TomTom XL Live

TomTom XL LiveWe navigated our way to see TomTom last week to catch up with its latest news. And we found a route to Mio Navman before that. And being sat-nav companies, here are their main Points Of Interest, so to speak.

TomTom told us that it’s bringing its Live traffic services to mid-range navigation devices with TomTom XL Live, following the success of Live Services on the premium TomTom GO range.

That brings Live services to the mass market with a price point of £249.99 RRP for the first time. 

TomTom XL Live will allow Live Services to be used in multiple countries (UK, Germany, France, the Netherlands and Switzerland) with no hidden costs or extra fees for drivers when travelling abroad. 

The deal includes a free three-month trial of Live Services, after which users can register for a monthly, flat fee subscription of £7.99.

Alternatively, users can select a pre-paid subscription for six months (£47.99) or 12 months (£79.99).

TomTom Live Services include:
* TomTom High Definition Traffic
* TomTom Safety Alerts (including real-time safety camera reporting and sharing)
* TomTom Fuel Prices to find the cheapest deal nearby
* Online Local Search with Google.

Mio Navman, meanwhile, showed us its spirit range. And while we saw a few things we liked, we also saw a few that we didn’t.

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Its upcoming range of sat-navs seems designed to cover areas that TomTom has neglected. Whereas double-Tom wants to get your car to where it’s going as fast as possible, Mio Navman is bunging on user extras such as increased battery life for walking mode and the ability to watch TV.

The battery life on the Spirit range isn’t confirmed yet as we saw the prototypes, but the company spokesman said it should be around four hours.

As we mentioned above, there’s going to be a couple of models that let you watch TV. There are two planned models in the TV range – with a choice between a 4.7-inch and a 7-inch screen.

A built-in antenna that rises out of the device will pick up Freeview, while a larger external antenna can be added to get better reception.

And you can watch the telly while driving the car. Yes, you heard us right. The TV images won’t be blocked when the car is in motion like the Freeview screen in the Jaguar XF.

“Sat-nav gets such a bad rap,” the Mio Navman spokesman tells us. “You’re always hearing about the people who follow it and drive off a pier or get to the edge of a cliff but drivers need to take responsibility as well.”

“There’s a disclaimer that appears before you switch on the television function,” he adds.

Let’s get this clear: Mio Navman thinks sat-nav gets a bad rap when people drive to stupid places following stupid directions they should be able to figure out are wrong. So it’s added a massive safety issue to its upcoming models – because people watching TV at the wheel are much more sensible. And no-one ever ignores a disclaimer…

The company counters that the device is intended to be used when you’ve exited the vehicle, so you’ve got a TV with you when you remove your sat-nav at your destination.

But in an age when you’re not allowed to use your mobile phone when driving, why not switch the TV function off when the vehicle’s in motion?

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