Who wants gadgets these days without that delicious smattering of convergence? Certainly not Mio Navman, who’s Spirit V735 TV is the first sat–nav to come crammed to its 7–inch gills with a Freeview TV tuner. Gogglebox ogling doesn’t stop there, with a microSD slot letting you check out snaps and playback video and music via the Spirit V735 TV. And, of course, it’ll help you get from A to B courtesy of 3D junction views, up–to–date traffic news, lane guidance and even handy city guides.
The Spirit V735 TV’s big draw is its in–built Freeview tuner. And when you’ve slunk into a service station and parked up for a mid–motorway rest, it works like a dream. Whip out the aerial and you’ll be watching your favourite BBC, ITV or Channel 4 shows, not to mention a slew of extras, in no time. Switching between channels is swift and you even get an EPG thrown in.
The GPS side of things is not too shabby either. Mio Navman has added lane guidance to the Spirit V735 TV, although that’s not such a killer feature these days. The petrol station lookup and real time traffic updates are though, largely because you don’t need to fork over a monthly fee, a la TomTom LIVE. That’s the kind of lesson the Dutch mapping mavens need to learn fast.
There are myriad satnav problems though. The Spirit V735 TV’s maps, supplied by Navman, are slow and nowhere near as easy to use as those on rival devices by TomTom and Garmin. And that 7–inch screen means this the Spirit V735 TV isn’t going to fit into too many glove compartments either.
While the Freeview tuner is a neat trick, it can’t cope with being on the road, finding it nigh on impossible to pick up Doctors or Murder, She Wrote while you’re bombing along. A good thing if it’s just you in the motor. Not so great if you want to keep the kids quiet with CBeebies in the back.
There’s no doubting this is a clever gadget that points to a future of more converged satnavs. But right now, there’s not enough to tempt us to stop using our dedicated GPS and buy a Mio Navman Spirit V735 TV instead.