The TomTom XL 325 SE represents good value for money with the features it offers. The maps of the US come preloaded, and updates are always available. It is great for road trips, so read on for an in-depth review.
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The TomTom XL 325 SE is very much like the TomTom One 125 SE, except the TomTom XL 325 SE has the advantage of a larger display. It has a 4.3 inch touch screen display that makes operation much easier. Like the One 125 SE model, this XL 325 SE model is in the economy class, and provides great value for money.
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Ease of Use
With the large screen, you see the map details better. The larger touch screen also allows for better, more accurate interactions. Spoken directions help you take the turns easily, though lane guidance is not available. The XL 325 SE has text to speech functionality that reads out street names from the map, while the plug & go feature lets you start driving right after you switch on the device.
The Easy Port mount must be mentioned as one of the best features of this model. The mount sticks to the back of the device, as well as the mounting surface, and can be rotated against a vertical axis on the mount. Adjusting for viewing comfort is therefore not a problem at all.
It is traffic ready, which means that you can subscribe to a traffic information service and use this information for driving smartly. The necessary features to receive the traffic data is already built into the device. An optional fuel price service can let you get to a fuel pump that provides the best price on your route, while the emergency service menu will guide you straight to the nearest police, fire stations and hospitals.
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Maps & Updates
The maps that are preloaded in the TomTom XL 325 SE are quite detailed. The POI database is also extensive. The maps cover all the states of America, while Puerto Rico maps are also included..The POI database includes millions of points such as gas stations, restaurants, hotels etc. A 3D map view mode makes driving easier by letting you visualize the turns better.
When new, you are able to download a complimentary map update, if one is available within 30 days of your device being switched on for the first time. This is as per the company's latest map guarantee. However, you can read this article to find the latest TomTom maps. Otherwise, you will need to pay to download the latest map releases.
If you have never used a TomTom before, you will need to know that they actually update their maps every three months. While this seems like a lot of extra money, you can sign up for their Map Update Service and get 4 maps a year for only $39.80. This is a lot less that some rival manufacturers who charge you more for just one map.
However, Map Share, an innovative approach to cope with the delays between updates, allows users like you to update maps with differences they have observed on the ground compared to the device maps. You can make changes to street names, street direction, points of interest, and more on your own device through this technology. There is even an approval process that ensures map changes are reasonably valid. With this you are not likely to drive into a lake anytime soon! Though the jury is still out on how effective the "crowd sourcing" is, this at least gives you some relief compared to updates between official maps.
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Price to Value
At about $80 the TomTom XL 325 SE is very good value for money. The ease of use and the frequent map updates makes this a desirable in-car navigator. The device package contains a USB charger, the USB cable, and a user manual. The GPS itself is also small enough for you can carry it with you after reaching the destination. It is available at Amazon.