You’re also given four different route options, rather like Navigon’s MyRoutes, except Mio calls it Choice of Routes, Ronseal style. In Mio’s case, the routes correspond to the four modes – fastest, shortest, easiest and most economical. This is potentially useful if you already know optimal roads for some of the route yourself, such as local shortcuts, but you can turn it off in the settings if you want. Since it’s calculating the route four times, it naturally takes four times as long to do so, although you can select any option as soon as it has been created, without having to wait for the others.
Mio has also implemented a system which can remember your favourite routes, called LearnMe Pro. It’s hard to assess the efficacy of something like this over a short test, but other devices with similar technology we’ve used for an extended period before have showed some improvement in arrival time predictions and route selection, although the effects are very subtle. You can plan a route with multiple waypoints on the 685, but also using the MioMore desktop software – a more comfortable method if you’re putting together a trip with lots of destinations. A button on the left of the screen lets you save your current position as a favourite with a single press, too.
In transit, the 685 offers a familiar Mio / Navman map. The next turning is shown at the top, with a topologically correct symbol for roundabouts and a clear indication of which lanes to be in where multiple carriageways are available, which Mio calls Lane Guidance. At major motorway interchanges, a full-screen 3D Junction View will appear, showing which lane(s) to be in and which road signs to look out for.
The top right corner shows your choice of distance to destination, time to destination, current speed, estimated time of arrival, or current time. Alternatively, you can drop down all of this information at once along the right-hand edge. The current speed limit is indicated by a large symbol translucently ghosted in the bottom left corner. Verbal instructions are clear, and include the full street name for turnings. You can click on the map during transit to call up route options, including the ability to detour around a blocked road.
When you approach your destination, Parking Assistance fires up. This is similar to Navigon’s Clever Parking, giving you direct access to nearby lots via a P icon which pops up onscreen when you are in the vicinity of your final point. Click on this, and the device will search for nearby car parks in its POI database, so you can easily reroute to a convenient one for your destination.