The TomTom Start 20 GPS is an entry level unit in the TomTom range, and aims to provide users with basic GPS functionality rather than a long list of features. The benefit of this is that the device is cheap, making it accessible to a wider customer base.
Being a budget offering, the Start 20’s feature list is nowhere near as impressive as the mid and high range devices, though this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. For the price you get voice guided navigation, advanced lane guidance that visually indicates which lane you should be driving in when you approach a highway off ramp or turn in the city center, and speed camera updates that warn you when you’re approaching a zone known for speed trapping.
Also present is the IQ routes feature, which uses average traveling speeds of roads on your route rather than nominal values to provide you with an accurate arrival time.
The Start 20 comes in various region specific versions, with our unit being the Southern Africa edition. This means full map coverage of South Africa, Lesotho, and Swaziland come pre-loaded onto the GPS. Various Major cities in Southern Africa are also covered in the following countries: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Malawi, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Rounding off the package is a bundled USB cable which allows you to connect the GPS to a computer for updates and data transfer. The same cable doubles up as the charging cable for the device in your car, and plugs in to the bundled adapter that fits into your cars cigarette lighter socket.
While you can see the Start 20 has been built to remain a budget offering, build quality was surprisingly good. The shell of the device feels robust enough to handle every day used, and the movable mounting arm feels well put together. The suction cup is large enough to comfortably support the weight of the GPS, and the Start 20 features the same twist lock dial to lock the suction cup in place as found on higher-end units.
The 4.3 inch (11cm) screen feels slightly more sluggish than those on the higher-end units, though this is to be expected from a budget offering. That said, the screen is easy to use and registers user input without hassle. The screen is also bright enough to remain visible while driving in direct sunlight.
The TomTom Start 20 Southern Africa edition GPS may be a budget oriented device, but it delivers a comprehensive set of features that will actually be used in day to day operation. The only noteworthy feature missing from this device is HD traffic support, though “IQ routes” is present to make your traveling through congested areas as easy as possible.
The device performs well and is worth the price tag; the TomTom Start 20 GPS comes recommended.
The TomTom Start 20 retails for between R1,550 and R1,700 from local retailers.
Pros: Comprehensive list of useful features, price
Cons: No HD Traffic
- Up to 2 hours battery life
- 4GB internal flash memory
- SD card slot
- 4..3″ (11 cm) 16:9 widescreen at a resolution of 480 x 272
- Dimensions – 119 X 80 X 25 mm
- 181 gram weight