On-board GPS systems have now become part and parcel of high-end devices. So much so that for a phone to have any chance of gaining a much sought after five star rating from our vigorous reviewing process, it must be present and correct. With phones sporting larger more vibrant screens, satellite navigation services are often found pre-embedded on a phone or what's becoming more and more common are downloadable applications. Indeed ALK has been super-busy of late by producing their latest CoPilot Live v8 complete with turn-by-turn voice guidance for not only the iPhone, but also Google Android devices and Windows Mobile phones.
Talking to my non early adopter friends, I know that even the technology shirkers out there are beginning to realise the benefits of having an onboard mapping service in their pocket. The folks at A-Z must be cursing the day they first heard the term sat nav. Find yourself dazed, confused and lost in a new city and be it Google, Nokia or BlackBerry Maps they will undoubtedly pinpoint your location, or at the very least put you on the right track. With most offering a search location, they also prove a great tool for finding the nearest restaurant, bar, cinema or even toilet.
However, as good as these mapping and sat nav services are proving I'm still yet to be convinced on one aspect. Does GPS on a mobile genuinely offer an alternative to a dedicated car sat nav kit? My main gripe lies in the size of the screen. With your run of the mill in-car sat nav kits sporting a screen of around 4.5-inches, compared to that of the 2.4-inches the Sony Ericsson C905 offers - which coincidently comes with Wayfinder Navigator - it's not rocket science. Commandeering some tricky country roads for the first time or hurtling down the motorway at 70mph the last thing you want to be doing is having to squint at your phones display.
Perhaps I should be more open minded, but while the ever impressive range of sat nav phones continues to capture our imaginations, not to mention help us home from the pub, as a genuine driving companion I'm not sure.
If you agree or disagree with me I'd love to hear about it. Do you use your phone as an in car sat nav? If so what phone gets you from A to B? If not, why not? Do you share my scepticism?