TomTom for iPhone with car kit review

TomTom's long awaited car-kit for the iPhone has been released. In this review, we take it for spin to see if it's worth the outlay.

tomtom iphone

While IQ routes are used, the iPhone app also lacks features such as the Live Taffic info so it can't warn you in advance of major holdups on your planned route. We also missed things such as local fuel price lookups. There's also no Map Share feature either, which enables users to upload details of recent changes such as new speed cameras or roadblocks.

TomTom has announced that some features such as Advanced Lane Guidance and Text-to-Speech and full iPod control are going to be added via an update, so it does raise hopes that TomTom could add other missing features should it so wish.


As it stands however, while it works effectively as far as it goes the TomTom iPhone and car kit combination feels incomplete, and as such, overpriced.

What's more Google has recently announced that it will be bringing real-time turn-by-turn instructions with Google Maps Navigation. Initially this is only coming to Android phones, but that itself could sway people away from the iPhone. If it comes to the iPhone too, then TomTom could find that Google has killed its market stone dead. As such, TomTom needs to make the most of its windows of opportunity and make its app as good as possible, as quickly as possible.

The app and car kit work very well indeed but we can't help but feel that it could be even better, especially at the price.


The combination of the slickest smartphone on the market and the best known navigation software works as impressively as one would imagine and the car kit hardware is good. However, the total cost is simply too great, considering that the software lacks features compared to TomTom's stand alone units. As such, going the stand alone PD route is still the route we'd take.

Carkit: GPS: SirfStar III Audio out: 3.5mm Volume control: yes Dimensions: 131.43 x 68.68 x 49.86 mm Weight: 117g

Benny Har-Even

Benny Har-Even is a twenty-year stalwart of technology journalism who is passionate about all areas of the industry, but telecoms and mobile and home entertainment are among his chief interests. He has written for many of the leading tech publications in the UK, such as PC Pro and Wired, and previously held the position of technology editor at ITPro before regularly contributing as a freelancer.

Known affectionately as a ‘geek’ to his friends, his passion has seen him land opportunities to speak about technology on BBC television broadcasts, as well as a number of speaking engagements at industry events.