Amazingly, despite its low price, 5in screen and maps for 44 European countries, the Mio Spirit 685 also includes traffic updates. These are of the RDS-TMC variety, so are piped in via an FM receiver housed in the car power adapter. A premium subscription for the UK is included. Strangely, you only get a three-month trial of safety camera data, though. There’s also no USB cable in the box, which is a little miserly, but most people are likely to have one lying around from another device as the connection is regularly sized.
The 685 even has a few extras. Travel Books from Cityseekr are included for six major European cities, including Amsterdam, Berlin, London, Madrid, Paris and Rome. These are essentially POI databases providing a bit more information than just location, extending to phone number, email address, website, opening hours, and a brief review. You can purchase guides for many more cities via the MioMore Desktop app. If you’re travelling temporarily to a country not included in your 685’s built-in package, you no longer need to buy maps you will only use once. You can allegedly now rent maps for 3, 7 or 30 days, although we couldn’t find pricing information on Mio’s website.
The Mio Spirit 685 doesn’t feel quite so solidly built as TomTom or Garmin’s device. But it is phenomenally good value. You would normally expect a sat-nav with this range of features to set you back closer to £200, but Mio has managed to pull it off for much less. In fact, we’ve found retailers selling this model for around £110. At this price, it’s an absolute bargain, and the UK and Ireland version is available for even less. Living large no longer costs a premium.