Mio Moov A350 GPS unit
An ultra-affordable GPS unit with 3.5in LCD touch screen
- Good value for money, solid feature set, sturdy mount accessory
- No headphone jack, cheap design, lacks live traffic update support
The Mio Moov A350 represents great value for money. While its performance isn't spectacular, it does a very good job for the asking price. If you're on a budget and need a cheap GPS unit that does the basics, look no further.
Price$ 199.00 (AUD)
The Mio Moov A350 is a budget-priced GPS unit that sacrifices size for affordability. It comes equipped with a 3.5in LCD touch screen, along with inbuilt safety alerts, a gigabyte of inbuilt memory and an impressive 2-year warranty. With an RRP of just $199, the Mio Moov A350 is definitely a bargain. While there are flaws to be mindful of, they’re pretty easy to live with.
The Mio Moov A350 shares much in common with its $299 sibling, the Mio Moov A430. In fact, both units are virtually identical, except when it comes to size. The Moov A430 measures 18.5x127.2x80.8mm and it has a 4.3in touch screen; whereas the Moov A350 makes do with a 3.5in touch screen and measures 19.5x93.5x79mm. The Moov A430 also offers live traffic updates (via an optional antenna) and enhanced safety alerts. Otherwise, all components and features remain the same.
When you consider that the Mio Moov A350 costs a third less than its cousin, its smaller screen is a lot easier to live with. While we did occasionally struggle with the undersized display — particularly when inputting addresses — it’s by no means a deal breaker. It’s worth noting that many touch screen handycams, such as the Sony HDR-TG5 and HDR-XR200 remain perfectly functional with even smaller displays. For the asking price, the Moov A350’s touch screen is a winner — the display’s anti-glare coating did a good job of deflecting sunlight. We rarely had trouble reading the screen, despite its diminutive size.
Unfortunately, the Mio Moov A350 has taken a bit of a dive in the looks department. In addition to being small and boxy, it lacks the A430’s classy silver border — instead, it’s finished with a cheap looking black plastic. Subsequently, it’s not the sort of device you’d want to proudly display in a convertible. Or even a Ford Pinto for that matter. On the other hand, you shouldn’t expect a stylish design at this price point (i.e. — you get what you pay for).
The Mio Moov A350 uses the NAVTEQ-powered MioMap 2008 to display map data, with over 12.5 million recognised addresses. The main menu comprises of ten icons divided over two screens. All the usual GPS settings are present, including POIs (points of interest), favourite destinations, recent locations, a fuel locator, and a Tripmeter tool. If you’re new to GPS technology, the Mio Moov A350 provides an inbuilt tutorial that takes you through all the core functions with explanatory text. This should prove particularly useful for users who aren't computer-savvy.
When it comes to choosing a destination, the Moov A350 provides an impressive degree of freedom for an entry level GPS. After selecting the state you want to travel to, you can elect to input the postcode, street address, city/area or the nearest intersection. We had no issues with the Mio Moov A350 during testing. If we had a reservation, it would be the 3D map, which proved to be a bit of an eye sore. The scrolling street labels proved particularly distracting. That said, it does as good a job as can be expected for the asking price, and you can always tell what’s going on.
According to Mio, the Moov A350 uses "clear Australian pronunciation" during turn-by-turn guidance. We found it did a fair impersonation of an Aussie accent, especially compared to the mangled cockney hybrids found in some GPS software. However, if broad Aussie accents make you cringe, you may start wishing for a HAL 9000 style drone. (In other words, it’s a bit too Australian.)
Mio has neglected to include a line-out jack with the Moov A350, which means you’re stuck with the onboard speaker. You also have to use the in-car charger or USB cord to power up the device (there is no AC adaptor). These are acceptable concessions for a GPS unit in this price range. For what it’s worth, the inbuilt speaker did a reasonably good job.
The Mio Moov A350 comes bundled with the usual GPS accessories, including a CD of Mio software, an in-car charger and a window mount. The mount is pleasantly compact and it remained glued to our windscreen throughout testing.
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