TomTom ONE XL
We got the early scoop on the TomTom ONE XL a few weeks back, but now we have the full details from TomTom. True to its name, the ONE XL is basically a bigger version of the TomTom ONE (read our review). There are two basic things that are added which make this ONE an XL. An optional traffic receiver and a widescreen display. Here is what we can tell you about those additional features.
The biggest difference about the TomTom ONE XL is the widescreen display. It is a 4.3 inch display running at 480×272 pixels versus the original ONE which has a 3.5 inch display running at 320×240 pixels. We have an entire article where we talk about the good and bad of widescreen GPS models which you can read. That advice applies here as well. The individual elements on the screen are not really bigger, you just get a wider view. It doesn’t really provide you with a bigger view of the road ahead.
To accommodate the widescreen display the entire ONE XL is bigger than the regular ONE. The XL measures 4.7 x 3.4 x 1.2 inches. While I haven’t yet measured the ONE, it doesn’t fit within our current stipulations of what we consider a “slim” GPS device. Currently we only classify a GPS as slim if its shortest dimension is 1.0 inches or less. Once we get our hands on the ONE XL we may revise what we consider slim, but as it stands now it doesn’t meet our definition of slim despite obviously being designed for that category.
As far as weight goes, the TomTom ONE XL falls into the middle of the pack of other GPS devices in this class, weighing in at 7.4 ounces. This is more than the Garmin Nuvi 600 series which are a little over 6 ounces but less than the Magellan Maestro series which comes in at about 8.5 ounces.
The placement of buttons and connectors is similar to the design on the ONE. On the top is the power button and on the bottom is the SD card slot, USB/power connector, and new to the TomTom ONE XL is the traffic receiver connector. (More on that later). We are still disappointed that the majority of the connectors are on the bottom of the ONE. We wish TomTom would drop the “rounded” sides of the ONE in favor of a square design, use the extra space to slim the device by a couple tenths of an inch, and then move all of the connectors to the side for easier mounting in a car.
This GPS comes with the same mount as found on the ONE. Simple, but it works fairly well.
The other major difference between the original ONE and the ONE XL is the addition of a plug to connect a RDS-TMC traffic receiver. I’ve already heard some confusion over this specification, so let’s get this cleared up. The TomTom ONE XL comes with a port on the bottom of the device where you can connect an RDS-TMC traffic receiver. It does not come with that traffic receiver in the USA. You need to purchase the traffic receiver itself and traffic subscription separately. The TomTom ONE (not XL) does not come with this port, so you cannot connect the traffic receiver to that device. So in summary, the TomTom ONE XL does not come with a traffic receiver, but unlike the regular ONE it is at least possible to do so. We are still trying to get confirmation from TomTom regarding pricing of the traffic receiver, however we expect it will be around $135.
We expect that the routing, detour, and itinerary planning functions will be the same as that of the TomTom ONE (read our review). We will update this if we find anything different. These are the functions which really define TomTom and make their products great. TomTom does a great job of focusing on navigation features first, and the “extras” second.
There are two features people may be upset are not included in the TomTom ONE XL, Bluetooth hands free calling (the ONE XL does have Bluetooth, but only to access their PLUS services) and text-to-speech for street names. Why go to the trouble of adding Bluetooth for PLUS services but not offer it for hands free calling? And as primarily a navigational feature, more GPS manufacturers need to start offering text-to-speech on their lower end devices.
Finally, if you plan on using the TomTom ONE XL outside of your car in pedestrian mode, or anywhere you don’t have access to power, watch out for the battery life. The ONE XL has one of the shortest battery life specifications in the class at about 2 hours. Still, that won’t be a huge limitation for most people.
While you won’t see this GPS on store shelves until May, I’m sure it will quickly become a hot seller. TomTom is touting the ONE as being “the world’s #1 selling personal navigation device” and I’m sure the ONE XL will be very hot.