I’ve spent the last few weeks trying out the Mio C720t, a new high-end GPS navigation device from Mio. Like the Mio C520, the C720t is equipped with a 4.3″ touchscreen, text-to-speech, Bluetooth for hands free cell phone use, and the SiRFstar III chipset. The C720t adds to this feature set with live traffic info, an integrated 2 MP camera, and photo geotagging. You can use this feature to navigate to locations you’ve taken a picture of.
Since the Mio C720t’s navigation functions and layout are virtually identical to the Mio C520, I’m going to concentrate on improvements and new features in this review.
12 million POIs
One item that has been improved is the number of POIs — a whopping 12 million! Consider that all Garmin units have around six million, and that this has been considered high end until now. I think they literally have the entire yellow pages in here. I found lots of bookkeeepers and therapists in my residential neighborhood, and was impressed to find some fairly new businesses listed.
2MP camera and photo navigation
Mitac, the Mio parent corporation, recently acquired NavMan, known for its NavPix navigation capabilities. The ability to navigate to a location by clicking on a photo has now been incorporated into the C720t. It’s not quite ready for primetime yet though. Here are a few downsides:
- You have to exit MioMap, the navigation software system, to select an image to navigate to.
- I tried unsuccessfully to navigate to an image from the NavPix library.
- Nor could I use geotagged images from Flickr.
cannot play MP3s and click to navigate to a photo at the same
time. This results in an error message.
Having said that, the integrated camera readily takes geocoded photos that you can navigate to.
I’ve had problems with Bluetooth on Mio units before, so I was curious to see if this was improved. Unfortunately the answer was no. My phone, an LG VX8300, could see the C720t, but the Mio couldn’t see it. My wife’s Motorola V325i and the Mio could see each other, but the Mio could never complete the connection.
I tested the Mio C720t’s traffic features during rush hour on two consecutive weekdays in the San Francisco Bay Area. I have to say though, I was disappointed.
First of all, the unit was slow to find incidents. Each time I connected, it took 15 minutes or so to locate traffic events. You could be well into your commute before the unit even starts working.
Second, the unit displays all traffic incidents, not just those along your route. This information is confusing and nearly useless.
The separate antenna is another beef. I prefer traffic receivers incorporated into the power cable, ala Garmin. Plus, the traffic antenna plugs into the headphone jack. That wouldn’t be so bad except that it kills the sound to the speaker when you plug it in, so you no longer have voice prompts! UPDATE: This last point has been disputed by a commenter below.
The Mio C720t mount is improved over the one I tested with the Mio C520. No longer do you have to thread the power lead through a slot on the mount.
I have to thank Mio for being nice enough to provide a case with the unit. Too many manufacturers are skimping here, even on their top of the line units. I’ll name names too – Garmin is guilty of this with their 700 series.
I say skip it. If you want a nice Mio GPS, get the C520. 12 million POIs is nice, but it’s not worth the extra cost. And the traffic and photo-navigation features aren’t up to snuff yet.
More Mio C720t reviews
- The first consumer-authored Mio C720t review has been post at Amazon.
- GPS Lodge reviews the Mio C720t.
- Wired gives a 7 out of 10 rating in their Mio C720t review.
- PC World reviews the Mio C720 and compares it to several other units.
- Here, PC World Canada reviews the Mio C720.
- PC Magazine gives a weak 3 out of 5 star rating in their Mio C720t review.
- Down Under, PC Authority give a 3 out of 6 star rating in their Mio DigiWalker C720t review.
- This Mio C720t review focuses on the camera and photo geocoding feature.
- Here’s another brief Mio C720t review.
- Here’s a video review of the Mio C720t…
Other Mio C720t resources
- The Mio C720t owners manual.
- Confused about features? Use this handy Mio auto GPS comparison tool.
- There is a Mio message forum at GpsPasSion.
- There is also a Mio forum at yourNAV.
- And a Mio message forum at ILoveMyMio.com.
- A Mio tips blog.
- Here is a Mio C720t FAQ.
- MioMagic is a third-party Mio POI manager.
- LapTop Magazine reviews the Mio C720t traffic feature.
- The official Mio C720t web page.
Compare prices on the Mio C720t at these merchants:
- Check the current Mio C720t price at Amazon.
- Get the
Mio DigiWalker C720T Bluetooth Automotive GPS System with Traffic & Digital Camera
at TigerGPS.com where you get free shipping on orders above $250.
- Get the Mio C720t for an amazing price on eBay.