There’s no getting around the fact that Navman and Tom Tom have dominated the satellite navigation market for some time now, mainly because they have consistently managed to improve their product offerings, a strategy that has left them with an even firmer grip. This is key in a market like this, where we continually demand more from these little boxes of tricks and in many cases have come to depend on them.
Mio has made a name for itself primarily with bikers, where its Cyclo range has become almost legendary. Someone at Mio has clearly decided there is ample opportunity within the in car sat nav market for an alternative product that can compete not just on price but also in areas where the big boys have perhaps missed a trick.
The Mio Spirit 697 and Mio 695LM cover both of these bases with a promise of free map upgrades four times a year for the life of the unit and some novel new features which include an option to find your car when you’ve forgotten where you left it, (how many times does that happen in the car park at Asda) as well as an expanded route choice that adds ‘easiest’ or ‘most economical’ to the usual duo of ‘quickest’ and ‘shortest’.
The 5 inch colour screen 695 together with its higher end 697 stable mate, which also includes hands free Bluetooth and voice activated input also contain other useful features, including IQ Routes (additional data from other drivers) LearnMe Pro (where your short cuts will be remembered for next time), Lane Guidance, Parking Assistance and a very useful Pedestrian Mode.
Spirit 697 LM: £169.99 Spirit 695 LM: £119.99
Mio also has a range of entry level products which have also had a makeover and a software upgrade; the Mio Moov 410, 413 LM, 610 and 613 LM.from £69.99 to £99.99.