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In the world of tech, if you want your gadgets and gizmos to get attention, in most cases, they need to either be very large or very small. Mio’s latest GPS device falls firmly into the latter category. The dinky H610 measures a mere 87m high, 60mm and 22mm deep. If like me, reading measurements doesn’t help at all, you’ll get a clearer idea when I say that it’s about the size of a short squat mobile phone and only a little heavier at 166g.
The design of the device is simple. It sports a 2.7in touch screen offering 65,000 colours and has no buttons save for a power switch at the top and a menu button on the left. There’s also a slot for SD cards, a recessed reset button and a hold switch. At the base there’s a headphone socket and a mini USB connector. There’s also a hook should you wish to wear it round your neck via the supplied lanyard. The battery is a non removable 1,300mAh Lithium Ion unit offering a claimed 4.5 hours of use with GPS active. Use the additional functions and you’ll need to charge this everyday.
With its compact size, rounded edges, and replaceable faceplate, Mio is, rather patronisingly I feel, marketing the H610 as ‘GPS for girls’. An awful alternative faceplate with flowers all over it is included in the box. While it’s true that women will find the H610 a convenient size to pop into a handbag I’m sure that it will be equally appealing for guys to keep in their pocket or bag, when out and about.
It’s actually quite impressive that such a small device has full detailed maps for the UK and most of 23 other countries in Europe. It can do this thanks to the 2GB of integrated flash ROM and 64MB of RAM. By default the maps and software only take up just over 1GB, and when I hooked it up to my PC after installing the software it reported 918MB free for use. However, I wouldn’t recommend transferring anything major across to the device via cable as it only has a bizarrely backwards USB 1.1 connection. Thankfully, there’s the aforementioned SD card slot for further expansion.
The reason for needing this extra storage is that naturally, GPS isn’t the only trick the H610 is capable of. It can also play MP3s, shows videos and pictures, store your contacts and even has some built-in games.
Before we delve into all of these lets start with the core function - GPS. The H610 runs MioMap version 3, which I’ve previously used on devices such as the Mio P550 and C710 and once again I’m bemused by the simply odd interface. It defies any kind of logic with no consistency as to button locations or what you need to press to get about. With repeated use I’ve got used to it, but it’s never going to win any awards for intuitiveness. In its favour the software is fast, which overall makes it less painful to use than the painfully sluggish Road Angel Navigator 6000.