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Mio_A701_tiny

Mio A701 GPS smart phone

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

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

The MioMap software has several different driving-speed settings, including slow car, normal car, fast car (don't ask me what the difference is, but I guess the last option is for people with Ferraris), motorcycle - an optional motorcycle mount is available - lorry, bike and pedestrian. I found the pedestrian mode quite useful when the wife and I went away walking over Easter.

Mio_A701_rear

However, here another problem showed up. Well, more an oversight, perhaps. Each of the individual country map packs also includes all the major roads of Europe - you can find out more about the different map packs here. If you want more than one map pack on the A701, you therefore have to install the major road pack with each and every additional package, which means a lot of wasted space on your memory card. You could pick up a 1GB SD card fairly cheaply, of course, but it would've been much better if Mio made the major road package available as a separate installation.

Verdict

The Mio A701 disappointed me. I had high hopes that this was going to be a well integrated smart phone satnav solution, but it has too many little flaws. It's by no means unusable, but it needs to be tweaked quite a bit before I'd consider buying one. As the Mio A701 is sold SIM-free it's not going cheap, so expect to pay around £370 without the MioMap software and about £440 with the software included. You might be able to find it for less from some companies that offer it at a discount if you take out an airtime contract, but it will still cost you larger part of £200.

If you desperately want an all-in-one GSM smart phone, PDA and GPS unit, the Mio A701 is worth considering, but it doesn't excel as any of these three devices. It's a real shame Mio didn't spend a little more time on their R&D - with a few tweaks the A701 could've been so much better. ®

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

65%
Mio_A701_tiny

Mio A701 GPS smart phone

The Mio A701 tries to be a jack-of-all-trades and it certainly masters none...
Price: £440 inc. VAT RRP

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