Best GPS-enabled Nokia phone?
My query is regarding two new arrivals from Nokia, the N95 8GB and the Nokia Navigator 6110. I don't know which to choose.
Basically, I want a good, accurate GPS already pre-installed with voice direction.
Can you guide me which one of the above has a better GPS?
I don't know about the 6110 but the latest firmware for the N95 (126.96.36.199) adds assisted GPS via Nokia's own SUPL servers, and this has sped up my time to lock from many minutes to 20 seconds. It even works indoors near windows. Unlike some, I have no problems with battery life - I'm getting 3 days or so with light usage. My understanding is that A-GPS reduces the (considerable) drain that GPS would otherwise make on the battery, though it is too early for me to verify this.
6110 - it rocks
I know nothing about the N95 so I can't say anything about it - but I have had a 6110 for about 2 months and love it.
I'm in Australia and the 6110 was supplied with pre-installed maps that include 98% of all roads (so I'm told) in this very big country. I have heard that you have to download the maps from the network on the N95 - but you should check. If that's true, there may be some additional ongoing cost (depending on your network) to consider.
The accuracy of the 6110's directions is excellent. Unlike the Mio C220 I used for a while, when the 6110 tells me a turn is coming up in 200 metres, it is correct (the Mio often lagged so badly that I could be 20 metres from the turn by the time it told me I was 200 metres from it). The Mio also used to give occasionally idiotic route correction instructions if I missed a turn (e.g. do a u-turn on a freeway!) - the 6110 hasn't done this so far.
The 6110 also works beautifully in loudspeaker mode and also with my Bluetooth hands-free. I get the instructions through the handsfree's speaker and the phone has a setting that lets you choose whether you want calls to interrupt the directions or not (I guess it diverts the call if you don't want the directions to stop while you're talking, but haven't tried it). A couple of early reviews of the 6110 said that receiving calls in nav mode required some awkward button pressing but that hasn't been my experience, so maybe Nokia fixed this early on, or those reviewers didn't try too hard.
As a phone, the 6110 is up to the usual (very high) Nokia standard - it does all the things you expect. The only negative comments I have to make are:
1. It has been well publicised that the 6110 can take quite a long time (3-4 minutes) to acquire a GPS signal, especially if you're indoors and the strength is marginal. My workaround to this is pretty low-tech: I switch it on a few minutes before I need to start using it.
2. The GPS function drains the battery pretty quickly, which isn't too surprising. (I still think it's amazing that a phone can do this stuff in the first place - and I'm a technology writer and reviewer, so nothing is supposed to amaze me!). If you don't use the GPS much, battery life is as you'd expect for a phone of this type. But if you intend to use the GPS a lot & also plan using the phone to speak, you'll definitely want to get a car charger (see next point).
3. There isn't much warning when the battery is about to die - once the battery strength display reaches the lowest bar, the phone can spontaneously switch off at any time, without an altert.
4. The 6110 doesn't have wi-fi. But given that this tiny and extremely functional device does GSM (850, 900, 1800 and 1900), UMTS (3G), Bluetooth and GPS, I think that the absence of wi-fi is a pretty forgiveable compromise. I have no doubt that they'll find a way to shoehorn this feature in very soon.
I don't know how the N95 compares on any of these points, but I would enthusiastically recommend the 6110 to anyone looking for this kind of phone, as long as you can live with the shortcomings I've described.
I hope this helps - good luck with it.