TomTom Via 220

With a keen price, and minus the frustrating voice-recognition system found in the rest of the range, the Via 220 proves that less is more; but still not enough to earn it top marks.


7.1
CNET Rating
7.8
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.


Despite having a higher model number than the previous Via models — remember the Via 160 and the Via 180? — the new 220 is actually the entry-level Via-branded unit.

Design

The 220 is equipped with a 4.3-inch resistive touchscreen that works well both day and night, and doesn't suffer behind polarised sunglasses.

Dressed in black, the 220's body is sturdy, but it doesn't feel particularly special. The built-in speaker goes up to a decent volume without becoming an unintelligible ocean of crackle and hiss. As with other Via models, 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 interface sports the same spiffed-up graphical package seen on the other Vias, as well as the latest-generation Go models. Thankfully, the flashier graphics don't diminish the unit's ease of use, or introduce unnecessary lag. The map screen is the least-changed aspect, so it's still easy to read on the go, although the name of the next street should be easier to find onscreen.

Features

With a lower price, naturally, comes fewer features. Although, given our troubled time with the voice-recognition system on the other Via models, this is actually rather a boon.

Other items missing from the specs sheet include traffic messaging, FM transmission, music playback and 3D landmarks. Indeed, the only missing feature that we pined for was Bluetooth hands-free.

On the plus side, speed limit info is supplied for most metro roads. Warnings are present for red light and speed cameras, although it can be hard to tell from the tiny flashing icons what type of camera it's warning you about.

There's also lane guidance for most streets and roads, as well as junction view for motorway exits and intersections. The latest Whereis maps are included and upgradeable for free during the first 90 days of use.

Performance

We found the Via 220 to be a bit slow to acquire initial GPS lock — on many occasions, it took between 30 seconds and two minutes to get a satellite fix. Once it knows where it is, route calculation times are quick.

In lieu of traffic messaging, TomTom has included its collection of real-world historical speed and traffic data, dubbed IQ Routes. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to add too much extra intelligence to the routes generated. For instance, it will still blindly lead you up King Street, Newtown, NSW, during weekends when the road does a passable impression of carmageddon. Like other GPS devices, it will get you from A to B, but you also have to fight your way past the usual assortment of silly or circuitous routes, as well as u-turns of questionable legality.

The text-to-speech system does a passable job of enunciating most road names, but there are a few anomalies, such as Saint Bernard Street morphing into the rather more comical Street Bernard Street.

We're still not sure what was wrong with the old TomTom Home software — via its simple interface, we were able to install software and map updates, purchase overseas maps and pay for and download celebrity voices. Additionally, it had a function called MapShare, which allowed users to share any errors that they saw on the maps, and download verified map corrections from the TomTom community.

Despite the MyTomTom software having debuted late last year, MapShare and celebrity voices are still listed as "coming soon". And the features that are available, such as software and map updates, are flaky at best. Indeed, MyTomTom kept thinking that we had a Start 20, not a Via 220, and we were unable to update our Via despite an afternoon of head-banging frustration.

Conclusion

With a keen price, and minus the frustrating voice-recognition system found in the rest of the range, the Via 220 proves that less is more; but still not enough to earn it top marks.

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kesapc
8
Rating
 

"It does everything I want for a great price"

kesapc posted a review   
Australia

The Good:Easy to use; great mount that never comes unstuck

The Bad:Small internal memory but that's not really a problem atm

I posted a review about 8 months ago when I first got my Tom Tom Via 220. I thought it may be helpful to update my review. I'm really happy with my 220. This is a base model, which I wanted. I didn't want traffic updates which when I read the reviews people seemed to think were always wrong anyway. I didn't want voice recognition. I just wanted a GPS that would get me around Sydney easily and without trouble. This one does that. Someone else mentioned they weren't keen on the mount. I think it's brilliant. After reading lots of good reviews about it, I can add, It never comes undone - well only when my husband puts it on the screen as he never tightens it properly - you turn the knob and then it turns about an eigth turn more to lock. I suppose my only problem has been that sometimes it is slow to get the initial GPS signal but this seems to be getting better - may be new software has been downloaded!!! It responds well to itinerary changes and I have learned a lot of new roads I would never have tried without it. I can't think of too many things I dislike about it, so I've upgraded my rating.

 

kesapc posted a comment   
Australia

I also mean to add that salespeople sold this device to me as 'definitely able to be used with USA and Europe maps'. Luckily I double checked with Tom Tom prior to unsealing it. Hopefully I will be able to return it today since they've provided incorrect info.

kesapc
5
Rating
 

"Via 220 - Probably a very good GPS but just for Australia"

kesapc posted a review   
Australia

The Good:Seems to be fine for Aus

The Bad:Can't use USA or Europe travel maps - too small and SD slot not useable yet.

CNET forgets to add some of the most important info on this device. It has only 2GB of internal memory which means if you buy it thinking you can add a map of USA or Europe when you travel, forget it - they tell you to buy a bigger model.

It has an SD slot but none of the SD maps will work with this device YET - and who know when they will. I did my homework and new about the small memory but I imagined when I bought the 220 that the SD slot would allow me to install a larger external memory on which to store my travel maps - apparently not.

CNET is not providing in depth reviews - very superficial and disappointing.

TheBomb
9
Rating
 

"Very good navigation system and exceeded my expectations considering the price"

TheBomb posted a review   
Australia

The Good:Fast recalculation, great Advanced Lane Guidance

The Bad:Built-in mount, Useless "over the speed limit" warning

This is my 3rd GPS unit. Previously owned a Tomtom XL 250 which was decent, then a Garmin 2350, which I returned because it was horribly like a model from the past and this one which I am pretty happy with. Menu is very direct and straight forward. The touchscreen isn't very sensitive and may require a bit more pressure. Navigation and instructions are great, especially after updating the software where the Advanced Lane Guidance is more detailed. Unfortunately there is no Advanced Lane Guidance along the West Gate Freeway Junction near the CBD. I also like the feature where you can choose to go to the destination itself or direct you to parking areas near the actual destination.
Acquiring GPS signal is normal. Recalculations are pretty fast, sometimes already has a recalculated route just when you miss a turn.
I don't like the built-in mount kit where you have to install/uninstall the suction cup every time you need it. Plus I don't know if the ball and joint will stay tight during the life of the unit. The over the speed limit warning only sounds off when you exceed 10 kph and 6 after the update. It would be nice if it sounds off as soon as you exceed the limit, since you can turn off the notification if it annoys you anyway. Updating is no longer through an app but through a web page which is pretty slow as compared to the old app I used and sometimes loses connection with the unit while updating. Last is the annoying warning message you cant remove after you've set your destination. So you have to press "continue" every time.
Overall I would say that its a great deal for a discounted price of $127 with free 12 maps upgrade.

TheBomb
9
Rating
 

"Very good navigation system and exceeded my expectations considering the price"

TheBomb posted a review   
Australia

The Good:Fast recalculation, great Advanced Lane Guidance

The Bad:Built-in mount, Useless "over the speed limit" warning

This is my 3rd GPS unit. Previously owned a Tomtom XL 250 which was decent, then a Garmin 2350, which I returned because it was horribly like a model from the past and this one which I am pretty happy with. Menu is very direct and straight forward. The touchscreen isn't very sensitive and may require a bit more pressure. Navigation and instructions are great, especially after updating the software where the Advanced Lane Guidance is more detailed. Unfortunately there is no Advanced Lane Guidance along the West Gate Freeway Junction near the CBD. I also like the feature where you can choose to go to the destination itself or direct you to parking areas near the actual destination.
Acquiring GPS signal is normal. Recalculations are pretty fast, sometimes already has a recalculated route just when you miss a turn.
I don't like the built-in mount kit where you have to install/uninstall the suction cup every time you need it. Plus I don't know if the ball and joint will stay tight during the life of the unit. The over the speed limit warning only sounds off when you exceed 10 kph and 6 after the update. It would be nice if it sounds off as soon as you exceed the limit, since you can turn off the notification if it annoys you anyway. Updating is no longer through an app but through a web page which is pretty slow as compared to the old app I used and sometimes loses connection with the unit while updating. Last is the annoying warning message you cant remove after you've set your destination. So you have to press "continue" every time.
Overall I would say that its a great deal for a discounted price of $127 with free 12 maps upgrade.

 

jtang1013 posted a comment   
Australia

just got one from Dick Smith (A$214.0), with extra 2 year warranty (total 3 years). It is an replacement for TomTom Go 910, which I bought 5 years ago.

The new software menu is very much the same as the old one, except missing a lot of features, but very easy and comfortable to use, in particular, for any previous TomTom owner.

Few things are not ideal
1. the touch screen is quite bad, you need to press quite hard
2. the touch screen is that bright (in day light)
3. the mount kid is not removable, and quite stiff and bulk
4. connecting to PC requires to download a software (via the supplied microUSB cable), and no backup capability as the old model
5. needs a new TomTom account for getting upgrade for this device and the existing one could not be used for linking this (as the web site couldn't recognise this model (Via 220)




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User Reviews / Comments  TomTom Via 220

  • kesapc

    kesapc

    Rating8

    "I posted a review about 8 months ago when I first got my Tom Tom Via 220. I thought it may be helpful to update my review. I'm really happy with my 220. This is a base model, which I wanted. I ..."

  • kesapc

    kesapc

    "I also mean to add that salespeople sold this device to me as 'definitely able to be used with USA and Europe maps'. Luckily I double checked with Tom Tom prior to unsealing it. Hopefully I will ..."

  • kesapc

    kesapc

    Rating5

    "CNET forgets to add some of the most important info on this device. It has only 2GB of internal memory which means if you buy it thinking you can add a map of USA or Europe when you travel, forget..."

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