TomTom VIA 1535TM review

TomTom-VIA-1535TM

A new portable GPS from TomTom

VIA 1535TM is TomTom’s newest portable GPS. It may not be as packed with features as other models, but it sure delivers. Don’t believe us? Our test and review will prove it.

A very small device

The product sports the following specifications: 3.1 x 4.7 x 1.0″, 218 g, 5-inch touchscreen, USB cable, Traffic CLA, Adhesive Disk, User Guide, 3D view, adapter and batteries. It also boasts features like: Voice Recognition, Bluetooth Hands-free Calling, Free Lifetime Traffic & Map Updates, Spoken Turn-By-Turn Directions, 7 Million Points of Interest, Premium maps of the US, Canada & Mexico, Advanced Lane Guidance, TomTom Map Share On-Demand Updates, 7 Million Points of Interest, IQ Routes, 30-Day Latest Map Guarantee, Help Me! Emergency Menu and TomTom Home Content Manager.

Good image quality

TomTom-VIA-1535TMTomTom VIA 1535TM is the thinnest GPS device that has ever hit stores. The finish on this product is brushed-aluminum and the frame is slim. The LCD is made of resistive plastic and has an intuitive user interface; it features a 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio and, as mentioned above, a resolution of 480 x 272 pixels. Picture quality is good: images look bright and text is easy to read; also, the day and night modes have more attractive colors than those on other TomTom models.
Unfortunately, when comparing it to its predecessors, this VIA 1535TM GPS device presented some problems during our test.

The voice guidance not very clear

First off, the interface: it was not as fast as we expected it to be. Try as we might, we couldn’t make the virtual keyboard display information in lower case. When we wanted to find points of interest – or POIs – such as shops, we had to browse through a large number of options just to locate the best supermarket to buy some food for the road. That’s because the device features an impressive list of hospitals, gas stations and police stations, but when it comes to shops, there’s a problem. The voice guidance can get mislead by background voices such as ones on the radio.

IQ Routes: not impressive

Then we have the IQ Routes: they didn’t make sense most of the time. For example, when we wanted to get to our destination fast, the mini-traffic map chose another road, even though it could get us late or in a car accident. When we had to move between screens too quickly, the product rebooted itself. We also encountered overlapping voice responses, which were very distracting, not to mention annoying. Rendering map previews was also very slow. We were also dissatisfied with the gadget’s Integration with Google Maps: it didn’t help with anything.

Very good graphics

Fortunately, the device counterbalances these disadvantages with some very good features.
Graphics have come a long way since previous TomTom GPS models. They feature more color gradients and additional textures, both of which make the screen look beautiful. Moreover, fonts are larger and that makes reading information easy. With a tap on the speed limit option, the map goes from 2D to 3D; what is more, when we reached our destination, the gadget told us what side of the road it was on.

Bluetooth hands-free included

If you want to store maps, you can do so with the help of the VIA 1535TM 2GB of internal memory. The Bluetooth hands-free feature keeps you eyes on the road and the lane assistance arrows show what highways to stay on. A big plus for this model is that it doesn’t show ads when you access traffic alerts.

Review conclusions

Here we are at the end of our review and test. While it may not be the fastest or cheapest portable navigation device out there, the TomTom VIA 1535TM is a pretty good option if you consider tossing away your old device.

Technical specifications

# Bluetooth hands-free calling
Yes
# Connection for data transfer Bluetooth
Not
# LCD display with dimmer
Yes
# Touch screen interface
Yes
# Keyboard Interface
Yes
# LCD Screen Resolution
480 x 272
# Stiletto
Not
# Fixing system for air vent
Not
# LCD Screen Size
5 in.
# Mounting Kit Windshield
Yes
# GPS Features
# AC adapter
Not
# DC adapter for car
Yes
# External antenna
Optional
# Integrated antenna
Yes
# USB cable
Yes
# Address Book
Yes
# Maps included
Canada, United States, Mexico
# Downloadable Maps
Yes
# 3D mapping
Not
# Remote Connection
Not
# Guidelines audible
Yes
# Advanced Lane Guidance
Yes
# Includes updates for life cards
Yes
# Includes traffic updates for life
Yes
# GPS chipset
SiRF
# Software
TomTom
# Manual
Yes
# Memory routes
Yes
# Firmware upgrade possible
Yes
# Programmable Waypoints
Yes
# Points of Interest
Yes – More than 7 million
# Speech synthesis
Yes
# Downloadable voice
Yes
# Multimedia features
# Compatibility with satellite radio
Not
# CF card compatibility
Not
# SD card compatibility
Not
# Compatibility with xD
Not
# Compatibility with Memory Stick devices
Not
# Compatibility with iPod / multimedia
Not
# Memory card slot
Not
# Audio formats supported
Not applicable
# Video formats supported
Not applicable
# Audio Playback
Not
# Video Playback
Not
# Integrated Storage Memory
Yes
# Product Features
# Thickness
9.4 cm
# Width
3.3 cm
# Depth
13.5 cm
# Labor warranty
1 year
# Parts Warranty
1 year
# Product Weight
220 g
# Remote control
Not