TomTom Via 1505 Review

by on January 9th, 2015
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Global Positioning Systems (GPS) are very popular and useful today. I can still remember the days of fumbling around with paper maps when I went on road trips, but those type maps have now taken a backseat to GPS units. I have owned a number of portable GPS units in the past by popular manufacturers such as: Magellan, Garmin, and TomTom. The majority of units I have owned were made by TomTom. I feel that overall they make the best units. The unit that I will review today will be the TomTom Via 1505. This unit was purchased for me for this past Christmas from Best Buy. You can expect to pay anywhere between $160-230 for this unit. This unit is considered the mid-grade line for TomTom. I will discuss the pros of the unit first then the cons.

A big bonus for this unit is that it comes with free map upgrades for a year. The maps are usually expensive which is why most people rarely upgrade them. I like the large five inch touch screen display on this unit and its slim design. The older units typically had a three to four inch screen and were somewhat thick. The directions are accurate and it has over seven million Points of Interest (POI). This is typically almost double the number of the older units. It also has an integrated traffic receiver if you decide to activate this option. Many older units had a separate traffic receiver that you had to purchase and mount externally. It also allows you to get updates on traffic safety cameras. I also like the zoom feature on this unit. It allows you to get a great view of the area you are located.

For all the great features, it does have some drawbacks. I live in Arizona which is a very bright state, so the daytime intensity on this unit could be a little better. Also, the suction mount is permanently fixed to the back of this unit. I prefer the removable mount style that was used on older units. This gave the user alternate mounting options. I have aftermarket GPS air vent mounts in my vehicles and the fixed mount make it difficult to do a vent installation. This could also be a problem if you decide to use an alternate mounting system. It also takes this unit a long time to acquire satellites. It can take anywhere from a few to five minutes. This is almost twice as long as the older units. I expected this newer higher grade model to be faster. Another issue is you have to input zip codes before you enter an address if you live in a larger city. For example, I live in Tucson Arizona and with my older units I could simply type in Tucson as the city and the unit would recognize all zip codes within the city. The Via 1505 does not have this capability. A problem that I have noticed with this and all TomTom units I have owned is that they do not automatically turn on when they receive power from the ignition. It does however turn off when it loses power. This feature can be controlled through personal settings. I thought TomTom would have added this feature to this unit. Overall, I am satisfied with the unit and would recommend it to potential buyers. I would rate it four out of 5.


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