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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
347
3.9 out of 5 stars
Style: Via 135 UK - Lifetime Maps|Change
Price:£112.30 - £160.14
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on 27 June 2013
After reading many sat nav reviews I was totally confused. How people can feel qualified to review a product they have only used for 2/3 weeks and hardly used I don't understand. I already had a Tom Tom with just Western Europe on it and wanted one with all Europe on. I plumped for this model and hoped for the best. I wasn't disappointed. We travel down to Croatia and back in a 3.5 ton motorhome, through France, Belgium, Germany, Austria,Italy, Bosnia and Luxembourg, covering nearly 4000 miles. Tom Tom proved most reliable only getting in a mix once in a large town that had a major diversion. On occasions that we did over-rule it, it quickly re-routed itself. Instructions were clear, in plenty of time and I liked the lane markings at motorway junctions.
I was impressed and pleased with my choice.
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on 6 January 2016
Thank you for reading this review and I hope this helps you to make a decision about which satnav to purchase.

Firstly about this model TomTom VIA 135 EU M

It is important to note that the TomTom Start 25M (£74.99 from Amazon) is very similar to the VIA 135 EU M but instead the latter comes with a slightly higher definition screen. However, you won't notice the difference between the two screens when driving and apart from this the navigation and operation is functionally identical.

Therefore the following features apply to both models…….

Pros:

1. Comes with free map updates
2. Traditional TomTom menu system which most people are used to
3. Simple menu system works well on this good quality resistive screen
4. Excellent screen contrast and clarity
5. Has TomTom IQ Routes
6. Can easily highlight a piece of road on the map and then press “Travel Via” which causes the Tomtom to include that section of the road when planning its rout. You can do this without having to pre-program a stop or waypoint etc
7. Learns from your preferred route inputs so it takes you that way in future by default
8. 3D navigation allows you to see further into the distance and you can see horizon making navigation easier and more predictable. VERY IMPORTANT on unfamiliar or winding roads. This feature reminds me of the excellent CoPilot software for mobile phones.

See the photo below and also see this link regarding a comparison of the old and new screen layouts............https://en.discussions.tomtom.com/go-and-start-40-50-60-series-go-400-500-600-5000-6000-mydrive-176/direct-comparison-new-range-with-old-690610

9. Excellent battery life
10. Will display Points Of Interest on screen at all times if you want
11. Retains your destination once you reached it, which is helpful in case you pass it
12. Clear road names all along route

Cons:

1. Traffic information received by additional TMC traffic receiver (purchased separately). Known to be slower to pick up traffic information but it's totally free and works across Europe. This is a subscription free service and therefore can not be deactivated by TomTom. (Does NOT require a mobile phone to connect to receive traffic data)

COMPARISON:................

Now to compare this with the TomTom Start or Go 50/60

Pros:

1. New menu system but can be difficult to use
2. Simpler map layout but has limitations (no “Travel Via – See notes below)
3. Free Traffic updates built in and quick to receive information (These subscription updates cease in some years when TomTom decide the date :)..........You MUST have a mobile phone which these TomToms connect to to allow them to receive traffic data and you will be charged more if you do this abroad!

Cons:

1. Poor screen contrast which is difficult to see on a bright day (Known design problem)
2. There is no “Travel Via” function and so Tom Tom recommend you pre-program stops into your route instead. Please see this TomTom link http://uk.support.tomtom.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/3604/~/how-do-i-create-a-route-with-several-stops%3F
3. Tom Tom unit did not seem to learn from preferred route and so did not choose this route in future (Is this because there is no IQ Routes on these models except on Start 60 ?)
4. Most road names missing when in navigation mode (Known problem- See other reviews)
5. Poor resistive touch screen (Known design problem- See other reviews)
6. You can not see horizon in the distance making navigation less predictable
7. Poor battery life on some of these models (Known design problem- See other reviews)
8. No way of displaying Points Of Interest on screen at all times. Instead you have to search for them in each journey! (Known problem- See other reviews)
9. Takes longer to find street names and POI's (Known problem- See other reviews)
10. Some customers report that once you reach and pass your destination the destination disappears from the screen leaving you an empty map (Not Good)

Short verdict:

The VIA 135 EU M has the older menu system but it has held its price well against the more recent models, which is a testament to how good it is.

Choose the VIA 135 EU M or it slightly cheaper but just as worthy brother the Start 25M if you want a really good clear screen with the traditional TomTom menu system and you are happy to purchase a subscription free TMC receiver for about £25. When purchasing the TMC receiver ensure you purchase the one with the MICRO USB connector and NOT the mini USB connector. Although the retail TomTom one comes with an adapter.

The new receiver has come a long way since the earlier designs and no longer needs to be stuck to the windscreen. Again, this TMC receiver has to be purchased separately.

Please ensure you look at the photo below for further clarification of the older screen layout on the VIA 135 on the left hand side against the later TomTom screen layout on the right. As mentioned earlier, both the VIA135 and Start 25 models have the older style layout which shows the horizon in the distance which ensures you ‘read’ the road layout easier and more safely.

You are welcome to ask me any questions.

IMPORTANT: If you find this review helpful please click on the grey "Yes" button below, which will make it more popular and enable other buyers to see it.
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on 22 September 2013
Before I start I want to say that the M is important if you want the free Lifetime Updates, not to be confused with the Via 135.

Review.
I needed a new sat nav to replace my old Navman. I loved my Navman but I knew it was time for a new one when attending a conference for work, way out in the sticks and it took me to a lovely quiet spot down a cart track to a field full of cows! On eventually finding the conference hotel my colleagues had a good laugh at my expense and all said that their Tom Tom's had led them straight to the venue, so did those with a Garmin. However a Garmin was a no no, my husband has one and it drives me to distraction, amongst many other places with it's weird and not very wonderful routing system.

I did a bit of research into Tom Tom's and decided upon the 135 M with UK maps. I don't drive in Europe and we use my husbands sat nav for North America.

I was a little apprehensive having read some of the reviews on here which said that the software was a nightmare and that it took ages to set up and register for the free updates. I have to say that I had no such problems, I plugged it in, followed the easy instructions and off it went.

My Tom Tom account was easy to set up, the system updated in about 15 minutes (not the hours that some people have reported) and it registered easily for the free map updates, you are allowed four free per year apparently.

NOTE WHEN CONNECTING THE DEVICE

The important thing to remember is that this device is not meant to connect to TomTom Home, which is quite confusing, instead go to the website and download or connect to TomTom Drive and updating is easy peasy.

Pro's

1 - I have to say that the Tom Tom does exactly what it says on the tin.

2 - The display is clear and easy to read

3 - The menu is easy and intuitive no problems accessing the settings and choosing map colours and which voice I prefer.

4 - So far the routing has been great, post codes in and it gets you there.

So why only three stars?

That brings me on to the cons.

1 - The sound is a bit tinny and not very loud, even when the volume is adjusted but it's OK.

2 - This is the big one for me and I would have given it a full five star rating if not for this. I absolutely hate the integral mounting system. It bulks up what would otherwise be a really excellent design. It is fiddly and really annoying having to mess around sticking it on and off the windscreen (I don't have very long arms so it's an issue) every single time I want to use it. Then I have to fiddle around taking it off.

Having messed around and taken it off, it feels just strange having the mounting still attached to what would otherwise be a lovely slim unit which would easily fit in my bag. It also makes a carry case more bulky and problematic.

It would be so much easier to have a separate detachable mount.

I know that this is a personal taste issue and if you aren't bothered about the mount then I would definitely recommend this system, it is otherwise brilliant.

EDIT 2nd March 2014

After living with this for a while I have learned that the mount does detach but it is quite fiddly to do and it is still a real horror getting it on the windscreen.

I have purchased a mount that fits in my CD player slot and that has made a big difference, I have reviewed this item if anyone is interested. This is very reasonably priced and has made a big difference.
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on 18 November 2012
I bought this to replace my old Tom Tom Go (which is actually still going strong after many years and now given to my daughter)just to keep up with the new technology. Unfortunately I read loads of reviews first which confused the hell out of me. Some said great others said awful and lots of stories in between. I looked at Tom Tom, looked at Garmin all with the same confusing reviews and experiences....I actually almost didn't bother at all. But eventually what made me bite the bullet and take a punt was the free lifetime maps offer which was a deal clincher given the cost of updating my old one. It arrived in usual Amazon style ahead of schedule and I immediately connected it up to my laptop(having already installed 'My Tomtom') to update to the latest maps etc. The whole thing (downloads and installation) took less that 15mins, unlike some of the horror stories I'd read. It works perfectly, large display, loud clear voice and pinpoint accuracy, too many functions to discuss (read the sales bumf for that)I connect mine to my laptop once a week for updates (approx 1-2 mins) again absolutely no problems. Personally I think it's fantastic up to now and hopefully I'm not tempting fate with this review. However for every good review there's a bad one and obviously I can only comment on my own experience. Excellent......up to now, and long may it be so.
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on 22 July 2013
Excellent product easy to set up and easy to use I particularly like the life time map updates which works through the TomTom web site, which automatically appears when notified that an update is available. The way it fixes in the car with the window sucker is also very good, I am impressed with the speed that the Sat Nav finds the satellites and is up and running. I also like the facility to notify TomTom of any changes to routes and roads that are observed when using the device. Sat Navs have come a long way since my first device and after using this device I think it's superb and a huge aid to safer and more comfortable driving
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on 4 January 2013
Changed from Garmin to TomTom after Garmin's lifetime map updates turned out to be map 'outdates'.
Took a couple of days to get used to the new set-up but I love it. As part of the deal we got free lifetime updates but there is also a 'map share' facility where you can notify them of any changes to roads e.g new road works, traffic lights etc.

Also bought the Live Traffic Receiver Car Charger Vehicle Power Cable Cord to go with this and that's looking good too.

Went to Norway recently and it worked absolutely spot-on.

With the Bluetooth facility it's also used as a hands-free phone whilst driving. My partner's iphone wouldn't connect so I contacted Tomtom who were excellent in trying to resolve the problem - turns out it was the iphone (and the service from Apple was appalling, by the way) so I have confidence that if ever there was a problem, we'd be well looked after by Tomtom.

We also bought the adaptor that fits to the airvents in the car which makes inserting and removing the satnav much easier.

One slight negative - the standard 5" satnav case may not be big enough with the satnav and charging cable to fit in the same box.

Other than that, really pleased with it :-)
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on 19 April 2013
I bought this sat nav from Halfords for £130 to replace my old Tom Tom XL that had given up the ghost after 5-6 years. I did some research beforehand and had a good chat with a member of staff before choosing this model. In the end, the free life-time maps was very attractive and the slightly larger screen. Overall, I'm a little disappointed for a number of reasons. First of all, the touch screen is not very responsive as it takes about 4 seconds for it react to commands in the menu. Similarly, when you try to turn it on or off it can take up to 8-9 seconds. The voice-activated command function is absolutely useless and is more inclined to cause accidents than help you navigate to an address, due to the amount of stress that it causes when it keeps asking if you want to go to the nearest zoo. What really bugs me is that it doesn't tell you how many miles you are from your destination after the initial route planning; which is a backward step from the XL. I also think that the screen is a little dull when compared to Garmin products, despite being informed that one can increase the brightness level within the menu (it is already set at 100%). So, what does it do well? It seems to pick up satellite signals a little quicker than my previous model and is definitely faster and better at planning routes. I like the fact that it is more interactive in that you are asked to confirm safety camera locations. Also, it will pronounce (reasonably accurately) the actual road that you need to turn into, rather than tell you to take the next left/ right, etc. And the windscreen attachment is more adjustable and secure, as you can lock it into place. So,this sat nav is really a mixed bag as far as I am concerned.

Update
After getting advice from the TomTom community manager - I have changed my rating from 3 to 4 on the basis of the 'soft reset' and tweaking the settings menu.
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on 11 April 2013
The product is OK. It does what it says on the tin. BUT the free maps offer is a total nightmare if ANYTHING non-standard happens, and it highlights pretty shabby customer service. For me, for example, the first product broke (always buy from Amazon and that's no problem) so that when I registered the 2nd product, TomTom's system couldn't cope. So I set up a new email address just for this, and even then, they would never have set up the free maps if I hadn't spent a LONG time on the 'phone. I politely suggested a minor improvement to their service (ie what they do now is they send an email to say everything is OK, but they don't send you one to say there's a problem) and have been met with a level of obtuse communication which is quite amazing. Now someone at TomTom is being pretty rude, and I am very happy to be able to submit this review to tell potential purchasers that I am sending my TomTom back because I don't like the company and I don't like helping to pay the salaries of people like that. Someone at Amazon said they have heard this stuff before, so I am not the only one. TomTom's fortunes as a company have suffered massively of late. I know that there's a lot of product competition, but with customer "service" like this, they are not going to attract loyal buyers.
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on 25 June 2014
Hi, I bought this 10months ago. Now the unit take 40miles to find gps. I have done all the updates and tried to contact tomtom but they aren't intrested.
wouldn't buy again, shame as I thought tomtom was the best, back to my dusty old Gamin.
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on 14 March 2015
Bought this to replace my ageing tomtom one-boy what a mistake. Having updated it, maps worked fine, then I purchased speed camera updates. Now the cameras won't update, contact customer service I thought.
So I emailed customer services and was advised to try several things, such as turn on speed cameras in tomtom menu-do they really think we are so thick. After several suggestions from them they have now given up and have told me to keep on updating speed cameras and if my device starts to work I am to contact them so I can get extra time given to me as compensation. They don't seem to get it that the speed cameras don't update. Personally I'm off to try a garmin in the hope that if something does go wrong someone in customer services might know how to fix it. DO NOT BUY THIS PRODUCT, SEARCH THE INTERNET YOU WILL FIND OTHERS WITH THE SAME PROBLEM
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