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TomTom Via 220 GPS
The Tom Tom Via 220 is an entry-level navigation device of the VIA family of GPS navigators, and is best described as a daily driver’s friend.It has a basic, but relatively attractive design. The plastic build feels sturdy and well constructed, and the screen is recessed into the bezel protecting it from scratches. Both the speaker and the power button are built into the rear of the unit, and the speaker is loud and clear.
The Tom Tom Via 220 includes an integrated mounting system. It allows the unit to tilt in multiple directions, and the circular lock system makes it easy to quickly attach and remove from a windscreen. The interface sports the same spiffed-up graphical package seen on the other Vias, as well as the latest-generation Go models. Features include the ability to make your own customised "menu" on the map display, and an excellent on-screen keyboard to aid text entry. Thankfully, the flashier graphics does not diminish the unit's ease of use, or introduce unnecessary lag. However, while the Via 220's 4.3 in. resistive touchscreen is large and clear, it often requires a forceful touch to operate. This is most evident when using the keyboard to enter an address. With a lower price, naturally, come fewer features. Other items missing from the specs sheet include traffic messaging, FM transmission, music playback and 3D landmarks. However, only Bluetooth hands-free is missed; 3D landmarks is little more than a gimmick that adds nothing to the overall experience, and voice control is largely a hit-and-miss affair on other TomTom models.
On the plus side, speed limit info is supplied for most metro roads. Warnings are present for red light and speed cameras. There's also lane guidance for most streets and roads, as well as junction view for motorway exits and intersections. The latest Where is maps are included and upgradeable for free during the first 90 days of use. And IQ Routes technology, which uses actual speed data collected from millions of users to calculate the fastest routes at any point in time. Imagine a route that takes into account rush hour, traffic lights, pedestrian crossings, school exits or even shopping crowds, every minute of every day. However, the Tom Tom Via 220 was found 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. But once it knows where it is, route calculation times are quick. The text-to-speech system does a passable job of enunciating most road names, but there are a few anomalies. The TomTom Via 220 has a battery life of up to three hours, the AC charger is not included in the sales package. You'll have to charge the device via the included USB cable or cigarette lighter adapter. With a good price, and minus the frustrating voice-recognition system, the Tom Tom Via 220 proves that less is more.