TomTom Go Live 825 review

19 Jul 2011

Doesn’t add much to existing products, but it’s still the best satnav around

Price when reviewed 
226
5

Satnavs are a commodity these days, yet TomTom has managed to carve out a niche by ensuring its products offer something different. Unbeatable traffic avoidance features, routing and comprehensive internet connectivity are features that have kept its satnavs on our A List for a long, long time.

The most recent incumbent – the TomTom Via Live 120 – is about to be replaced, though, and the Go Live 825 is the first in TomTom’s new wave. Strictly speaking, this particular model replaces the 120’s larger, 5in-screened brother, the Via Live 125. Even in this guise, though, the differences are minimal.

It still has a resistive touchscreen, the windscreen mount is the same (and solid as they come), and the chassis looks to have been cast from the same mould. Only the colouring is significantly different: it’s black, with a textured front and a silver trim, rather than the dull, matte grey of the old one. Under a flap on the top edge, there’s also now a microSD slot for adding extra maps.

Nor have the services been changed. Just like the Via Live 125 and 120, the Go Live 825 has an internal GPRS modem and SIM card, and this provides a far more reliable means of downloading traffic info than the RDS-TMC method used by most rivals.

TomTom Go Live 825

It also means that, in the event you can’t find your destination in the satnav’s onboard database, you can use Google location search instead. And, as always, you get a year’s subscription to the traffic, speed camera and internet search services thrown in for free; it’s £48 per year thereafter.

So there’s little new here, but that’s not such a bad thing. The Via Live series was a highly competent satnav and, in our driving tests, we found the new one to be just as good. Audio instructions were delivered in a timely fashion, we found the maps clear and easy to read, and the interface is intuitive, if occasionally a little sluggish in its responsiveness (don’t expect the voice control to revolutionise address entry, though).

In tests, the Go Live 825 consistently selected the most sensible and efficient routes, avoiding known traffic blackspots. It calculated our test route to Liverpool’s Albert Dock from the PC Pro offices in eight seconds (the same as before), and we continue to be amazed at how accurate the traffic tracking is, with most jams on the map reflecting the situation on the road, almost to the metre.

Even our previous reservations about the MyTomTom software have been banished. You can now add third party POI files, voices, colour schemes, warning sounds and vehicle graphics directly via the online service, which earlier in the year you weren’t able to do.

It’s an excellent satnav, then, and a worthy successor to the Via Live range. It even comes in at roughly the same price as its predecessor, but we’d probably buy the 4in Go Live 820 in preference to this 5in model, purely because it’s cheaper.

Details

Price ex VAT £188
Price inc VAT £226
Performance 6
Features & Design 5
Value for Money 6
GPS recommended use In-car

Mapping

Maps supplied Europe
Map data provider Tele Atlas

Hardware

Screen size 5.0in
Resolution 480 x 272
In-car mount type Windscreen
External GPS antenna included? no
Front panel memory card reader yes
Headphone output no
Sync via cable? yes
Sync via cradle? no

Other functions

Traffic information Via GPRS
Speed-camera warning yes
Tracklog export no

Dimensions

Dimensions 134 x 95 x 22mm (WDH)