TomTom VIA 1535TM Review

TomTom VIA 1535TM

The VIA 1535TM is TomTom’s latest attempt at a mid-range portable navigation device, and doesn’t disappoint to say the least. Apart from its highly affordable price tag, the TomTom VIA 1535TM is quite similar to its predecessor lifetime free traffic and map updates (without displaying ads), voice command and Bluetooth.

The TomTom VIA 1535TM is a power packed device and if you’re looking for a main GPS unit that won’t be outdated for the next several years, it is definitely worth a second look. It updates its predecessor with Bluetooth and an intuitive WebKit based interface.

Highlights of the TomTom VIA 1535TM

  • Accurate routing
  • Improved graphics and onscreen fonts
  • No ads
  • Highly customizable
  • Clear voice prompts
  • Lifetime map and traffic updates

What’s in the Box?

Design of the TomTom VIA 1535TM

The TomTom VIA 1535TM is appointed with a 5” color touchscreen that is embraced by a thin profile chassis complete with a metallic bezel and brushed aluminum body. Lightweight at 6.5 ounces and measuring 3.1 by 4.7 by 1.0 inches (HWD), the screen of the TomTom VIA 1535TM boasts a 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio and 480-by-272-pixel resolution, making its overall brightness and readability one of the best in its class.

The Power button is the only physical button on the TomTom VIA 1535TM, and is located at the rear of the unit along with unit’s speaker. The back of this portable navigation device also houses the MicroSD card slot to store more map data and MicroUSB port for charging and syncing.

The easy port mount of the TomTom VIA 1535TM has been redesigned and now attaches to the unit via a ball joint, making it less inclined to wearing and tear or simply popping off with the old rotating ring mount. Owing to the fact that this new mount doesn’t swivel around a central point for windshield and dashboard mounts, TomTom adds an onsite accelerometer to the device, which detects the unit’s orientation and automatically adjusts the onscreen interface up to 180 degrees.

As mentioned earlier, the interface of the TomTom VIA 1535TM PND has been slightly improved, and now showcases an updated Webkit operating system, which is the same as the one that’s fitted with the top of the line TomTom portable navigation devices. The top of the home screen now features two large icons that represent two selection methods namely “Navigate To” (menu- and search-based) and “View Map” (visual and map-based).

The lower portion of the home screen features a collection of smaller icons including settings, services, plan route, help and done. Plan route allows you to save future trip information, while services provides you with information about the safety camera, traffic and map correction services, done takes you back to the live map and the help icon just like the name suggests displays your current position and allows you to navigate to an electronic version of the product manual and display and even emergency services.

The TomTom VIA 1535TM features two map screens, where the first is the live map located at the main screen and one that updates in real time with the position of the vehicle and displays directions, and second is the browsing map, which can be easily accessed from the home screen’s View Map icon. The browsing map can be used to start a new trip or modify the current one and also to search for destinations and points of interest.

Map graphics with the TomTom VIA 1535TM PND have been considerably improved, where additional textures improve presentations, and the fonts at the bottom of the screen are much larger. This makes it extremely easy to tell at a quick glance your current speed, the distance from your current location to the next turn, and even the current speed limit of the road you’re currently on.

Tapping the speed limit button allows you to toggle between 2D and 3D modes, and on the turn icon repeats the audio cue. Furthermore, the TomTom VIA 1535TM also displays handy lane assistance arrows to show you exactly where to stay on highways, and exits and complex interchanges are represented by nice looking 3D graphics. Bluetooth connectivity and voice command features were once only associated with high end portable navigators, but these come standard with the TomTom VIA 1535TM.

The TomTom VIA 1535TM features an onsite microphone that allows you to take complete control of the device by speaking a few words. To display the voice command prompt, simply tap the voice control button located on the left edge of the navigating map interface to select from all the available spoken commands. Some of the available voice commands include navigating to a point of interest or address, initiating phone calls, muting the volume and reporting map inaccuracies.

In this new version of the VIA portable navigator, TomTom has removed almost all the prompts for city, street and number when imputing an address and instead you can blurt out an address in its complete form and let the device search for it. In the event the system is unable to understand what you’re saying, it will provide you with a list of close matches to choose from.

The TomTom VIA 1535TM is outfitted with Bluetooth connectivity, which allows you to make hands-free calls when paired with your smartphone. Unlike other entry level PND’s that only support the Hands Free Profile (HFP), the TomTom VIA 1535TM can sync with your phone’s address book to make calls from its touch screen or voice commands. That’s not all – you can also make calls while browsing locations such as points of interests and have numbers stored in TomTom’s database or simply make a call using an onscreen numeric keypad.

Pros of the TomTom VIA 1535TM

  • More connections than other versions
  • Voice commands and Bluetooth connectivity enhance driver’s safety
  • Lifetime traffic updates
  • Neat fonts and graphics
  • No ads

Cons of the TomTom VIA 1535TM

  • Interface can be a bit confusing but it’s just a matter of getting used to it

Final Thoughts

The TomTom VIA 1535TM arrives features rich and some of them even enhance driver’s safety such as Bluetooth connectivity and voice commands. It however doesn’t have every feature in the book, but with lifetime free traffic and map updates, it definitely excels in its segment. If you’re looking for a portable device navigator that does more than you would expect from a PND and does it well, the TomTom VIA 1535TM is definitely worth exploring.

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