TomTom Go 730

Lane guidance is great and the over-hyped IQ Routes was pretty good, but the best news is that, one year on, the Go 720's faults (price, buggy features) are no more.


8.2
CNET Rating
6.3
User Rating

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About The Author

CNET Editor

Derek loves nothing more than punching a remote location into a GPS, queuing up some music and heading out on a long drive, so it's a good thing he's in charge of CNET Australia's Car Tech channel.


Design
There's not much to say about the Go 730's design that we haven't already said when we reviewed the Go 720 last year. After all, they're practically identical: there's the same, slightly chunky, rubberised body with a swish looking metal speaker grille on the back. The only discernible changes are on the 4.3-inch screen's frame, which is now predominantly black.

The lack of changes isn't necessarily an issue — we're big fans of the Go 720, 730 and 930's aesthetics — except for one important thing: the windshield mount. The Go 730, as well as the Go 930, retains the old school TomTom mount design, which is relatively compact but lacks a lever or any sort of contraption to provide more suction. As such, every trip we took along New South Wales' potted roads we girded ourselves for the almost inevitable crash, bang, wallop of the Go falling earthward via our dashboard.

As with the exterior, the Go 730's interface is all but identical to, well, almost every other TomTom since day dot. This consistency is good — a relief almost — especially because TomTom's map screen and menu design are a snap to use. Instructions and stats — all configurable — are carried in a blue bar at the bottom of the map screen. Clicking on the next turn instruction brings up a volume slider (something we wish all GPS units had accessible via the map screen), a route summary is accessed by tapping the stats box, while the main menu can be brought up by tapping the map. Destination entry is simple via the on-screen QWERTY keyboard.

Features
MP3 playback, an FM transmitter, text-to-speech and Bluetooth hands-free all make a return from last year's Go 720. Every one of these features on the 720 was riddled with so many bugs that it reminded us of Indiana Jones entering the Temple of Doom. We're happy to report that most of these features have been sprayed with copious amounts of Baygon before inserted into the Go 730.

Although the text-to-speech, or spoken street names, feature still stumbles over streets with Aboriginal or Aussie names, as well as some with an English clip, at least it comes pre-installed on the Go 730 — last year you had to load them manually via the TomTom Home program.

Bluetooth was initially reluctant to pair with our Palm Centro, but worked flawlessly after we successfully got it in bed with an Apple iPhone. Although calls were loud and clear, they only came through the built-in speaker. This is despite the presence of a much improved FM transmitter. This year's model now transmits at a decent volume and with sufficient power that it will work adequately even when driving through the concrete and glass canyons of the CBD, although the Garmin 760 still has a firm grip on its FM transmission crown.

Combined with the ability to playback MP3s, this makes the Go 730 a pretty handy device even if you know how to get to where you're going. Handily, song lists are easily accessible, via a faint button, on the main map screen. There's about 600MB of space on the TomTom for music storage — more if you're willing to delete some voices via the TomTom Home PC software. Music and instructions can also be output via Bluetooth or the line-out cable if your car stereo is appropriately equipped.

As with TomTom's other new products this year, the fourth-gen One, second-gen XL and Go 930, the Go 730 has Map Share. This feature allows users to correct errors, such as speed limits, blocked streets, and traffic and turn restrictions, present on the Whereis maps. These corrections can then be shared, once verified by TomTom, with other users via the Home PC software.

Performance
The Go 730 is the first TomTom device we've tested with the company's IQ Routes feature. Although it fails to live up to the marketing hype — some of the advertising material claims that the Go 730 can guide you around "like a local" — it does seem to do a better job at routing than other GPS navigators.

Traditionally sat-nav systems have calculated routes either by the speed limits on roads or a thoroughfare's classification (such as, lane, street, road, major road or highway) but, as we all know, during certain times of the day some roads and streets clog up with so much traffic that these assumptions are no longer valid. IQ Routes is TomTom's attempt to get around this. Over the years, the company's GPS units have been anonymously collecting average speed data for Australian roads and collating that info, with the user's consent, via the TomTom Home software.

Maybe TomTom hasn't collected enough Aussie data, or perhaps that data hasn't been sliced and diced in the correct way, because despite our best efforts some gridlocked main roads kept turning up on our routes. Although with a week of side by side testing with a competitor, the Go 730 did seem to regularly produce more logical routes.

Of more noticeable benefit is lane guidance, which is now available thanks to the supplied Whereis R15.1 maps. While the Mio Moov and Navman S-Series Platinum models have lane guidance for some main roads, major intersections and highway on- and off-ramps, the Go 730 has this feature for all but the most minor of streets. The lane info is typically displayed in the next turn instruction box, with full screen representations taking their place on some highway and motorway entrances and exits.

It takes about 6.5 seconds for the TomTom to start itself up — something it has to do every time you step into the car as there's no sleep mode. In the CBD, it will sometimes get confused about its position, as well as occasionally lose sight of the GPS satellites, but this is all par for the course with consumer-grade GPS devices. Traffic services aren't included with the Go 730, although the Go 730 Traffic is available for an extra AU$100.

Conclusion
A year ago when we reviewed its predecessor, the Go 720, we lauded its lovely design and then cried a salty ocean of tears because the high price meant that its buggy feature set were unforgivable. This year, though, we've been able to turn off the water works for the most part: the price is sane and the features debugged. The only thing holding the Go 730 back from greatness is that godforsaken windshield mount.

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The Maps Doctor
2
Rating
 

"Cheap products broke too soon"

The Maps Doctor posted a review   
United States

The Good:Lane guidance, blue tooth

The Bad:Not reliable after 8 months of use

The GO 739 was my second Tom Tom unit. The first one was the one series which stopped working after a year. The technical support at the time was a joke as they could not figure out what is wrong after they tried me to re-set after re-set. They did not stand behind their product and they left me in the dark. They finally agreed to give a coupon for their store where I found prices for new unit is inflated and you still get it cheaper from Amazon even after using their coupon. After that I decided to go with the more expensive one the GO 730 hoping to get more reliable unit. I was wrong. After about 8 months in use the unit starts acting funny. All the sudden the screen starts flickering and bringing other different screen and I lost control of staying on the map I was driven on. I ended up in no where in couple of my trips and I kissed very important meeting as a results of this unit. I believe that Tom Tom grew too fast and they focused on profits before they matured their products. I will never buy or use a Tom Tom unit even if they provided for free. I am planning to try Garmin next.

 

Stanislaus posted a comment   

What are people moaning about the GO730. I must have a unit that was assembled in the factory on a Wednesday. It has always done it's job for me. I'll stick with Tom Tom

 

bilbo posted a comment   

tom tom sucks... Doesnt it sound great a device that lets you know where your going and you dont have to look in a melways all the time to get directions.........Well it would be nice if everytime you turned it off it didnt take ten minutes to turn back on i had a pc computer that was 10 years old and it didnt take that long turn turn on and that is expected........... in short there are many other problems that go with it.............Tom Tom U SUCK!

unhapppy customer
1
Rating
 

unhapppy customer posted a review   

The Good:Nothing

The Bad:Everything you can think off

TODAY I WANT EVERYONE TO KNOW HOW UNREASONABLE , RUDE AND UNPROFESSIONAL TOM TOMS COMPANY IS. I BOUGHT A TOM TOM GO720 GPS, AND USED IT ONLY JUST UNDER A WEEK AND THE SCREEN DECIDED TO GO VERY DIM, I COULD NOT SEE A THING ON IT AT ALL. I TOOK IT BACK TO THE STORE THEY SAID THEY WILL SEND IT BACK TO TOMTOM REPAIRS AND IT SHOULD BE REPLACED OR REPAIRED BECAUSE I JUST BOUGHT IT THE OTHER DAY AND I HAD TO WAIT 6 WEEKS FOR A RESPONSE JUST FOR A SMALL GPS UNIT, WELL I GOT A CALL BACK TODAY AND MADE ME FURIOUS THIS IS AFTER 6 WEEKS OF WAITING, "SORRY WE CAN NOT REPAIR THE ITEM BECAUSE IT WILL BE TOO EXPENSIVE TO REPAIR AND WE CAN NOT REPLACE THE ITEM EITHER AS WELL, WE CAN ONLY REFUND THE ITEM WHICH TOM TOM WAS NOT KEEN FOR ALLOW THE ELECTRONIC STORE TO DO. NOW I CAN RULE OUT THAT TOM TOM'S PRODUCTS ARE MADE FROM THE CHEAPEST AND BAD QUALITY COMPONENTS.MY DAYS ARE OVER WITH TOM TOM, SHAME ON YOU TOM TOM. IF YOUR A STUPID CONSUMER AND ARE WILLING TO LOOSE YOUR MONEY OR WAIT FOR OVER A MONTH FOR A REPAIR, AND AT THE END THEY WONT REPAIR OR REPLACE THE ITEM GO AND BUY TOM TOM PRODUCTS, I'LL BE LAUGHING AT YOU, BECAUSE ITS HAPPEND TO ME, BUT I WOULD BLAME MYSELF FOR NOT RESEARCHING THE PRODUCT, AFTER I BOUGHT IT AND THEN RESEARCHED IT I REALISED THAT TOM TOM WAS A JOKE AND LIKE A TOY, AND THERE WERE MILLIONS OF UNHAPPY AND UNSATISFIED CUSTOMERS. THIS TIME IM GOING STICK WITH THE GARMINS. THE REASON IM REALLY UPSET IS THAT THEY WERE VERY VERY SLOW IN GIVING A RESPONSE, THE SALES PEOPLE SENT IT OFF TO THEM THE FOLLOWING DAY SO THEY RECIEVED IN A WEEK. SO WHY WOULD IT TAKE YOU ANOTHER 5 WEEKS JUST TO GIVE ME A RESPONSE AND JUST SAY WE CAN NOT REPAIR IT.THAT REALLY PUTS YOU OFF. PLEASE DO NOT BUY TOM TOM PRODUCTS, I'VE HEARD SALES PEOPLE SOMETIMES DO NOT RECOMMEND TO THEIR CUSTOMERS.

 

Denis posted a reply   

I know somepwople have had trouble with TomTom service but i've had a Go720 for a while and it is the greatest thing. I've never had a problem with the screen mount and the FM transmitter works fine as does bluetooth.
I tried a Garmin as a second unit for wife's car. Got rid of it quickly. It was no where as good as TomTom. It was slow, sometimes it would take you via an off-ramp then straight back onto the on-ramp instead of just keeping to motorway.

John_K
8
Rating
 

John_K posted a review   

The Good:Almost everything

The Bad:A bit buggy sometimes

I bought this as a run-out model which was the the demo unit in the store, rather than paying extra for the new 750.
The main reason I bought it was for the FM transmitter and the ability to load it up with MP3's. My partner already has a 530 and I was impressed with the ease of use over the competitor's products.
The IQ routes and lane guidance works well as far as I can tell although over a 2 week period it always sent me on the same route no matter what time of day I travelled.
As a GPS unit it was all I expected, plus some added extras.
Onto the FM transmitter and MP3 capability...
Once I found an unused frequency it was easy enough to set the 730 to match and after setting the speaker output to the FM transmitter, off it went and played the sample files.
It was easy enough to upload my own MP3 files to the internal memory and the 730 picked these up straight away and played them without problems.
But here is the gravy on top! Even though the manual suggests that the optional SD card is supposed to be used for maps, you CAN use the SD card to load it up with MP3 files.
I bought a 32GB SD card, created an MP3 folder on it and loaded up >1200 MP3 files. (Note, you cannot do this with the SD card plugged into the 730, you need to have a PC with a SD card reader or buy a USB SD card reader). After I plugged the SD card into the 730's slot the 730 took around 60 seconds to index all the files and then played them seemlessly.
The only complaint is that after about 3 or 4 hours of constant playback the 730 would occasionally pause the track for a second two. Rebooting the 730 fixed this.
The other bug which is quite common is that resuming playback after power off for some time (like when you get back in the car the next morning) would sometimes play the MP3's through the tinny internal speaker rather than the FM transmitter. To fix this I had to select the internal speaker, save and then re-select the FM transmitter again.
Apart from those little issues, the GO730 is great if you want to combine all the features of a GPS with most of the features of an iPod in one unit. The "TomTom Jukebox" app allows you to select music by song, artist, album, genre and even search for a particular song. It has the usual shuffle and repeat optionsu'd expe to find and it claims to also be able to play playlists from other sources, like Winamp (which you have to create on a PC first), but I did not test that.
Lastly, saving all of your MP3 files on the SD card allows for an easy backup to your PC, just don't forgot to remove the SD card before you backup otherwise all your MP3's are backed up as well.

As far as other problems people reported, I like the windscreen mount as it's better than my partner's 530 mount. I found the touchscreen easy to use, although sometimes a little too sensitive. The internal speaker quality is fine for spoken directions and navigating around is fairly simple (which is why I like TomTom's over the others).

Enjoy!

John_K
8
Rating
 

John_K posted a review   

The Good:Almost everything

The Bad:A bit buggy sometimes

I bought this as a run-out model which was the the demo unit in the store, rather than paying extra for the new 750.
The main reason I bought it was for the FM transmitter and the ability to load it up with MP3's. My partner already has a 530 and I was impressed with the ease of use over the competitor's products.
The IQ routes and lane guidance works well as far as I can tell although over a 2 week period it always sent me on the same route no matter what time of day I travelled.
As a GPS unit it was all I expected, plus some added extras.
Onto the FM transmitter and MP3 capability...
Once I found an unused frequency it was easy enough to set the 730 to match and after setting the speaker output to the FM transmitter, off it went and played the sample files.
It was easy enough to upload my own MP3 files to the internal memory and the 730 picked these up straight away and played them without problems.
But here is the gravy on top! Even though the manual suggests that the optional SD card is supposed to be used for maps, you CAN use the SD card to load it up with MP3 files.
I bought a 32GB SD card, created an MP3 folder on it and loaded up >1200 MP3 files. (Note, you cannot do this with the SD card plugged into the 730, you need to have a PC with a SD card reader or buy a USB SD card reader). After I plugged the SD card into the 730's slot the 730 took around 60 seconds to index all the files and then played them seemlessly.
The only complaint is that after about 3 or 4 hours of constant playback the 730 would occasionally pause the track for a second two. Rebooting the 730 fixed this.
The other bug which is quite common is that resuming playback after power off for some time (like when you get back in the car the next morning) would sometimes play the MP3's through the tinny internal speaker rather than the FM transmitter. To fix this I had to select the internal speaker, save and then re-select the FM transmitter again.
Apart from those little issues, the GO730 is great if you want to combine all the features of a GPS with most of the features of an iPod in one unit. The "TomTom Jukebox" app allows you to select music by song, artist, album, genre and even search for a particular song. It has the usual shuffle and repeat optionsu'd expe to find and it claims to also be able to play playlists from other sources, like Winamp (which you have to create on a PC first), but I did not test that.
Lastly, saving all of your MP3 files on the SD card allows for an easy backup to your PC, just don't forgot to remove the SD card before you backup otherwise all your MP3's are backed up as well.

As far as other problems people reported, I like the windscreen mount as it's better than my partner's 530 mount. I found the touchscreen easy to use, although sometimes a little too sensitive. The internal speaker quality is fine for spoken directions and navigating around is fairly simple (which is why I like TomTom's over the others).

Enjoy!

 

mikejc posted a comment   

The Good:nothing

The Bad:Maps, FM transmission, Juke Box setup,

Latest maps missing Major Highways, Fm Transmitter drops out all the time, Cant setup Favorites in Jukebox. Touchscreen unresponsive unless you just about poke your finger through the glass. Its criminal that such a useless peace of trash is aloud to be sold in shops.

Baz
3
Rating
 

Baz posted a review   

The Good:Lane guidance

The Bad:Everything else

Had this unit 6 months and cant stand it. I have gone back to using my old Navman. As others have said, windscreen mount and stupid software. But very slow to get a lock, (I have usualy driven a mile) slow screen update and the night/day display flashes back and forth.
Stay well clear.

 

WarSlat posted a comment   

The Good:Most features work well

The Bad:FM Transmitter is totally useless

Bought this device to use as a music player in the car. Since my car radio has no aux input I decided to pay extra and get this model which incorporates an FM transmitter to play mp3's stored on the 730 through the radio. Despite trying many frequencies and having the unit 20cm from the radio and aerial the hissing and interference is terrible to the point of being unusable.

Also the unit turns off with the car, why not let it turn on when the car is started like the Garmins?

Apart from these 2 irritations the unit is great


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User Reviews / Comments  TomTom Go 730

  • The Maps Doctor

    The Maps Doctor

    Rating2

    "The GO 739 was my second Tom Tom unit. The first one was the one series which stopped working after a year. The technical support at the time was a joke as they could not figure out what is wrong a..."

  • Stanislaus

    Stanislaus

    "What are people moaning about the GO730. I must have a unit that was assembled in the factory on a Wednesday. It has always done it's job for me. I'll stick with Tom Tom"

  • bilbo

    bilbo

    "tom tom sucks... Doesnt it sound great a device that lets you know where your going and you dont have to look in a melways all the time to get directions.........Well it would be nice if everytime ..."

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