TomTom ONE XL
- Design and aesthetics, large touch screen, user interface, mapping software, excellent navigation and searching
- Battery life could be improved, AC charger not included, Bluetooth can't be used for hands-free
The ONE XL adds a larger display and a new design to an already outstanding GPS unit. At this price, it's the best value for money on the market and combines excellent navigation and an outstanding user experience.
Price$ 599.00 (AUD)
TomTom continue to upgrade their popular entry level unit, and it's easy to see why. Their ONE range has always offered a superb user interface, combined with excellent maps and voice navigation. The new ONE XL adds a larger touch screen and a sleek new design to an already outstanding unit. Despite the facelift, the ONE XL still manages to carry a very competitive price tag. Looking to buy a GPS device? Visit our updated Global Positioning Systems (GPS) Buying Guide before you buy!
Most of the ONE XL's operations can be accessed via the main menu, which is split into three separate pages. From here you simply tap the 'Navigate To..." button to navigate to your home, a favourite location, a specific address, a recent destination or a point of interest (POI). You can further narrow down your search when looking for a specific address, as the ONE XL allows you to navigate to a city centre, specific street and house number, crossing or intersection or even via a postcode. Navigating to a point of interest also offers a host of options, as you can choose a POI near your current location, in the city, near your saved home location, along the current route you are travelling or near a specific destination.
The ONE XL filters street names by suburbs, so you aren't presented with a list of every street in Australia when trying to narrow your search. Unfortunately, you still can't search for street names first, only a suburb. The general navigational experience is superb, with highly detailed maps, clear voice instructions and quick re-routing times. The ONE XL also performs excellently in obtaining and maintaining a clear GPS signal, even with an obscured view of the sky. It uses the popular SiRFstarIII receiver and takes between 15 and 30 seconds to pick up a signal after being turned on.
TomTom are known for their detailed maps and the ONE XL is no exception. They can be zoomed in and out by tapping the '+' and '-" buttons at the top of the screen, and can also be set to display remaining time, remaining distance, arrival time, current time, street name and speed. Conveniently, these can all be turned on and off in the preferences menu. If you don't hear the voice instruction, you simply tap the left hand side of the status bar at the bottom of the screen to repeat it. Tapping this section of the map display also doubles as volume adjustment; a small volume slider bar appears and you simply slide your finger across to turn the volume up or down.
The ONE XL also includes Bluetooth 2.0, but unfortunately this can't be used to make hands-free calls with your mobile phone. Instead, the built-in Bluetooth technology is used to download TomTom PLUS services, which include weather conditions, extra detailed city maps, scenic routes, additional voices and POI's.
The 4.3in touch screen is large, bright and clear, although it does have a tendency to be difficult to see in direct sunlight. The ONE XL is operated entirely via the touch screen, as there are no buttons other than a power key on top of the unit. It measures 119mm x 86mm x 27mm and weighs a reasonable 208g, and although it is an in-car unit, the design means it can fits snugly into most shirt pockets to be easily taken from car to car.
We were slightly annoyed with the ONE XL's menu, as each time you adjust a preference or setting and save it, the screen goes back to the map, so you have to navigate all the way through the menu again if you wish to change something else. Despite this small issue, the user interface remains extremely easy to use and its design is excellent. It's the same style as all other TomTom units and features clear and colourful icons that look very similar to a mobile phone menu.
The ONE XL has a similar window mount to the ONE (New Edition). It's once again one of the smallest we've ever seen on a GPS, and it has no buttons or clips. You simply press the suction cup firmly against your windscreen to lock it in place, and pull the small flap of rubber to remove it. Battery life is rated at three hours by TomTom and we found this to be almost spot on. On average, we experienced between two and a half and three hours of battery life which isn't particularly special. 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 in-car charger.
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