The Mio Navman M400 satnav wants to stamp out all those myths about the price of GPS once and for all. It’s a fully fledged, 4.3-inch PND with European maps that comes in under a hundred bones, but does it lose anything essential shaving off the cost? Read on and find out in our full Mio Navman M400 review.
The hardware on the Mio Navman M400 is reasonable for a budget satav. It’s not as thin as Navman’s Spirit line, but our issue is with the windscreen clamp: it works fine, but it’s not collapsible, so will be jutting out of your trouser pocket if you need to take it on the move. The sound on the Mio Navman M400 is fuzzy, meaning you won’t always hear instructions when the radio is on.
But the Mio Navman M400′s big selling point is the extra frills software on board, namely, picture tagging. You can take photos submitted by others from the Mio NavPix website, or anywhere else online, and stick them on your map. The logic is it makes places easier to find as you can match visual recognition with your location. In truth though, it feels somewhat half baked as you have to preload the pictures on to the Mio Navman M400 via a PC first. Isn’t an up to the minute mark on the map showing where you are enough?
The major let down though is the software and mapping layout on the Mio Navman M400. What good are all those tagged photos when the core direction features aren’t up to scratch? Take the UI: you can’t choose to see distance remaining, ETA and the clock at the same time. Visually, it could also do with an upgrade, with tiny roads and a more elevated 3D view than we’d prefer making you double check when you shouldn’t need to.
We took the Mio Navman M400 for a spin around London town, and while it coped well with detours and let you choose how far ahead it announces directions, it also threw up congestion charge warnings non-stop, even at night, and even while you’re trying to see which exit you should take on a roundabout.
Speed cameras were another issue: yes, the Mio Navman M400 picked them all up, but it also showed speed cameras on parallel roads, making things needlessly complicated. We much prefer TomTom’s implementation, counting down the precise number of yards until the little yellow box by the side of the road.
Still, there’s no denying the Mio Navman M400 is competent, and cheap. If you’re not planning on crossing the channel in your car, you might be better off opting for a cheaper TomTom One, but if you know you’ll be driving on the continent, you’ll find the Europe maps still make this a bargain.