Pros: GPS in the phone • sensitivity meets common user requirements • map fundamental details and basic navigation are free of cost • a practical application for tourism • navigation software is synchronized with the phonebook
Cons: GPS chip is located under the keypad • lower chip sensitivity • full navigation is not free • chip does not work with third party applications
Nokia N95 features an integrated GPS navigation chip, able to localize anything anywhere on the Earth. In the phone menu there are two applications that play upon navigation: the simpler one is called GPS data and provides basic navigation details. It works without using maps.
GPS data constitutes of three components – the first one is called Navigation; here, if you’re connected to a satellite, you see a compass and your moving direction, and if you have stated a target, you see the distance and the direction towards this target. You can state your target by inserting its coordinates or select a target from the list of your own coordination points. Coordination points are gathered in a separate application, but database is common for both this application and the other one working with maps.
The second component contains basic geographic data: latitudes and longitudes, alignment accuracy, altitude, altitude accuracy, and moving speed. The third component provides you with details on your current moves. At the beginning of your trip you can activate the recording function, which helps the program count the length of your route, your time, average speed, maximum speed, degree of incline, and the entire measuring time. Bear in mind, however, that this program is not suitable for distance measuring during high-mountain tours as GPS only takes into account the speed of your horizontal moves. This is most clear in direct comparison between GPS and a bike counter. While on plain terrain both devices show the same speed, when riding up or down a hill, the speed measured by GPS is lower.
The other navigation application using data from the GPS module is called Maps. It is basically the navigation program Smart2Go, which Nokia started to offer free of cost not long ago. It downloads map details from the Internet according to inserted itineraries. It provides the latest information, but you will have to pay the cost of downloaded data.
The navigation program is able to localize Nokia N95 and show its position on the map. Map scale is user-configurable; a 3D visualization is available too. You can localize points on the map by address; besides, there is a database with points of interest sorted by categories. You can easily find the nearest restaurant, monuments or accommodation… Each point of interest is accompanied by detailed information including telephone numbers.
You can ask the program to show you the shortest way to the selected point of interest from your current location. The result can be visualized as an route or straight on the map. There is also an option of crossroads preview so that you can prepare for them. If you have a travel companion, you could even achieve full-function navigation. The con is that Nokia will charge you for such. If you pay for this service, Nokia N95 will not only navigate you everywhere, but it will even do so by voice orders. Prices are as following:
Let’s now get back to the application for archiving of points of orientation. It is accessible from both the application Maps and the program GPS data. Points can be sorted by various categories. Apart from showing location they can be loaded with details like address, phone, or even webpage. The application Maps goes even further and checks the addresses stored in your phonebook.
The sensitivity of the GPS receiver has been one of the hottest topics in the mobile society lately. Nobody is certain about what will be hidden in the last version of Nokia N95, but it will most probably be the chip Sirf Star II. There is no doubt that the chip Star III, much praised for its sensitivity, would have suited a noble phone like Nokia N95 better, but the current situation is not bad at all.In order to make navigation in your car seamless and comfortable, fix the phone into the holder attached onto the front car window and make sure that its keypad is revealed as the navigation chip is located just under it.
The built-in module suffers from one fundamental drawback: 3rd-side applications do not manage to identify it because they do not have proper controllers. They usually search devices connected via Bluetooth, and, quite naturally, Nokia chip is not among them. We tried to run TomTom Navigator or the Java application Handy Geocaching, but without success. If you want to use such applications, you have to attach an external GPS module to the phone using Bluetooth.
So where’s the mistake then? Well, programs simply do not count the fact that there might be a chip integrated in Nokia N95. Even though we are sure that Nokia engineers would have easily programmed the chip to behave as if it was a GPS module connected via Bluetooth whenever an external application used, they have decided not to do so. It is a con that limits the utility of GPS in Nokia N95 significantly.
Nonetheless, there is another application that can be applied thanks to the integrated GPS module - Nokia Sports Tracker. It is very helpful for sportsmen and for runners, in particular. It is able to state a route and then export and display it on the map, in Google Earth, for example. We should also mention that Nokia offers this handy application for free.