Car manufacturers are masters of the art of designing cunning product ranges, knowing that the base model price gets buyers into the showroom, where they can then be tempted by the shinier upmarket variants. With its GO LIVE 825, satnav manufacturer TomTom has adopted the same approach.
Spot the difference
The GO LIVE 825 comes in at the bottom of TomTom’s four-model GO LIVE range, and costs £50 less than the European maps version of the GO LIVE 1000 we reviewed last year. It took us a while to isolate the differences between its pricier siblings, as well as the identically priced VIA LIVE 125 Europe (hey, TomTom, how about an online comparison table?), but the major difference is that instead of the GO LIVE 1000′s 4.3in multi-touch capacitive screen, the GO LIVE 825 has a 5in resistive screen with the same 480×272 pixel resolution. We much prefer this to the rather gimmicky multi-touch model, as you can use it with gloves or any suitable blunt object that comes to hand.
There are also some less important styling differences. These include a curvier design, the addition of a thin silver styling strip around the screen, and the removal of the TomTom logo from the front bezel – the logo is now found on the top and bottom edges. This latter change is purely cosmetic, so that it doesn’t look odd when used upside down in the optional dashboard mount. One of the logos is on a flap covering a microSD card slot (used for adding extra maps) – this wasn’t functional in our review model, but will eventually be enabled by a firmware upgrade.
The missing pieces
Sadly, two great features of the GO LIVE 1000 are missing – the Easy Click magnetic mount and the magnetically-attached power cable. The standard suction mount is fixed to the GO LIVE 825, and the short stem makes it rather awkward to attach and release to the windscreen. But apart from that gripe, at least most of the good parts of the TomTom software are there, including Bluetooth hands-free phone integration, voice command and control, spoken street names, a year’s worth of GPRS-powered LIVE services (the excellent HD Traffic plus speed cameras and Google Local Search) and the Advanced Lane Guidance for helping make sense of complex motorway junctions.
There are some things we miss from the more expensive models, though, such as the speed-sensitive screen blanking feature – there is a ‘dim screen between instructions’ feature, but this didn’t seem to work. The unit doesn’t seem underpowered, with speedy route recalculations and quick GPS fixes from cold, but it does slow down a bit if you try to view the map details of a complex route.
Get up and GO
Planning and routing performance on the GO LIVE 825 is excellent, courtesy of the easy-to-use menu system – as we’ve come to expect from TomTom – and the spoken instructions are loud and clear. (And if you’re still wondering what the difference between this and the VIA LIVE 125 Europe is, the answer seems to be just the microSD slot, adding to the buying confusion.)
- HD Traffic; resistive touch screen.
- Non-removable mount; no battery charge indicator.
We prefer the 5in resistive screen of the GO LIVE 825 over its more expensive siblings, but the captive mount is nowhere near as good. In terms of features and functions, however, it has everything found in the rest of the GO LIVE range, so if your budget is tight, this is the one to go for.