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TomTom Go Live 825 review


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

Review Date: 19 Jul 2011

Reviewed By: Jonathan Bray

Price when reviewed: £188 (£226 inc VAT)

Overall Rating
6 stars out of 6

Features & Design
5 stars out of 6

Value for Money
6 stars out of 6

6 stars out of 6

PCPRO Recommended

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.

Author: Jonathan Bray

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User comments

What about use on the continent

I have dithered about SatNav for sokme time, always feeling that I prefer to rely on my own map reading skills to avoid driving down a track leading to an outhouse. However, a decent SatNav also including travel on the continent (up to and including Poland, Hungary and other Eastern countries)would probably clinch it for me). Any thoughts or advice?

By marekj on 19 Jul 2011

Avoiding narrow roads

Can this unit be set choose routes not involving narrow roads? My ancient TomTom Go really seems to like sending me down single-track roads at every opportunity.

By quartermain on 20 Jul 2011

Via 125

The Via 125 also has a microSD card slot. Can't see any difference except case colour. Which is good as I have just bought a Via 125 - best SatNav I have had, and yes you can tell it to avoid single track roads.

By ccsdigital on 21 Jul 2011

Comparison with Google Maps Traffic

Now that Google Maps / Navigation traffic data covers all A-roads rather than just the main motorways and trunk roads (ie. similar coverage to TomTom), has anyone done a comparison between the reliability of Google and TomTom's traffic data?

By halsteadk on 1 Aug 2011

No mention of the recently reduced traffic range

No mention here of the HD traffic range fiasco...

Old Tomtoms had a range of about 100 miles. But recently Tomtom changed this without consulting subscribers to 50 miles. There's a big consumer rebellion going on, and TT have conceded to 75 miles. But the pressure is still on to restore it to 100 miles.

This unit only has a range of 40 minutes! That's only 20 to 40 miles. And it's the same for all modern Navcore 3 Tomtoms. So if you have to choose between two fundamentally different routes before you set off, then you can't with this crippled satnav.

So, beware of upgrading to this 825 if you currently own a 750 or similar, the 825 will be substantially worse.

By apotts3 on 21 Aug 2011

Avoid TomTom

My experience with TomTom has been unimpressive. Frequent rebooting, convoluted interface, sluggish performance compared to even baseline Garmins. Add to that a Go Live traffic reporting system that made no difference to my early morning journeys as far as avoiding traffic jams are concerned.

By jafelius on 28 Apr 2012

Tomtom's statement on HD traffic range

This from June 2012 - "HD Traffic range across all countries is 120km at present. It was originally 160km, then 80km, then 160km, and now at 120km. It is correct that we currently do not have the means of directly extending it to 160km again; however this is part of our ongoing investigations." I am a punter not an employee.

By UberNerd on 5 Aug 2012

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