TomTom GO 720 versus Garmin 750 Review

Discussion in 'General TomTom Discussion' started by will381796, Jul 12, 2008.

  1. will381796

    will381796

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    5
    So as an early birthday present, my wife took me to Sam's and allowed me to choose a GPS device. There were two models in stock to choose from: the Garmin 750 and the TomTom GO 720. Back in January I bought and reluctantly returned a TomTom GO 720 to use on a road trip that never took place. I enjoyed the experience with the TomTom but decided to give Garmin a shot this time around and see what all the fuss is about. I had the Garmin for about a week before I decided to go back to the TomTom.

    These two units have the same basic features except that the TomTom 720 features bluetooth connectivity and several TomTom-specific options. Both feature FM transmitters, have the ability to get traffic and weather information over the air (with paid subscription to MSNdirect for Garmin or through TomTom with the TomTom GO 720, and have built-in media (mp3, audiobook,jpeg) players. Both units are available for less than $320 from Sam's, with the TomTom Go 720 being about $18.00 less expensive than the Garmin 750.

    My initial opinion on the Garmin was that it was a very well designed piece of equipment. Aesthetically it was simple and its operation was intuitive. All you need to do is flip the power button and set your language and then you're off and running. The menu is simple providing you with two options: one sets a destination and the other allows you to view the map. There are also two smaller icons that allow you to control the volume and to access the settings menu.

    Navigation is simple and fast. Just follow the prompts and you'll have a route calculated in less than a minute. The map view is by default a 3D view. I found that, while the lines on the map were smooth, the update frequency of the map was rather slow. The Garmin would take several seconds to refresh the map to show that I had taken a turn. On the TomTom, on the other hand, I would be able to follow myself through the entire turn without any sudden jumps. Some people attribute this more rapid map refreshes to the fact that the TomTom does not utilized antialaising. This is supposed to make the Garmin maps easier to read, but personally I would prefer to have a map that refreshes my position more frequently than an image of a map that is more "smooth."

    Like the TomTom GO 720, the Garmin has an FM transmitter. I do not like this feature on the Garmin as much as I do on the TomTom for the simple fact that you are not able to save certain frequencies to quickly change to. On the TomTom, selecting the transmission frequency is done by typing out the frequency on a number pad, similar to what you would see on a telephone keypad. The TomTom also allows you to save two frequencies as presets so you don't have to reenter the channel. The Garmin, however, requires that you scroll to your desired frequency and provides no option to save a preset frequency. This, I think, is an important feature because the urban environment often has radio frequencies that are highly congested and occasionally overlap. In my area, the two empty frequencies are 94.5 FM and 103.5 FM, but depending upon my location in the city, one frequency may develop static requiring me to change channels on the transmitter. The TomTom's ability to save presets make this a quick task whereas the Garmin requires me to physically press down on the screen until the channel moves from 94.5 to 103.5. not the safest thing to be doing as you drive a car.

    Much discussion is made about the quality of Garmin's NAVTAQ maps versus TomTom's TeleAtlas maps. In my experience with the two units, I found no appreciable difference. The Garmin actually mis-routed me to a POI by having me take a highway exit that enters the access road precisely next to the store I was wanting to get to. That was hardly enough time for me to make it across the 3 lanes of access road in traffic in order to get into the store's parking lot. One feature about the TomTom that I really like is the MapShare feature. MapShare allows TomTom users to report and share with others any mistakes that they find on their travels. For example, if your TomTom routes you down a one-way street that has changed directions, then you can mark the map error and then go to the Map Corrections menu and tell your TomTom that the street has changed directions. Your TomTom will then no longer attempt to route you down that street in the incorrect direction AND when you connect your TomTom to the HOME software, you can send this corrected error to TomTom and other TomTom users.

    One frustrating thing I found with the Garmin was adding new points of interest (POI). Both Garmin and TomTom provide GPSr with pre-installed POIs. Garmin boasts over 6 million and TomTom advertises theirs as several million. Of course, no unit can have all businesses and hospitals stored in their memory, so it is helpful to be able to add your own custom POI. POI are different from "favorite" locations because POIs are searchable by category whereas favorites must be selected from a list. I became frustrated with adding a POI to the Garmin. You can't do it directly on the GPS unit itself. Instead, you must connect your unit to the computer, download software from Garmin to upload POI onto the unit, find some other software to create POI files (of which there are several different file types), and then use some other software such as Google Maps to get the location coordinates for each POI. That's a lot of work to add a missing restaurant to your list of POIs. TomTom, on the other hand, implements the entire process on the GPS unit itself. You tell the TomTom that you want to make a map correction, that your map correction is a missing POI, and then you select the location of the POI, place the POI into an appropriate category, and provide a name and an optional phone number. You can even then use MapShare to share this new POI with all TomTom users. I spent two hours trying to get one new POI installed on the Garmin. The same act took me 3 minutes on the TomTom.

    Another thing that I noticed about the Garmin was its lack of customizability. The Garmin is, for all intents and purposes, uncustomizable. You can change the car icon on the map, but that is about it. On the TomTom, everything is customizable. Want to change the color scheme of your maps? You can do it. Want to record your own voice to tell you when to turn? You can do it. There are so many options on the TomTom that it is possible to get lost. And this can be a bad thing or a good thing. I prefer to have complete control over my equipment so I appreciate the things the TomTom allows you to do. Others might find this to be a bit daunting and just want a GPSr to get them from Point A to Point B without anything that needs to be changed or customized.

    Overall, both units performed their functions well. I chose to return my new Garmin 750 and get the TomTom 720 again for the increased customization, the ease of adding custom POIs, and the MapShare feature. I preferred the Garmin's in-car mount over the GO 720 mount, but I also appreciated the fact that TomTom provides an actual PC mount to hold the unit when it is connected to the computer. Garmin's screen is bright and the TomTom's could be hard to see in some high-glare environments, but I found the TomTom maintained better image representation at different viewing angles. In the end, both units do their main job of navigating well.
     
    will381796, Jul 12, 2008
    #1
    1 person likes this.
    1. Advertisements

  2. will381796

    bednorem

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2008
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Houston
    TomTom Model(s):
    ONE 130 S
    +1 on your review. I have exactly the same impressions of Garmin vs TomTom (although in my case it was the TomTom 130s vs the Garmin Nuvi 255). In summary, if you want super-simple no-brainer guidance, then the Garmin is great. But if you're willing to "interact" with your GPS, the TomTom offers some really useful features. I'm a long-time Garmin GPS user (all the way back to 1995), so I still have twinges of guilt in switching to TomTom. But there were a number of deciding features that made it a clear choice for me:
    * text-to-speech available at a lower price.
    * MapShare (HUGE feature). The little-known ability to edit speed limits by street is HUGE, and I'm surprised it doesn't get more attention. In my experience, speed limit errors are responsible for a large number of poor "fastest time" routes. I've been able to dramatically improve routing in my part of town by correcting a few key speed limits.
    * A well-thought out navigation interface that works on every level, from "dummy" to "do EXACTLY what I want".
    * Lots of customizable nav and display features (too many to list). Useful ones; not just eye candy or bells and whistles.
    * TeleAtlas maps have almost caught up to the NavTeq maps.
     
    bednorem, Jul 14, 2008
    #2
    1. Advertisements

  3. will381796

    mchoffa

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2008
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    well I have to disagree. Just based on the fact that my new 720 has every single address in the area off by up to half a mile, I can't use the device, except to get me on the road I want to be on, once I am on the road, I have to search for the addresses the old fashioned way. I bought this for my wife because she will be working in a new town and have to drive places she hasnt been to, and she is not good with directions, but whats the point of a $400 device that only shows her where roads are, but not correctly show addresses or POI. I love the unit, I love the fact that I enabled speech recognition, I even upgraded to the new released NA 810 maps as of last week, but after testing addresses and POI that we already know in the few towns around us, nothing is placed correctly... NOTHING. So back to Best Buy it goes, and I will get a Garmin which I know has accurate addressing, at least in the region. I might not like the interface as much, but it will get my wife where she needs to go.
     
    mchoffa, Sep 13, 2008
    #3
  4. will381796

    gatorguy

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    Messages:
    1,157
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Florida
    TomTom Model(s):
    TomTom 930
    Bednoram, the ability to change speed limits is not the advantage over Garmin that you think. Every nuvi model has a learning function, hidden from the user, tracking your actual travel speeds over 5 different road classifications, then using that info to adjust your personal travel estimates. No Tomtom does that.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2008
    gatorguy, Sep 28, 2008
    #4
  5. will381796

    Buddharay

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2006
    Messages:
    341
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    arlington, va
    TomTom Model(s):
    720, 330S

    That's a Navteq vs. Tele Atlas issue. Tele Atlas maps will be improving at a faster rate, receiving suggestions from TomTom MapShare users and Google Maps edits on top of Tele Atlas's regular mapping methods. Are you located in Canada?
     
    Buddharay, Oct 1, 2008
    #5
  6. will381796

    hugjoan

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2009
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Tennessee
    TomTom Model(s):
    720 GO
    "Garbage" that is what the COMPANYAND PRODUCT IS!

    This Tom Tom 720 is a piece of JUNK!!!! My husband and I purchased it forChristmas for each other December 2007. At a cost of $440.00 it started telling us to put it on the cradle to update it so we did only to have the country of Guam download on it. I called support and asked them to help me fix it which they did get back the maps of America but no voice. I placed it back on the cradle and the computer would not even recognize it. So I call support again to try to help me, they said that I needed to send to them a copy of my purchase receipt ,so I called Best Buy and had one mailed to me I Faxed it to them and They said that I was out of warrentee by 2 months and they couldn't do anything about it and I asked them how can I get this TomTom to work??? they said to go to best buy and the Geek squad could fix it , So I drive 20 miles to the store only to have them say they were not licensed to fix it. I have a GPS that does not even have a map at all on it since I placed it on the cradle] I now I have a piece of trash and would [FONT="Arial SIZE]Black"][NEVER NEVER purchase any item from this company again that does not stand behind their product. ][/FONT][/FONT="Arial Black"]]It is quite obvious that[/FONT] this [/SIZE][/SIZE]company doesn't care about repeat business but someday they will. but for now I am sending an E-Mail to all my friends and family forwarning them of purchasing a TomTom they should look further to a GARMIN as the Boy at Best Buy told me to do]. [/SIZE] I should have listened[/SIZE[ [FONT="Arial BlackI am a 64 year old woman living in a new state and we thought we would be happy with our purchase to assist us in finding streets now I have to relay on Mapquest!!!!! [FONT="Arial Black"]["] I can't even begin to tell you how upset I am about this lousy company and its product!!!!!!!!!!!!!![/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/FONT][
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 16, 2009
    hugjoan, Mar 16, 2009
    #6
  7. will381796

    dhn Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    Messages:
    22,976
    Likes Received:
    441
    Location:
    Toronto Canada
    TomTom Model(s):
    1535 LIVE; Via 1605; Go 50; Go 520
    Okay! Okay! So you are upset. But we don't need posts here that look like the ravings of a maniac with the huge font sizes you selected for your post.

    In fact, the problems you have encountered probably can be resolved by doing various things ... but nobody is going to be inclined to step in when your posts are as visually aggrevating as yours was.

    Don't take your anger out as us. We don't work for TomTom. We are just users of the product as you are. Or were.
     
    dhn, Mar 16, 2009
    #7
  8. will381796

    Malouff

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Messages:
    125
    Likes Received:
    3
    TomTom Model(s):
    730
    hugjoan,

    I don't know why your devices is not recognized by windows but you can also use a SD card and load the navcore and maps on that.
    Try placing a backup on a SD Card.

    The x20/x30 can either use the built in Flash memory or a external SD Card
    So if the internal Flash memory is corrupt the boot loader may be able to boot the SD Card and you can still use your device.

    It sounds like you don't see the device in Explorer on your computer.
    You may also want to check the Device Manager on your computer for errors
    Right Click the My Computer Icon and look on the Hardware Tab
    See if there are any errors and report back don't delete anything just yet you don't want more problems

    I also find it strange that you had the 720 since Dec 07 and are just now reporting problems.
     
    Malouff, Mar 16, 2009
    #8
  9. will381796

    pianoCM

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2008
    Messages:
    578
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Lowell, MA
    TomTom Model(s):
    GO920
    This is the site where you can find help and/or learn new thing about Tomtom, if you not happy or don't want to deal with your piece of trash, I suggest you just trash it, throw it, smash it, hammer it, return it or do whatever you want to, just simply get rid of it and done, you don't have to deal with it anymore.
     
    pianoCM, Mar 17, 2009
    #9
  10. will381796

    glen_s

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    1
    If you read the general forum, you can see I posted a side by side video comparison on the TomTom vs Garmin. This is not really a lateral comparison as I believe the Nuvi 260 is not Garmin's equivalent to the 720, but more a Navteq vs TeleAtlas issue for the province of Alberta, which, at this point in time, Navteq is the hands down winner..
     
    glen_s, Mar 25, 2009
    #10
  11. will381796

    doctormstein1

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2007
    Messages:
    747
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Holtsville, NY
    TomTom Model(s):
    2535M Live
    I agree, and I really agree that their is no comparison to tom tom because of their mapshare feature and because of thie IQ routing. Tom tom is in a different league, so much better then garmins.
     
    doctormstein1, Mar 26, 2009
    #11
  12. will381796

    dhn Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    Messages:
    22,976
    Likes Received:
    441
    Location:
    Toronto Canada
    TomTom Model(s):
    1535 LIVE; Via 1605; Go 50; Go 520
    Trust me, many Garmin models have features that TomTom does not. Both are good gps brands. But totally unobjective rants --- about any brand -- filled with misinformation benefit nobody and don't have a place here.
     
    dhn, Mar 27, 2009
    #12
  13. will381796

    mvl Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2008
    Messages:
    5,433
    Likes Received:
    61
    Location:
    Boston, MA, USA
    TomTom Model(s):
    GO 2535 LIVE, GO 1535 LIVE, GO 740 LIVE, Go 930
    From what I've read (never used a Garmin), the high level differences are:

    Reliability/features:
    Both tomtom and garmin are reliable out-of-the-box. Tomtom, however, often retrofits their latest features to their earlier models (mapshare, IQroutes, etc), but they don't always do it in a reliable/stable way. So if you choose to take the plunge and update, you get more features than you paid for with lower initial reliability. (I consider FM a reliability issue, as I suspect tomtom will return it within a few months). The older the model, the longer you wait for the "service pack" that eventually fixes the bugs. Garmin on the other hand never gives you new features, and stays just as reliable as brand new. In short - tomtom is better for feature junkies, Garmin is better for "just get it working" types.

    Map quality:
    While each specific area is different, Navteq (Garmin) has a lead overall in North American map detail and Teleatlas (Tomtom) has a lead in European detail. However teleatlas is closing the gap very quickly in North America since tomtom's "phone home" notifies teleatlas automatically about where to focus its fix research. I expect Teleatlas will overtake Navteq in North American map quality by the end of 2009. The incremental improvement in each Teleatlas update is larger than the improvement in each Navteq update, but Teleatlas charges more money per update.

    Map/routing features:
    Tomtom has IQroutes, meaning they crowdsource road speeds and have far better congestion avoidance routing. Garmins self-tune to your individual driving habits, so they have better arrival predictions in non-congested areas. Mapshare is a huge tomtom advantage, not just because of crowdsourced updates, but because you can do immediate personal edits for whatever reason you want. High end Garmins optimize the sequence of multi-stop itineraries, which is a huge advantage for delivery driver types.

    Satellite acquisition:
    High end Garmins use instantfix 2, where they use a satellite speed algorithm to acquire a signal in under a minute. Tomtoms have instantfix 1, where quickgpsfix will let a tomtom acquire a signal in seconds, but where it will take 5 minutes if you haven't plugged into your computer for a while.
     
    mvl, Mar 27, 2009
    #13
  14. will381796

    gatorguy

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    Messages:
    1,157
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Florida
    TomTom Model(s):
    TomTom 930
    Other than "Garmin never adds new features", you seem to have a pretty good handle on the major differences. Garmin has so far this year added Flight Times and Dopplar radar maps for the 785's and any other nuvi's using MSNDirect., EcoRoutes for the xx5 series, lifetime traffic for the nuvi line, Hotfix sat predictive software for the 2x5's, and probably a couple of other features I can't think of right off. All after the models were released and supplied as free application updates.
     
    gatorguy, Mar 27, 2009
    #14
  15. will381796

    M51AB

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2007
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
    TomTom Model(s):
    GO 720
    To an extent, I can sympathize or at least understand where the "angry poster" is coming from. I bought my GO 720 in October 2007 and loved it so much that I encouraged my mother to buy my father a GO 720 as a Christmas present in December 2007. My mother was going to initially buy my father a Garmin Nuvi 255 (I believe) because a friend she works with had just bought one and loved how they could navigate around a traffic jam. I told my mother the GO 720 would do the same thing and more for a much better price.

    Sadly, my parents (both in their early 60's) have found the GO 720 to be too complex and never use it. I've never used anything but a TomTom and from what I'm gathering Garmin vs TomTom is much like MAC vs PC or an Automatic vs Manual Transmission; Garmins, MACs and Automatics are much easier to use, but you pay a higher price to buy them and trade-in a lot of flexibility when using them.

    My parents are taking a 300 mile road trip next month through rural Minnesota and I'm hoping they'll borrow my updated GO 720 for a few days in an effort to help them feel comfortable using an updated TomTom. If they can't get comfortable, I'm tempted to buy them a Garmin and sell their GO 720 to a friend or relative that likes the flexibility TomTom offers. Frankly, I don't think my parents problem is with TomTom, but rather with technology itself (which is something they'll obviously still have to deal with when updating a Garmin).

    However the "angry poster" appears to have command (in part) over basic HTML. I would think if she could remember HTML tags, that she would have no problem with the TomTom Home interface. I never HAD to download a map, my Go 720 (as I assume for everyone) came with a Map of North America installed. I may have had the option to download the map for Guam or Puerto Rico, as they both are Commonweatlh's of the U.S., but I was never forced to download a map.

    Personally, I think the "angry poster" was venting because (1) She did not properly follow the TomTom Home instructions and most likely downloaded the map for Guam to supplement the map of North America (2) She called TomTom customer service; which in an of itself can be a mistake depending on who you talk to (but not her fault) and (3) she apparently waited until her warranty expired to even test her TomTom to make sure it was working to her satisfaction.

    Outside of the bad customer service experience, it appears she, herself is at fault for not following instructions or reading the terms of her warranty. I feel for her having spent all that money and not being happy; at the same time, if she does the exact same thing with Garmin (i.e. waiting until after the warranty expires to use the device) she'll run into the same problem at Best Buy or anywhere else for that matter.
     
    M51AB, Apr 1, 2009
    #15
  16. will381796

    gerryc

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2008
    Messages:
    125
    Likes Received:
    3
    Problem solving is a team effort between the tomtom owner and the techsupport. Troubleshooting will be initiated willingly by both sides.. The request for the receipt and checking for warranty expiry during the second call can mean something did not go smooth during the initial transaction. One side wanted out.

    I used to work as a helpdesk for an internet provider.
    On a typical tech support's screen there usually is a 'flash' button wherein support agents can place comments about the caller/owner. An entry could go like: " Good luck! :( :( I suggest you check the warranty first".

    Every techsupport is given the OPTION to 'walk the extra mile' for a customer.
     
    gerryc, Apr 1, 2009
    #16
    1. Advertisements

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 (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.