FOGEY 5 Sat Nav

Jan 05, 2011 No Comments by

The Fogey 5 are the best five products in their class by virtue of expert and consumer review from at least 10 respected and authoritative websites.

There are other makes of stand-alone sat-nav such as Navigon, Mio, Via Michelin (with integrated Michelin restaurant and hotel guides), Navman, Navitech and Binatone and, if you want to outwit even mobile scameras, Snooper but Tom Tom and Garmin are market leaders by a collective country mile.


Garmin Nuvi 3790T Europe

Slim, chic and pricey, the 3790T has voice recognition so your children can shout at it and make you cross when you take a wrong turn that you sort-of-knew was wrong but took anyway because sat-nav said so.  Some owners who obviously expect peerless gizmo perfection have quibbled about a few software/firmware glitches (what is the difference between soft- and firmware anyway? Not hard, not soft but somewhere in between?  How about semi-tumescent ware?) but that might just be them being soft in the head as opposed to any intrinsic issues. The 3790T looks like a smartphone and can be used in portrait or landscape mode.  The display is disturbingly real in a 3-D sort-of way and even has PhotoReal which is a bit like Google streetview and shows exactly what’s ahead – though not in real time, obviously.  Does traffic alerts anywhere in Europe via its FM antenna and has Bluetooth for hands-free phoning.
More info here.
Buy Garmin Nuvi 3790T Europe with Premium Traffic and Voice Activation: £228.29

TomTom Go LIVE 1000

Packed with features you may never need at a premium price (bog standard Tom Toms are around £100 or less), the GO Live 1000 is the flagship of Tom Tom’s latest range, although there’s a 1005 model on the way for an eye-watering £299.99.  The plan is for POI software to be customisable – so rumbly tums aren’t always directed to fast food swill, for example, but it’s still an unfulfilled promise.  The Live element of the 1000 is HD Traffic which combines mobile phone detecting wizardry with traffic reports to alert you to jams ahead and offer alternative routes.  The first year is free; thereafter it’s £47.50 a year. As with the Garmin it has voice recognition but how accurate this is will depend on your diction and (possibly) the phases of the moon.  One neat feature is the coupling mount – once the base has sucked itself to your windscreen the rest of the unit attaches magnetically.  Having said that TF prefers ‘friction mats’ – posh bean bag thingies that sit on the dash with the sat nav in the middle.  They make it easy to chuck the whole gubbins in the boot and crucially leave no tell-tale suction-cup marks on your windscreen to alert the illegally avaricious.
More info here.
Buy TomTom GO LIVE 1000 Europe Satellite Navigation System: £195.00

TomTom XL LIVE Europe

A mid-range unit that differs from the Go LIVE principally in terms of the quality of its up-to-the-minute traffic info.  Another LIVE component here is IQ Routes (which the Go 1000 has additionally) – the cunning (but anonymous) gathering of mobile phone related data that builds into a sort of route intelligence.  Traffic speeds and density are monitored constantly and seemingly everywhere (by spying on said phones) to provide intel on jams caused by, for example, the school run or an early Friday afternoon urban exodus.  There are also regular updates that will appeal to penurious old farts, such as fuel prices at nearby garages.
More info here.
Buy TomTom XL LIVE IQ Routes Edition Europe: £143.09

Garmin Nuvi 1490T Europe

Slightly perplexing feature with this one – spoken street names.  The unit says: ‘turn left into Park Avenue,’ for example.  The blurb suggests this helps you keep your eyes on the road but it would do the opposite and have you scanning for street signs to make sure you were making the correct manoeuvre.  But like the Nuvi 3790T, this cheaper model is sufficiently slim and smartphone-like as to be a handy navigator while on foot in a big city.  The City Xplorer map for Paris, for example is a £10.99 optional download.  But even though it can also help you get around on public transport you can always get a decent map from your hotel for nothing and said map won’t run out of juice after three hours.  Bluetooth, for hands-free phone nattering, and free Traffic Master reports make this a decent device that covers all the important bases.
More info here.
Buy Garmin Nuvi 1490T: £135.79

TomTom Start Europe

As the name implies, a bog standard starter sat-nav for anyone who can’t be bothered to read a map or just gets all confused and flustered by nasty road signs and traffic and just, well, stuff.  Maps the whole of Europe and even borderline countries that are bound to be on everyone’s caravanning itinerary such as Ukraine and Belarus.  Not much else to be said.
More info here.
Buy TomTom Start Europe: £87.99