Home and hosed with a Nokia smartphone
OPINION: Who's going to drive you home tonight?
You might answer Nokia if you have one of the latest Nokia Lumia smartphones.
I've already reviewed a couple of these Windows Phones, but felt a closer look of the Nokia Drive application which comes pre-installed on the handsets was long overdue.
You could say it's free, but you can't install it on any other Windows Phone.
The first time you launch it you're asked what map you want to install. So it's best to do this in the range of a wi-fi connection otherwise you'll end up paying for the map you download.
To get the map you open Nokia Drive, touch the Navigation Options graphic in the bottom right of the screen, touch Settings, touch Manage maps, touch the + button and then choose which map you want from the list.
You need install only one map, and there is one for New Zealand, but you have the choice of 190 all together.
I recently travelled to Europe and was able to download maps for the Netherlands and Britain which I un-installed when I had finished.
You can also also choose what navigation voice suits you from the Settings screen with about 50 options to download.
But unless you want the likes of Bulgarian or Vietnamese there's only three English voices you'll want to choose from. Male English UK, Female English UK or Male English US.
I chose Female English UK.
To get directions to a destination you launch Nokia Drive and touch Set destination before typing in the address and your phone will then give you directions as you drive.
I've used this application a dozen times to get from A to B and it performs admirably. In fact it is as good as a dedicated in-car GPS system and, one could argue, better because it comes on a phone that you carry with you all the time.
The voice is loud and the directions easy to follow.
It hasn't got it wrong once.
That said, the New Zealand map is a little out of date with changes around Wairere Dr in Hamilton not factored in, but then work there is ongoing and I have no doubt that Nokia will sort this with its next map update.
There's all sorts of settings you can tweak, such as whether to view the map in 2D or 3D, whether to view it in automatic mode or day or night mode and whether to have speed limit alerts on and how much of a margin they should give you. The best thing about Nokia Drive is that it doesn't always require an internet connection so it won't chew through your phone bill while you drive if you set the connection slider to offline.
If you've got a Lumia you really don't need any other form of navigation device, but you do need a couple of other accessories.
Since the battery life on a smart phone is around a day or two, depending on usage, having Nokia Drive on for a long drive will drain your phone.
You might be able to live with that, but if you are uncertain of when and where you will next get a chance to charge your phone you have two options.
The first is not to use it until you think you are close to your destination.
The second is to buy yourself a car charger into which you can plug your phone when you're using Nokia Drive.
The other, and almost essential, piece of kit you need is a cradle.
The Nokia CR-22 will allow you to mount your phone on the windscreen just like a GPS. It's adjustable too, so when it comes to upgrade your Lumia to a smaller or larger phone it should also fit in the cradle.
And if you ended up not using Nokia Drive often, it could be handy for when you want top use your car for playing music in the car.
I was. however, surprised the cradle didn't come with a phone charger since the accessories should come hand in hand.
Nokia Drive is so good that when the next wave of Windows Phones is released I'll be keen on getting a Nokia just so that I can use Nokia Drive.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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