An excellent budget satnav that's supremely easy to use and has more features than you might expect at this price
We’ve seen Mio’s Navman satnavs before, but the new 470 is one of the cheapest at just £100. Most of the specifications are in line with what we’d expect from a budget device: a 4.3in screen with a 480×272 resolution, no traffic information, no memory card slot and no connectivity via Bluetooth.
However, if you’re not looking for all the trimmings, the 470 is an excellent choice. The device itself may feel a little lightweight, but the software features are anything but. When you turn it on, the simple main menu means anyone can quickly find a destination, even if they’ve never used it before.
You can enter an address in the traditional way, enter a postcode, find a point on the map or – most usefully for tourist attractions, type a keyword to search the Points of Interest database. The only other options from the main menu are to view the map, see a list of ‘My Places’, find amenities nearby or change settings.
A neat touch is that when you’re entering an address or postcode, a predictive engine will make suggestions so you don’t have to key in the entire address. Plus, keys are greyed out on the keyboard when they’re not relevant to avoid typos.
The driving view is clear and uncluttered, and it’s easy to follow your route. There’s only one English voice, but ‘Serena’ reads out road names and numbers clearly and gives easily understandable turn information. The device is quick to reroute when you miss a turn, and we also appreciated the clear lane guidance on motorways. You’re warned about exceeding the speed limit on roads where the speed limit is known, and also of the location of speed cameras. You can disable certain types, say traffic light cameras, if you want to.
There were only two significant features missing: roadblock avoidance and the ability to plan a route in advance. With the latter, you can’t set a departure location: the 470 either uses your current or last-known position.
We were impressed with the routing, which was always sensible and occasionally more sensible than TomTom’s. It uses the same IQ routes ‘technology’ as TomTom’s satnavs as the maps are also provided by TeleAtlas. This uses actual average speeds for roads, rather than the stated speed and leads to more accurate predictions of how long your journey will take. Another nice touch is that the driving view shows not only the current road, but also the estimated house number, which proved extremely helpful when trying to find an address for the first time as it was so accurate.
Turn information is displayed at the top of the screen, and you can tap the bar to hear the spoken instruction again. Tap on the right-hand side and a secondary information bar appears on the right-hand side to show detailed journey information.
With Mio offering a 30-day latest map guarantee, we can find few reasons not to buy the 470. As long as you can live without the missing features we’ve mentioned, it’s a bargain.
|Toll road warning
|Speed camera alerts
|Compatible operating system
|Memory card support
|Memory card included
|SiRFStar III with InstantFixII
|car charger, windscreen mount, USB cable
|CCD effective megapixels
|one year RTB
|GPS London route calculation test
|GPS UK route calculation test