Navigation systems reviewed - Which way?


Nokia Drive

This is a voice-guided navigation system that comes pre-loaded on Nokia phones running the Windows phone operating system, such as the Lumia 710 and 800. Using the software is simplicity itself — select the Nokia Drive icon on the phone, select ‘Set destination’ in the options menu, type in your destination, select the option from the ones the software suggests and you’re all set. You can select a 2D or 3D map view and metric or imperial (US and UK) units of measurement, along with navigation voice packs in a variety of languages, including Hindi (you have to download these). Our test phone came with a map for Mumbai, and you can also download maps for other parts of the world, including a full India map (372 MB, WiFi download only).

The software works accurately, choosing the route it thinks is best and re-calculating in real time if you happen to disregard it intentionally or if you take a wrong turn. This version of Nokia Drive needs a fast network connection to work, so basically 3G is a must — offline navigation is only being made available in version 2 of the software. Until such time, it can be recommended — it’s free (apart from the price of the phone, of course), it’ll get you where you want to go and, probably best of all, it’s very simple to use.

Nokia Drive (free) on Nokia Lumia 710, Rs 14,700


MapMyIndia ZX250 3D Navigator

MapMyIndia’s 3D GPS navigator is what the name suggests. 3D navigation seems to be the future and MapMyIndia has decided to climb on the bandwagon early by being the first in India. It’s a fairly well-specced out unit that, apart from navigation software, also has an e-book reader, a video player, is loaded with games, doubles up as a screen for a reversing camera and plays FM radio. In effect, it’s a navigator that also happens to be a multimedia tool.

MapMyIndia has been pretty much at the forefront as far as navigation technology in the country goes. The maps are quite detailed and the firm does seem to make an effort to update its maps quite regularly. There are niggles — the touch screen isn’t the best and sometimes does take a while to boot up and detect satellites. It is, however, quite decent in re-routing you fairly quickly. With 3D navigation, it’s easier to understand the topography, although we must admit that it doesn’t provide 3D maps beyond the most important structures/buildings in a city.

If 3D navigation is what you seek, then the MapMyIndia isn't bad. However, until it improves further, we don’t see why 2D navigation shouldn’t suffice.

MapMyIndia 3D ZX250, Rs 15,990