life and not just 12 months.
Price$ 299.00 (AUD)
TomTom's GO Live 820 GPS unit is a mid-range navigation device with a large 4.3in touchscreen. Its also one of the first GPS units in Australia to support TomTom’s new HD traffic service, which forms part of TomTom's Live services suite. The GO Live 820 represents excellent value, and combines a strong features list with a stylish and practical design.
Read our guide to the best TomTom GPS units.
TomTom GO Live 820: Design and user interface
There's only so much you can do with a plastic box that sticks on your car windshield, but TomTom has definitely scored some points for the GO Live 820’s design. It has an attractive, etched finish on the front, with a silver band around the bezel breaking up the all black colour scheme. The GO Live 820 is thin and light, but feels relatively well constructed.
The TomTom GO Live 820 includes an integrated mounting system. It allows the unit to tilt in multiple directions, and the circular lock system makes it easy to quickly attach and remove from a windscreen. The GO Live 820 doesn’t require excessive force to mount, and did not fall off our window during testing.
TomTom GPS units are well regarded for an easy to use interface, and the GO Live 820 is no different. It borrows almost the same look and feel from the previous GO 1000 and GO 1050 units. Features include rounded edges on selection boxes, the ability to make your own customised "menu" on the map display, and an excellent on-screen keyboard to aid text entry.
The TomTom GO Live 820 allows you to navigate to a destination using voice control. There are more than 140 commands available; in addition to navigating to an address you can also avoid a roadblock, zoom in and out of the map, increase the volume, and add a location to your favourites. The voice command function is available by tapping the microphone button on the home screen. Simply tap the button, say a command and the GO Live 820 will react. Like most voice recognition technology, it is far from perfect; we found it often struggled to understand our commands, and you need to speak relatively closely to the built-in microphone on the unit for it to work effectively. In most cases, we found it quicker and more efficient to enter a destination manually.
TomTom GO Live 820: Navigation
Once you've selected a destination, the TomTom GO Live 820 displays the fastest route available using IQ Routes and allows you to alter it if necessary. Here you can avoid a roadblock, calculate an alternative route or travel via a waypoint. The IQ Routes technology used by TomTom is based on real-life user data rather than the traditional maximum speed method. It determines a route by considering all possible routes and then selecting the one that supposedly takes the least time, with the technology aiming to avoid main roads where necessary. In our experience the TomTom GO Live 820 still preferred to calculate routes using main roads rather than backstreets that are often faster. The GO Live 820 is moderately fast when recalculating a route, usually taking around five or six seconds.
The TomTom GO Live 820 has text-to-speech technology, which means that it speaks the names of streets as you approach them. The unit pronounces Australian street names relatively well thanks to an Australian text-to-speech voice. Fixed speed and red-light camera warnings are also included and remain constantly updated as part of TomTom's Live service suite.
Advanced lane guidance is also included on the GO Live 820. On multilane roads, an icon in the bottom-left corner of the map screen highlights which lane you should be in, depending on your destination. At busy highway junctions this is enhanced by arrows indicating the lane direction combined with a static image of road signs. The signs are the same colour as the ones displayed on the road, in order to minimise confusion.
TomTom GO Live 820: HD Traffic and 'Live' services
The key feature of the TomTom GO Live is HD Traffic. TomTom claims the new service is the "world's most accurate and detailed" as it combines both live incident data, and real time flow of traffic from multiple sources. It provides Australia-wide coverage in both metro and regional areas via a live data connection: the GO Live 820 has a built-in, non-removable SIM card. The connection allows the unit to receive information from state traffic authorities, while data is also automatically collected from other TomTom GPS users.
The HD Traffic service promises live traffic updates to users every two minutes. The total traffic delay on a route is shown in the top right corner of the GO Live 820's screen, while individual events or congestion is shown on a bar on the right side of the screen. If an alternative route is available the service will ask if you want to re-route, though this can be set to happen automatically if you wish. We found HD Traffice an effective solution overall, and the was fairly comprehensive. On face value, it certainly seemed more reliable and up to date than the SUNA traffic system used by competitors Garmin and Navman.
HD Traffic is part of the TomTom's "Live Services" suite. Other features include a constantly updated database of safety cameras, local search through Google, a quick GPS fix that promises to gain a GPS position within 30 seconds, and a weather forecast service. The Live Services subscription comes free with the GO Live 820 for first 12 months, and will then cost users $69.95 a year to renew.
Battery life is rated at up to three hours. TomTom disappointingly doesn't include an AC charger in the sales package, so you'll have to charge the GO Live 820 via the included USB cable or cigarette lighter adapter.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Review: TCL C1 series 4K TV
- 2 Mazda MX-5 (2016) review: Absolute driving purity
- 3 Sony 75-inch UHD TV (X9400C) review: Sony and Android are a winning duo
- 4 LG 55EG960T OLED UHD TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera UHD TV review: good hardware, fragmented software
Best Deals on Good Gear Guide
Latest News Articles
- Goodbye GPS? DARPA preparing alternative position-tracking technology
- Elon Musk: Teslas could drive themselves, today
- Nvidia unveils $10,000 autonomous driving computer
- Driverless cars in the UK gets the OK from government
- Spotify hijacks Uber speakers
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- CCProject Support CoordinatorQLD
- CCData Center ArchitectNSW
- FTTechnical/Team Lead - .NetNSW
- FTSenior Technical ConsultantVIC
- FTData AnalystNSW
- CCFront End DeveloperWA
- CCSiebel AnalystACT
- CCHealthcare Test SpecialistSA
- FTSupplier Relationship ManagerVIC
- CCSystem Administration / Application Support | NV2 clearance neededACT
- FTApplication Team Lead | Billing & CreditVIC
- CCAdobe Experience Manager AEM / CQ5 DeveloperNSW
- CCSenior Project Manager, Technology Upgrade & RefreshNSW
- FTSenior iOS DeveloperNSW
- CCBusiness AnalystACT
- FTDigital Sales Manager - Online MediaNSW
- CCAEM DeveloperVIC
- FTSupport AnalystQLD
- CC.NET Developer (Application production Support)NSW
- FTFront End DeveloperSA
- FTTechnology Risk ManagerNSW
- FTTechnical Business Analyst - BINSW
- CCSAP HR & Payroll consultant - July STARTACT
- CCIT Program Delivery Office Lead- Government BackgroundNSW
- FTITSM Head of Service Desk & SwitchboardACT