Safety camera locations are built in, and updates cost 45 Euros a year. Alerts pop up subtly as you drive, with a banner plus an indication of the current limit, and no irritating perpetual ping as with some sat-navs. But we also found some long-standing camera locations curiously absent. Major motorway junctions are augmented by a 3D lane view including a realistic depiction of signposting, a virtually ubiquitous feature in the latest sat-navs but nonetheless useful and welcome.
Routing options include walking and driving, but no bike or truck modes. If you input a long route in walking mode, you will be asked whether you really wanted to travel so far on foot, and offered the option of recalculating in driving mode instead. There are 2D top down views to aid the pedestrian, which include footpaths and building silhouettes in some areas, so your routes should suggest a few shortcuts.
The Mio screen mount is worth mentioning as well. This isn’t the sleek all-in-one affair of Garmin’s top models and TomTom’s latest GOs, but it’s easy to use and holds the device firmly. Our one criticism here is that you can’t insert the 300 with the automotive power adapter plugged in, which is a shame as this makes attachment more fiddly.
Costing just £130 and without a widescreen, the Mio Navman Spirit 300 goes head-to-head with the likes of TomTom’s ONE ‘Classic’ and ‘IQ Routes Editon’. But neither of these models have live traffic included. However, now that the irritation has been removed from the Spirit interface, the 300 makes a good budget choice, especially if you’re a rush-hour traveller.
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