The TomTom Via LIVE 120 GPS is a relatively small, feature rich device that aims to provide drivers with all they need to navigate from point A to point B in the quickest time possible. The device is priced slightly higher than its competition in the market retailing for just under R2,000, though it can claim to be the most feature rich in its segment.
Design and construction
The Via 120 is an average sized GPS, sporting a 4.3-inch screen and dimensions of 11.19 x 8.51 x 2.17. The device feels solid to the touch, and the screen is tough yet responsive. The movable arm attachment showed no signs of play, and the suction patch that holds the device on your windscreen is large and easy to apply and remove. Installing the GPS to a windscreen is easy enough; place the suction cup against the glass and twist the rear dial until it clips into place. While the suction cup on this unit did fail numerous times, we would put this down to a faulty unit rather than poor workmanship as other TomTom units making use of this system perform well.
On the rear or the device, we find a power button sitting flush with the body, while adjacent to this there is a mini USB connection. In the middle of the body sits the device speaker, while just above this there is a ball joint where the windscreen support arm clips in.
User Interface and Features
Dealing with the Via 120’s screen is a pleasure, as the display is highly accurate and responsive, and bright enough to excel in all environments. The speaker is loud and clear, making the device’s built in voice navigation easy to hear and understand.
Once set up, getting to your destination is pain free, with the device offering numerous features to assist the drive. There are audible pings for when you exceed the speed limit, as well as audible and on-screen notifications when a new speed zone is ahead. During highway travel, as you near an off-ramp, the device will display an image showing which lanes you need to stay in. Another handy feature is the voice control which allows you to verbally communicate with the device when prompted for cities, areas and road names. This works well enough, though it did experience some issues when non-English areas were spoken.
In addition to the above, the Via 120 features TomTom HD Traffic, which calculates the fastest route based on up to date statistics of what traffic is doing ahead of you. Often the GPS would notify that a faster route has been calculated, and offer the choice of changing route. This turned out to work well more often than not, though extremely heavy traffic in the centre of Johannesburg and on highways seemed to confuse the device slightly.
The TomTom Via LIVE 120 GPS is an amazing device. Sporting great build quality, innovative features, a friendly UI experience, Live HD Traffic, the Via 120 offers everything you could want from a GPS. While the price is slightly high in this market segment, the VIA 120 is worth every cent and makes a great companion for road-trip junkies and frequent town commuters alike.