Mio DigiWalker A501 review: Mio DigiWalker A501

Typical Price: £320.00
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3 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Decent sat-nav features; good phone features.

The Bad No 3G or Wi-Fi; ugly design; sluggish performance.

The Bottom Line The Nokia N95 has set the benchmark for smartphones with sat-nav features and unfortunately the Mio DigiWalker A501 gets nowhere near it. The device packs plenty of features into a small space, but its sluggish performance, ugly design and lack of 3G and Wi-Fi support are just too off-putting to make it a success

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6.5 Overall

While Nokia has recently been muscling in on the GPS market with the N95, big names in the sat-nav world such as TomTom and Navman have shown no interest in creating phone-enabled GPS devices.

Mio, however, has been brave enough to step up to the plate with the DigiWalker A501. It brings all the features of a GPS unit, phone and PDA together in a single device that will set you back around £320 SIM-free.

Most of Mio's sat-nav devices are powered by Windows Mobile technology, so it's no surprise that Mio has chosen Windows Mobile 5.0 for the A501's operating system. It's also added a few extras on top including its Mio Menu, which is launched via a dedicated button on the front. This presents you with a screen full of large icons giving you quick access to applications such as the sat-nav software, media player and Web browser.

Although the menus in the navigation software aren't as well laid-out as they could be, the actual maps are very easy to read and the audio instructions are clear and precise. However, if you miss a turn, the device is sluggish in re-calculating a route to get you back on track.

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