Mio DigiWalker C220

Mio DigiWalker C220
  • Mio DigiWalker C220
  • Mio DigiWalker C220
  • Mio DigiWalker C220
  • Expert Rating

    3.50 / 5

Pros

  • Excellent maps, speedy GPS performance, compact design, price, safety camera warnings

Cons

  • Confusing menu system, some icons lack a text description, battery life

Bottom Line

The C220 is a solid choice if you're after an entry-level GPS unit. Excellent maps, speedy performance and a competitive price may be enough to overlook the sometimes confusing interface.

Would you buy this?

The DigiWalker C220 is Mio's new entry level GPS. Sporting a 3.5in display, Sensis R14 mapping and 500,000 points of interest (POI) out of the box, the C220 is a solid, if not outstanding navigation unit.

Navigation

The Mio user experience is once again a mixed bag, thanks to a sometimes confusing menu system. The main screen is excellent, with clearly labelled, coloured icons and a text description making it easy to navigate. However, some of the submenus feature smaller icons with no text and these are difficult to make out. While some are obvious, others - such as a winding road with a flag - are hit and miss, especially for first time users. The C220's instruction manual is definitely a resource worth reading before you use the unit.

More impressive are the maps on the C220. Mio has used Sensis V14 mapping this time around, and these are preloaded onto the unit's 512MB of memory. An SD card slot on the right side can be used for any extra maps. You can quickly change the C220 map view using the cycle maps icon in the top right hand corner of the screen. The unit offers standard 2D and 3D views, with north up, track up and sky view maps as well. The latter is represented by a picture of a plane and is really only useful for a full view of your closest surrounding suburbs, rather than during driving. The maps have an excellent level of detail, with street names easily readable and the current location clearly marked by an expanding circular beacon, much like an alarm or distress signal icon. An excellent feature of the Mio maps is the automatic zoom, which hones in every time you make a turn to give you the clearest possible route. This is handy when you are at a large intersection or roundabout with many streets going through it, for example.

The C220 is equipped with the latest SiRFstar III GPS chipset and we are pleased to report its performance is fairly speedy. During our driving tests, we found the unit took anywhere between 15 and 30 seconds to pick up a signal after being turned on.

The navigational experience is pleasing thanks to clear voice instructions. Our only complaint is with the relatively soft volume levels, even at the highest setting. There is also no external volume control and having to navigate into the menu to access this is a hassle we could do without. There are a wide range of languages to choose from including German, Italian, English, Dutch, Spanish, French and Portuguese, amongst others. The voices are clear and concise and generally quite smooth, and the annoying attention tone that sounds before every voice instruction can be turned off in the settings menu.

When searching for a specific address, the C220 doesn't filter suburbs by state, so you are presented with a list of every suburb in Australia. Although it does narrow down the search when you start typing, we'd still prefer to be able to select a state first, then a city. Once the city is selected, the street name - filtered by suburb can be chosen. The address entry screen uses an on-screen keyboard, but the keys are small and those with large fingers may have difficulty with precise selection. Once you've selected an address, the destination will show up on the map and you can then start the route, change your starting point, or add a POI.

The usual routing options, such as avoiding tolls, unpaved roads, motorways, ferries and U-turns are all supported on the C220. Users can also set a preference for using motorways or normal urban roads and this is taken into consideration when the unit calculates a route. Mio has also included up-to-date speed camera and red light camera warnings as well as a safety mode which doesn't allow you to operate the unit while in motion. Conveniently, if a known safety camera is missing on the maps, you can add it yourself. You can choose to add a speed camera, red light camera or bus lane camera and can even signify the driving direction and camera speed.

Design

Despite its relatively small design, Mio has managed to include a 3.5in display on the C220. It is fairly bright and clear and combined with the map colours, makes for an easily readable interface at night time. During the day, sunlight glare isn't an issue, but the screen has a poor viewing angle, so you'll have to adjust it appropriately.

The unit itself is finished in a combination of light and dark grey plastic, with an orange line surrounding the display. The Mio logo is prominently branded just below the screen, and etched into the rear plastic. As the C220 has been designed to take from car to car, build quality is important, and the unit feels solid overall. An orange power button at the top of the C220 turns it on, while the SD card slot and standard 3.5mm headphone jack are located on the right hand side, and a mini-USB port rests on the bottom.

Included in the sales package is an AC charger, an in-car charger, a window mount and holder, and documentation. The C220's lithium-ion battery lasts up to five hours according to Mio figures, which is a little disappointing; especially when you consider it lacks some more advanced features such as a multimedia player and Bluetooth connectivity.

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