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Mio C320 - Review after 9 months use

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Joined: Aug 26, 2007
Posts: 382
Location: Glannau Mersi, Lloegr

PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 2:49 pm    Post subject: Mio C320 - Review after 9 months use Reply with quote

I've had my Mio C320 for almost a year now, and feel competent to comment on it. I have used it all over the Scotland Islands (Cape Wrath, Orkneys), Wales and England, and in France. The supplied maps cover all Western Europe, so no extra expense need there. I have the basic model, without TMC or bluetooth, and have not discovered any reason since to need them.

The large landscape screen is clear and bright, and the maps can be viewed either full screen or with an info section on the right. It automatically dims to night mode a little after sunset.

There are three route options - quickest, shortest and economical - and can give three very different routes. Shortest is just that - and ignores by-passes, going right through town centres. I tend to use quickest which is generally good. Route calculation time is OK, but can take a minute or so from Aberdeen to Athens.

There are several views of the route, both 2D and 3D. The pilot's eye auto-zoom view when approaching a junction is very good.

Initial satellite lock in time is good when out in the open air, but would take a several minutes behind the car's athermic windscreen. I bought the Mio external aerial which reduced the time by a large margin, and improved signal strength and quality. The down side is that the aerial has to be disconnected from the C320 (as distinct from the cradle) every time you leave the car if you don't want it on show for the scallies to rob, and sadly the small connector socket is not sufficiently robust. I've slightly damaged it, and now no longer use the aerial for fear of more damage.

The C320 works OK without the aerial, but takes longer to fully lock on and very occasionally comes out with "GPS signal lost". Surprisingly, it is extremely accurate in the 2 miles of Mersey tunnel where there is no signal at all! Thomas (the only UK voice) speaks clearly. Other UK voices are now available from Mio.

The screen needs to be kept clean otherwise the touch sensitivity is reduced, requiring a heavier tap or sometimes two. It's generally accurate, but big fingers can easily tap just off-centre.

Mio do not update their maps very often, and the 2006/07 generation of maps are in real need of it. There too many occasions when the map shows us driving through a field, but this seems to a common complaint from SatNav users of any brand. The maps show the local speed limit, but there are so many local variations to the principles of the highway code, I've given up relying on it.

The system seems more at home in France when in Km and metres, and where the speed limits are applied more consistently.

The Speed Camera alerts are useful, making lots of noise if you're travelling faster than the limit. These are updated daily - with those in Germany and Switzerland voided as such warnings are verboten there

It takes time to become familiar with the Mio terminology, but once the mindset is understood, it's very good and accurate, if not pedantic.

The only time we really got in a tangle was in the middle of the French city of Douai, where there were lots of roadworks in the narrow streets, causing diversions. The distance between turnings was maybe 30m and the route could not be re-calculated quickly enough.

There are only two favourite locations, Home and Work, though they can be renamed as anything you like. Adding places to the POI list is easy, and the best way to store locations. The history cache records all destinations, but has no selective delete. Touching delete deletes every single one.

The suppled POIs are very useful, though could do with up dating. I'm not sure how to manually edit/remove/add them.

I've found some software for installing POIs remotely, and that's proved really handy. It uses Lat/Long which can be taken from Google Earth and used to identify the locations, but they've been at the limits of accuracy - maybe 25m out - which on one instance was the other side of the motorway!

I have learned to ignore the C320 at times, to follow the roadside signposting and let the Mio catch up.

Mio's support site in Belgium could be better. It's a confusing site at the best of times though just about everything you need is there, but hard to find. The FAQs are generally good, but again not easy search though. The updating is semi-automatic - which means you start the process and it finishes it.

The e-mail support service has been good so far, though on both occasions the problem was at their end (to do with downloads)

The C320 accepts an SD card, but it seems to be for MP3s or other files. The system doesn't otherwise seem to read anything from it.

I did play with the card, installed WinCE and got the C320 to boot from it and run MioMap and other small apps, but it seemed pointless, so I put it all back as it was.

Would I recommend it? Probably yes, because the navigation is very good. There would be far less hesitation if the maps were updated say monthly, the website was better and the aerial socket was more robust or in the cradle.
Garmin Nuvi 2548LMT-D
Mio C320 Western Europe
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