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 newsletter!
Samsung QLED 8K TV
Ballistix Tactical Tracer RGB 3000
Bang and Olufsen Beoplay A9 Speaker
Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver Watch
Ballistix Sport AT
Apple iMac Pro
Toys for Boys
ESET Cyber Security Pro for Mac
Nix Pro Colour Sensor
Osmo Coding Awbie Game
ESET Internet Security
Tivoli PAL BT
Oregon Pro WMR500 Weather Station
Little Bits DROID Inventor Kit
ESET Smart Security Premium
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom Bluetooth Speaker
Naztech Xtra Drive Mini + 256GB microSD Card
SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3
Ikea RIGGAD work lamp with wireless charging
TimeFlip Magnet Simple Time Tracking Device
Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Samsung Galaxy Watch review: Brilliant but not quite a breakthrough
- 2 HP Omen 15 (2018): Full, in-depth review
- 3 HP Envy x360 13 (Ryzen): Full, in-depth review
- 4 Dell G5 review: Easy to live with
- 5 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
Latest News Articles
- Exciting New Aussie Dash-Cams Unveiled Ahead of Holiday Road Trip Season
- Latest Spartan sports watches hit the scene
- Early iPhone 7 reviews: You'll miss the headphone jack, but the camera and battery life are tops
- Watch out: iOS 10 install is reportedly bricking some iPhones
- Google's Pixel Launcher leak hints at the demise of the Nexus brand
PCW Evaluation Team
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
- CES 2019 Round-Up:
- Razer Phone 2 review: One for the fans
- Samsung’s Galaxy S10 will launch on Feb 20
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies