iPhone TomTom kit tested

* Costs 99.99 * Excluding navigation software * Useful, but not worth the money...

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What Car? Staff
21 October 2009

iPhone TomTom kit tested

We've just tested the new TomTom sat-nav car kit for the iPhone and, well, we're a bit underwhelmed.

It's a handy piece of kit, which dispenses with the need to carry around a dedicated sat-nav device as well as your iPhone but, considering what's included, the 100 pricetag is frankly ridiculous.

What do you get?
Glance at the packaging and you'd be forgiven for thinking it contains everything you need to turn your iPhone into a fully-fledged sat-nav for your car. It doesn't.

You get a cradle, which holds your iPhone (either vertically or horizontally) and suckers it to the windscreen of your car.

The cradle also charges the phone, through a wire that plugs into your car's cigarette lighter socket, and amplifies its GPS signal, so you won't lose satellite connections as easily in built-up areas.

That's not all, because on the back of the cradle there's a good-sized loudspeaker. Both spoken guidance and any hands-free phone calls you make are broadcast through this, rather than the iPhone's tiny in-built speaker.

What's missing?
Crucially, what you don't get is the TomTom navigation software. That costs an extra 59.99, if you need maps of the UK and the Republic of Ireland only, or 79.99, if you want the rest of Europe covered.

So, the total cost of TomTom on your iPhone will be at least 159.98. Not at all cheap, especially considering you'll have already forked out for the iPhone in the first place.

Our verdict
However you look at it, the TomTom car kit isn't worth the money. You can buy a perfectly good iPhone car cradle for less than 10: try the 6.71 EASYi from Amazon.co.uk. Add the CoPilot Live 8 application for 25.99 from the iTunes App Store. Total price: less than 33.

Or, if you're desperate for a TomTom, save yourself some cash and buy a dedicated device. A TomTom One IQ Routes does the job better than the iPhone kit and can be bought from Amazon.co.uk for just 119.99.

The TomTom car kit for iPhone is available now from the Apple Store at http://store.apple.com/uk