@AC, re TomTom
I've got quite an old TomTom (a One v3 with Euro maps) that I find very useful indeed. Its maps are a little out of date, but not disaterously so. I quite happily go all over Europe and it's not let me down once. On a recent family holiday in rural France I was the only one to make it direct to the remote farmhouse we were staying in with no difficulty at all. It even knew about the driveway. Everyone else with mobiles, newer satnavs that had cheap / partial euro maps, etc. spent hours driving round the countryside lost either because they couldn't get a mobile signal, or the roads weren't on the map, etc.
I was vaguely thinking of getting a newer one, but from I've read here today I think that I'll stick with the one I've got. I don't want to use a phone either because they're expensive to buy and aren't quite as good (worse GPS in my experience, reliance to some extent on mobile coverage, voice too quiet, stupid things like auto screen blanking that the app can't control, can't make a phone call and navigate at the same time, etc. etc.). If they just made a slightly newer One v3 then I'd buy that.
Why oh why does shiny mediocrity succeed over old fashioned yet effective clunkiness? Do people want to be stylish more than they want to get to their desination with ease? Why would anyone buy a £400 smartphone and use it to navigate and suffer the inevitable compromises when a 4 year old £100 TomTom argueably does a better job?
I suspect that it works this way:
Punter: "Does this smart phone do satnav?"
Sales dude: "Of course"
Punter: "And it is nice and shiny too..."
whereas it should work this way:
Punter: "What's the GPS receiver sensitivity in dBm?"
Sales dude: "Errrr"
Punter "And what's the GPS antenna pattern like?"
Sales dude: "Welllllll"
Punter: "What the peak antenna gain?"
Sales dude: "4?"
Punter: "And what's the average time-to-update for map corrections from the date the road layout changed?"
Sales dude: "blurb blurb"
Punter: "and what's the map resolution? And what's the average time from traffic jam forming to autorecalculation of my route?"
To make a useful comparison between satnavs, either phone or standalone, these are the sort of data that is actually needed. But none of the companies supplies it. So a level of mediocre performance has become the accepted norm and the general public will use the half baked products in ignorance of the fact that they could be a *lot* better than they currently are. And the trouble with mediocrity is that it has a way of letting you down just when you really, really want the damn thing to work properly.