Sat Navs, like most other tech, is having to converge with other gadgets in order to stay ahead of the game. We tested the MiVue 658 dashcam a while ago, today we’re looking at their Drive 55 LM dashcam/satnav all-in-one.
As drivers seem to be migrating over to using their phones as satnavs, specialist devices need to try harder to attract buyers.
Personally, I tend to store my phone away once I get in the driver’s seat.
Now, dashcams, on the other hand are something that we can all see the reason for owning.
Recently, I was harrased on the motorway in the early hours by a black BMW who would slow down, overtake me, slow down again, drive alongside me and even followed me off the slip road when I tried to evade it. I wish I had captured that on video.
So, a satnav and dashcam all-in-one solution could be handy. Is the Drive 55 LM the one to buy?
Mio Drive 55 LM design
The Drive 55 LM sports a 5.5-inch touchscreen, as hinted by its name. This packs 800 x 480 resolution.
The screen is a matte finished resistive type.
There is a status LED up front to let you know if it’s on/off as well as battery status.
The bottom of the unit is home to the SD card slot.
There is also an SD card slot on the left to use this as a memory card. I imagine this could be used for software updates or maps. On the same side are also two Mini USB ports.
The 55 LM measures 139(L)x 87(W)x 21.1(H,w/o Camera) and is pretty compact and a little chunky.
The plastic feels of decent quality but the screen feels a bit old-school.
Mio Drive 55 LM performance
I was surprised that there isn’t a camera calibration step in the set-up. This might be because my review unit had already been used though. I did reset it and still wasn’t prompted.
To get features such as lane assistance and forward collision warning, you need to go in the menus and enable them.
The cradle has a good, strong sucker attached. The windscreen on my car doesn’t have a particularly severe angle to it but it took a while to find a good position for the 55 LM. This is where the adjustable camera comes in to its own. It’s a manual affair but at least you can get it pointing front and centre(ish).
This makes up for the fairly limited adjustment offered by the holder.
The user interface is clear and friendly, albeit uninspiring nor cutting edge.
Once you punch in your destination, you are offered three route options:
- Most Economical
My own satnav offers the first two but never noticed an economy option. This might well be an added bonus for some.
It found routes quickly but I found the screen a bit laggy and unresponsive. It worked, just not as fast as I am used to. On ocassions if the sun hit the screen I would not be able to read anything.
The announcements were clear for the most part. Traffic updates, didn’t seem as timely as I get using my phone or own satnav.
There were a number of times I’d end up in queued traffic only for the 55 LM to then tell me to avoid it. Annoying much?
Regarding announcements: I had all the additional things, such as lane departure warning, switched on and the 55 LM would talk over itself. In the end I just left the directions on as it was all getting rather confusing.
This is a handy addition to any satnav.
As well as recording videos and capturing events (i.e. jerks, sudden movements, braking, etc), the camera helps in other ways.
It enables the unit to give you forward collision warnings as well as lane assistance which detects if you seem to be drifting.
The dash cam captures video rather well, though the assistance features were not very accurate and often became a nuisance, as mentioned earlier.
Here we revisit the MiVue Manager.
Nothing’s really changed here since we first looked at it last year.
You get a variety of telemetry information as well as options to share your videos to Facebook or YouTube. My only niggle is that it doesn’t stich your selected 3 minute videos together. This means if you want to share highlights of your roadtrip you could be uploading a dozen short clips.
For the video above, I tried taking video straight from the SD card and using my usual video editing software. For some reason it would never render correctly. In the end I used the MiVue Manager to upload two clips to YouTube, then download them and then stitch them together.
Mio Drive 55 LM review conclusion
The 55 LM is compact and does many things. I also like the idea of a dashcam and satnav all-in-one. Especially as separate devices generally need plugging in to the car power point/cigarette lighter – which I only have one of.
Navigation is clear, but the screen could be brighter and less prone to glare. I am willing to excuse the slight input lag is the resistive screen allows me to wear my driving gloves (not really) when using it.
I found the extra features such as lane assistance more of an annoyance than helpful.
But, I have to acknowedge that you are getting a lot for your money. If you are looking for a decent sat nav with an in-built dashcam for extra piece-of-mind, the Mio Drive 55 LM might be one to check out.
Mio Drive 55 LM price and availability
You can grab a 55 LM for £230 on Amazon right now.