The software comes with a one year’s subscription to a built-in speed camera database and this has to be manually activated first to get it going. This is because you have to acknowledge the frankly hilarious user agreement that states that use of the database does not permit the driver to exceed the speed limit, implying that some people might actually think that knowing where the cameras are means that the rules don’t apply to you. Equally amusing is this fantastic page on the Mio web site that lists the available Speedcams in the Mio database. It seems that Andorra is the proud possessor of a whole two speed cameras! Imagine driving round the whole country and getting caught by one of those cameras – you’d feel like such a chump. What’s great to see is that that with 8657 cameras, the UK has more than double that of Germany, despite being a country one third the size. We truly are the Stars of CCTV. Big brother state, anyone? Anyway, I digress.
The MioMap 3 software then, is a mess to use, but it is powerful and speedy. The H610 makes uses of a SirfStar III chipset and performance was as expected, good, picking up a signal in a few minutes the first time, and quicker after that. There’s a connector for an external aerial at the back should you need it.
When driving the main map screen is overloaded with icons but a bigger problem is that the 2.7in screen is really too small to be practical in the car. I had it in the supplied cradle near my own TomTom Go 510 and it looked rather puny. I literally had to lean forward and squint to see the details, which can’t be safe. It does have reasonable volume level though so you can rely on the voice of ‘Thomas’ to guide you.
When you come out of the MioMap software you find yourself at the menu screen, which contains the rest of the functions. The Mioplayer handles MP3’s , videos and photos. Only MP3 support is listed, which seems odd when the MioMap software uses Ogg for its audio. In typical Mio fashion the MP3 player interface is awful and it doesn’t read ID3 tags, meaning you’re music is played in alphabetical order, which is rubbish. It’s also got a set of indecipherable icons to deal with, which is a shame as sound quality is superb. I played some tracks that I also had on my iPod and they sounded a lot better on the Mio.
The Video format is MP4, which means that you’ll have to convert most files. The good news is that some custom Ulead software is bundled which is easy to use. I tried it with a couple of downloaded files but unfortunately was left with no audio. However, I feel the screen is too small to make for a decent video watching experience anyway.
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