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Nokia N95 and Nokia smart2go Sat-Nav - Nokia N95 and Nokia smart2go Sat-Nav

By Sandra Vogel

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

7

I also found that while using the N95 on turn-by-turn navigation testing that closing the slider caused the GPS signal to become flaky. Furthermore, in a vehicle, I couldn’t rely on having the handset function to its best fully inside the body of the car as I can with standalone navigation devices these days. Nokia doesn’t say where it got its antenna from, but I doubt it is a SiRFstar III.

So far I’d not spent a penny, but now it was time to start spending because I wanted to try the turn-by-turn navigation during a car journey. Here Nokia has hit on what I think is a real selling point.

When it comes to turn-by-turn navigation, you effectively hire the capability for the time frame that suits you. And you can pay direct from your handset. With a map open all you have to do is choose the Options menu then Extra Services, then Add Navigation and pick your region. In the UK and Republic of Ireland you can buy a three year license for £47.53, a one year license for £40.47, a 30-day license for £5.43 and a seven day license for £4.41.

Now I was ready to try full navigation. At the first attempt the N95 told me my destination, Abergavenny in South Wales didn’t exist. On the second try it decided this was a place after all and was ready to create a route from my current position to there. It calculated my route fairly quickly, thought it was an obvious motorway based one and so not exceptionally difficult to work out, and then I was offered the opportunity to download the voice commands. For a 70-mile trip this took about two minutes.

You can do a lot of the things you’d normally expect to do with navigation software, including switching between 2D and 3D map views, zooming in and out, and displaying points of interest. The GPS antenna was pretty accurate – tracking as I went across railway lines for example, it didn’t lag behind or jump ahead excessively. Some of the spoken instructions are a bit minimal, such as the one to stay on a road ‘for a while’ where other devices tell you the distance to the next turn, and it didn’t tell me when I’d arrived at my destination which really it should do.

Caption: there are 3G views but they are not very well realised and in general the 2D views are far superior

Caption: pretty good use is made of the screen space, and the next turn images are clear in the map views and very clear indeed in the safety screen views.

After testing on a couple of road trips I have to say I feel more confident in the N95 and smart2go than I’d expected to. There are some features that serious sat-nav users will miss. You can’t tell the software to avoid certain roads and there is no real time traffic information for example. Also, I feel the GPS antenna is poor in built-up locations and I would not suggest it is as reliable as any device with a SiRFstar III antenna.

However, it will do the classic shortest and fastest route calculations and you can easily save places as ‘landmarks’, which is excellent for temporary use when you spot a restaurant you want to revisit while walking, or, in my case, set the B&B you are staying at as a landmark so it is easy to return to later.

Moreover, the device managed trips of upwards of three-and-a-half hours off a full six bar battery charge, only dropping down to four bars, minimising the need for an in-vehicle power adaptor.

Verdict

This is not viable competition for standalone sat-nav devices, which tend to have a superior GPS antennas and a wider range of features. Also, anyone living in or visiting built-up areas may find it can be very flaky indeed. Neverthelessl, Nokia may have hit on something with its pricing policy, and as a first generation device it is pretty impressive. Would I buy it at the moment? No because other more reliable and flexible solutions exist. But it is one to keep an eye on.

Overall Score

7

Scores In Detail

  • Value 9
  • Usability 7
  • Features 6

waynerrr

September 9, 2008, 3:21 am

The Satnav On the Nokia N95 didn't work, so i sued Nokia through www.moneyclaim.gov.uk After 30 days there was no response from Nokia and the court ordered them to refund me 𧷤....This was my case "Goods "not fit for purpose".Claimant purchased a Nokia N95 mobile phone with GPS satnav. At no stage did the GPS work properly. The Claimant contacted T-mobile(sellers)who informed him that responsibility laid with NokiaUk. Nokia offered many fixes&advice on various software updates and patches &other ways to correct the defect(e.g "assisted GPS"). Many hours (hundreds) were expended over several months followingAdvice but to no avail. In Nov2007 the defendant informed the claimant that nothing further Could be done&the claiment took this as an admission that the product was "not fit for purpose". Prior to purchase the claimant researched the manufacturers specs (nokia.com). The phone was purchased from T-mobile (In-house sales line). TheClaimant made it clear to the salesperson that he only wished to purchase a phone with GPS capabilities. He was assured that the GPS would be effective.During the same call the purchase was made. The GPS proved innefective and the claimant now seeks a refund of the costs incurred with this purchase"

waynerrr

September 15, 2008, 12:01 pm

following on from above....





The problem was that I found the assisted GPS was fine if you were in the city, but once you got into the countryside, rural areas then it became a problem once again.





Assisted GPS is their work-around to poor GPS satnav eqipment.


Assisted GPS is NOT "true" satnav. Rather than getting the signal directly from the satellite (as in your cars satnav system), assisted GPS gets its positioning by using ground base stations (Nokia says that it gets it's initial positioning by using these base station and then connects to satellite, I am skeptical of that, I'd love to see their proof of this).





I'll tell you what happened to me & my Nokia N95 (maybe it was just MY phone that was faulty??),





Without assisted GPS the satnav capabilities of my phone was zero.





With Assisted GPS, the satnav at last started to work quite well.





But it was a false dawn, because although in the city all worked well, I wanted to see what happened when I was in more remote areas (country lanes & on a mountain). what i found was that the GPS satnav was useless. It would not find the satellite and location. I ran it alongside my cars satnav. Whereby the cars satnav pinpointed my position wherever i was in the countryside, the N95 failed dismally. After all that hope i was back to square 1.





There equipment must be flawed? Look at the evidence? Why would they come up with assisted GPS?

jadesmith

November 15, 2010, 10:46 am

The phone needs to improve on its call quality and performance. If you can afford the $779 price tag, let me tell you that this is one of the best phones I have ever laid my hands on. Also when you are buying this phone, make sure you ask for Nokia N94-4. The 4 in the model number relates to 3G capabilities. There are several versions on this phone and you might get the wrong one accidentally.


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