GPS navigators have become extremely popular over the past couple of years. So much, in fact, that such devices are now quickly becoming one of the ‘must-have’ features for the motorists, especially here in India where, more often than not, addresses are illogical and hard to find.
TomTom, which makes one of the best-known GPS navigators, recently rolled out a new device. It’s called the VIA 125 and it is on sale right now for around Rs 15,000. Does it offer good performance and appeal to set it apart from similarly priced devices in the market? Let’s take a route.
The highlight of the VIA 125 is the big, 5-inch screen which packs in a resolution of 480 x 272 pixels. The device itself is a bit of a looker, with its sleek design finished in matte black. It is of course a touch screen device, one that works seamlessly with touch inputs. Placed at the back is a micro USB slot, a micro card slot and a suction mount. The latter works really well and attaches easily to the windshield. The mounting disk allows the device to position it upside down on the dashboard where the screen automatically flips to the right way up for added convenience.
TomTom is a well known brand for its maps and UI and its VIA 125 is no different. To start with, entering the destination, choosing between points and interests and looking for the quickest or the most economical route is a fairly easy task. Add the impressive big screen to the mix which is bright enough even on the sunniest of days and you have a great companion for any journey.
Voice-assisted navigation is one of the key features of a GPS device and in the VIA 125, the system lets out a clear and precise voice. However, as is the case with nearly all the other brands, most of the pronunciations of Indian street and road names are far from accurate. The lady behind the voice though is always loud enough even if you find yourself stuck in a busy intersection.
A few nice little touches that stand out are 2D city maps and the advanced lane guidance. The lane guidance feature shows which lane to take at junctions so you don't miss your turn. Even on the most tricky highway intersections, 3D representation of the junction makes sure you stick to the route.
The TomTom VIA 125 is not without its share of faults. While interacting with the interface is clear-cut, we would have preferred an even more user friendly approach, especially when finding and entering the destination. And at Rs 15,000, the device isn’t exactly reasonable given that we now have similarly priced smartphones that also offer in-car navigation, albeit not as good. Overall, the device has a lot to offer but we do feel that it would make more sense if it could be priced a bit less.