LONDON, United Kingdom – Navigation is a key strength of the Nokia Lumia 800 so there’s no way I’m missing the last sat-nav software I used, loaded on my old phone.
Not only is Nokia Drive a good alternative to expensive apps and dedicated devices, but as with the versions on Symbian and MeeGo phones, I’m finding it easier to use.
For a start, the tile to activate it is much easier to hit than more fiddly icons on other phones.
And that’s important when you’re in a car. In fact, all the buttons are satisfyingly chunky so you can operate it at arm’s length in the car without having to break focus.
Particularly impressive was the automatic zoom that moves in and out to show you the level of detail you need. The idea is that you don’t have to touch it once you’ve set your destination, so there’s no interruptions to your driving.
As with Nokia Maps, Nokia Drive only shows you the relevant details for the level of zoom you are at.
At low level zoom, you only get main roads named. And at high level, you get the names of tiny lanes appearing.
It means the screen is never cluttered and the beautiful vector maps are easy to read. And that’s got to be far safer than alternatives. Stations and car parks are also clearly displayed.
They’re also really quick to download and move around since they’re vectors rather than bitmaps.
It’s very simple to operate, with no scrolling through types of destination. You just input where you want to go on the set destination as an address or zip code and the voice guides you there. It really is that simple.
A great feature is that it remembers previous destinations, so you can easily get traffic updates on your regular commute.
I’d expect to pay at least £100, for a dedicated device giving this quality of sat-nav. But Nokia Drive is free on the Nokia Lumia 800.
I recommend you try it for yourself, along with Nokia Maps. It’s also very reliable and accurate. I haven’t been taken along a river bed or through a field once.
You can choose 2D or 3D display, night mode and satellite view. There’s also a good search history, allowing you to reinstate any previous destination easily.
Nokia Drive will also come preinstalled on Nokia Lumia 710, available in almost 50 languages and more than 100 countries. As on other Nokia smartphones, maps can be downloaded to the phone, saving on data costs.
Nokia Drive is also available for other Nokia smartphones with Symbian Belle, and for Nokia N9 which also support Nokia Car Mode and MirrorLink. Read more about our location-based apps on the Nokia Maps blog.