All About Symbian - Nokia (S60) and Sony Ericsson (UIQ) smartphones unwrapped

  #1  
Old 23-06-2007, 10:58 PM
cmlewan cmlewan is offline
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Review - Wayfinder vs Nokia Maps

I've downloaded Wayfinder 7 for a five day trial and I will consider whether to buy it or not. It costs about €165 for all of Europe (inc Swedish VAT) (or all of the USA). I compared it with Maps 1.0 which is free as long as you don't need voice prompts. With Maps, if you do need voice navigation, then you need to pay a monthly rate, but you don't have to do that with Wayfinder. The price for Wayfinder is a lifetime price (you can change mobile phone and use Wayfinder on the new phone instead), but you need to pay for upgrades. Eg. an upgrade from version 6 to 7 cost 49-79€. The pricing for Wayfinder is much simpler - you just use it everywhere - but it is also more expensive if you will only use the gps a little for driving.

I used both applications on the internal gps on a Nokia N95 of course.

First of all, the applications are pretty similar in graphics. Wayfinder has a little more contrast between roads and surroundings which I like. But no big difference.

Wayfinder has some basic buildings in its maps, Maps have none whatsoever. Wayfinder uses the maps by Tele Atlas and I think that Maps uses the maps by Navteq. All roads I expected were there.

Maps scrolls very smoothly in different directions and zoom. Wayfinder stops now and then when you move the cursor which is less nice, but it's not terrible.

Wayfinder is getting a lock much faster. At one time I had it down to less than 10 seconds, but then Maps was quite fast too (30-40 seconds maybe) at that time. At another time, Maps took five minutes and Wayfinder one minute until it was completely finished. They operate on the same hardware so I can only assume that Maps is way too cautious before presenting me with a position. When Wayfinder gave me a position it was accurate too. I'm actually sitting inside of my apartment a few meters from the window and Wayfinder claims to have a gps lock now and then. I've never seen that with Maps.

I find the initial menu in Wayfinder a bit confusing, but I can live with it. The options you expect are there. Wayfinder 6 had two problems that made it unusable: if you were at one position it turned all the time because it thought it detected a motion from me. And the voice instructions were way too frequent - annoying. Wayfinder 7 fixes both problems.

In Wayfinder you're stuck with the language you choose from the beginning. In Maps, you can download many separate languages that you then choose from.

Both programs can operate from downloading data traffic in the moment as well as you can download maps. Maps need a pc (a mac is not ok) and a special Nokia Map Downloader. I don't know yet how you download maps to Wayfinder, but I know that you can.

Both applications have some sort of 3D view, but they both seem quite simple to me. But maybe, they don't have to be fancier than that.

Wayfinder has traffic info and local wheather info. I don't think that Maps has those things. I didn't find anything about speed cameras in Wayfinder (and certainly not in Maps).

I haven't tried driving a car with these applications, which you probably expect that I would. I'll try that tomorrow.

Last edited by cmlewan; 24-06-2007 at 08:17 AM.

  #2  
Old 24-06-2007, 06:10 AM
Geraner Geraner is offline
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Interesting post. I have seen on the Swedish Wayfinder homepage that there are offering a free trail for 5 days.
But I don't understand why there need this GPRS connection. Can't a download the maps from the internet and put them in my N95? Do I have to download it via the 3G connection or internet connection of my phone?

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  #3  
Old 24-06-2007, 08:31 AM
cmlewan cmlewan is offline
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Yes, you always need a gprs or a 3G connection when you use Wayfinder. Even if you download the maps ahead onto the card (which you do from MyWayfinder.com via a normal computer over the Internet), they want to give you the latest information and map updates while you're driving. So you use about 30 to 60 kB per hour this way - you're then connected to Wayfinder's navigator site. (There is one minimum mode that only uses 5-10 kB / hour too.) It's not a requirement to download the maps ahead of course, but then you use 150-300 kB / hour when driving.

Some more info: Wayfinder 7 is quite recent. It's only about two months old. It officially supports Nokia N95.

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Old 24-06-2007, 08:54 AM
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It will end up costing you a fortune. Wayfinder was originally developed to bring sat nav to low memory non-smart phones, I don't see the point in it really on an N95. It's had some bad reviews too.

And what happens when you are in the sticks and really need it to guide you, but you have no network coverage? No thanks!

The Smart money would be spent on this http://www.globalpositioningsystems....scription.html

Copilot is a proper piece of kit, just as good as tomtom really. Any a fool would buy wayfinder for a N95, but worth a look and thanks for taking a look for us

Last edited by autopilot; 24-06-2007 at 08:58 AM.

  #5  
Old 24-06-2007, 09:13 AM
Geraner Geraner is offline
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I tried the GPS from Nokia included in the N95. Downloaded the maps for Sweden with NokiaMaps via the laptop and saved the map on my phones memory card. (Including Voice Swedish)
Then I bought a 7 days Voice navication for "Nordic" countries.

Before, I was switching off the network connection for GPS. Set to "Never" use Network connection. (The complete map is already on the phone)

Then I started a journey with my car. But the N95 on the dashbord so that the GPS in the N95 can get a signal. - I'm impressed. The voice navication works very nice.... nice lady voice telling me "Om 300 meter, svšng till všnster" - In 300 meter, turn left - Very nice!

I will continue testing it a bit during the week. But I think I will soon buy a one or three years subsciption for the included GPS Navication in the N95.

I like the idear of having the possibility to buy 1 week or 1 months Voice Navigation for specific countries. When I'm on vacation in Hungary this summer, I think I will buy a 30 days Voice navigation. The price is ok too I think.

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  #6  
Old 24-06-2007, 09:35 AM
autopilot autopilot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geraner View Post
I tried the GPS from Nokia included in the N95. Downloaded the maps for Sweden with NokiaMaps via the laptop and saved the map on my phones memory card. (Including Voice Swedish)
Then I bought a 7 days Voice navication for "Nordic" countries.

Before, I was switching off the network connection for GPS. Set to "Never" use Network connection. (The complete map is already on the phone)

Then I started a journey with my car. But the N95 on the dashbord so that the GPS in the N95 can get a signal. - I'm impressed. The voice navication works very nice.... nice lady voice telling me "Om 300 meter, svšng till všnster" - In 300 meter, turn left - Very nice!

I will continue testing it a bit during the week. But I think I will soon buy a one or three years subsciption for the included GPS Navication in the N95.

I like the idear of having the possibility to buy 1 week or 1 months Voice Navigation for specific countries. When I'm on vacation in Hungary this summer, I think I will buy a 30 days Voice navigation. The price is ok too I think.

Regards
Geraner
Ok, but i would recommend trying a real GPS app first. It will save you a lot in fuel too, as Nokia Maps navigation is very very poor. If this is your first outing with sat nav, you should take a look. It's easy to go "wow, nice" without realising that as far as sat nav software goes it's quite poor.

Also, consider just a 1 year subscription if you do by Nokai Maps. Will you really still be using your N95 for 3 years?

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Old 24-06-2007, 09:54 AM
Geraner Geraner is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by autopilot View Post
Ok, but i would recommend trying a real GPS app first. It will save you a lot in fuel too, as Nokia Maps navigation is very very poor. If this is your first outing with sat nav, you should take a look. It's easy to go "wow, nice" without realising that as far as sat nav software goes it's quite poor.

Also, consider just a 1 year subscription if you do by Nokai Maps. Will you really still be using your N95 for 3 years?
I was using the Voice Navigation yesterday 3 times and the Navi always used the same route as I also would have taken without GPS. So far I can't say that the Route which is calculated isn't the best. Haven't tried to change the setting to "shortest way" instead of "fasted way" under preferences. But this I think I will try this too during the next days.

Well I agree with you. Maybe a 3 years subscription is mutch. I don't know whether I will still use my N95 in 3 years or not. But I thought about it because of the price.
One year subscription costs about 59 Euro? and 3 years = 69 Euro or something like that. So and I will use my N95 at least for 2 years. I paid about 700 Euro for it and when I spend so much money on a mobile, I will not buy a new one after one year.

Maybe I will also buy the Nokia Wireless GPS Module LD-3W to get a more acurate GPS location. It uses GPS Receiver Sirf Star III, while the build in GPS Receive in the N95 only has Sirf Star II.

/Geraner
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Last edited by Geraner; 24-06-2007 at 10:06 AM. Reason: Added GPS Module information
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Old 24-06-2007, 11:39 AM
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Everyone seems to think the N95 has Sirf Star II, i did to until recently because it's so much like Sirf Star LP in operation and acquisition times etc... But it's actually Nokia's own home grown GPS chip. Which makes me think they should stick to phones and let the GPS experts make the GPS chips!

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Old 24-06-2007, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by autopilot View Post
Everyone seems to think the N95 has Sirf Star II, i did to until recently because it's so much like Sirf Star LP in operation and acquisition times etc... But it's actually Nokia's own home grown GPS chip. Which makes me think they should stick to phones and let the GPS experts make the GPS chips!
Agree. But the chip, is a Texas Instruments one, inferior to SirF III.

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Old 24-06-2007, 03:59 PM
dez_borders dez_borders is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by autopilot View Post
Everyone seems to think the N95 has Sirf Star II, i did to until recently because it's so much like Sirf Star LP in operation and acquisition times etc... But it's actually Nokia's own home grown GPS chip. Which makes me think they should stick to phones and let the GPS experts make the GPS chips!
I have been using Route66 for a few weeks with the N95 internal GPS receiver, and I find the chipset reception and lock times every bit as good as with my previous external TomTom MK II Bluetooth receiver - even on a rainly day with heavy cloud cover.

I think the biggest problem with GPS on the N95 is the rubbish MAPS application.
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  #11  
Old 24-06-2007, 10:44 PM
cmlewan cmlewan is offline
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I've used Wayfinder in a car today and now I'm less impressed. First of all, it's fast at warm starts, but it's not faster than Maps on cold starts, I'd say. You can't make a cold start in a moving bus for example. You have to get the lock before traveling in that case. I've gotten a lock in a moving car though, in about two minutes. All times are with keyboard out of course.

Then, when you travel, Wayfinder zooms out when you go fast and zooms in when you go slowly and you can't lock the zoom level. It's the same problem as in Wayfinder 6 actually.

Nokia Maps often assumes that you are on a road even when the GPS data tells it that you are a few tens of meters away. You see this graphically. This can be good sometimes and bad sometimes. Wayfinder doesn't do that as much. I prefer the Maps solution. It looks nicer and is usually correct. It's when you use the voice navigation in Wayfinder that this is really becoming a problem because Wayfinder thinks that you are escaping its navigation route and informs you over and over and over again. Even if you set Voice prompts to "less", this is a problem.

When Wayfinder is connected to its own server and you have a gprs/3G connections things are fine. But if you're not, the maps are incomplete in a horrible way (and I even used the map for that particular area when 'practising' yesterday). I had several times problems that it couldn't even find the Wayfinder server (even if I had a 3G connection IIRC), which is terrible. That server must always work for all their customers. Wayfinder also prompted me a few times to choose a connection method while driving. I had already done that in the beginning and I had no desire to do that again i. e. change from 3G to something else.

The driving instructions were also really weird. I couldn't even guess what strange plans it had for my driving after it had to reroute. That was bad.

If you choose 2D view, it doesn't lock at that, it goes back to 3D view. If you choose a close zoom, it doesn't lock at that, it goes back to whatever zoom plans it has for you. It also puts the marker for my position at the very botton of the screen as you'd expect for a 3D view, but which is bad for a 2D view where you expect the marker to be in the center of the screen. The 3D view looks really nice though.

If you choose not to let the maps follow the position when you move, there is no fast way, that I can find, to center around the actual position. You have to access that function through a menu in two steps.

I'm dissapointed. Also, I know that when Wayfinder 6 was out, there was no 6.01 or 6.1 ever. You had to wait for the 7-version one year later. So what you get in the Wayfinder 7 is perhaps what you have to get used to until Wayfinder 8 is out next year or so.

Wayfinder has a nice to feel to it and you get fast warm starts. It looks nice and I really like having a few (2D of course) buildings in its maps. But there are quite a few less well thought out quirks especially when navigating. You could live with one or two of those problems, but hardly all of them. But this is a very personal judgement. Perhaps somebody else would love the application.

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Old 24-06-2007, 11:08 PM
cmlewan cmlewan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by autopilot View Post
It will end up costing you a fortune. Wayfinder was originally developed to bring sat nav to low memory non-smart phones, I don't see the point in it really on an N95. It's had some bad reviews too.
Well, 45 KB / hour is only a dollar an hour even in high cost countries like Spain. It's even cheaper in France and Germany for example. And I personally have flatrate in Sweden and Denmark.

I looked at Copilot but it's not easily downloadable like Wayfinder, it seems. You have to order a cd/dvd package by mail the traditional way. Also, at a first lazy glance, I can't find a company that sells it in Sweden. (I'm sure it exists.) I'm not even sure it works for installing via a Apple Mac.

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Old 25-06-2007, 09:39 AM
autopilot autopilot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmlewan View Post
I've used Wayfinder in a car today and now I'm less impressed. First of all, it's fast at warm starts, but it's not faster than Maps on cold starts,
Remember, the software does not cold start, warm start or hot start - the hardware does. It has no control over what the GPS receiver does or how it works. The GPS unit in the N95 just passes the info to the software. If some software seems to start faster, it has nothing to do with the GPS chip really. Either the software proceeds with partially incomplete/inaccurate data or something else is going on.

Some software has been programmed to cope in inaccuracies better than others, but are you making sure the you have the slider open?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cmlewan View Post
Well, 45 KB / hour is only a dollar an hour even in high cost countries like Spain. It's even cheaper in France and Germany for example. And I personally have flatrate in Sweden and Denmark.
Yeah, but it soon adds up if you use it most days. Worth a checking you data plan first.

Last edited by autopilot; 25-06-2007 at 09:41 AM.

  #14  
Old 25-06-2007, 05:05 PM
Geraner Geraner is offline
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Today I bought a Nokia Wireless GPS Module LD-3W. Will test it during the days and come back with a small review.

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