The Spirit interface also includes a completely redesigned map view compared to previous Navman sat-navs, with much less onscreen clutter, which has been branded TruMap. Only the route and important features are coloured, with everything else shades of grey, which is very clear and easy to read. The next turning is also very clearly described at the top both using text and an icon. The latter is particularly descriptive, showing precisely which exit on a roundabout or lane on a motorway to use, although this was already a strength with the previous Navman Smart ST interface. The right-hand corner shows a useful piece of information about your journey, such as ETA. You can also drop down a list of further options, and either choose something else for the top right-hand corner, or leave this list onscreen so you can see all the information at once.
The Spirit 500 offers the now-ubiquitous speed camera warnings. These involve a clearly audible chime and an indication of the prevailing speed limit, with just enough intrusiveness to ensure you check you’re within the limit. A full-screen Lane Guidance graphic pops up at complicated motorway interchanges, showing a realistic sign for the turning you are supposed to be using and a clear schematic of which lanes will take you in the right direction. Thankfully, the 3D Landmarks of some previous Navman sat-navs haven’t been included with the 500.
There’s nothing particularly revolutionary about the Mio Navman Spirit 500. It ticks all the main boxes, but doesn’t have any stand-out features other than the countrywide keyword search. Nevertheless, it does the job intended, and at under £120 for the UK and Ireland maps version, which still offers live traffic updates, it’s good value. The £165 Hands-free European version is similarly budget conscious, coming in around the same price as TomTom’s XL IQ Routes Europe, which doesn’t have live traffic.