The TomTom VIA 1525 is part of the TomTom basic range of car gps navigators, however it does have the added benefit of coming in two versions. The VIA 1525 comes as standard with a 5-inch touch screen, however there are two options, an "M' series and a "TM" version. The key difference between the two models; the "M" has free lifetime map updates, while the "TM" has both free lifetime map update and free lifetime traffic updates to keep you out of traffic jams. Obviously the TM is more expensive that the basic M version, however there are no other differences.
TomTom VIA 1525 Review
The TomTom VIA series is the starting block of the current TomTom GPS range, and the VIA 1525 M/TM sits right in the middle. Don’t think this means that they have cut corners with this Car GPS just because this is a cheaper version, because they have not.
For a good price you can buy a sturdy navigator to take you where you want to go, when you want to go there. You can save your money by leaving out the fancy gadgets and features that the upper-range TomTom's have but get their reliability and accuracy anyway.
Maps & Directions
To start off with, the TomTom VIA 1525 will locate and lock on to satellites far faster than units of the past. This is thanks to improvements in technology that TomTom has utilized across the board of the TomTom range.
Maps are also top quality, TomTom was one of the first companies to produce and market digital road maps and with this model you get their best maps updated for the life of the TomTom VIA 1525. TomTom updates their maps about 4 times a year, so you won’t get lost on any new or changed routes.
Another of the important feature the TomTom VIA 1525 includes, is their Advanced Lane Navigation system. This software will show exactly what lane you're currently in, and where you should go to next. No more vague “Bear Left” with this beauty.
A comprehensive database of road speeds and cameras will warn you when you exceed the speed limit and help you to avoid the speed cameras along the way. Thanks to the IQ Route database you get the fastest routes and the most accurate ETA calculations. IQ Routes have recorded the average travel times of thousands of routes, giving you the best information available.
There are many great features that you get with the basic TomTom Start series, but there are also many things you miss out on. Though later series have the same maps, they have better quality screens and faster processing speeds.
They also come with Bluetooth to attach your phone, and the option to control your navigation by voice activation which is actually a great features which works very well. The user interface is usually a bet better and more customization on the more expensive units, though this is often a matter of personal taste.
Arguably the best new feature that the TomTom VIA 1525 does include is the Gas Price Index. This service will let you download a comprehensive list of Gas Station Prices for your local area meaning that with a click of the button you can locate the nearest gas station with the best prices. This feature is free for the first year, but then becomes an optional paid extra.
You also get a free registration to the TomTom road recovery service. Though you don’t pay to maintain this membership, they will charge a fee if they have to come fetch you. You also get the option to change the default voice included. Keep in mind that only the default voice speaks road names. Check out the website for some free, fan made voices, or the premium paid voices.
Overall the TomTom Start 50M is an excellent budget GPS that will do everything you can expect a basic GPS to do. It is a sturdy and reliable device that you can depend on to give you the right direction in a way you can understand, though it does lack many of the fancy features that can be useful.
If you just need a Car GPS that will help you go from A to B, we recommend the TomTom VIA 1525.