In a time when there are Android-enabled smartphones that have GPS navigation maps apps of their own, competition has indeed heated up for stand-alone GPS devices. And, in a country like India, where there are not many takers for such devices, products such as the Dutch-manufactured TomTom VIA 125 have to prove themselves all the more.
When you get on the road with the in-car VIA 125, you’ll be surprised by the accurate navigation it provides on its large 5-inch touch-enabled screen. But that depends on whether or not you have downloaded the latest maps from the company’s website, as an earlier version would fail to identify certain street names in the Capital.
While driving, you can easily see the VIA 125 without moving your eyes off the road, as it has an integrated foldaway mount that can be used to attach the device to the windscreen. Once attached, you can enter your desired destination on the interface. While entering your desired location, the interface will display other similar street names in the city, which can help you to be specific about your destination.
After you have set your location, the screen will display a live 2D map, which plots a route based on likely traffic levels, giving users an accurate estimated time of arrival, as well as the distance to the place. The map shows a trail that leads up to your destination, with various road names coming in between. We would suggest you turn on the 3D map view, which has better graphics.
You can be sure of not crossing any speed limits with this device, as it has speed recognition software that gives a warning signal as soon as your vehicle crosses the prescribed speed limit on a particular road. Though on certain roads in the Capital and NCR, it might show the wrong speed limit, but that only means you have to upgrade your maps to the latest version from the company’s website.
The biggest advantage that users will find about this device is that it has voice directions. An automated voice provides you navigational instructions, indicating which road to take next, where to turn left or right, in order to reach your chosen destination. If you take the wrong route by mistake, the map will quickly change its trail to indicate which next road you can take to get back on your original course. If you are thinking the voice guidance is only limited to English, then get ready to be surprised, as you can choose from a host of different languages, such as Hindi, Punjabi, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, and other regional languages. You can also select international languages such as German, Dutch, Chinese, Japanese, Italian, and Portuguese.
If the maps on your TomTom VIA 125 are updated, it can turn out to be a good GPS navigation device on Indian roads. But at R19,000, we feel the device is a tad bit overpriced for the Indian market.