The 687 even offers a few mobile data-enabled services, although traffic updates still come via RDS-TMC, so are piped in via the FM radio signal and an antenna built into the car power adapter cable. There’s Google Local Search, providing a far greater range of POIs which can be searched by keyword, and a MioMore section which adds live weather forecasts. However, to use these you will need to pair the 687 with your mobile phone over Bluetooth. Alongside allowing you to use the device as a hands-free kit for your phone, you can also then make use of the phone’s 3G connection for the 687’s live services. This means that your contract must allow data tethering, and if it doesn’t the Google Local Search and MioMore functions won’t work.
The Voice Entry system is a little more sophisticated than some, although it doesn’t go anywhere near as far as Garmin’s. You need to scroll through the menu and choose the appropriate icon. So it isn’t entirely hands free. But after this you can search for an address, head for your home location or a favourite stored in My Places, or track down a nearby Point of Interest. You can even find the intersection between two roads. However, it’s not possible to enter a postcode verbally. In fact, you can’t enter a full UK postcode even using the keyboard, just the first set of digits and the initial number from the second set. So you will still need to know the road name you’re looking for within the postcode.
Other than this, the 687 has the same innovative features as the 685. Mio has licensed TomTom’s IQ Routes for calculation, so this takes into account historic traffic speeds for the time of day and day of week. This means that estimated arrival times are more accurate than earlier Mio devices. The 687 also offers a Choice of Routes, providing four different options. These include fastest, most economical, shortest, and easiest. On the downside, each one must be calculated in succession, taking four times as long. But at least you can select one that’s finished calculation before the others are complete, or turn this feature off entirely. Finally, LearnMe Pro will learn your routing preferences as you drive between locations stored as favourites in My Places, although we’ve not found it possible to assess how much this really changes calculations, with so many other variables involved.