Mio Spirit 687 vs Mio Spirit V575 TV

We’ve already had a play with the Mio Spirit V575 TV, and we decided that it was a decent satnav, but an awful TV. We felt Mio had tried cramming too much tech into a single satnav in an attempt to ward off the advances of free mobile phone navigation apps. The Spirit 687 has the same five-inch screen, voice entry, real-time congestion information ‘IQ routes’ system and 'LearnMe' personalised routes features as the V575 TV. But additionally, at your fingertips is Bluetooth phone connection, an AV-in port, speed camera location information and advanced trip planner that can be used on your desktop or on screen. And all for the same price.

Mio Spirit 687 - bluetooth

That said, you’d be disappointed if the Spirit V687 didn’t contain all those juicy features, because it’s no lightweight. At 14cm long and 17.5cm wide, the V687 is big, and its cheap shiny plastics aren’t going to win any awards for build quality. On the front are two buttons separate to the touch screen that bring up the main menu or instantly show you your current location. These are a nice touch, making the V687 a more user-friendly unit than competitors reliant solely on touch screen menu navigation.

Setting up the unit is tiresome due to a poor quality suction windscreen mount. The angle of the screen can’t be changed without jerky movements and removing the V687 from its mount is all but impossible without fully removing mount and unit from the windscreen. Yet, once in place, it’s a joy to use as a satnav. The main menu is big and bright, the settings are easy to both navigate and understand. Connecting your mobile via Bluetooth is a doddle. It’ll download your mobile’s phonebook for quick calling, too.

Mio Spirit 687 - screen

With the ‘IQ Routes’ and ‘LearnMe’ systems in full flow, the V687 actively changes the routes as you cover the miles, avoiding traffic effectively. As we found with the V575 TV, the map colours on the V687 are bright and clear and the large screen makes pressing onscreen buttons to access further information on-the-go, no hassle at all.

When compared to competition like the Navigon 70 Premium, the Mio Spirit V687 fails to offer the Navigon’s good looks or quality feel. But as a sat nav it works well. Well enough, in fact, to consider saving some money and choosing it as the cheaper option.

Stuff says... 

Mio Spirit 687 review

A brilliant navigation experience and an enticing price make this satnav a real winner. Don’t expect it to be pretty, though