Mio Spirit 687 satnav
Review The 687 sits at the top of Mio’s new range of Spirit satnavs and is a good illustration of exactly how much navigational kit you can expect to get for £150 these days. For your money you get a 5in, 480 x 272 screen, voice command, Bluetooth, road maps of 44 European countries, free TMC traffic data and some rather handy navigational niceties.
Streetwise: Mio's Spirit 687
Voice command is one the Mio’s ‘big ideas’ on the 687 but the system suffers from the need to be activated from the touch screen, which slightly defeats the object of the exercise. Garmin’s launch method of simply yelling “voice command” at its PNDs is a rather more sound approach.
Once in voice mode the options are rather limited too. It works fine for finding the nearest petrol station or car park from the available commands list, but there is no POI search option. Again comparison with the Garmin system is not flattering - shout “navigate to Trafford Centre” at a 3790T and it draws the obvious conclusion, the Mio does not.
Where voice command on the Mio is more successful is in answering calls from a Bluetooth connected phone. This operation doesn’t require you to touch the device, instead you simply say “answer” or “ignore”.
The speaker is loud enough, but there are Bluetooth connectivity options too
Yelling aside, rather than depend wholly on a touch screen the 687 features two buttons to the left of the LCD panel. The top one always takes you back to the main menu while the bottom one records your current position as a waypoint that can be navigated back to from the My Places menu. Not a revolutionary bit of design, but useful nonetheless.
Next page: Spirit and destiny