TomTom VIA 125 Navigator

TomTom is a very famous name when it comes to navigation systems. Even though car navigator is not currently counted as a necessity item among Indian audience, because of it’s high cost and not so highly accurate maps, but still this market is slowly slowly taking pace as people has started to realize that it should be with them all the time. Even though, now-a-days mostly smartphones completes the work of navigator using Google Navigation, but still you can’t compare that with a dedicated navigator. And of-course  not everyone still have a smartphone or wants to own one. So, we are discussing here TomTom VIA 125 navigator is the top model device with biggest screen in VIA series by TomTom in India. Let’s find out if this device is really worth buying it:

TomTom VIA 125 Navigator

TomTom VIA 125 Build Quality

Made in complete black, with just a silver lining around it’s 5″ screen, this device looks like a robust thing. It is indeed light in weight, looks sleek, and with great finishing level, it is indeed one of the beautiful gadget to have in your car. Touch type of this device is resistive and has a resolution of 480 x 272 pixels.

At the back, it has a micro SD slot, Micro USB port to attach travel adapter for powering the device and charging battery. It also has a suction cap mounted at back, so that you attach the navigator easily to glass surface or to plain surface of car dashboard. Also the whole attachment is mounted on a joint ball mechanism, which helps adjusting navigator to any angle as per user comfort. And at last, a big speaker grill is given at device back to fulfil needs of step by step voice navigation.

It has inbuilt, rechargeable battery which once charged fully, last for nearly 2 hours of continuous usage. Even though the device is a rigid one but with superb build quality, overall design has been kept clean and simple to make things easier for user and it get nicely indulged in plain looking design of your car dashboard.

TomTom VIA 125 User Interface

Since, this is a car navigator, so for obvious reasons it has big icons in settings menu and submenu. It’s not completely like a Tile design but the icons are big enough to provide ease in use. As in past, i had used Mapmyindia and Sygic both in my smartphone, comparing to them, i found understanding menu of TomTom much easier. Even if your a new user, you’ll easily get hold of it as in every screen, they have distributed the whole space in 6 icons grid, so that you may not end up giving wrong touch command at wrong place and even touching on the grid portion rather than on icon still does the correct work. And thus it becomes easier to use navigator while on the go.

One of the key feature about it’s interface is Landmark Navigation feature. After reaching any particular place, you can find a POI nearby that place and the navigator will show you driving directions and you can even find nearby POI of any place even when you’re driving anywhere.

TomTom VIA 125  Performance

Since the maps are so detailed, searching one place gives so many results with same name and then we need to choose right one for getting navigation directions. Suppose, when i was searching for pitampura in Delhi, first it showed us 4 more places by name of pitampura in whole India, but state name also appears at suffix of place name, which makes things easier for finding the correct place. Currently this device doesn’t have 3D maps but shows 3D view of 2D maps. But i expect that 3D maps shall be available very soon for this device.

Turn by Turn navigation works very well. Voice instructions are very easy to understand and can be heard easily. Also the volume level is loud enough, that you’ll not have any trouble listening to instructions even when you’re stuck between traffic and between sounds of horn from other vehicles outside.

However, expected completion time of journey which navigator was showing during our test run was not very accurate and it keep getting automatically adjusted as per the distance, which is a obvious thing. Also Navigator beeps all the time whenever our car speed crossed 50km/hr, that’s because many major roads in Delhi has a speed limit of 50. However you can set different alert for speeding if by default alert type annoys you. It also alerts by voice instructions when a police station and metro station comes nearby in default settings, which is a very useful thing for many. However we can change in settings for which type of POI, we wants to get alerted.

Also, the screen of navigator is enough bright and clearly visible even in peak day time when there is ample sunlight in the background.

TomTom VIA 125  Features

  • Landmark Navigation lets you find the destination, by searching for the nearest landmarks like monuments, chowks, parks or attractions.
  • Advanced Lane Guidance shows which lane to take at complex junctions with realistic 3D representation.
  • Map Correction lets you make corrections to your device, making your next route planning easier and faster.
  • Hands-free calling via Bluetooth® lets you enjoy hands-free calling and access entire phone book with call log information for easy calling.* (*Available for VIA120 & VIA125)
  • Voice Controls & Commands enables you to use your voice to plan your route and give commands to your device.* (*Available for VIA120 & VIA125)
  • Dual Mounting Option helps you mount your device on windscreen or dashboard.
  • Car Symbols lets you customize the navigational arrow in your device with a car symbol of your choice like a Blue Bug, Black Cabrio, Ferrari etc.
  • Frequent Destinations allows you to mark your most frequented places and add your own text.
  • Help Me! Emergency Services Menu helps you find local emergency service information like hospitals, police stations, petrol stations to roadside assistance.
  • Voice Guidance & Regional Language Support helps you get turn-by-turn directions to keep your eyes on the road with instructions in Hindi, English and 14 regional languages.
  • Ease of Use lets you use the device straight out of the box, with menus designed for simple and accurate address entry
  • 1-Year Warranty lets you drive hassle-free with 1 year limited hardware warranty.

TomTom Maps Updates

One of the biggest luring thing for buying this product is its exceptional build quality and LIFETIME FREE UPDATES of maps.

Final Verdict

As per current price band, other competitors like mapmyindia offers multimedia features too, but i believe a navigator should do his navigation work well and this device is capable of doing that well. And with Lifetime free updates of maps, it becomes a very strong point for choosing this device above other competitors devices.

An optimist to the core, I always see the glass half full. I like to take life as it comes and not to become too serious on the harsher aspects of it. Apart from this, I am an Engineer, a Blogger & a Researcher....

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  1. Not worth. Very old hardware, outdated maps, horrible customer service

    I just brought TomTom Via from a retail shop. I was thinking the hardware of these devices are better than the mobile phones. I do have a paid Sygic maps app for android. That is 10 times better and reliable then TomTom.
    1) This tomtom device and most of other tomtom products are highly outdated. The hardware is like 200MHz processor with linux. Even a micromax phone for 7K is 1GHz processor.
    2) The issue with tomtom is if you try to create a route to other city, its calculation of road takes a minute. This happens in a second on Sygic on android.
    3) Moreover Tomtom touch screens are 10yr technology. Very low resolution, low viewing angle plastic filmed screens. Meaning on an angle you cannot see the screen correctly.
    4) As others have mentioned, typing on screen is slow. Lot of mistakes.
    5) The User Interface(UI) is horrible. There are dozons of clicks to just do anything. Difficult to pan and zoom while in driving mode. Searching locations gives wrong results.
    6) If i search for same location in Sygic(powerd by mapmyindia) and Tomtom, we get 1/10 of results. I mean mapmyindia wins. I am going to have a youtube video on this.
    7) for 10-15k price tomtom provides 5yr old 2D maps. The world is providing 3D maps. Check on mapmyindia or sygic.
    8) horrible customer service. I i call them they dont respond. If i raise issues in their forum, they delete my posts. Dirty attitude for india.

    I would recommend to buy any mapmyindia product as they have been in India for long time. Or buy a decent 10K android phone on Flipkart and download sygic maps.

  2. Don't touch it with a barge pole

    When you buy a new Tomtom device in India they promise free map updates in the future. However, within 1.5 years of purchasing the product, the device developed a “software bug”, which means the computer never recognizes it and I always get an error saying device not connected. I can no longer get the latest map updates as a result. Several calls to the help desk did not help. If I want to send the device to them for software remedies, it will cost me more than INR 6000. I think it is an indirect way of charging for the map updates. I will strongly recommend against buying this product.

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