To test with I was supplied with a Nokia 6680 running the Symbian 60 operating system. Connecting the phone to the GPS receiver via Bluetooth proved to be an entirely painless process. The Navicore icon appears as soon as you place the card in the phone and it prompts you to enable Bluetooth when you load the application, where upon it searched for nearby devices, found the GPS unit and connected first time.
The GPS unit itself has an on/off switch, though you don’t have to worry about turning it off as after ten minutes of inactivity it will shut itself down. The top light is a power indicator but only illuminates when power is low (red) or if it’s recharging (yellow). The light above indicates GPS status – blinking for fixed and steady when not fixed. Finally the top light indicates the status of the Bluetooth connection – blinking slowly when not connected and blinking rapidly when it is. The only charger supplied is an in-car charger, so you can’t power it up before you leave, which could be a problem if both your phone and the receiver need charging. The simply solution then is to make sure your phone is properly charged. The internal battery on the receiver is actually removable, which if nothing else ensures if the battery staying power begins to tail off after prolonged use it can be replaced with a fresh one. What was noticeable was the speed of locating a signal, obtaining a fix faster than a TomTom GO, every time.
Launching the application I was immediately struck by its responsiveness. I could use the rocker switch on the phone to easily move around the map with no discernable lag, while with the ‘1’ and ‘2’ keys you can quickly zoom in and out. Navicore claims that this speed is down to the software being designed from the ground up for the Symbian OS, rather than competing applications which are ported over from a Pocket PC version.
There’s a fair amount of flexibility in how you can use the software. You don’t need to have an active connection to the receiver to be able to plan a route, so you can plan your journey before you set off. In fact, you also don’t even need to have a SIM card in the phone. However, if you do you can then use some of the advanced features such as Location Messaging, which will send out your location via text message to someone if they have also have Navicore on their phone. A beacon function will send out text messages at timed intervals enabling others to keep track of your location if so desired.