Mio Explora K70: Find your way out of a paper bag

At CeBIT, Mio unveiled its latest GPS smart phone, offering hope to anyone who needs help as they blindly stumble towards the lavatory at midnight

We get lost on the way to the toilet for our midnight pee, so, when mobiles got built-in GPS, it was a huge bonus for us. But, as great as Google Maps is, it still lacks the fully featured finesse of in-car GPS systems, with no turn-by-turn navigation, for example.

European sat-nav company Mio tried to remedy that a couple of years ago with two GPS phones -- the A701 and the DigiWalker A501. In our reviews, we found that the GPS was decent, but they lacked key smart-phone features like Wi-Fi, and they weren't the sleekest phones out there.

Now Mio is ramping up the pretty with the Explora K70, which was launched on Tuesday at CeBIT. It's a Windows Mobile 6.1 smart phone with an integrated Qualcomm gpsOne chipset. The handset offers turn-by-turn navigation and quad-band connectivity with HSDPA (3.5G) support. The Explora K70 also has Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

At 13mm thick and weighing 113g, it's a slim device that features a 89mm (3.5-inch) touchscreen with a 240x400-pixel resolution and a customisable Mio Menu for quick access to contacts and applications. You can also geotag your photos from its meagre 3-megapixel camera.

Mio also launched new navigation software, Mio Spirit, which we hope will sort out the complaints we had with the A701 and the DigiWalker A501's map usability.

Our US colleague Bonnie Cha tells us this phone is a real looker in person, and we'll have a hands-on review for you as soon as humanly possible.

Mio said pricing and availability are yet to be announced, but, based on the availability of their previous phones, you're unlikely to see the Explora K70 offered by any UK networks. If you need a voice telling you to take the next left as you blindly stumble towards the lavatory at midnight, plan to pick up an unlocked handset.

 

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