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Mio A701 GPS smart phone

SatNav, PDA and GSM phone in one pocket-friendly device

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It's not as easy to enter an address in MioMap as it is in, say, TomTom as the postcodes don't quite add up. Several postcodes seem to be different - where I live the second part starts with a 1, but the MioMap software has it down as a 2. There's also no full postcode search, a feature provided by most other navigation apps.

The TeleAtlas maps are fairly detailed, and Mio has added a wide range of places of interest (POIs). However, I didn't find a way to disable unwanted POIs as I'm not, in all honesty, interested in finding every McDonald's or Burger King when I drive around. More useful information includes train stations, underground stations, petrol garages, post offices and ATMs. Many local restaurants, museums and parks are also listed.

What is slightly disappointing, especially considering the fast CPU in the A701, is the slow update speed of the maps when you're browsing them. I have what is considered as a fairly old smart phone, a SonyEricsson P910i, running TomTom and it's quicker at updating the map data than the A701 is.

The maps are shown in a 3D view when driving and the spoken instructions are quite accurate. You can also add voice tags to certain commands. It doesn't feel like the MioMap software always took the shortest route though, as on my way back from the shops, it wanted me to take a much longer route home than the one I normally take. Another oddity: I was driving on the motorway and for no apparent reason the MioMap software randomly announced "Be aware!" There were no junctions coming up or anything else that required my attention.

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Next page: Verdict

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