UPDATE: This model has been discontinued. For current recommendations, please refer to our TomTom comparison chart.
I’ve been trying out a TomTom GO 720 for the past few weeks, and I am quite impressed with it. I’ll get into the details of my review shortly, but first, here are a few notes about features…
The TomTom GO 720 has attracted a lot of attention as the first unit to incorporate TomTom’s new Map Share technology, allowing users to update certain aspects of its maps. Beyond that, the 720 sports a 4.3″ touch screen, Bluetooth for hands-free cell phone use, MP3 player, and a built-in FM transmitter. You can even control your iPod via the 720 (an accessory cable must be purchased separately). The unit has text-to-speech so it calls out street names — that way you’ll get “turn left on Highland Drive” instead of just “turn left.” An optional traffic receiver allows for live traffic info on screen. While TomTom doesn’t state the number of points of interest (POIs), the database seems similar to those touting six million.
Step up to the TomTom GO 920T and you’ll get the traffic receiver included, voice commands, a remote control and what TomTom calls Enhanced Positioning Technology (EPT). This uses dead reckoning sensors to help keep track of your position when you lose satellite coverage (in tunnels, etc.). To see how the 720 stacks up against other units, check out our TomTom GPS comparison chart.
TomTom GO 720 interface
What sets a TomTom in general, and the 720 in particular, apart from other GPS receivers? Like Garmin units, the TomTom interface is highly intuitive. But like Mio, TomTom offers lot of options for customization. In this way, it combines the best of both worlds. It’s not as drop dead easy as a Garmin, because there are more options, but it’s very intuitive and much easier to use than a Mio.
TomTom GO 720 routing
The TomTom GO 720 performed well in my routing tests. It recalculated rapidly when turns were missed.
The 720 allows for routing to multiple destinations. It is also quite flexible in the ways you can choose a destination. For example, you can navigate to POIs near you, in a city, near your home, along your route, or near your destination. You can also browse the map to choose a point and navigate to it, find a POI nearby, add the location as a favorite, or add it as a POI.
The “Find alternative” route feature allows you to:
- “Calculate alternative” (have the device find an alternate route)
- “Avoid roadblock” 100 yards, 1/4 mile, 1 mile or 3 miles ahead
- “Travel via” allows you to choose from home, favorites, addresses, recent destinations, points of interest, points on the map and more.
- “Recalculate original”
- “Avoid part of route”
TomTom GO 720 Bluetooth for hands free cell phone use
The Bluetooth for hands free cell phone use features seem well thought out, but the sound quality of your voice transmitted through the 720’s microphone is no better, and perhaps a little worse, than other units I’ve tried.
The 720 connected easily to my wife’s Motorola V325i and downloaded the contact list, but failed to connect with my LG VX8300.
TomTom GO 720 audio features
The TomTom GO 720 incorporates an FM transmitter that can send music, directions or phone calls to your car stereo speakers. It also has an MP 3 player and can control your iPod. MP3 transfer is greatly simplified using TomTom HOME software. There are several ways to change the volume level, which can also be tied to ambient noise levels.
TomTom GO 720 Map Share
I enjoyed using the Map Share feature. It has a well thought out interface that allows you to mark locations to change once you are home. The direction of a one-way street in my town was recently changed, so I got to make that correction. The process was easy and intuitive.
Other TomTom GO 720 strengths
- The status bar on the map screen can be customized to show your choice of ten options including remaining time, remaining distance, current time, arrival time, speed and maximum speed.
- The “Help me” feature enables quick contact with emergency services.
- A light sensor provides automatic dimming under dense canopy or heavy cloud cover.
- I like the mounting system, which just requires direct pressure to get the windshield suction cup attached; there is no cam lever involved.
TomTom GO 720 weaknesses
- The TMC traffic receiver I tested would never connect. I understand that TomTom has had problems with these and that a new receiver works better, though I do not know if it is available in the U.S. yet.
- I had a few problems with TomTom HOME, and was never able to successfully update to the newest release. However, the older version worked fine on Windows Vista for me, and I was able to download updates, Map Share changes, etc.
- I received no owners manual with the test unit, nor is there a U.S. version on the website. Fortunately the U.K. version of the TomTom GO 720 owners manual is a big help.
I liked the TomTom GO 720 enough that I may have to update my auto GPS recommendations. Bottom line…if you want something drop dead easy, get a Garmin nuvi. If you want an intuitive interface and lots of options, the TomTom GO 720 is a great choice (though if you need live traffic info, be aware of the issue with their TMC receivers).
More TomTom GO 720 reviews
- Consumer-authored TomTom GO 720 reviews have been posted at Amazon.
- GPS Lodge has posted a positive review of the TomTom GO 720.
- GPSreview.net has posted their TomTom GO 720 review.
- CNet gives an 8.0 out of 10 rating in their TomTom GO 720 review, where consumer reviews are also showing up.
- PC Pro gave six stars, their highest rating, in their TomTom GO 720 review, pronouncing it a “winner.”
- ComputerActive gave a five star rating, their highest as well, in their TomTom GO 720 review.
- yourNAV gives a thumbs up in their TomTom GO 720 review.
- Tracy and Matt’s blog gives a detailed review of the TomTom GO 720.
- Trusted Reviews gave a perfect 10 in their TomTom 720 review.
- Hear directly from consumers in GpsPasSion’s TomTom GO 720 thread.
- This review of the TomTom GO 720 is in French, but it has lots of screen shots and video.
- BasketCase has posted a brief TomTom GO 720 review.
- Engadget has also posted a review of the TomTom GO 720.
- Device reviews the TomTom GO 720.
- PC World gives an 85/100 rating, in their TomTom GO 720 review.
- Location Intelligence reviews the TomTom GO 720.
- Laptop Magazine gives 3.5 out of 5 stars in their TomTom GO 720 review.
- About.com also gives a 3.5 out of 5 star rating in their review of the TomTom GO 720.
- ConnectReviews has posted their own TomTom GO 720 review.
- Audioholics reviews the TomTom GO 720.
- Martin Brooks has published a brief TomTom GO 720 review.
- YourWorldWired also has a brief TomTom GO 720 review.
- The Dallas Morning News reviews the TomTom GO 720.
- Australian PC Authority gives a 5 out of 6 star rating in their TomTom GO 720 review.
- White Noise reviews the TomTom GO 720.
- This Epinions TomTom GO 720 review gives it a rating of only 2 out of 5 stars.
- ENN has also posted a TomTom GO 720 review.
- Me, CherkyB, posts a less than positive TomTom GO 720 review.
- Best$Reviews has also posted a review of the TomTom GO 720.
- TidBITS has also posted a TomTom GO 720 review.
- A comparison of the TomTom 720 and Garmin nuvi 750.
- Ask Bob Rankin complains about his TomTom GO 720 and puts annoying popups on his website
- A TomTom video review:
Other TomTom GO 720 resources
- The TomTom GO 720 owners manual.
- A closer look at TomTom Map Share and the 720’s FM transmitter.
- Club TomTom posts on the GO 720 “Help me” function.
- Another handy TomTom GPS comparison chart.
- Use the TomTom product advisor to help determine which unit works best for you.
- Here’s a comparison of the TomTom GO 720 and Garmin nuvi 650.
- Ticial TomTom GO 720 web page.
- There are several good TomTom message forums:
- A brief video demo of the TomTom GO 720:
Compare prices on the TomTom GO 720 at these merchants:
- Check the current TomTom GO 720 price at Amazon.
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- Buy the
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- Get the TomTom GO 720 for an amazing price on eBay.