Mio Navman 470 satnav
The 470 uses the now almost ubiquitous SiRFStar InstantFix II technology. This delivers very rapid GPS signal acquisition and it supports Google's Send-to-GPS which lets Windows users send addresses and directions from Google Maps directly to the device when its connected to a PC.
Journey times are based on road usage data, offering better estimates
As is the norm these days, you also get graphical Lane Guidance to show exactly which lane you should be in when leaving or joining dual carriageways and motorways and "realistic" 3D Junction Views for a realistic-ish 3D view of complex road junctions. I'm not convinced that these graphic imaging features don't encourage drivers to look at the satnav screen rather than the road ahead, but that's just my opinion. When it came to actual journey calculation and navigation all the deliberately sneaky, obscure and complicated routes I drive in and around Manchester, to try to trip satnavs up, were navigated with unfailing accuracy.
Of course that sub-£100 price does mean sacrificing a few luxuries so you don't get Bluetooth or a choice of guidance voices or a micro SD card slot, which means maps have to be added using the MioMore desktop software and navigation is strictly A-to-B, you can't plan multi-stop journeys.
Incidentally, Mio says it will soon rent out overseas maps. This will be a handy supplement for the infrequent traveller who only uses their satnav outside Blightly whilst on holiday. Yet, at the time of writing I have no details of when this service will go live or how much the rentals will cost.
For under £100 the Navman 470 is a lot of wide screen satnav for the money with a fine 4.3in screen, reliable navigation, user friendly guidance and twit-proof menus. If dodging heavy traffic is a priority the TMC-enabled 475 is worth the extra tenner, but both units make a compelling case for themselves. ®
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