TomTom is a reputable brand that makes some great car GPS devices at all price points. But some people might not think of TomTom as the most innovative company or at least the company that wants to be different from the rest of the worthy competitors in the GPS device space. But the future is looking very bright for TomTom as the company decided to revamp their GO lineup. TomTom fans recognize the GO lineup as their premium family of TomTom GPS navigators so the “GO” label isn’t going away. But the models are a bit easier to tell which ones have more features or have a bigger screen. On top of that, TomTom is also using the refined category to introduce a cutting-edge user interface that is definitely worth looking. One of the devices that has this new interface is the TomTom GO 60S and it has a slightly different model name than much of the rest of the GO devices. It is important to know where this device stands as it targets a more general audience compared to the cheapest TomTom GO devices.
One of the main changes of the new GO series is a new design and fortunately, that curvy design is applied to the lower tier products like the GO 60S too. The first digit of the model refers to the size of the display and a 6-inch display is a nice improvement over a 5-inch display which was previously viewed as a very large display. The increase in size also made way for an increase of resolution to 908 x 408. The downside of getting the TomTom GO 60S instead of the pricier TomTom GO 600 is that the 60S only has a resistive touchscreen which makes the GPS unit feel cheaper.
The resistive touchscreen also means the interface less fluid and responsive than the higher-end GO models. But you can still enjoy a big advantage over the current VIA and START models because the new TomTom interface is present and looks great on the 6-inch high resolution display. Every time you turn on the device, you won’t see a menu full of icons. Instead, you will immediately see the 2D map with your location shown and you can conveniently switch to a 3D view to see the impressive graphical capabilities of the GO 60S.
The menu, which can be brought up by tapping the circular icon with four dots on the bottom left corner, looks different too sporting a much simpler design and a single row of icons where you simply swipe and tap the one you want to launch. Some of the icons represent some new features like the new “My Places” icon which takes you to a section where you can see any favorite locations you stored. Using this feature can really make the map feel personalized.
The 3D view also looks more pleasing to look at as the building graphics look good and the clever use of color still puts the planned route into focus. There are no status bars on the top and bottom anymore as they have been replaced by readings of the speed, speed limit and next turn information. The new Route Bar takes up that role and it resides on the right side of the screen. It shows the traffic status in more detail and houses other details like the current time and ETA. This bar is transparent so you can still get a very good view on the map graphics. The new interface still makes the GPS device feel faster than its predecessors despite the fact that the TomTom GO 60S uses a resistive touchscreen.
The GO 60S is exclusive to the US at the time of writing and it has one differentiating feature that makes it more appealing than the $40 cheaper GO 60 – lifetime TomTom Traffic. A GPS device with lifetime traffic features usually means that the user can benefit from real-time traffic data without any subscription costs. The TomTom GO 60S, on the other hand, has this catch where you only have access to that data if you have a smartphone or tablet with an active Internet connection that can pair up to with the GO 60S through Bluetooth. Depending on your network operator and roaming status, you may have to pay extra to enjoy the new TomTom Traffic. The TomTom GO 60 offers TomTom Traffic too but only 3 months of it so don’t bother getting that unless traffic data isn’t really your concern. If you do not like the smartphone requirement, you can pay more for the TomTom GO 600.
With the new TomTom GO series, you no longer have to worry about map updates as all GO devices including the TomTom GO 60S boast lifetime maps. TomTom will provide you with at least 4 major map updates every year to ensure that the database containing millions of points of interest covering all of North America are covered.
The rest of the navigation features are those that you would expect in a modern automotive GPS including Advanced Lane Guidance which uses 3D graphics to represent certain highway intersections and junctions to make it easier to not miss a crucial turn indicated on the route. You may also make your own updates to the map and share it with other TomTom users.
The GO 60S also lets you try out a service called TomTom Safety Cameras which is basically a database of speed camera locations. Drivers will be alerted in advance when a known speed camera is nearby. Users can also contribute by reporting any speed cameras present that are not in the database. New owners of the TomTom GO 60S have 3 months of free access to this service.
The GO 60S could very well be the next big hit that the GPS industry needs as many people move on to smartphones and tablets for their navigational needs. The $199 price tag is sound and all the improvements make the TomTom GO 60S a very reliable GPS device to use even though it doesn’t bring any cutting-edge navigational features.