TomTom VIA 125 review

GPS Navigation devices are around for quite sometime in European countries and the Americas. Proper GPS devices are yet to leave a mark in the Indian market and the reasons being the price conscious customers, complex transport network, support for local languages, value for money, service etc.


In the beginning I made a mention of “Proper GPS” devices, as these days we get devices of various form factors like CellPhones, Tablets with GPS facilities and pre-loaded or loadable maps to support Navigation. The other benefits of the handheld devices are that the maps are free to use and come with lifetime navigation. However there is a catch. Though the handheld communication devices devices come with Voice Guidance Navigation, not all of them were with Voice Guidance and with local language support. The phones/tablets are difficult to be shared with others as they are personal to us.

Moving on, I would like to share my views on the TomTom VIA 125 GPS device. My sincere thanks to TomTom India for providing a review unit for me. TomTom jumped into Indian market recently and is trying to establish a foothold here. A brief look at the history of TomTom tells us that the company is a frontrunner in the European market with their GPS Navigation systems.

Does the history and their international presence help? I will let you answer and will allow you to read through at this point.

Specs:
Oh yes, we always love to look at the specs and a bit of info about the device. The device was comes with Broadcom GoGPS Barracuda chip for GPS, 500MHz CPU, 128 MB RAM, 4GB Disk space. Though there is support for microSD card slot, it is currently disabled. The device comes with a 5″ Resistive display having 480 × 272 pixels resolution with 64,000 colours and a 16:9 aspect ratio. The devices also comes with Bluetooth support.

Looks:
The device looks sleek, is lightweight, matte finish at the back, brushed metal feel around the display at the front. The device does give a premium feel. The mic slot is in the front of the device.

The rear of the devices consists of the speaker grill, power on/off button, microSD card slot, microUSB port for charging/map updates. The device comes with a Suction cup stand with joint ball attachment allowing the device to be rotated in any direction allowing users to adjust it to their comfortable viewing angle.

Battery:
The device comes with a rechargeable battery which allows 2 hrs of continuous usage on battery power.

Now to the Core features of the device

The VIA 125 comes with the huge 5″ screen and allows clear view of Text displayed on the screen and yes the text font size is good enough for clear visibility. The navigation around the User Interface of the device is pretty easy with icons properly labelled.

The device comes with multiple options for users to plan their journey. Using a “Navigate to” menu, users can select the destination they want to travel. The software comes preloaded with Landmarks, Points of Interest like ATMs, Colleges, Banks, Hotels, Bus Stations, Fire Station, Hospitals and many more.

The destination can also be selected by entering GPS co-ordinates or selecting a point on the map. The device also allows users to select a starting and end-point which is not where they are located at the moment, allowing users to plan a route.

The Loudspeaker is pretty loud and the voice is audible even while driving around in traffic.

VIA 125 also comes with Bluetooth pairing with Mobile phones and can be used as a Bluetooth device and is definitely an added advantage.

A brief Demo


Is customization Possible?

TomTom seems to have made some research on what is needed for the Indian market and seems to have covered most of the things in the device. There are quite a few options in settings. The device allows local Indian languages like Bangla, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Tamil and Telugu. Yes, for all the languages, both Male and Female versions of Voice guidance are available.

VIA 125 also allows uses to tweak their maps just in case users observe some changes in the surroundings. Though the changes are local to the device, but can also be notified to TomTom.

Cost & Warranty:
The VIA 125 costs 15990 INR and comes with 1 Year Manufacturer warranty.

Are update available and free?
TomTom rolls out updates 4 times in a year. Thus bringing users updated routes/information/mapping details within each and every update. Though TomTom were charging users for updates/usage of the maps, they have now made it free for use. Users have to connect the device to their PC’s, register the device and then can update the maps on the VIA 125.

Verdict

With their vast experience in the field, TomTom has hit the right chord on getting most of the things right. The User Interface is less clumsy, easy to use UI, the options for languages etc. The voice is pretty clear and the display is non glossy and does a pretty job. Sometimes the device tend to lag a bit with your position.

At the price of 15590 INR, the device comes with lots of functionalities being a standalone GPS Unit. Though it will take a lot of effort for the companies to make users to ditch their Mobile phone units for the GPS devices like VIA 125.

In case you are looking at a GPS navigation device, TomTom VIA 125 will definitely not disappoint you.

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