Mio Navman Spirit PNDs, plus 7-inch TV PND hands-on [Video]

May 12, 2009
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MiTAC Mio today announced a new range of Navman PNDs, together with previewing an upcoming 7-inch touchscreen PND with integrated digital TV tuner that's expected to drop sometime over the summer.  First to reach the market will be the Mio Navman Spirit S300, S500 and Flat, each with integrated traffic receivers, touchscreen GUIs and text-to-speech directions.  Mio have also thrown in their latest "Spirit" UI, which supports kinetic scrolling, and keyword search based on Google technology.

Video demos after the cut 

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The Spirit S300 is the entry-level model, with a 3.5-inch 320 x 240 touchscreen, while the Spirit S500 and Flat models each have a 4.7-inch 480 x 272 screen which, in the latter's case, has a zero-profile flat bezel.  All models support kinetic scrolling - which Mio call "Slide Touch" - and new, streamlined mapping, as well as 3D junctions and lane guidance.  They also have pedestrian modes and support Mio's new desktop route planning software (which also allows journeys to be pulled out into Excel, which should be handy for making mileage claims).

The Spirit S500 and Flat add Bluetooth, for hands-free speakerphone use, as well as Google Local Search via your cellphone's data connection.  They also include Wcities travel books, which offer guidance on landmarks and activities.  To make accessing POIs easier on all three models, Mio have developed "Explore Mode", which allows you to tap anywhere on the map and see what POIs - such as ATMs, petrol stations and restaurants - are nearby, with phone numbers and, in some cases, reviews.

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As for the larger, 7-inch PND, that - and a 4.7-inch version - will launch in June or July, with integrated digital TV tuners for the UK market.  US versions are unconfirmed, but since the TV tuner is modular there's no reason to suspect that it couldn't be swapped out for a US alternative.  Mio expect the 7-inch model to retail for under £350 ($534) while the 4.7-inch would come in closer to £200-£250 ($305-$382).

As for the Mio Navman Spirit S300, S500 and Flat, they'll land this month priced at £129.99, £179.99 and roughly £200 respectively ($198, $275 and $305).

 

Press Release:

Mio injects Spirit into new Navman sat nav range

Three new Navman Spirit products launch with break-through technology and Google partnership to transform the driving experience

London, 12 May 2009: Leading sat nav maker Mio today announces the availability of its new Navman Spirit range. The range, the first one launched following Mio’s merger with Navman, offers ground-breaking sat nav functionality and fantastic content from Google and wCities to enable drivers to explore more on the road.

The Navman Spirit range takes a fresh, exciting approach to navigation, with three models across two design options - the palm-sized 3.5-inch screen to the sharp, bright 4.7-inch widescreen and a stunning 4.7-inch super flat widescreen. Ergonomically designed with soft-curve edges and a stylish, compact exterior, the Navman Spirit range represents some of the slimmest, most lightweight sat nav devices ever seen.

Spirit software and new slidetouch™ screen

The ‘Spirit’ part of the name refers to the new software that powers the range. Redesigned from the ground up, Spirit uses a simple and colourful menu system that takes users to all of the features within a couple of ‘taps’. The new slidetouch™ screen brings up windows that glide on and off to help find what you are looking for quickly and easily, without needing to go back to the main menu unless you want to.

TruMap™ Views, Junction Views and lane guidance make navigation easy

Basic sat nav functions, such as finding your destination easily, avoiding traffic, being aware of road speeds and safety cameras and helping the driver negotiate difficult junctions are all catered for, with some important additions. To improve map clarity, Mio has added new TruMap™ Views that strip away clutter for a cleaner, much easier to read map display. New Junction Views have also been added, giving drivers an accurate representation of motorway signs in 3D as they approach an exit. Intelligent text-to-speech provides spoken next turn road names and directions, enabling drivers to keep their eyes on the road, and spoken navigation is now louder and clearer with Navman Spirit’s built-in FM transmitter, allowing users to tune the device into their car speakers via the radio.

Go further with Explore Mode, Google Local™ and Wcities Travel Books

The Navman Spirit range also includes a suite of innovative new features that sets it apart from other sat nav devices, and helps drivers get a lot more out of their journeys.

First up is Explore Mode, an ingenious POI (Point of Interest) feature that really comes into its own when exploring new places. From any location in Europe, touching the map makes a cluster of icons ‘grow’ from that point. Users can immediately see what’s available in or near that location, from cash machines to hotels, museums and local attractions, car parks, restaurants and more. Zooming in on the map gives more location detail, while zooming out shows a wider choice of POIs. Touching any icon brings up a name and address, then by clicking ‘Go’ Navman will navigate there. Explore Mode works on the go, or can be used before drivers set off so they can plan POIs in advance.

Navman Spirit also debuts an improved version of Mio’s Local Search. Mio has partnered with Google™ for local directory information at your fingertips, via a Bluetooth® connection to a mobile phone while on the go. Whatever the location, simply typing in a generic request such as ‘coffee’, ‘pizza’ or ‘pharmacy’ brings up a list of local options. It can also find specific businesses if they are located nearby. Mio’s Local Search and Explore Mode make a powerful combination, taking Sat Nav into exciting new territory.

Mio takes the idea of exploring even further with Travel Books from Wcities. Pre-loaded into every new Navman Spirit is a selection of Travel Books, featuring in-depth listings of places to eat, stay and visit, combined with facts and photos. There are hundreds more to choose from which can easily be downloaded onto the new devices.

Pedestrian mode – take shortcuts that your car can’t

Featuring the world’s most accurate walking mode, Navman Spirit also helps users explore more on foot. With built-in 2D city maps specially designed to work out of the car at walking pace, creating a seamless navigation experience. With details of footpaths and building outlines, Navman Spirit works with the user to cut travel times.

Find your way with geo-tagged NavpixTM pictures

The Navman Spirit range also includes the market-leading NavPixTM geo-tagged photo navigation feature, pioneered by Mio in its previous Navman devices. With the built-in photo album, users can browse through a huge variety of pictures such as tourist sites, hideaway beaches, hotels and restaurants. As geo-tagging becomes more popular, and with over a million tagged photos free on NavPix and Flickr® websites, this feature really starts to come into its own.

“The Navman Spirit range represents a major shift in Sat Nav evolution,” said Huw Bush, Head of UK Marketing, Mio. “Each model performs its navigational tasks with ease and accuracy and also creates a far richer, safer and more enjoyable travel experience, wherever you choose to explore. We’re confident that with Navman Spirit, Mio has broken new ground in both navigational technology and additional features that really benefit drivers.”

The Navman Spirit range is available in UK stores in May. For more information please visit www.mio.com.

Mio Navman Spirit Product specifications:

Navman Spirit 300 Traffic

3.5” screen
Pioneering ‘Spirit’ software with Slide Touch
TruMap views
3D Junction views and lane guidance
Local Search via MioMore™ desktop 2
Explore mode
Wcities Travel Books
Walking mode
Smart economical routing
NavPix photo navigation
Pre-loaded safety camera data – free trial*
Text to Speech
High speed GPS fix with SiRFInstantFixII™
Road speed limit data
Built-in Traffic information**
Latest regional / European map data

* For a limited period of 12 months. A subscription is available separately.
** Subscription may be required, see www.mio.com for details.

Navman Spirit 500 Traffic
Also available with Western European maps and Hands-free options.

4.7” widescreen
Ultra slim, lightweight design (less than 14mm thin)
Pioneering ‘Spirit’ software with Slide Touch
TruMap™ views
3D Junction views and lane guidance
Google Local Search via Bluetooth*
Explore mode
Wcities Travel Books
Walking mode
Smart economical routing
NavPix™ photo navigation
Capture button
Bluetooth Hands-free calling*
Roadside assistance*
AccuWeather® weather info*
Pre-loaded safety camera data – free trial**
Text to Speech
High speed GPS fix with SiRFInstantFixII™
Road speed limit data
Built-in Traffic information†
Latest regional / European map data

* Navman Spirit 500 Hands-free only. A compatible Bluetooth mobile phone is required

for Bluetooth Local Search, network charges may vary.
** For a limited period of 12 months.
† Subscription may be required, see www.mio.com for details.

Navman Spirit Flat.

4.7” super-flat widescreen
Ultra slim, lightweight design (14.5mm thin)
Pioneering ‘Spirit’ software with Slide Touch
TruMap views with 3D landmarks
3D Junction views and lane guidance
Google Local Search via Bluetooth®*
Explore mode
Wcities Travel Books
Walking mode with 2D city maps
Smart economical routing
NavPix™ photo navigation
Capture button
Hands-free calling
Roadside assistance
AccuWeather® weather info
FM Transmitter
MP3 player / Video player
Pre-loaded safety camera data - free trial**
Text to Speech
High speed GPS fix with SiRFInstantFixII™
Road speed limit data
Built-in Traffic information with lifetime subscription
Latest Western and Eastern European map data

* A compatible mobile Bluetooth mobile phone is required, network charges may vary.
** For a limited period of 12 months.


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