Advice on Start25WE vesrsus XXL540s

Sep 5, 2006
Miami Beach FL, New York NY and London UK
TomTom Model(s)
Android apps.
I see that the Start25WE is now being offered in the UK with Lifetime maps, which may be a first for European devices. I am a happy user of the XXL540TM and wonder whether this Start25 has similarities or difference that should concern or reassure me. I depend on using custom POIs and POI categories as well as Itineraries. Are these features present on the Start25?

Are there any significant disadvantages to the Start25 for an experienced user of legacy TomTom devices going back to the GO Classic?


Thanks Andy. I must try to find out more about this NAV3 issue to avoid surprises or disappointments.

Would I be correct is assuming that NAV3 is similar in its capabilities and appearance to the older software except only that all changes and updates can only be made via Home and so there are no easy ways to fix items by means of computer file handling tools? Or are there also some features that are missing or otherwise dumbed-down?
Nav3 devices don't use Home. They require MyTomTom (get it at
NAV3 was a complete re-write of the code, following the settlement with Microsoft (over alleged copyright or patent infringement with TT's use of the FAT32 file system)

There is a LOT to recommend it. It is faster in a lot of ways, especially on route planning, which is blisteringly quick when you compare it side by side with an older NAV2 model.

Most people would also say it has a more modern, cleaner look than the old software, although I think it's a bit too garish and "cartoon-y" (a bit like a Garmin!)

However, it's fairly obvious that it was rushed to market long before it was ready, and the way the software design has been subcontracted out means there is much more of a "kit-based" approach to the different parts of the code.

It's only a personal opinion, but my gut feeling is that the original core software was somebody's baby that they nurtured and honed to be as lean as they could get it, while the new software system is just bolted together from a kit of parts.

That's not to say TomTom aren't bothering to try to improve the new system, far from it.
They are feverishly working on various bits of it, but I think they found many of the problems were far harder to crack than they first imagined and also in these tough economic times they have simply no longer got the man-power to sort things quickly enough.

Part of that has been demonstrated by the way that certain functions were not available at launch, were then promised as a free update when they were ready, but that eventually never appeared, or did so in a much reduced state.
The itinerary planning function is a perfect example of that.

Unfortunately, as a company they are not very open, and they tend to cope with criticism by simply ignoring it. So after two years we are still none the wiser WHY some of the features have not returned.

I use both NAV2 and NAV3 TomToms on a daily basis and I would LOVE to only use NAV3.
On the whole, the units are sleek and well-designed, and their faster processors and better screens mean a lot should be possible.
So it pains me when I know I can still tap through the menus quicker on a 5-year old device than I can on a brand new one.
It pains me when I cannot search for a POI that's more then 50 miles away from me without knowing a city it's close to.
It pains me I cannot add extras and add-ons to the system and I can't read a text doc or listen to music on it. All of these were stripped out in the interests of simplicity.

But please don't take my word for it... You may find you love the new "look and feel" and don't feel a need for the things that are missing. If you an get a chance to actually have a play with both old and new types in a shop, please do!
Thanks for the detailed comments on the history and the features.

I must assume that getting my hands on a fully functioning device in a store with access to both satellite reception and a computer connection will be impossible, so I think I'll "exploit" the benefits of the UK's DSR rights that come with mail order purchases and so give myself a one week long test drive at home.


As a user of devices with both Navcores, I find 3 to be an exercise in frustration. You have very little control over downloads or updates and you are locked out of the file system. You lose features that while they seem insignificant, really matter to some users. I can say the newer navcore based units do not have the overall sensitivity of the older units. Put differently, the XXL 540 will lock on to sats anywhere inside my home (except the basement) within 10-30 seconds. The newer 3 units often have to be outside or at a south window before they lock. They will hunt signals for an hour in my living room and not lock. Obviously you don't use them inside your house except maybe to plan a route, so its a distinction without a real difference.

Advertisements its a distinction without a real difference.
No, it's not, and your observation is shared by many. The lack of sensitivity, while irrelevant to one's living room, is not irrelevant when the terrain or other surroundings make for spotty reception to begin with. Where one of the older units might successfully retain a lock, the newer units may not.

You're also not alone in your observation about the disappearance of certain features that, as you so aptly pointed out, only seem insignificant until it's a feature that someone actually depends upon in their use model. I have an application that positively requires the availability of the itinerary planning feature and the aux audio out, and for that reason, have avoided updating a rather sizable collection of GO740 units that are still giving us good service, but whose screens are small by today's standards, and that we could benefit in seeing enlarged. But .. no itn and no audio out .. no update.

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question