Mio is luring bargain shoppers with a new line of low-price GPS navigators. The Moov line includes four models, with the most expensive, the Moov 310, listing for only $249. It's a decent GPS device for the price, but we prefer some other low-cost models.
Mio Moov 310 Design
The Moov 310 is slender, measuring only 0.7 inches thick and weighing 6.1 ounces, with a light plastic-feeling casing and a brushed-aluminum look to the bezel. It offers a 4.3-inch screen, which is good for this price, but it shows some glare in direct sunlight. The only physical control is the On/Off/Reset switch on the top. You'll also find an SD slot for loading maps but nothing else, as the Moov 310 doesn't include a media player.
Menus and Maps
The menu is simple and will be familiar to Mio veterans. When you first start the Moov 310, you can view a quick tutorial and select a language for navigation. There's only one U.S. English voice, but it pronounces street names. Users can tap the top-right corner to get detailed arrival information and the bottom-right corner to see info such as GPS signal strength.
Maps look a little different. Previously, Mio licensed map content from Tele Atlas and software through iGo. Now, with its acquisition of NavMan, the company has the resources to create its own map interface, though the data is still from Tele Atlas. While we preferred the more rounded, friendly look of the older maps, Mio has done a good job of presenting data without cluttering the screen.
Getting Around with the Mio Moov 310
The Moov 310 includes SIRFInstantFixII technology for quick positioning, and it worked beautifully in our testing. Whenever we switched it on--even the first time--we had GPS reception in less than 15 seconds. Many devices make you wait a minute or two until they connect with enough satellites.
The map view always got us to our destination quickly and competently, but we found the voice too chatty. Directions to continue straight through an intersection are unnecessary and were far too frequent. We'd prefer to be told simply where the next turn is.
Also, the Moov 310 got confused around tall buildings. Near skyscrapers, the map spun around wildly, as if we had made a sudden U-turn, then switched back. Most navigators have software that corrects for these occasional glitches. When we made a wrong turn, the Moov 310 rerouted us in a few seconds, standard for a GPS device. Battery life is rated at 2.5 hours.
You'll get one other nicety with the Moov 310: one year of free TMC traffic service. Many traffic-capable navigators include only three months of free service. The box includes a separate wire antenna that you attach to your windshield via suction cup to receive traffic data. The Moov 310's TMC service wasn't ready during our testing, but it looks like the device will tell you when there's an incident on your route, and you can set it for prompted or automatic rerouting. After the one year of free service, a lifetime subscription costs $99.95.
The Moov 310 offers a database of 3.5 million points of interest, which is small even at this price. The POI list and the street maps were mostly up to date, but we found odd glitches: a Starbucks that's been around for years didn't show up, the map didn't know that a stretch of Washington Avenue in Jersey City has been a one-way street for two years, and the POI list put a neighborhood pharmacy farther down a street than its actual location.
The Moov 310 is a decent choice for the bargain-conscious, but other similarly priced models--such as theV7 Nav740($221.99)--deliver a better driving experience for the money.