Focus on Nokia 6110 Navigator: sat nav performance

As we mentioned in our earlier post, the 6110 doesn't plump for the N95's sat nav solution where the relevant maps are retrieved over-the-air from a central server, instead it uses the more renowned Route 66 Navigator set up. Software and UK street-level maps arrive already installed on a 512MB micro SD card (around 200MB is left over for storage of other multimedia gubbins) and it just a case of firing up the sat nav via the dedicate front key.

It opens up with a Space-view of the Earth and homes in on your current position. Finding a GPS fix took a whille (we timed it at 5.47 secs) from a cold start but the 6110 is now ably abetted by A-GPS (Assisted GPS) that uses an internet connection to speed up the process. Once it warmed up, subsequent satellites links were much quicker. It's important to know the GPS receiver is located in the top right hand side of the 6110 and to get a satellite fix you must be outside, keeping the handset facing skyward.

After finding your position you can then begin to plan your route. The Free Text search facility is one of the best features about the 6110 and is painless to use. Just enter a postcode, street or business name, restaurant, airport name and it will delve into its database and within seconds find the relevant addresses. If you want to be more accurate you can type in partial or complete address, navigate to a nearby POI (Point of Interest), use your address history, access My Landmarks (favourites) or navigate to your synchronised contacts (great for business trips). The 6110 will also let you plan journeys with multiple waypoints.

Calculating a route is quick and accurate and the 3D maps are rendered brilliantly on the 6110's bright and detailed 2.2-inch QVGA, 16-million colour screen. Unfortunately Route 66 has packed an awful lot of info into such a small space and it can hard to make what's on screen when you glance over while driving. However, you can de-clutter by selecting which POI's you want displayed but you'll find yourself relying entirely on the voice commands for guidance. Similarly, the absence of a touch-screen makes quick operation a little fiddly (although we recommend if you're driving to pull over before tampering with the phone).

The 6110 also packs two large rear speakers for announcing the turn-by-turn voice instructions and these arrive loud and clear over the noise of the car engine on a motorway drive. Elsewhere, the phone has a pedestrian option so you can be guided on foot while you can also MMS friends and family a map of your current position. Unfortunately, dashboard or windshield mounts aren't supplied with the 6110 so you will have to visit the Nokia online shop (shop.nokia.co.uk) and invest in a CR-48 Mobile Holder and HH-12 Easy Mount to secure the phone while driving.

We have to say it was hard to fault the 6110 sat nav performance during our test. Its route search and calculation was slick and speedy, the voice instructions carried well in noisy car environments, the Route 66 software was stable and although you could argue the display is a tad small, it's a small price to pay for a convenient convergence package.

Written by Mobile Choice
Mobile Choice

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