capsule review

Mio Technology DigiWalker C720

At a Glance
  • Mio Technology C720t Car GPS Navigation System

    PCWorld Rating

    Multiple-mode GPS device has a 2-megapixel digital camera.

The DigiWalker C720 doubles as a 2-megapixel digital camera and has handy features like free (in limited areas) traffic information, voices in 16 different languages and three different English ac­ cents, and customizable speed alerts. You also get modes for pedestrian, bicycle (a bicycle mount costs extra), taxi, bus, and emergency vehicle travel (which assumes that the user can disregard traffic signals and other rules of the road).

The downside of the C720 is its battery life of 2 hours, 45 minutes--shorter than all but one device (the LG Electronics LN790) tested for "GPS Devices: Road Tested and Reviewed." This result may be due in part to the power consumed by the 4.3-inch touch screen, which gives you a clear view of the map in 3D or 2D, as well as easy access to volume and other controls, and plenty of information about your route (including estimated arrival time, speed, and the distance to your destination). It's also easy to see the distance to and the direction of your next turn.

Images shot with the built-in 2-megapixel camera were typical of that resolution, and you can tag them with GPS coordinates. I didn't have much luck using the camera as a card "scanner": It photographed my cards but didn't recognize text. Mio says that the C720 comes with optical character recognition software that captures address information and creates a contact record. You can play photos, video, and audio files stored on an SD or MMC card, but you can't simultaneously use the media player and view maps, which every other media-equipped GPS that I looked at for this roundup lets you do. You can sync the C720 with your Bluetooth headphones to listen to audio files and directions through them, and you can sync your Bluetooth phone for hands-free calling over the C720's speaker.

Its big, bright screen, built-in camera, alternate travel modes, and safety features make the C720 is a solid GPS. The device's only significant drawback is its relatively short battery life.

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    Multiple-mode GPS device has a 2-megapixel digital camera.

    Pros

    • Big, bright screen
    • Pedestrian, bicycle, and transit modes

    Cons

    • Short battery life
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