- Loud, clear speaker for navigation; 3.2-megapixel camera; microSD slot; improves connectivity over previous model; emergency locator; addition of Wi-Fi
- Slower processor causes lag between menu screens, still no 3G support, average route calculation
There have been some good improvements to the Mio A702 over its predecessor, the A701, and while the navigation wasn't overly effective, it is a hybrid device and can't be expected to do everything perfectly.
Price$ 899.00 (AUD)
Mio's A702 GPS all-in-one GPS, phone and PDA device follows in the footsteps of its predecessor, the A701, but adds a few improvements into the fold, such as Wi-Fi (802.11b and g), a keypad, a higher resolution 3.2-megapixel camera and both Bluetooth and USB 2.0, which is a step up from the A701's 1.2 and 1.1, respectively.
There are still a few missing features in this revised model, such as 3G capability, and the processor speed has actually been reduced causing the A702 to react slowly when changing menu screens and most notably when scrolling the GPS maps, but overall we like the steps Mio has taken to better this model. One neat feature it has retained from the previous model is an emergency locator. By holding down the jog wheel on the side of the phone your co-ordinates will be sent to a number you have pre-defined stating you need help, which could be very handy in an emergency. Another plus is that the maps are now stored on a 1GB ROM freeing up the microSD slot for additional storage needs.
As a phone it works perfectly well. In-call volume is good and voice clarity is as good as can be expected with minimal echo and no noticeable crackling. SMS messages can be written in a number of ways. Although the A702 has a keypad, using the predictive text feature isn't nearly as easy or intuitive as standard T9 predictive text, so you're better off using the on-screen keyboard and the stylus, or even using the Transcriber, a handwriting recognition application which actually works quite well.
The device runs off Windows Mobile 6 Professional, so all of the usual features are available, including Microsoft Office applications like Word, Excel and PowerPoint, plus Windows Media Player 10 Mobile for Pocket PC and MSN are installed. It supports POP3 mail, with the usual suspects (Yahoo! Mail, Gmail and Hotmail) all compatible, and it will acquire the mail server settings automatically. There's a picture viewer, movie viewer and limited editing functionality, too.
On the navigation side of things there are a few pros and cons. One improvement has been in the volume of the speakerphone, which is quite loud and audible, even with car noise and music playing. The 2.7in TFT touch screen has a resolution of 240x320 and is bright and clear to look at, even at a glance. The sales package includes a number of extra goodies. Among them are a car charger and a suction-cap windscreen-mount with a bracket for the phone to rest in while driving.
The A702 uses the Miomap V3.3 maps, which offer plenty of points of interest (POI). You can also add your own POIs under personalised groups and with specific icons. We took the Mio A702 for a test drive and were a little disappointed by its choice of routes and inability to adapt away from main thoroughfares. Some routes had us going in the wrong direction for extended periods of time just to get back onto the most prominent road of the area, instead of rejoining it at a more appropriate time further down the track. That said, it was still quite thorough with its directions and gave plenty of warning in a loud clear voice.
The device includes software and the appropriate USB cable to synchronise with a PC. There is a leather carry-case, multiple power adapter heads for international travellers and a set of headphones. Unfortunately the port is 2.5mm and will not accommodate most headphones, which are 3.5mm. Battery life is rated at a mere 200 hours and will likely be shorter when using features like the GPS navigation.
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