Customer Review

198 of 208 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars excellent upgrade from my old magellan, June 15, 2012
This review is from: TomTom VIA 1605TM 6-Inch GPS Navigator with Lifetime Traffic & Maps (Electronics)
This is my first tomtom and i upgraded from a magellan 1470. I was a loyal magellan fan until I tried their latest 5220LM which froze constantly (i returned it). I tested my new tomtom with a 500 mile trip, and it was flawless. lots of features like lane guide at the major highway interchanges. auto zoom at turns. clear vocal instructions 2 miles, 1/2 mile, and just before turnoffs. at one point I asked it to provide a detour due to construction, and the tomtom confidently mapped an alternate route on the fly. excellent, extensive POI database. love the large 6" screen. good brightness, better than my magellan but still a tiny bit difficult to see on a sunny day with sunglasses. auto rotate when turned upside down (for mounting). Note this is a pure GPS, no other stuff like bluetooth or mp3 player.

setup was simple on a windows pc, you will need to download the "support application" so your pc can recognize the device first, then just connect via usb and follow the directions. you get a free firmware and a map update. After that, you will need to submit a registration code for follow-on (4 per year) map updates. the download itself was large and took me ~1 hour, but as my first tomtom it may be faster for others who know what to do. the update process itself when compared to the magellan was a breeze. the magellan is known for a really poor update process and often results in people bricking their units (just read the reviews). I found the tomtom update is much more flexible and forgiving.

I took away 1 star due to a few feature gaps vs my old 1470. first, the unit it a bit slower response wise than my magellan. for example when you type in an address or select a feature, there's a notable delay. second is due to how the tomtom presents town/city names in a search, which is a bit tedious. the magellan sorts the results based upon your current location. For example if you are in Boston MA and type in "CA", you see Cambridge MA at the top of the list. The tomtom just gives you an alphabetic listing of all towns/cities in the US that matches what you typed, so "CA" will give you every city/town that starts with CA. you have to type in a lot more characters as well as scroll down to find the town and state in the list. third, I was unable to find a full users guide online. it could be that it's so new they don't have one, or they believe one is not needed. all i know is I cant find it easily and this 1605 has a lot of features that a newbee like me would appreciate one being offered. forth, the traffic feature does not work if the unit is on battery alone (e.g. must use the supplied travel cord that has the traffic dongle). fifth, my old 1470 would provide a audible reminder "ding" at the point of making a turn, which i miss.

The unit has an attached suction mount, which you can rotate to be a window or dash mount as the screen will rotate itself. includes usb cable, car charger with built in traffic link, adhesive mount disk (for permanent mounts), code for lifetime maps and a startup guide. No AC wall charger which seems to be the new norm, but you can pickup a cheap converter elsewhere. no idea if you can charge it via the usb cable to your PC, did not try.

In the end I know there's no such thing as a perfect GPS, but so far I like what I see and would recommend this unit. the few gaps vs. my old magellan are small compared to the accuracy and performance which are more important.
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 2, 2012 4:26:36 PM PDT
Hank says:
very detailed as to the features and shortcomings of the device, as compared to writer's pevious unit.

Posted on Mar 29, 2013 6:00:36 PM PDT
202 says:
unit will charge via the usb cable to your pc, but slowly.

Posted on Aug 1, 2013 1:29:58 AM PDT
Very informative review, thank you.

Worth adding, though:

The descriptive literature, as well as the cardboard box, extol "LIFETIME MAPS / CARTES A VIE". The "smallprint" on the carton also says "Lifetime Map Updates" continuing, "Users receive up to four non-transferable updates per year for this product until the product's useful life....expires..." Unfortunately, for Linux users, the "useful life" has expired as soon as you receive the unit. There are no updates, at least not as downloadable software! It is apparently a Linux-based device but you are expected to spend an ADDITIONAL $80-$150 for updates --- the cost of a Microsoft operating system & license needed for TomTom updates. The support software for this Linux-based device, "InstallMyTomTomSA.exe", will not run on a Linux PC! The carton does say "Warning: This product, its components and packaging contain chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects or reproductive harm." There should be a SECOND warning: "Lifetime Map Updates will require your purchase of a proprietary operating system or the return of your unit to TomTom for map updates."

What to do?

# Return the unit to TomTom up to four times a year for fulfillment of their claim (leaves one without the unit for a significant portion of the year....)
# Purchase an operating system solely for updating the device....
# Purchase TWO TomToms so that you can alternate sending units back for updates....
# Download any of numerous FREE Android GPS-navigation app's for your smartphone.
# Drive new roads on old maps until discrepancies are too numerous (and then "update" maps by just purchasing a new GPS, claiming a $10-$20 tax deduction when you donate the old one to the Salvation Army's thrift store.

'Agreed with your "Four-stars" rating: "Five stars" for out-of-the-box performance, take away one for the Lifetime Maps hoax.

Posted on Aug 18, 2013 2:37:29 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 18, 2013 2:41:11 AM PDT
Thank you for you review. At least I feel much better about purchasing this unit. I love my old Tom Tom that I purchased back in 2002. Got me from Washinton D.C. to Texas and back several times. Maps never even been updated. Soon planning a trip from Texas to Montana and beyond and didn't dare trust my oldie. Decided to invest in a newer model. Hope it lives up to it's grandfather's reliablilty. We'll see....

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 5, 2014 7:13:34 PM PDT
In my computer repair business, I find 1 in a 1000 might have Linux, I have not had a Linux call in 5 years.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 5, 2014 8:19:41 PM PDT
You read the packaging and carton for the TomTom and see that there is no requirement as to a special software or operating system (contrary to other devices that say Windows XYZ or Mac-pqr required) for updates. This is a strong selling point coupled with the "Lifetime Updates" for all purchasers of that particular retail product in that packaging, whether you're running Linux, Mac, Windows, MS-DOS,etc...... Then, when you attempt to use the features (Lifetime Updates) you find that the product has been misrepresented; a proprietary operating system **IS** required. I would be happy to be proven wrong; they could send me a live-CD bootable copy of whatever operating system they require me to use in order to access the "Lifetime Updates" feature that TomTom represented and sold which I purchased. My TomTom unit with uninstallable "Lifetime Updates" keeps telling me that my maps are 23 months out of date. It appears that it will need to go back to TomTom for installation of the updates that they represented and sold to me.

I think that 1000 of 1000 TomTom GPS's run on Linux rather than 1 in 1000. If the "1 in a 1000" refers to computers that come in to you for repairs having the Linux operating system installed, I cannot refute your statistics. If anything it might even be 1 in 2000 or 1 in 5000 but certainly this is not an accurate determination of the Linux computer population. My wife's Windows computer "broke"; it did not go in to a shop for repairs; it was repaired and restored to full function by installation (at that time) of my LinuxMint7. It now runs smoothly on LM16 and has never been in a shop. My home network has never been in a shop for setup or repair; I write my own "exports" file on the server and my own "fstab" files on all the clients. When it's time for a disk drive replacement I purchase the best SSD that I can afford and install it myself, along with the operating system and files from my /home and /user directories. I suspect that there are many Linux machines such as mine (existing and being built) that never go in to a shop but this does not mean that they do not exist because they have not been seen in a repair shop.

Lack of Linux calls cannot be used to determine a representative sample-space population of computer owners. My father's Windows machine ---4500 km away on the opposite Coast and not a practical choice for TomTom updates--- has been in and out of the shop for repairs. How can a repair shop owner determine the characteristics of a population when Windows machines are inherently more frequently in need of repair? In our family, where MORE than 50% of the machines run Linux, the repair statistics ---ONE Windows machine and NO Linux repairs---- would falsely lead one to conclude that there are ONLY Windows machines, whereas Windows is actually in the MINORITY.

TomTom's retail packaging needs to be more honest in specifying requirements for using the "Lifetime Updates" that they purport to sell.... Or supply self-mailers for returning units to TomTom for receiving the updates that were purchased at the time of sale.
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