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Nokia mobiles become free sat navs with Ovi Maps

Turn-by-turn GPS routes free on Nokia smartphones

Nokia Ovi Maps free turn-by-turn sat nav screenshot

Nokia plans to add free turn-by-turn GPS sat nav its mobile phones running the Symbian operating system – including access to Lonely Planet and Michelin travel guides.

The sat nav feature will use Nokia’s Ovi Maps, and the company says it will be available on ten Nokia mobile handsets that run the Symbian S60 OS. Nokia says it plans to provide free turn-by-turn sat nav to wider range of its GPS-enabled handsets later in 2010.

Nokia claims the new version of Ovi Maps has turn-by-turn voice guidance for 74 countries. It has support for 46 languages, detailed maps of more than 180 countries, and traffic information for 10 countries says the mobile phone maker.

According to the company, from March 2010 new Nokia GPS-enabled smartphones will include the new version of Ovi Maps. It will include local map data and access to Lonely Planet and Michelin travel guides. 

Check out Which? reviews of Nokia handsets that can take advantage of the latest version of Ovi Maps:

Other mobiles that are capable of running Ovi Maps include the Nokia E52, Nokia E55, Nokia 5230, Nokia 6710 Navigator, and Nokia 6730 Classic.

Nokia to compete with Android and TomTom

Nokia’s move to provide free sat nav software is seen by analysts as a response to Google’s free turn-by-turn guidance available on the latest version of its Android operating system – Android 2.0. Android 2.0 is included on the newly released Google Nexus One, but the full sat nav functionality is only currently available in the US.

The arrival of free sat navs on mobile phones potentially threatens sales of standalone sat navs, which start at around £100. Analysts reckon it will provide added competition to companies such as TomTom and ALK Technologies (developer of CoPilot Live), both of which sell iPhone sat nav apps from £27.

Which? has expert lab tests of in-car sat navs, so check out our Best Buy sat nav reviews and compare from brands such as TomTom, Garmin and the AA. 

Nokia’s navigation service and maps are provided by Navteq, which Nokia acquired in 2007, and are available to download via the Nokia Ovi application store.

Anssi Vanjoki, Nokia executive vice president, said: ‘This is a game-changing move. By adding cameras at no extra cost to our phones we quickly became the biggest camera manufacturer in the world. The aim of the new Ovi Maps is to enable us to do the same for navigation.’

More information can be found at Nokia.com/maps

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