CHOICE membership

Tomtom Lifespan - Shonky?



In the smartphone age I feel a little old-fashioned using a traditional navigation device, however I have found that on the whole, a GPS is more accurate, less buggy and easier to use than a phone. For a quick look-up of an unknown destination in a familiar area, the phone is fine but when navigating an unknown area, give me a GPS any time.

My GPS of choice was the Tomtom and in December 2016 I received an email from them, advising:

"As we work tirelessly to launch new technologies and deliver a great customer experience, it has become clear that some of our first generation navigation devices do not have sufficient memory to store the newest maps and features available.

For this reason, we will stop sales of map updates and other services as of November 15, 2016. Your trusted device will still work perfectly but you will no longer be able to buy any further map update."

Fair enough. This was my first navigation device and it had served me well for around 7 years. The new device also came with lifetime free map updates, which was quite appealing.

I accepted a discounted replacement offer (around 30% off, from memory) and received a new Tomtom in January 2017.

April this year I received another email from Tomtom advising:

Due to the GPS Week Number Rollover (WNRO) that occurred on 6 April 2019, your navigation device will continue to navigate, but will not be able to show the correct time and estimated time of arrival (ETA).
_ _
We understand this situation is not ideal. We value you as a loyal customer and would like to offer a special discount to you.

I found more info on this “WNRO” here:

So, after just over two years with my second Tomtom, I lose the luxury of accurate time and arrival estimations due to the device not being able to cope (or be upgradable to cope) with a known GPS “Week Number Rollover” that happens every 20 years.

I find it quite disingenuous of Tomtom to recommend and sell me a model that would be incompatible with the WNRO only two years later.

My “special discount” on this third Tomtom gets me a $300 device for $210, but as far as I can tell also will require a paid subscription for map updates (at $90/year).

What are other people’s experiences with GPS navigation devices? Are other companies like Garmin any better, or am I better off just persisting with my Android phone?

split this topic #2

2 posts were merged into an existing topic: Car GPS and app reviews

closed #3