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★★☆☆☆

“Disappointing, rather basic”

Written on: 28/12/2012 by Duke_Nukem (15 reviews written)

I last bought a satnav about 7 years ago, and it had its shortcomings, and I naively assumed that the Mia Spirit 480, being more modern, one would be much improved. What a disappointment! The Mio 480 actually has fewer features useful to me than the 7-year old one.

The biggest shock is that it lacks the ability to set waypoints. Without waypoints you have no control over the route whatever. For example if I want to go from Leicester to Kings Lynn, I would not want to go through or near Peterborough, so I would set Spalding (to the north of Peterborough) as a waypoint. Sorry, can't do that with this satnav, unless you set Spalding as a destination and when you get near there stop in a lay-by and then set Kings Lynn. Similarly, I might want to go via a more scenic route or one I have not tried before rather than the satnav's choice - sorry, can't do that without waypoints.

Another failing is its "Route Type" and "Type of Road" settings. Whatever you choose, it just heads for the nearest motorway and keeps you on it as long as possible. For example, from Chepstow to Gloucester you can go M4>M5 via the Almondsbury interchange, a dog-leg, or cut the corner via the B4461 and A38, and join the M5 at J14. The B4461 way is definitely shorter, but this satnav sticks to the motorway even when "shortest" is selected. The motorway may be quicker - but even then only if the Almondsbury interchange is not having one of its frequent stand-stills. I happen to know two or three people who do not like to use motorways at all, but an option to avoid them (maybe you are a learner) does not seem to have occurred to the designers; it was on my old satnav

The manual is a pdf on a CD and covers several models. It takes some time comparing the manual with fiddling with the satnav itself to discover what applies to you and what does not. It is very frustrating. One would have thought that an advantage of a CD would be that they could put several separate manuals on it at no extra cost, allowing you to ignore the other models. There was some sort of app on the CD as well which, when I tried to run it, crashed my PC.

Look out for my Mio Spirit 480 on eBay very soon. Almost unused, a snip.