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Despite being one rung down on the TomTom totem pole from the Go range, we find the new Vias to be more attractive. There's a brushed strip on the screen bezel that looks and feels fabulous; the rest of the Via's body is made from hard plastic. Thanks to its tapered shape, the Via seems to be not only thinner than its stated 19mm thickness, but also slimmer than the Go 1050, which is also 19mm thick.
There are two Via models that differ only in screen size:with a 4.3-inch screen and the . Unlike the , the Via still uses a resistive touchscreen instead of the more responsive capacitive form. This does have one major benefit, however: no distracting reflections during the day.
A compact windshield mount is built into the back of the device. An orientation sensor rotates the display depending on whether you've mounted the Via to the windscreen or dashboard.
Like the Go range, the Via features a reworked version of TomTom's easy-to-use interface. The changes are primarily superficial, with the layout and structure largely unchanged.
Destination entry via the QWERTY keyboard is easy enough. This is augmented by a voice recognition that, like a cheap seafood buffet, is considerably better in theory than practice. An extensive range of voice commands are available via a configurable on-screen shortcut, but these need to be learnt by rote, as available commands doesn't automatically appear — a full list is available via Help > Product manuals > What can I say?
Although it can understand whole street and suburb names, the hit rate is less than 50 per cent and frustration will soon make your fingers do the walking. An occasional bug means that the Via randomly stops listening during the destination entry process, necessitating yet another jab at the screen.
The Bluetooth hands-free system pairs quickly and easily with the Android and Apple phones that we threw at it. Sound quality on the Via's end is decent, but given the need to raise our voice, it's not really suited to long windy conversations.