We’ve praised TomTom’s LIVE Services extensively here at TrustedReviews, but one thing we have also regularly singled out for criticism is the price. Originally only available on premium devices, and with a hefty monthly subscription, Live was great in models such as the GO 750 LIVE and XL LIVE, but a purchase could only be justified if you were a regular long-distance commuter or just wealthy.
With the GO LIVE 1000, TomTom reduced the annual costs to under £50 and gave you a year out of the box, but it was still a premium device costing £250 or more. Now, with the Via LIVE 120, you can get the interactive services in a more affordable package.
As we’ve stated in detail, HD Traffic is our main reason for recommending TomTom’s LIVE over its competitors. Whilst most of the major sat-nav manufacturers now offer mobile data-enabled devices with traffic updates, these simply download the same Trafficmaster information as is also available via the FM radio RDS signal. The only benefit is more reliable and frequent updates. TomTom’s HD Traffic system adds Vodafone-supplied mobile phone triangulation data to this, so provides wider road coverage and more accurate information. It’s not infallible, but our regular tests have shown that it’s more effective than RDS-TMC at routing your journey away from jams as they develop, which can save you a great amount of time during a long rush-hour journey.
The remaining LIVE Services are less unique. Google Local Search is included, as it is with virtually all mobile data-enabled sat-navs. This provides a keyword-based national Points of Interest search, which goes well beyond what’s available in the static, locally stored alternative. It’s reasonably heuristic, too, so you can search for keywords which aren’t part of the destination’s address or title. Google Local Search is a very useful feature, although only where you have a mobile data connection available. Fortunately, with the European edition of the Via LIVE 120, TomTom’s subscription includes Google Local Search service in seven European countries at no extra charge.