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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
296
3.9 out of 5 stars
Style Name: Via 135 UK - Lifetime Maps|Change
Price:£89.00 - £189.98
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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 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 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 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 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 3 January 2015
Got this for £99 in the Black Friday Deals as a replacement for an ancient RoadCom that was so out of date it barely displayed any road layouts correctly any more. I debated long and hard between two deals, this one and a Garmin that was available for a similar price. In the end I decided on the TomTom based on the opinions of a few friends and other reviews scattered around the net.

When the SatNav arrived I immediately installed it to my computer and set up an account on the TomTom site in order to update the software using the lifetime free map offer which came with the device. The update process (which included adding the 3GB+ European maps pack I plan to use in the summer) took about 4 to 5 hours to complete. The device downloads and then installs the update entirely via the internet. I'm sure this is something to do with security, a measure to stop people downloading the software to their computers and then installing it onto cheaper non-TomTom devices, but I still found the update time excessive. If you have a poor internet connection like I do and require the European map pack it is worth remembering how long it will take to get the SatNav fully up to date. I'm not sure what would happen if your internet connection went down during the update but if I had been forced to start again I wouldn't have been impressed! Luckily, if you only require UK map updates, the file size is substantially smaller and should take far less time.

I first used the device to drive to Watford from Sunderland to spend time with my family over Christmas. I was pleasantly surprised by just how accurate the update had made the SatNav. Even very recently installed average speed cameras were identified by the device and it gives you plenty of advance notice when the cameras are approaching. The device also reads out street names which I found especially useful when navigating complicated road networks that I was unfamiliar with. The SatNav also allows you to easily search for nearby petrol stations and the like which I imagine should come in handy if you find yourself low on fuel in unfamiliar territory or when using the device in Europe as I plan to do later on this year. The device connects to the satellite and calculates your route quickly and if you turn off your car to pop into a service station it goes to sleep and then activates again with the same route when you restart your engine which is handy. The TomTom did seem to take us a slightly more complicated route than my previous SatNav but not so much as to make the journey more difficult. I guess different companies plan routes in slightly differing ways.

The device allows for a good range of customisation. You can change the voice that is played for the instructions and the icons used to denote your vehicle. Some of them are quite difficult to see on certain stretches of road, however, and we had to alter the colour of our car marker when we stopped at services as it was barely noticeable. You can also turn off the sound effects that are played when you approach speed cameras which was a godsend when approaching Greater London as it annoyingly beeps every other second. You can also use voice commands to access different options on the system but I wouldn't recommend it; we tried to use them on our trip and the results were so far from what we'd stated that it was actually quite funny.

The build quality of the TomTom is of a much higher quality than my previous SatNav. Although the touchscreen can seem sluggish at times the larger screen makes it easier to select the correct letter, button or destination - the last device I had was constantly registering the incorrect selection. You are provided with a cigarette lighter connector which seems sturdy enough but there is no carry case in the box (not that I ever used the one provided with my last SatNav anyway). The sucker that keeps the SatNav connected to the windscreen has plenty of suction and the device remained attached to the window for the duration of our five hour journey, again something my last SatNav wasn't capable of towards the end of its lifespan.

Overall, based on the few journeys I have undertaken so far with my new SatNav, I am very happy with my purchase. The more detailed street directions are very helpful and the larger screen makes it easier to follow the instructions than my last SatNav. The European and lifetime map packs will come in very handy even if the huge install times left me feeling a bit annoyed. For the price I paid I honestly don't think I could ask for a whole lot more from my SatNav system.
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on 7 August 2012
After having had this Sat Nav for just over one month I have been amazed at how accurate and detailed it is. It will automatically reroute your journey if you deviate at all. It takes only a few seconds to establish its position and is then ready to accept a new destination. The directions from the internal speaker are clear and easy to follow. The choice of voices with english accents are good. Overall I think this is a good product and above average value for money. However, in the absence of a printed manual you do need to download the instruction manual which is quite extensive. One annoying thing is that I have been unable to download the manual onto my iPad. This would have been useful when travelling in the car while not having a printed manual. The TomTom website has not allowed me to link with an iPad.
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