Considering Navicore is designed for something as portable as a mobile phone, the lack of a Pedestrian mode on the first version seemed like a glaring omission. The 2006 version corrects this, along with a cycling mode, available from the Quick-menu, accessed by pressing the button labelled with a pencil icon. What these modes do, in theory, is to route you more directly to a location without sticking to roads and will direct you down one-way streets that you can walk down, if not drive. Of course you still need to make sure you don’t forget to take the Bluetooth receiver with you otherwise you’re not going to be directed anywhere. Fortunately, a belt holder is included that so you can easily walk along holding your mobile, while getting directions. Thanks to the SirfStar III chipset, you still get a signal even if your coat is covering the receiver, which makes it practical.
The counter-balance to this is the fact that mobiles have smaller screens than dedicated in-car devices. The first time I tested the Navicore in-car I found that I missed the larger screen of my own TomTom One unit. In particular, it was hard to check if the route that the Navicore had plotted was to my liking. With a TomTom GO it’s not too hard to touch the screen and analyse the route. With the smaller button on the mobile it’s much harder.
However, the Navicore software does a very good job at making the most of the available resolution. The maps are easy to read and the visual instructions are clear. The virtual road signs that pop up to indicate the turns you need to make are good and contain lots of useful information. However, on one occasion I nearly missed the correct exit as the icon was blocking the top part of the screen with the map that was indicating the exit. If you prefer to rely on voice instruction then you’ll appreciate the fact that they’re clear and precise and available in both male and female voices. The male voice has an English accent, the female American.
The best new feature is the ability to search using full seven digit post-code support. This makes a huge difference as many addresses are hard to pinpoint without it. Enter the full post-code, locate the destination and off you go.