TomTom Go Live 825

There's nothing intrinsically wrong with the TomTom Go Live 825, but where it falls down is on the question of value.


7.2
CNET Rating
3.5
User Rating

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About The Author

CNET Editor

Derek loves nothing more than punching a remote location into a GPS, queuing up some music and heading out on a long drive, so it's a good thing he's in charge of CNET Australia's Car Tech channel.


Design

Fronting the Go Live range are the similar-looking 820 and 825, which differ only by virtue of the size of their resistive touchscreens — which are 4.3 inches and 5 inches, respectively. The Go Live 820 and 825 take the TomTom design template of the last few years and add a crosshatch bezel into the mix. It's certainly not unattractive, but it's also no design revolution. At the top of the range, there's the stylistically different Go Live 2050 that sports a 5-inch glossy capacitive touchscreen.

The back of the Go Live 825 describes a gentle arc, which not only helps visually, but also makes the Go Live seem thinner than it is. The windshield mount is integrated into the body, allowing it to fold up compactly for storage, while the dial that operates the suction cup is a model of simplicity. The built-in speaker goes up to a decent volume without becoming an unintelligible ocean of crackle and hiss.

A few years ago, TomTom debuted a revised interface with slicker graphics, and it remains pretty much unchanged in the Go Live 825; given its pleasant looks, ease of use and speedy responses, this is no bad thing. The map screen features the tried-and-true TomTom look, so it's easy to read on the go, although the name of the next street you're turning onto often takes more than a quick glance to locate. It also takes too many button presses to escape from the clutches of the menu system and back into the bosom of the map screen.

Features

With recommended prices for the Go Live series kicking off at AU$299 for the 820 (the 825 reviewed here is AU$349), it's a good thing that Bluetooth hands-free is standard throughout the range. Speed limit info, full-screen junction-view graphics for exits of highways, motorways and some major intersections and lane guidance for multi-lane roads within capital cities are also part of the package. The text-to-speech software for spoken street names does a commendable job, but often stumbles over street names with an Aboriginal origin or distinctly Australian pronunciation, such as Illawarra.

The Go Live 825 has a voice-recognition system, but it's bordering on unusable, especially when compared to the excellent system available in the 2012 Garmin range, such as the Nuvi 3590LMT. For starters, the only way to activate the voice-recognition system is by tapping an on-screen button, either on the map screen or by the virtual keyboard, making it impossible to use the TomTom in a totally hands-free manner. If you're required to select from a list of possible options, such as the Burwoods in Sydney and Melbourne, you also need to do that with your finger. One's powers of memory are also tested, as there's no automatic on-screen list of available commands.

Performance

Other GPS brands in Australia utilise Suna's traffic information service via FM relay, with traffic-equipped models offering a free lifetime subscription to the service. TomTom has decided to zig by offering its own proprietary traffic service, dubbed TomTom HD Traffic, which is delivered via a data connection over the mobile phone network via a built-in SIM card. Use of HD Traffic and the other online services, such as Google location search, is free for the first year; after that, it will cost you AU$69.95 annually.

Over the years, we've criticised the Suna system, as we've often run into traffic jams that had yet to register on the network or had yet to be relayed to our device, while at other times we've been warned about incidents that had seemingly cleared up before the Vietnam War. That said, we recognise that the system has both technological and logistical constraints, and our criticisms are always tempered by the fact that after purchasing a traffic-capable GPS unit, the service is free to use.

During our time with the Go Live 825 and other Live-branded models, we've experienced issues similar to those suffered on the Suna system, albeit not with the same frequency. Would we cough up the required dough after the first year is up? Probably not.

As far as getting you from start to finish goes, the Go Live does a satisfactory job. Like all other GPS units and applications, the 825 has a preference for main roads, and will often guide you in ways that no well-meaning local would, but you'll eventually arrive safely at your intended destination.

Conclusion

There's nothing intrinsically wrong with the TomTom Go Live 825, but where it falls down is on the question of value. We'd pick the identically priced Garmin Nuvi 2595LMT over this TomTom, as the Garmin features free lifetime map updates and a voice-recognition system that works.

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TrueReviewer
3
Rating
 

"Battery life poor"

TrueReviewer posted a review   

The Good:Great when it works

The Bad:Battery life poor

I will steer clear of the Tom Tom in the future. I had a 820 GoLive who's battery lasted just over 12 months so I wasn't able to use the LIVE services although I had paid extra for this service. Couldn't get a replacement battery so the thing is now useless for my purposes. Support only offered to sell me a refurbished device at a reduced price. Not good enough so this bunny is going for anther brand.

Older and Grumpier
5
Rating
 

Older and Grumpier posted a review   
Australia

I have this tomtom 825, this is my nd tm tom, my 5th satnav/gps, I livein Victoria and I am really p' off with the fact that this gps seems to think that all roads to anywhere must start with victoria's greatest stuff up, the ringroad. I am halfway to Geelong and if I want to go north ie Sydney, Bendigo or any other northerly destination it insists going to the ringroad. if i try to go via Bacchus Marsh and Gisborne the voice nags me about turning around when possible and going via the ringroad, even if I have got to Bacchus Marsh it want to go back to the ringroad via
Ballarat Road nad then follow directions !!! I used to drive a Ford LTD 2001 with in dash GPS, tis device would simply reroute in the direction taken instead of nagging for unknown distance/time. This "feature" should be able to be limited by the owner of the device, ie 1 x reminder then reroute. How can I fix it short of throwing it out the window ?? The maps are always out of date and I have noticed that service stations are now featured in colour on the maps, more revenue, of course but still out of date maps.

KrautTalk
3
Rating
 

"Touch Screen and Size"

KrautTalk posted a review   
Australia

The Good:Google Services, Traffic, speed cameral alerts etc

The Bad:Out of Date Maps, takes you on wild goose chase occasionally

I had this device for 6 months now and am very disappointed with Tom tom map upgrades they are totally out of date... recently travelled through northern NSW and I would say they haven't been changed in over a year. I would actually consider just sticking with free google maps on android apps... pick up your game TOM TOM and lower your map update prices as you are not doing much.

reinhard_rlvb
3
Rating
 

"The GPS is great but the map upgrade service is nonsense"

reinhard_rlvb posted a review   
Australia

The Good:GPS UNIT

The Bad:TOMTOM Customer support and the updating service

The GPS is fantastic, but their customer service IS SHOCKING. I don't normally winge about these sorts of things, however I would advise anyone considering this unit or any tomtom unit to steer well clear.

The Supporting applications are useless, the my tomtom account service does not work at all

PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO READ ALL THE BAD REVIEWS ABOUT THE MAP UPGRADE SERVICE, THERE ARE HUNDEREDS OF COMPAINTS. DONT BELIEVE THE PROMOTIONS THERE ARE IMPOSSIBLE TO CLAIM.

 

"This TomTom is outstanding"

someone2001au posted a comment   
Australia

The Good:So far it has never let me down

The Bad:I Cant Realy Fault the system

I Used to own A TomTom one Xl and was very happy performance wise, But my new TomTom 825 Live is an outstanding Gps System, I love all the Live New Features itts a wonderfully accurate divice and so far has not let me down, I love the new Voice control you Just say the destination and it takes you thear, A wonderful experience of smart technology,Itts as good or better than the more expensive gps units




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User Reviews / Comments  TomTom Go Live 825

  • TrueReviewer

    TrueReviewer

    Rating3

    "I will steer clear of the Tom Tom in the future. I had a 820 GoLive who's battery lasted just over 12 months so I wasn't able to use the LIVE services although I had paid extra for this service. Co..."

  • Older and Grumpier

    Older and Grumpier

    Rating5

    "I have this tomtom 825, this is my nd tm tom, my 5th satnav/gps, I livein Victoria and I am really p' off with the fact that this gps seems to think that all roads to anywhere must start with victo..."

  • KrautTalk

    KrautTalk

    Rating3

    "I had this device for 6 months now and am very disappointed with Tom tom map upgrades they are totally out of date... recently travelled through northern NSW and I would say they haven't been chang..."

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