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TomTom GO LIVE 825 Review


  • 5in screen
  • LIVE services
  • European maps


  • LIVE services require subscription
  • Mount not detachable

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £229.99
  • 5in widescreen
  • LIVE mobile data services
  • Maps of 45 European countries
  • Integrated screen mount
  • Bluetooth connectivity

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When TomTom launched its LIVE services, this was a premium feature only available in its top-of-the-range GO models. But in the last year or so they have filtered down to the—Sat-Nav_review XL LIVE and recent—Sat-Nav_review Via 120 LIVE. In fact, if you take a look at TomTom’s current range, it’s now absolutely enormous, with more than half LIVE-enabled. The GO LIVE 825 is the first step towards TomTom rationalising its selection to connected GO LIVE models and non-connected Starts, the new members of which we will be looking at in a future week, although for now the range is still larger than the largest thing in largetown.

The 1000 and 1005 remain the flagship members of the GO LIVE range. So the GO LIVE 825 is the new midrange offering, and uses the same integrated mount as the Via range, which means you need to attach it to your screen every time you use it. However, this also folds quite flush with the unit, so it still fits in a pocket. Lots of people remove their sat-nav mount from their car after every usage anyway, in case its presence encourages a break in. So this isn’t necessarily as big a drawback as it at first seems. The car power adapter is also TomTom’s latest two-part affair, with a USB cable connecting to a cigarette lighter plug. So the same cable will be used for hooking up to PC as well as in-vehicle power.

Of course, the jewel in the 825’s crown is its LIVE system. Surprisingly, this hasn’t changed considerably since its arrival in the GO 740 LIVE and GO 540 LIVE. The headline act remains HD Traffic, which is still unquestionably the best jam-detection system on the market. This augments traditional RDS-TMC information with data gleaned from Vodafone mobile phone triangulation and TomTom LIVE devices, providing a much more accurate and detailed picture of real-time traffic flow. It’s not an infallible system, but it’s currently the most effective way to avoid being stuck in gridlock.

The remaining LIVE services include Google Local Search, weather, dynamic mobile speed camera updates, and QuickGPSfix. Google Local Search is now quite ubiquitous, offering an online Points of Interest database that’s keyword searchable and extends far beyond the one stored locally. The weather reports offer a five-day forecast, although it doesn’t go into hourly detail. The speed camera database will be bang up-to-date as changes are checked and downloaded at regular intervals. This is augmented by user reports about mobile cameras, and there’s an optional onscreen button so you can contribute any camera locations you come across as well, although we wouldn’t recommend you do this when driving. The QuickGPSfix uses the mobile data network to get a basic location, so the satellite lock will be faster.
TomTom GO LIVE 825
There are some LIVE services which other manufacturers offer – such as the flight info available from Garmin’s nuvi 1690 – that TomTom doesn’t. Fuel prices have also disappeared from the list, which is a shame as these could be quite handy for tracking down the cheapest petrol nearby. On the plus side, the price of TomTom’s LIVE services has reduced considerably. At launch, they cost £7.99 a month, with just a three-month trial included. But you now get a whole year of usage out of the box, after which it’s £47.50 annually, which is well worth it if you commute a fair distance in rush hour. We’ve been using HD Traffic regularly for years now, and found it regularly saves us both time and stress.

Otherwise, this is a standard TomTom device with all the company’s latest widgets. You can search for an address or point of interest (POI), with keyword options for both, but this is not integrated across both. It’s also possible to enter an address verbally, although the voice control system is a far cry from Garmin’s system as found in the nuvi 2460LT and nuvi 3790T. The 825 calls upon TomTom’s IQ Routes when calculating, so takes into account historic traffic speeds for the given roads, depending on time of day and day of week. Its estimated arrival time should be much more accurate than sat-navs used to be a few years ago.

The main menu is the simplified one introduced with the GO LIVE 1000. The initial screen houses just six icons, rather than the confusing plethora of screens of previous devices. These then call up further menu layers. The Done button also takes you right back to the beginning rather than forcing you to wade back through your steps.

The 825 also uses TomTom’s latest system which doesn’t calculate routes on the fly, but instead comes with all possible routes pre-calculated. This, in theory, means lightning-fast route calculation, although in practice there’s often a sizeable wait whilst the live traffic information is downloaded. You can also choose an Eco Route option, which calculates the least petrol-consuming combination of roads.
TomTom GO LIVE 825
The map screen hasn’t changed much, though. You still get a wealth of journey information at the bottom of the screen, although this is now arranged more aesthetically into three separate blocks. The traffic bar on the right is also more informative than earlier iterations. But this is mostly repackaging rather than a sea change. You still get the Advanced Lane Guidance full-screen graphic to help you find the right carriageway at complex junctions. Bluetooth is also available so you can partner the 825 with your mobile phone and use the sat-nav’s speaker and microphone as a hands-free kit.


There’s nothing particularly revolutionary about TomTom’s GO LIVE 825. It bundles together features that the company already offered in other devices. In fact, it’s almost like a hybrid of the recent Via and previous GO LIVE models. But in a market where there’s an increasing trend towards 5in devices no longer being much of a premium, such as Mio’s Spirit 685, this is a hybrid which seems just about right. On the one hand, it is still well above an entry-level price. But the 825 is a 5in with maps for 45 European countries and its price of £229.99 is also £70 less than the UK-only TomTom GO 540 LIVE was at launch. So if you’ve coveted a fully featured TomTom LIVE device for a while but thought the cost was too high, this could be your chance to pick up these capabilities for a more reasonable sum.

We continually check thousands of prices to show you the best deals. If you buy a product through our site we will earn a small commission from the retailer – a sort of automated referral fee – but our reviewers are always kept separate from this process. You can read more about how we make money in our Ethics Policy.

Trusted Score

Score in detail

  • Value 9
  • Features 9
  • Performance 10
  • Design 9
  • Usability 9


Screen Size (inches) (Inch) 5in
Display Type Color
General Features Maps for 45 European Countries
Hands Free Bluetooth

Physical Specifications

Live Services Yes
Battery life (Hour) 2hr
Height (Millimeter) 95.4mm
Width (Millimeter) 134.3mm
Depth (Millimeter) 21.7mm
Weight (Gram) 0.244g

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