Voice instructions are very clear, timely and Route 66 also offers dynamic volume, with output that changes depending on your speed. On the N95’s loud stereo speakers, I had no trouble hearing it and in testing never missed a turn because an instruction was delivered too late. Route choices are solid, recalculation performed seamlessly when you stray off route, and there are no major features missing from Route 66 either. There’s an easy-to-use roadblock avoidance tool; profiles for pedestrian, car and lorry use; toll road and motorway avoidance; and automatic zooming. You can even set audio and visual alarms for POIs such as petrol stations and custom ‘Landmarks’ as you approach them.
So far, so good. But there are some critical areas where Route 66 doesn’t compare as favourably with CoPilot Live 7. The main problem is that the on-screen maps simply aren’t as good, with complicated road layouts occasionally becoming confusing. The notorious Charlie Brown’s roundabout in north east London is a fine example. It consists of a roundabout overflown by nine lanes of other roads (the A406, a couple of slips and the exit to the M11 motorway), but with Route 66 Mobile 8 it becomes a morass of what seems like interconnecting roads. CoPilot’s display is much clearer and easier to read than this.
And in many respects this is a much sparer piece of software too. Route 66 doesn’t come with traffic information over GPRS as CoPilot does, and neither does it have a speed camera database – though both of those features can be added over the air for an additional subscription of €30 (£24) and €10 (£8) respectively.
If you’re after the ultimate in mobile phone navigation, then you should clearly still choose CoPilot Live 7. Its interface is slightly slicker, it has traffic information over GPRS as standard, and the map display is much, much clearer.
But there are reasons to prefer Route 66 Mobile 8. It is fantastically responsive, and has that free text search. And its bargain price of just €60 (£47) in its base UK maps state (cheaper than both CoPilot Live 7 and TomTom Navigator 6) turns it into a highly credible alternative.
Score in detail