You can paste your location to Facebook, although you need a Nokia account as well as one for the social networking service. You can even download traffic information, although this again requires an active data connection, either 3G/GPRS or WLAN. You can browse any current incidents, and Ovi Maps will inform you of any potential delays on your journey, giving you the option to route around them. The traffic data is entirely free, like the maps, and so are the safety camera locations.
During navigation, your experience depends on the phone you are using. We were testing on a N97, which is likely to provide one of the better experiences available. The navigational map screen is fairly standard fare for a sat-nav, with a quasi-3D view of the roads in your current vicinity. An icon describing your next turning is shown in the top left, with the name of the road to look out for along the top. Along the bottom you’re shown your current speed, the distance to the destination and remaining journey time. The interface works just as well in portrait as landscape mode, although with the latter speed and journey data shift to the right-hand side of the screen.
Considering that it’s free to owners of a large selection of Nokia phones, Ovi Maps is an impressive navigational software, particularly when the extensive map coverage available is taken into account. It has features to match many standalone sat-navs, has more to offer than the current version of Google Maps Navigation, and even holds its own against the premium apps available for the various smartphone platforms. However, it’s still not quite a reason on its own to choose Nokia over the other options. This really comes down to whether you like the Symbian interface, which is an acquired taste, and not one acquired by most of us here at TrustedReviews. If you’re already a Nokia owner, Ovi Maps is an excellent reason to stick with your purchase. But if you prefer your iPhone or Android handset, you will probably want to stick with their navigational options.