GPS units tend to pack more and more features including contacts, music and video but with the C220, Mio chooses a different strategy and creates a GPS unit that is very good at GPS navigation at a very affordable price. The look of the Mio C220 will blend with most car interior as it is fairly neutral. It has a decent display, which makes the maps quite readable. Although much cheaper than its older siblings this model is powered by a similar hardware (400Mhz processor) and provides the *same navigation experience* than the Mio C310x (Read Review) or the Mio H610.
To lower the price, Mio is using an SD card instead of the embedded memory. For practical reasons, the multimedia functions have been removed too. That’s a great idea because they have no impact on the GPS function (I don’t care about MP3 and video in a GPS unit, do you?). Also, I’m not sure that there is enough bandwidth to support playing media and streaming maps at the same time.
The Mio C220 has several advantages against the competition:
- The map animation is very fast (much faster than expensive units like the Garmin Nuvi 660 (read our review with video)
- The address entry is the fastest because it remembers the last few cities that you went to
- The UI is nice and friendly
- It’s cheap!
As with all GPS units, there are times when the device chooses a route that is not as smart/easy as you would like, but I don’t think that any GPS out there is really all that smart, including the pricey ones. Eventually, they (almost) always get you there.
- Cold GPS Fix: 2 minutes (tested)
- Hot GPS Fix: less than 30 seconds (tested)
- Screen: touch screen
- Maps: U.S maps preloaded
- Points of Interest (POI): 3.5 Million
- Voice: Turn by Turn voice (no text-to-speech = doesn’t read the street names)
If you’re looking for a no-nonsense GPS unit that does navigation very well, you should take a look at the Mio C220 – it delivers an incredible value for that price level (expect to find it at street prices of $179 – $199)