The VIA series has been in the market for quite some time now with good reviews on most counts. The 1515M GPS has a cute 5.3 inch Touchscreen with 480 X 272 pixels resolution. The usual stuff such as USB cable, car charger, adhesive disk for dashboard mount and a detailed instruction manual are included in the box.
Let me drive straight into some of the points that you would consider when buying this navigator.
- You would prefer not to speculate about the best route for the journey. TomTom route recommendations powered by the IQ routes feature are usually the best ones that one may have. The company places a lot of emphasis on analyzing maps and routes which is evident from the amount of user recommendations that they gain for each product.
- Any kind of map changes that occur in future are free to install. That is, the device comes with Free Lifetime Map updates. US, Canada and Mexico data is preinstalled. And there is one more thing if you are willing to get down to minute details; map sharing feature with other users. This comes handy to know about sudden changes in road conditions.
- If you are not sure about the correct lane, use the Advanced Lane Guidance feature. Another thing which I liked was the split screen junction view style of data presentation. The ease of driving increases quite a bit when you are encountering complex road junctions.
- Those who love extensive planning will appreciate the ETA (estimated time of arrival) function. The GPS displays the data on the lower right hand corner of the screen. When you have the ETA for each day during a road trip, things get so much easier.
- The “Point of Interest” data helps you a lot in unknown locations. Whether you are looking for good service stations or decent restaurants, VIA 1515M has all the nearby locations stored in the database. Another good point is that you get the phone numbers of various points such as hotels etc. Call in advance and book your rooms while still on the trip.
Features in a nutshell:
- Free Lifetime Maps – US, Canada, Mexico maps are preinstalled
- Easy to use 5 inch Touchscreen
- Advanced Lane Guidance with IQ routes feature
- Works without cell phone signals in no tower zones too
- Speed Limit warnings with spoken street names
- Estimated time of arrival function for better planning
- Millions of Points of interests for all the routes (ATMs, hotels, restaurants etc)
- Phone numbers available for Points of interests
- Approximate 3 hours standalone usage time without charging
- Displays data in both metric and local units (conversion available)
Two useful accessories for TomTom VIA 1515M GPS
Both these suggestions are related to the safety of the device. You do not want it falling during the journey when not using with the adhesive disk. A weighted pillow is keeps the unit steady in one place even during rough journeys.
The other thing that you would need is a great fitting case. A case provides a lot of protection for the navigator and also ensures that the chances of theft are minimized. You don’t have to leave the thing in the car. Just pack it in and take it along where you go. It is easy to carry and you can get many stylish designs.
Extensive planning is my mantra before embarking on a road trip. With the advent of new navigation units, the effort that goes behind has somewhat gone down a bit. There is always the assurance of getting the right route in far flung areas. However, I do carry a set of local print maps to be on the safer side. It is one habit that I took on from my dad. I guess it is hard to completely depend on one single device. But nevertheless, a good gadget will make life easy for the traveler.
Here is a video review