The software intelligently takes over the whole screen making the most of large screen devices. Activating the option key on your phone brings up a menu with a straightward list of choices. You plot a route from the Find menu and the data fields are all intuitive to use and easy to navigate. You can search via street and city with a four digit post-code option, through a Point-of-Interest (POI) database, from saved favourites or from a list of previously searched for locations. You can also enter coordinates, which should please the anoraked hikers. The options are tabbed so you can quickly scroll between them using the phone rocker switch. One seemingly obvious feature that isn’t available is the ability to take addresses directly from the phones contacts database. Navicore claims that this is deliberately omitted due to the lack of standards across Symbian devices for storing contacts. This might be true but surely limited support for some devices would be better than none at all.
All the display options you might expect are present and correct with a choice of 2D or 3D displays and a day and night colour scheme. The software defaulted to displaying distances in kilometres but this is easily changed to miles in the settings. There are options for including routes that involve tollroads and even ferry journeys. The default voice is a male, apparently called Christopher, who delivers instructions in clipped efficient tones. I tried out the female voice, ‘Sara’, but her heavy American accent quickly irritated so back to Christopher it was. The voice guidance volume was also nice and loud though that will depend on the quality of the external speaker on your handset.
Route calculation proved speedy and generally using the software to get from A to B proved to be a pleasurable experience. Voice instructions are well timed though only at major turnings; the device was too silent for my liking on longer stretches. If you do miss a turn or choose to deviate from your route it recalculated quickly and easily without fuss. However, it does take a while to recognise that, no, actually you really don’t want along that congested road and insists on telling you to make a U-turn for far too long.
Indeed, when I wanted it to reroute me aound traffic it was really found wanting, especially compared to the more fully featured TomTom GO. On one particular day I was faced with a sea of traffic ahead of me on Europe’s largest car park, sometimes referred to as the M25. Despite there being a re-route function intended for this sort of thing it didn’t direct me off no matter how many times I selected that option. I also found that it often wouldn’t plot the shortest route, tending to stick to main roads proving that local knowledge always wins out.