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Navman Mio launch the Spirit range of SatNavs in the UK

pocketgpsworld.comYesterday saw the launch of the latest Navman/Mio or is that Mio/Navman SatNav systems. These are somewhat developed from the prototypes we saw at CES earlier this year, and the launch comprised three ranges with 3 new hardware SatNav devices incorporating some iPhonic new software...

Contrary to some rumours that were flying around a few weeks ago Navman Mio is very much a going concern in the UK with the new ranges due to hit the shelves in June just before the summer holidays start. These new devices should consolidate and confirm Navman Mio's position in the UK market and give confidence to all the loyal Navman users about the strength and commitment of Mio in the UK.

I managed to grab a few minutes with Greg Gilbert, the UK Key Account Manager for Navman/Mio, who describes for us the 3 devices launched yesterday. This video gives you a brief look at the devices and features. At the end of the video there is a surprise 7 inch new product from Navman/Mio which is scheduled for launch sometime later this year. Click here to view the Navman Mio launch video.

Firstly we had the Navman Mio Spirit 300. This is a 3.5 inch touch screen device. The new entry level system is really slim and stylish. At 78.8 (H) x 92.5 (W) x 18 (D) it is a very compact unit that fits into the palm of your hand. Not that the diminutive size means cut down navigation software. This SatNav runs the same software it its big brothers. The GPS is the industry standard SiRFStarIII with InstantFixII for faster start times. To help you keep moving on the road the GPS comes with traffic in the form of an RDS/TMC receiver giving you free traffic information for the life of the device. The Navman Spirit 300 comes in two different configurations regional mapping or European Mapping.

The next range launched was the Navman Mio Spirit 500. This is a widescreen (480x272) SatNav with a 4.7 inch touchscreen display. With dimensions of 85 (H) x 132 (W) x 13.95 (D) it is a great balance between screen real estate and size. It implements the SiRFStarIII GPS and has RDS/TMC traffic information. The 500 is available with or without Bluetooth. The Bluetooth enabled devices allow the SatNav to connect to a Bluetooth enabled phone, both for handsfree operation, and also to provide a data connection for Google Local search. The 500 series are available in 2 the formats with both regional and European mapping.

The final range is the Navman Spirit Flat. This has a similar specification to the 500s but has a superior 4.7 inch capacitive touchscreen. The capacitive touchscreen is a new technology which allows the creation of devices with optically improved displays. The Navman Spirit Flat also implements all the features of the 500 but also includes 3D Landmarks and an MP3 player. For users who want improved sound quality the Flat has an FM radio transmitter. Although Mio launched it in the presentation it is unlikely that this device will be available in the UK.

I assume that Navman have their reasons for this choice, but I don't understand why a company would announce a flagship product to the media and then say it will not be available in the UK...

All of the devices feature new Navman software featuring the Slide Touch interface. This allows a user to use gestures and flicks to move around and dock the interface features. The software features an nice clean uncluttered map view with clear instructions at the top of the screen. Audible instructions are given using a Text to Speech engine on all models.

The paradigm of the navigation has moved from A-B navigation to navigate and explore. The concept here is that once you arrive at your destination the software makes it easy for you to explore the locality. This is extended from the standard POIs supplied with the maps to integrating with rich POI content from Wcities to provide additional information on locations, and on the top models integration with Google Search. The Google Search functionality requires a Bluetooth connection to a phone which has a data contract (or PAYG data) to provide a gateway to the Internet. The results returned will encompass all the information Google holds for the locality based on your search criteria.

Whilst you are travelling your route is clearly marked and your turns are indicated. When you are driving on main roads and motorways you will be informed in advance which lane you need to be in with lane guidance and as you approach motorway junctions you will see a representation of the actual signpost on the screen. All devices feature a Speed Camera trial with a subscription required after the trial period.

The following is a comparison chart of the new Navman Mio Spirit SatNav ranges:

Official Navman Mio Spirit Press release

Mio injects Spirit into new Navman sat nav range

Three new Navman Spirit products launch with break-through technology and Google partnership to transform the driving experience

London, 12 May 2009: Leading sat nav maker Mio today announces the availability of its new Navman Spirit range. The range, the first one launched following Mio’s merger with Navman, offers ground-breaking sat nav functionality and fantastic content from Google and wCities to enable drivers to explore more on the road.

The Navman Spirit range takes a fresh, exciting approach to navigation, with three models across two design options - the palm-sized 3.5-inch screen to the sharp, bright 4.7-inch widescreen and a stunning 4.7-inch super flat widescreen. Ergonomically designed with soft-curve edges and a stylish, compact exterior, the Navman Spirit range represents some of the slimmest, most lightweight sat nav devices ever seen.

Spirit software and new slidetouch™ screen
The ‘Spirit’ part of the name refers to the new software that powers the range. Redesigned from the ground up, Spirit uses a simple and colourful menu system that takes users to all of the features within a couple of ‘taps’. The new slidetouch™ screen brings up windows that glide on and off to help find what you are looking for quickly and easily, without needing to go back to the main menu unless you want to.

TruMap™ Views, Junction Views and lane guidance make navigation easy
Basic sat nav functions, such as finding your destination easily, avoiding traffic, being aware of road speeds and safety cameras and helping the driver negotiate difficult junctions are all catered for, with some important additions. To improve map clarity, Mio has added new TruMap™ Views that strip away clutter for a cleaner, much easier to read map display. New Junction Views have also been added, giving drivers an accurate representation of motorway signs in 3D as they approach an exit. Intelligent text-to-speech provides spoken next turn road names and directions, enabling drivers to keep their eyes on the road, and spoken navigation is now louder and clearer with Navman Spirit’s built-in FM transmitter, allowing users to tune the device into their car speakers via the radio.

Go further with Explore Mode, Google Local™ and Wcities Travel Books
The Navman Spirit range also includes a suite of innovative new features that sets it apart from other sat nav devices, and helps drivers get a lot more out of their journeys.
First up is Explore Mode, an ingenious POI (Point of Interest) feature that really comes into its own when exploring new places. From any location in Europe, touching the map makes a cluster of icons ‘grow’ from that point. Users can immediately see what’s available in or near that location, from cash machines to hotels, museums and local attractions, car parks, restaurants and more. Zooming in on the map gives more location detail, while zooming out shows a wider choice of POIs. Touching any icon brings up a name and address, then by clicking ‘Go’ Navman will navigate there. Explore Mode works on the go, or can be used before drivers set off so they can plan POIs in advance.

Navman Spirit also debuts an improved version of Mio’s Local Search. Mio has partnered with Google™ for local directory information at your fingertips, via a Bluetooth® connection to a mobile phone while on the go. Whatever the location, simply typing in a generic request such as ‘coffee’, ‘pizza’ or ‘pharmacy’ brings up a list of local options. It can also find specific businesses if they are located nearby. Mio’s Local Search and Explore Mode make a powerful combination, taking Sat Nav into exciting new territory.

Mio takes the idea of exploring even further with Travel Books from Wcities. Pre-loaded into every new Navman Spirit is a selection of Travel Books, featuring in-depth listings of places to eat, stay and visit, combined with facts and photos. There are hundreds more to choose from which can easily be downloaded onto the new devices.
Pedestrian mode – take shortcuts that your car can’t

Featuring the world’s most accurate walking mode, Navman Spirit also helps users explore more on foot. With built-in 2D city maps specially designed to work out of the car at walking pace, creating a seamless navigation experience. With details of footpaths and building outlines, Navman Spirit works with the user to cut travel times.

Find your way with geo-tagged NavpixTM pictures
The Navman Spirit range also includes the market-leading NavPixTM geo-tagged photo navigation feature, pioneered by Mio in its previous Navman devices. With the built-in photo album, users can browse through a huge variety of pictures such as tourist sites, hideaway beaches, hotels and restaurants. As geo-tagging becomes more popular, and with over a million tagged photos free on NavPix and Flickr® websites, this feature really starts to come into its own.

“The Navman Spirit range represents a major shift in Sat Nav evolution,” said Huw Bush, Head of UK Marketing, Mio. “Each model performs its navigational tasks with ease and accuracy and also creates a far richer, safer and more enjoyable travel experience, wherever you choose to explore. We’re confident that with Navman Spirit, Mio has broken new ground in both navigational technology and additional features that really benefit drivers.”

The Navman Spirit range is available in UK stores in May. For more information please visit www.mio.com.

Mio Navman Spirit Product specifications:
Navman Spirit 300 Traffic
• 3.5” screen
• Pioneering ‘Spirit’ software with Slide Touch
• TruMap views
• 3D Junction views and lane guidance
• Local Search via MioMore™ desktop 2
• Explore mode
• Wcities Travel Books
• Walking mode
• Smart economical routing
• NavPix photo navigation
• Pre-loaded safety camera data – free trial*
• Text to Speech
• High speed GPS fix with SiRFInstantFixII™
• Road speed limit data
• Built-in Traffic information**
• Latest regional / European map data

* For a limited period of 12 months. A subscription is available separately.
** Subscription may be required, see www.mio.com for details.

Navman Spirit 500 Traffic
Also available with Western European maps and Hands-free options.
• 4.7” widescreen
• Ultra slim, lightweight design (less than 14mm thin)
• Pioneering ‘Spirit’ software with Slide Touch
• TruMap™ views
• 3D Junction views and lane guidance
• Google Local Search via Bluetooth*
• Explore mode
• Wcities Travel Books
• Walking mode
• Smart economical routing
• NavPix™ photo navigation
• Capture button
• Bluetooth Hands-free calling*
• Roadside assistance*
• AccuWeather® weather info*
• Pre-loaded safety camera data – free trial**
• Text to Speech
• High speed GPS fix with SiRFInstantFixII™
• Road speed limit data
• Built-in Traffic information†
• Latest regional / European map data

* Navman Spirit 500 Hands-free only. A compatible Bluetooth mobile phone is required
for Bluetooth Local Search, network charges may vary.
** For a limited period of 12 months.
† Subscription may be required, see www.mio.com for details.

Navman Spirit Flat.
• 4.7” super-flat widescreen
• Ultra slim, lightweight design (14.5mm thin)
• Pioneering ‘Spirit’ software with Slide Touch
• TruMap views with 3D landmarks
• 3D Junction views and lane guidance
• Google Local Search via Bluetooth®*
• Explore mode
• Wcities Travel Books
• Walking mode with 2D city maps
• Smart economical routing
• NavPix™ photo navigation
• Capture button
• Hands-free calling
• Roadside assistance
• AccuWeather® weather info
• FM Transmitter
• MP3 player / Video player
• Pre-loaded safety camera data - free trial**
• Text to Speech
• High speed GPS fix with SiRFInstantFixII™
• Road speed limit data
• Built-in Traffic information with lifetime subscription
• Latest Western and Eastern European map data

* A compatible mobile Bluetooth mobile phone is required, network charges may vary.
** For a limited period of 12 months.

Posted by MikeB on Wed May 13, 2009 5:46 pm Reply with quote

The Navman Mio Launch Video is 7 minutes long.

Mike Barrett
Editor, PocketGPSWorld.com

Posted by Tom59 on Fri May 15, 2009 8:30 am Reply with quote

Is it not illegal to have a TV in view of a driver?

Could this be a replacement for TT? If there are no bugs in the system, I would certainly consider it.

TT Go 720 (T)
Firmware 9.430. Map: Western Europe V 875.3613

TT iPhone app
V 1.23 Map: Western and Central Europe 2 GB V 965.7286

TT iOS Go Mobile
V 1.1 Map: Western Europe 965.7248

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