Have battery life and memory loss been improved?


Joined
Nov 30, 2012
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TomTom Model(s)
Go 530
A few years ago I got a TomTom Go 530. The user interface is fine, but we've had a few other problems with it.

1. The battery life is the worst I've ever seen for any rechargeable device. If we leave it unused for two weeks, it goes completely flat. (Yes, we did charge it fully as soon as we opened the box, before pushing the power button.)

2. When the battery goes flat, it loses all the bookmarked places. I really don't see any excuse for this, given today's mundane persistent memory (USB sticks, SD cards, etc.).

3. The map updates are expensive.

I've seen a promotion advertised by a national auto-related chain until Christmas for TomTom Start 25 Special Edition, Via 135, and Go Live 825 models, all with European maps and free lifetime maps included. Coincidentally, Which? reviewed satnavs recently and gave good ratings to several TomTom models with slightly different numbers from these (Start 20, Via 130, Go Live 1005). This would deal with my 3rd problem, but I'm still concerned about the first two.

Has anyone else experienced problems 1 and 2, or have I been unlucky? Anyone know if TomTom has improved the battery and memory in recent years?

Thanks!
 
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dhn

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The batteries are not improved in the newer models (referred to as Nav 3 devices) than in older Nav 2 devices as far as I can tell.

That said, it is possible with the new devices to save favourites and other settings to the computer as a poi file so that they are always recoverable.
 

canderson

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I'll toss in my 2 cents:

Item 1: Not much of a change, really. These things have never been designed for extended operation on the battery. I find that a fresh unit that is not a Live unit (they use more juice) is comparable to the previous models -- if you get 2 hours, you're doing pretty well.

Item 2: Your 530 shouldn't be doing that .. assuming you mean by "bookmarked" the locations you have created as "Favorites" or as a custom POI. Those are indeed stored in flash memory in the file mapsettings.cfg in your map folder, and if the device powers down normally, it will save that file in the power-down process. Something is amiss with your 530. Since you brought up 'battery', one wonders... That is certainly not normal for any TomTom.

Item 3: Several models are being sold this season in the UK with a lifetime map subscription as part of the purchase price. Certainly worth taking a look at that option. If you look at the TomTom site itself, you will see the full range of what is presently being offered with the map subscription attached.
 
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Agree with canderson, even if it runs down complety, you shouldn't lose Favourites etc. Something else is wrong.
Try re-installing software, see the "articles" section for help with this.
 

canderson

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@Andy
One way to lose any *new* favorites, etc., is to have a battery that is so dead that upon loss of external power, the device powers off immediately and hard, not allowing for the housekeeping chore of writing the config data to the unit. Rather than doing a full block flash rewrite every time something happens on these units (which would reduce the life of the memory), much of that housekeeping is done only at power down before the unit goes into hibernation.

So if the OP's battery is really pretty much toast, but isn't preventing the unit from powering on with external power, that could explain two of his issues in one shot.
 
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I am really disappointed by what I've been reading on the net. I am/was all set to buy a new TOM with lifetime maps, traffic and bluetooth, but in all the most recent reviews on Amazon and other places, users are complaining about dead batteries in their units. Not just losing a charge after 2 weeks of inactivity, but the inability of the unit to hold a charge at all. With a problem as massive as this, you would think there would be an official response from TOM. I am a longtime user of a One 3rd edition, with no battery problem. But I am now reluctantly thinking about getting a Garmin.
When I do a search for Battery life on TOMTOM, I see 10 google pages worth of complaints, but when I do one on Garmin, I see one page, and most of it has to do with other issues. 10 pages to zero tells you something about how common the complaints are about TOM vs Garmin. This is not good. It is a public relations nightmare since TOM has failed to address the issue in a responsible way. The problem, it seems goes back for over 2 years, so it isn't just a short term supply glitch, but a consistent failure. I now do not know what to do.
Anyone know what kind of battery TOM uses? Garmin uses a Li Ion type battery without the known battery memory issues. Sounds like TOM is using the old Ni hydride type??
 
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No, TomTom use Li Ion too.

Although there has definitely been a problem with some batches of battery for these new models, TBH, I never use my TomToms on battery power for more than a couple of minutes anyway.

Whenever they are in the car they are plugged into the mount and the cigarette lighter charger.
 

canderson

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@jefferis
NiMH doesn't have much memory issue, either. It's the old NiCd packs that were a problem in that area.

There were early 1000/1005 and 24XX and 25XX units that had dodgy batteries, but (peeking at your IP since you didn't post a location), I see you're in the U.S., and we have a couple of models that fit your requirements list that don't ever seem to have been impacted by the battery issue. A Via 1535TM, or perhaps even a GO Live 1535TM would fit the bill without any real risk of a battery problem.
 
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I was looking at the TomTom GO 2435TM or 2505TM which have lifetime maps, traffic and bluetooth. The complaints about 2505 in reviews in the past 2 months are horrendous. If they were only early problems, why are the latest negative reviews all complaining about the same problem?

Also, what is the difference between the GO Live 1535TM vs the Via and the 1535 vs. the 2505? They all appear to have bluetooth, LMT and Traffic... Just curious as to why and why some have battery problems and others not...
 
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canderson

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Differing production schedules and possibly different battery packs between the units. There is a difference in the mounts between the ones I mentioned and the 2XXX series. As for why they are still getting complaints on these units .. and mind you, this is just a suspicion on my part .. I believe that they are taking RMA returns that are otherwise in good shape and sending them out as replacements for ones returned with battery issues, only to discover that the replacements have the same issue.

As for direct comparisons:

GO 2505 is a 4GB unit with a capacitive screen and the "Easy Click" magnetic mount.
Via 1535 is a 4GB unit with a resistive screen and integrated mount.
GO 1535 is a 4GB "Live" capable unit with resistive screen and integrated mount (I use one of these currently).
 
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What does Live mean, since it says: TomTom VIA 1535TM 5-Inch Bluetooth GPS Navigator with Lifetime Traffic & Maps and Voice Recognition
 
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dhn

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Lifetie traffic on that model is achieved using a rds-tmc cobo antenna/car charger. The traffic info is achieved using the fm signal in your car and covers only highways and coverage is limited. See here:
http://totaltraffic.com/CoverageAreas/

On the other hand, models with LIVE services use an imbedded sim cards in the device and info comes from cell towers. Traffic covers all roads and includes areas that that can get a signal. Traffic info is just part of the services achieved and is included for one year with such devices. After that renewal is $60/yr.
 
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Wow, thanks for the clarification. So none of the Live devices are lifetime. That is good to know. So many choices and model numbers, it is very confusing.
 
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canderson

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Any of them can be 'lifetime' maps and traffic - it's a function of the suffix. You just need to order the M, or TM models (M = maps, TM = traffic and maps).

The "Live" models will be TM, and offer lifetime map updates and lifetime RDS traffic, but the better quality "Live" traffic on those models comes with a subscription price after the initial free trial.
 
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That said, it is possible with the new devices to save favourites and other settings to the computer as a poi file so that they are always recoverable.
Thanks for that tip. Unfortunately when the memory loss happens, we're already in the car, setting off, away from a computer!
 
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One way to lose any *new* favorites, etc., is to have a battery that is so dead that upon loss of external power, the device powers off immediately and hard, not allowing for the housekeeping chore of writing the config data to the unit. Rather than doing a full block flash rewrite every time something happens on these units (which would reduce the life of the memory), much of that housekeeping is done only at power down before the unit goes into hibernation.

So if the OP's battery is really pretty much toast, but isn't preventing the unit from powering on with external power, that could explain two of his issues in one shot.
The bit about writing to flash at shutdown makes sense, but doesn't explain what's I've seen. We always have the TomTom plugged into the lighter whenever we're using it, and do a "clean shutdown" before packing it away. Even so, it's possible to get the TomTom out a couple of weeks later, plug it in and switch it on, and find that it thinks it's somewhere in Westminster (apparently that's the 0,0 point) and all the favourites are gone.
 
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thanks, great forum

I'd just like to say this is a really useful forum and I appreciate the comments to this thread.

Unfortunately, they are making me more inclined to replace our satnav with a Garmin rather than a new TomTom!
 
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I'm sure there are similar forums for Garmin, just as full of tales of woe.

PocketGPSWorld forums are "multiplatform" and their Gamin section is probably a bit quieter than the TomTom one, but I'm not at all convinced that's because the Garmin owners are all happy customers. There are plenty of moans!
 
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canderson

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The bit about writing to flash at shutdown makes sense, but doesn't explain what's I've seen. We always have the TomTom plugged into the lighter whenever we're using it, and do a "clean shutdown" before packing it away. Even so, it's possible to get the TomTom out a couple of weeks later, plug it in and switch it on, and find that it thinks it's somewhere in Westminster (apparently that's the 0,0 point) and all the favourites are gone.
First, understand that if the battery is functional, certain 'current' information is only held for about a week. When you shut down your TomTom, it's really in a sort of stasis for the period of a week. If you turn it on during that week and the battery is OK, it will recall your current location correctly and remember what's what. After a week, it forgets what it knew about certain things since the battery can't be expected to last forever, and shuts itself down completely.

However, the "0,0" you talk about indicates that the device has awoken in a complete fog (we see New York City here on our North American units) and hasn't a clue about its last position at all. Again, that indicates a failure to write information to the unit during shutdown. Mine do the same thing after the 'current location' is killed off during a map update, and shows me NYC until I get a GPS fix.

If you store a favorite while the device is connected to external power, shut it down with the switch, and while still connected to external power, power the unit on and look for the favorite, is it there?

If you store a favorite while the device isn't connected to external power, shut it down with the switch, plug it in to external power and power the unit on, and look for the favorite, is it lost?

If the first case is yes, and the second case is no (assuming your battery lasts that long), then I'm still inclined to suspect that something goes amiss during shutdown due to something being amiss with the battery. Then again, a hard reset might also make a difference. Have you tried that? I can't recall what we heard about that on a prior page of this thread. It's the little hole in the bottom. Gently depress switch inside with the end of a paperclip or similar item.
 
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