Review: All isn't lost when you have the Mio H610 GPS

Driving, walking or running, the Mio DigiWalker H610 GPS is truly a handheld personal navigation and entertainment device that's committed to getting you there, wherever "there" is. Extremely portable, this small-form GPS weighs just 3.9 ounces.

And therein lies a problem. The PDA-size form factor makes for a small screen (2.7 inches) and as a consequence, it's difficult to see all the details when mounted on the windshield. So it's not the greatest in the car, but it's excellent in other situations. Follow the link for the full review.

DigiWalker, Texas Ranger
The Mio is perfect for pedestrian use. Its display is a touchscreen, with 65,000 colors and 320 x 240-pixel resolution. It may be small, but it's bright and clear, though I did have some difficulty with glare in sunlight.

The DigiWalker uses the newest 20-channel SiRFstarlll GPS receiver and is preloaded with TeleAtlas maps for North America. To use the GPS you must bring up the onscreen keyboard, which could stand for some magnification. Apparently Mio realized this and included a stylus of sorts.

Enter an address or POI (point of interest) and the Mio will calculate directions by the fastest or shortest route. You can even set preferences like avoiding toll roads or highways. Once you program a route you can activate the Fly Over feature for a bird's-eye view of the chosen route. Of course, you get turn-by-turn voice and text prompts. The functionality is intuitive, but as you get into other features its gets harder to figure out. A neat feature is the customizable shortcut key, and there's a reset hole in case it ever freezes up.

Doing What Is Custom
Viewing angles are available in 2D or 3D, and you have the option of switching between day and night modes. Activate the Tilt/Zoom function and the Mio automatically zooms and flattens the 3D view as you come to a turn. You can program in avoidance preferences such as dirt roads, ferries, etc. A neat automated feature is dynamic sound, which increases volume as your speed increases. POI (points of interest) is extensive and well organized.

Unique to the H610 is the Travel Kit option, which has a compass and a complimentary three-year subscription to the WorldMate travel application. WorldMate has built-in clocks that can display local time in four time zones, a currency converter for 233 different currencies, a clothing converter for international sizes, a measurement converter for weights and distances, and more.

On the entertainment side, the DigiWalker has a full-feature MP3 player. How fully featured? Try a graphic equalizer that has 11 presets. It can also play video and display pictures. Additionally, they've loaded games onto the Mio: Fireball, Gem, Plumbin, flux, etc. There's an SD slot, even though the H610 has 2 GB of internal memory But since those 2 gigs are used for maps and POI data, I suggest that it would be prudent to use the SD card for your entertainment apps.

The Voyage Home
The DigiWalker definitely has some way-cool features. I especially had fun with the Mio cruising around New York City on my bike. With the H610 I have my music and video along with the GPS. Some of the applications are really useful and creative, though finding a few of them can be difficult. The only drawback is the small screen, but it's still quite serviceable. Being a guy, I wouldn't dream of asking directions so I always liked the whole GPS thing. Generally, when I'm flying somewhere I leave my GPS at home. The Mio is definitely coming with me on my next trip.