Mio C220 Satellite Navigation Unit 

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Having recently looked at the top of the range C520t that seems to do most things. Here is their entry level offering that is exactly what it says a satellite navigation unit.
Mio C220 GPS Satellite Navigation Unit

The Mio C220 unit has one huge plus over it's larger and multifunctional rival, better battery life and should you use it as a cyclist or pedestrian then this is vital.

The overall dimensions of the C220 are 10x8x5x2cm and it weights around 150grams. The landscape screen is 7x5.5cm with the largest viewable map area of nearly 5.5cm square when in cockpit mode.

Going round the unit the right side has input for an SD card and earbud socket. The top has the on/off button and connector for external antenna while the base has a mini connector to allow charging from a PC. Finally the rear has a speaker that delivers a good sound level for car use.

Brackets for car fitting and the all important mini USB to cigar lighter lead are also supplied. Unlike some other models that supply UK and Eire or UK and most of Europe the map supplied with the C220 in UK only.

The map supplied on the internal flash memory is bang up to date being produced in 2007. For those who like such things it has the location of all the fixed speed cameras as well as the 'likely locations' for the mobile ones. Once you register you will receive free updates on speed cameras for 12 months.

Both the 2D and 3D modes are easy to follow and this touch screen unit allows you to easily zoom in and zoom out on the display. One option the ultra cautious may like to set is the inability to do this whilst driving a route.

Like all recent sat nav systems it is set in metric, you need to find the correct settings menu (there is more than one) to adjust this to miles. However by doing so the distances given by the male voice are always less than the actual. The biggest example was a whole .15 miles more at 1.15 miles when he announces 1 mile. Perhaps more unusual is the other measurement of feet rather than yards. So 'turn left in 510 feet takes a bit of getting used to.

I am pleased to say that unlike an earlier model I reviewed you can download a PDF manual and I would suggest you do so or you are unlikely to be able to find certain settings. There are a whole raft of features that will probably remain undiscovered without it.

The normal route is shown in orange over the road with animated arrows showing where to turn. I noticed on some journeys that certain roads appeared in purple and I was curious as to what they did a read of the 86 page manual cleared this and other queries up. However I wonder why this needs to be downloaded. Why can't we have the printed manual back. Yes it will probably be lost or misplaced and then downloading another is quite acceptable but being sold a unit and then needing to download a manual to get the most from it is not on.

Apart from the rather limited (UK only) maps supplied I think this is rather a nice unit. Sure if you go to Europe then buy one of the higher specified models that have Europe included. I only want a sat nav system to do that and games, calculators, MP3 players etc I would have separately.

As a pedestrian (I have not ridden a bike since I was a teenager) I very much appreciate the far better battery life than the larger all singing all dancing top of the range model. I regularly got close to five hours and if I used the 'suspend' mode for periods I knew where I was going then you can easily exceed this. One difference to all the other Mio units I have seen is the initial press to switch on from off is ten seconds where all the other models it is six seconds, however you are warned of this.

Doing my Internet searches found the Mio C220 at a best price of £131.90 from the first link below.

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Comment by Gtbscot, Nov 7, 2007 14:15

I purchased one of these units about a week ago and agree with the above article.
The GPS signal from cold has never taken longer than 3 minutes to aquire and so far all the routes have been spot on. I disagree however with the statement about the miles to go statement when using the miles and yards option as I have always found this to be at worst 10yrds out (possibly something to do with how many satalites you have locked on). All in all though this is an excellent bit of kit for the money (previously have been using TomTom).

Comment by harold, Jul 16, 2007 1:19

how would i get map for spain and portugal?

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