How useful is the sat-nav in the Nokia N95?

But just as I was starting to hate the GPS functions, I realised that it's not really meant for traditional sat-nav stuff. The Nokia N95 is really all about making sat-nav personal.

I really want to love the sat-nav in the Nokia N95. It's a great idea to integrate the GPS chip and software into the phone -- anything that means I can leave one of my devices at home is a good thing as far as I am concerned.

The problem is that my expectations were too high. I was expecting a TomTom-quality experience, but the reality is a lot different. There are no pre-installed maps for one thing. Instead, the N95 downloads local maps using the 3G or built-in Wi-Fi.

Even though these are fast data connections, it's a little irritating waiting for the map to download, and if you want to scroll left or right, the phone pauses while it downloads extra chunks of info.

It's also a bit tricky to get a signal -- it took me a good five minutes standing in the freezing cold before it worked out that I was standing near Milton Keynes, not Dusseldorf. It doesn't work indoors at all, unfortunately. Admittedly, neither do a lot of sat-navs, but somehow it feels like it should work indoors because it's a phone.

But just as I was starting to hate the GPS functions, I realised that it's not really meant for traditional sat-nav stuff. Sure, you can use it in your car if you buy all the extras, but it's really all about making sat-nav personal.

When you've just come out of the Tube and you can't find the bar you're looking for it's ideal -- and that's just enough reason in my book to buy one. I'm off to Carphone Warehouse now.

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