You also need a software client on your mobile to handle all this – it is built into the Nokia N95 as Maps. And you need a GPS antenna for position tracking and turn-by-turn navigation – as I said at the start of this review, that too is built into the Nokia N95.
So my first step was to visit www.smart2go.com/en/ and download a piece of software called MapLoader to my PC, install it, then download maps and copy them to a microSD card.
I wanted to test the N95 on a trip from England to Wales and had to get both country maps. You can see from the screenshot that I needed 90MB of storage for the former and 13MB for the latter. The download will take a bit of time, so don’t expect to get through this process in five minutes. In fact, depending on what maps you choose and the speed of your Internet connection, you could easily be looking at more than an hour’s online time.
While my ultimate goal was to use the N95 for sat-nav in a vehicle, the first test was to see if I could get a reliable GPS fix. The handset manual says that to run the Maps software you need to press the Nokia Menu key and then choose Maps. Er, no, Nokia, what you need to do is press the Nokia Menu key, choose Applications, then choose maps. Oh well.
The GPS antenna starts to hunt for a fix and when it gets one a map of the world zooms in to your precise location which is quite cool even if it has no bearing at all on how good the software is.
The phone’s manual is quite clear about the method for using its GPS antenna. In fact, I’ve never come across a GPS-toting device with such stringent requirements. You have to open the main slider to reveal the keyboard and then hold the N95 at an angle of about 45 degrees giving it a clear view of the sky.
I decided to meet it half way, so I opened my office window and placed the N95 on the outside sill, laid flat but with its slider opened. This is a position in which standalone GPS systems and ordinary Bluetooth GPS pucks have no trouble at all getting a quick fix. It took the N95 five minutes to get a fix and display my current location on screen, not as fast as I’d like, but not disastrously bad for a first test.