How does TomTom compare to Google Maps

Stiftung Warentest: Google Maps had the best navigation in the test before TomTom

In its edition for February 2019, Stiftung Warentest subjected navigation devices and navigation apps to a comparison test. In terms of the overall rating, TomTom is the winner in terms of the devices for the car and the apps for Android and iOS, but Google Maps comes off best when it comes to the core task of navigation.

Attach the navigation device to the car's windshield using a suction cup, or would you prefer to rely on a navigation app on your smartphone? This is exactly the question that Stiftung Warentest has dealt with and compared seven navigation devices and eight apps for Android and iOS in a test.

TomTom wins the overall ranking

From the test, TomTom emerged as the winner in the categories of navigation devices, navigation apps for Android and navigation apps for iOS. The TomTom Go 6200 won the comparison test of the devices with a grade of 1.9 (good), for the navigation apps for Android it was TomTom Go Mobile with a grade of 2.1 (good) and for the navigation apps for iOS it was also TomTom Go Mobile with a grade of 2.2 (good). Properties such as navigation (40%), handling (35%), versatility (10%), battery life (5%), processing (5%) and data consumption via mobile communications (5%) are included in the evaluation. The data transmission behavior of the apps was taken into account and, with the exception of Apple, criticized in some cases more and in some cases less strongly by almost all providers, but was not included in the ratings (0%).

Google Maps has the best navigation

Purely related to the core task of navigation, which was evaluated by Stiftung Warentest with regard to driving recommendations (announcements / display), time for start, location and route calculation, route guidance and traffic services, but wins the free Google Maps on the Android and iOS platforms. The testers gave Google Maps a grade of 1.7 (good) on Android and a grade of 1.8 (good) on iOS. In terms of navigation devices, the TomTom Go 6200 offers the best navigation with 1.9 (good), the TomTom Go Essential 6 with 1.9 (good) and the TomTom Go Basic 6 with 1.9 (good).

Navigation devices are more for frequent drivers

The bottom line that the TomTom devices emerge as the winner in the comparison is due to their greater versatility, for example through speed cameras and, in particular, the data consumption via mobile communications. The Stiftung Warentests penalizes the Google app for Android and iOS with a grade of 5.5 (poor). There is also this rating for data consumption for the iOS-exclusive Apple Maps, which only comes in fifth place in the navigation apps for iOS with a grade of 2.5 (good).

Finally, Stiftung Warentest also makes its recommendation based on data consumption. Frequent drivers who are constantly dependent on a navigation device should better use devices built into the car. The Garmin DriveSmart 61 Europe LMT-D and the TomTom Go Essential 6 landed in first place behind the TomTom Go 6200, each with a grade of 1.9 (good). The TomTom Start 62 brings up the rear with a grade of 3.3 (satisfactory).

Stiftung Warentests recommends apps such as Google Maps to occasional users, as they are ready to use faster, calculate the route quickly and are always up-to-date. Thanks to better versatility, battery life and lower data consumption, the TomTom Go Mobile, which costs 20 euros a year and costs 20 euros a year, still wins with the apps for Android and iOS. When it comes to free apps, however, Google Maps is at the forefront, Waze follows in third place. Here follows in fifth place on Android and sixth on iOS behind Apple Maps. The worst navigation app in the test is NNG iGo Navigation with a grade of 2.7 (satisfactory).

The full comparison test can be bought from the Stiftung Warntest for 3 euros.