I’m less of a fan of the 3D landmarks. I still can’t see the point of displaying the Albert Hall in 3D on the map as you pass especially as there’s no label or information to tell you what it is. The buildings aren’t that realistic, are drawn out of scale, and only very famous buildings in major cities are included, so 90 per cent of users won’t ‘benefit’ from them either.
Fortunately for the C620, there’s plenty more to like about it than its clever 3D maps. The developers at Mio have been hard at work at most other aspects of their sat-navs too. Ease of use, a facet that we’ve criticised Mio sat-navs for in the past, is a vast improvement over previous models. The menu system on the new MioMap 2008 software is now less euro-pop, more BMW in conception. It still looks nice, yes, but it never gets in the way like the old version did. The default map view, for example, occupies almost the whole of the large 4.3in 480 x 272 screen. The information bars at the top and bottom are transparent, which adds to the sense of space, and the unobtrusive function buttons – for the volume, zoom and view controls – that run along the left of the screen are also translucent.
If you don’t mind losing a third of the map screen, you can hit a button at the bottom right of the screen to launch the C620’s information panel. On this you can display your choice of nearby POIs (click one and you can have your route readjusted to take you there), journey statistics, traffic information (on the C620 this is greyed out as it doesn’t come with a TMC module), upcoming turnings or the status of your Bluetooth phone connection or music playback.
The menu settings are also much more logical than before, displayed on an intuitive tabbed screen that makes it easy to access all the various options quickly. The POIs are now much more sensibly organised than before – into Find, Map and Panel options – and there are none of the issues with performance I had with the Mio C520t either. Everything works exactly as it should.
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