Hate maps? Check out the TomTom Go Live 825 sat nav instead!

8/10

Need-To-Know Info:

+ Large HD display, easy to use, stuffed full of useful services 

 Voice control still needs work

TomTom Go Live 825 Europe review and test. Image shows Showing 3/4 angle of the TomTom gps unit
Bad at directions and map reading? I certainly am. I’ve lived in the same area for over 7 years now and still have difficulty remembering some of the local shortcuts to get around the traffic queues. Yes, that’s pretty lame but I’ve always been cruddy at finding my way about – my friends regularly mock me for it (they don’t see that I’m really hurting inside).

Happily though, the folks at TomTom took pity and kindly sent along their TomTom Go Live 825 sat nav to save me from further embarrassment and ridicule. With a few car GPS manufacturers out there including Garmin, Snooper and Navman, ‘what sat nav’ is the question du jour – let’s have a look at this one for starters.

Design and build

GPS  navigation has come a long way in the past few years, and the TomTom Go Live 825 (Europe) is one sleek-looking model. With it’s 5 inch, 16:9 screen, and mere 21.7mm depth it looks exactly like a shrunken plasma TV. A lot said it was very cool – a far cry from the old 6 year old TomTom model we had then, which was squat, fat and heavy.
TomTom Go Live 825 Europe satnav review. Image shows the TomTom next to an iPhone, comparing the widths. ©CarProductsTested.com2012.
The new-design of sucker worked brilliantly, and stuck like superglue to the windscreen. No worries when taking it off though, as the way the sucker pad works means it can easily be removed without any hassle.

Everything about the design of the TomTom Go Live 825 is streamlined and simple; from its thin screen and rounded edges to the flush power button and inset power input slot. We love the design, and it sits nicely in the hand too.
TomTom go live 825 europe gps unit review. Photo shows 4 images of various parts of the TomTom

Features we like

Even though the six-year-old TomTom satnav we still use occasionally is getting on a bit, the simplistic, clear and concise screen layout hasn’t really seemed to date much, even now. The TomTom Go Live 825 layout is much the same, only updated; if something’s works well, why change it. TomTom clearly recognise that people like this design and so have kept it similar – Apple apply this reasoning to their hugely popular computers and other devices and it works brilliantly for them.

The display configuration may be similar, but TomTom have added some extremely useful stuff. As this is the Go Live version, the unit is constantly updated with traffic information, such as queues from accidents or roadworks etc. These are clearly displayed at the side of the screen, and if touched, it will show which side of the road the traffic is queuing and the delays from it.
TomTom Go Live 825 Europe sat nav review. Photo shows 4 images of the various clean and easy-to-see displays
We ignored the TomTom to our peril at one point, and it tried to redirect us around it – looking at the wider map view later, we realised we would have saved sitting in traffic for 20 minutes if we’d have done what the TomTom wanted us to.

Another feature we liked is that the Go Live 825 shows the location of speed camera’s, even mobile ones (should the local force send out that info). With this feature, it allows you to also easily input a camera’s position should there not be one marked on the screen already.

Having said that, we passed at least three average speed camera’s in a roadworks section, and it didn’t warn us about any of them. We actually did input these camera’s each time into the TomTom on the same route over a three-day period, but it still didn’t pick up on them. Weird.

Getting back to the display, it really is crystal-clear and keeps up well when you’re travelling around a roundabout. As you’re approaching the roundabout it’s zoom out and show you clearly which exit you need before zooming back in quickly to direct you precisely.
TomTom Go Live 825 Europe sat nav reviewed. Image taken on motorway shows attention-grabbing lane stay arrows
When travelling on a wide stretch of motorway and nearing a split-off, the TomTom will keep you on track by flashing up huge attention-grabbing arrows in the lanes you should be in. These will keep flashing until you press the screen or pass the point of no possible exit. Highly useful if you happen to be gabbing to mates and not paying much attention to the screen.

Other things we liked about the TomTom Go Live 825 included the Bluetooth connectivity so it can be used as a hands-free phone unit, even downloading your contacts onto the unit so you can use it effortlessly and without too much distraction. It worked well, although the volume was a little on the low side when travelling at motorway speeds.

We also had a play around with the Voice Control, which allows you to speak to the unit to not only input where you want to travel, but also to adjust the volume, the brightness ask what the weather is like or even where the nearest restaurant or fuel station is, and much much more. Yes it got a few of our commands hilariously wrong, but for the vast majority of commands it worked very well and we were impressed with how well it recognised our voices.

A final like we have is that whichever way (horizontally) you want the TomTom, the display flicks around, much like an iPad. Neato.

Price

At nearly £230.00, the TomTom Go Live 825 Europe is not exactly cheap. However, the 825 is one of the top models TomTom sell, and is stuffed full of advanced features which’ll make your trip easier, far less stressful and overall a better event. Another thing we know from experience is that TomTom units are built to last, and this one will very likely be fine in even five years, as our old TomTom unit is.

The Live Services cost £47.50 per year, but that’s actually less than £1 per week – and for that you’re getting all the latest Live stuff traffic updates, mobile and fixed speed camera locations, Google search and go, Trip advisor, Expedia and a whole host of other useful services.
TomTom Go Live 825 Europe sat nav test and review. Image show back of the TomTom and the sucker attachment.

Our Verdict

With the Go Live 825, TomTom carry on their tradition of clear and concise displays, alongside a user-friendliness so straightforward that even your technologically-challanged Dad will be able to use it. There’s some genuinely superb features about the TomTom Go Live 825 – it’s been well-thought-out and is a pleasure to use. Recommended.

Specs

Weight: 244 grams | Dimensions: 134.3 x 95.4 x 21.7mm | Screen size: 13cm | Screen Px: 480 x 272 pixels | Includes: USB cable and in-car charger | Bluetooth connectivity: Yes | Colour: Black| Battery life: Up to 2 hours | Website: (click) TomTom.com RRP: TomTom Go Live 825 Europe: £229.99 | Live service costs: £47.50 per year (less than £1.00 per week)

Score Board

Ease of Use: 9 | Build Quality: 9 | Style 8 | Price: 7 | Overall score: 8/10

Words: Chris Davies | Photography: Chris Davies, Matthew Davies

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