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Thread: (Way OT) Nokia 6110 Navigator

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    Default (Way OT) Nokia 6110 Navigator

    Now this is way OT (other than the 6110 has a 2MP camera, which doesn't do all that badly) and sorry for the long post, but I thought it may be of interest for those who travel about regularly, where a mobile phone is essential and GPS assistance is most welcome. In my news and sports photography role, I have to constantly go to different addresses, which are often completely unfamiliar to me and using a paper-based street directory can become very difficult while driving.

    So a while back I purchased a Mio Digiwalker navigator (probably only available in the Asia/Pacific area) to make things easier to get from A to B. The Mio certainly made things much, much easier than the old, paper-based, street directory, but it also had its foibles. Firstly, the Windows CE operating system would, at times, be problematic and I'd get a 'White Screen of Death' at the most inopportune of moments and Iíd have to pull over to reset the device (I have a PDA that uses the same OS and it now sits in a bookshelf because I got so fed up with its constant failures).

    Secondly, the mapping system in the Mio is based on the Australian Sensis database (owned by our wonderful telecommunications company Telstra), which gets updated perhaps every one or two years (depending on what some chickenís gizzards reveal during a blue moon), with upgrades available for $150 a pop for loyal vassals. The Sensis mapping database is fairly basic and visually unappealing, but has held a monopoly in Australia. Sensis also runs an Internet search engine and is what our Internet White and Yellow pages are based on; without a word of a lie, I can often find companies easier on Google than I can in the White/Yellow pages.

    Thirdly, the Mio often took me on extended journeys, totally bypassing my destination and then coming back via a circuitous route to where it should have gone in the first place. This was not due to gaps in its information store, but merely because of some weird interpretation of route planning. It got to a stage that Iíd always pre-check unknown routes via Google Maps before I set out, just to make sure Ďroughlyí where I should be going. Now this may be something that affects all GPS systems, so Iím not going to totally bag the Mio.

    Because of these frustrations, I was getting ready to buy a different GPS navigator, as Iíve come to rely on the comparative ease and usefulness they provide (when theyíre working correctly). So I was somewhat interested when I discovered the recently introduced Nokia 6110 Navigator mobile phone, as this concept was what Iíd been waiting for, for so long, amongst other things . I rely on a mobile phone quite heavily and, as Iíve now started to travel quite extensively and to places with which Iím not familiar, a GPS system has become very important; so jumping into a hire car and being able to plot a destination and get voice guided GPS is a boon. Having a phone and voice guided GPS all in one is magic.

    Now to the 6110. I havenít had a Nokia phone for quite a number of years and the main reason is because Nokia seemed to believe that everyone was happy with tiny little screens, with tiny little lettering (read, made for 20 somethings). Now the 6110 has a much larger screen than the traditional Nokia mobile phone, but it certainly doesnít have the screen real estate that the Mio or other dedicated GPS navigators have; however, the clarity and detail is exceptional (with its 16 million colours). The operation of the phone is typical Nokia, very easy to use and not much, if any, reference needed to the manual. It even comes with a video tutorial built into the phone. The brilliant screen really adds to the functionality of the phone, though I still wish that I could adjust some features to display larger than the default.

    I wonít go into any of the phone etc bits of the 6110, as thatís not what this is about, but the features are quite extensive. I got to try out the 6110 and the Mio together for the first time a few days ago and it was an eye opener. Itís not just that the mapping software provided with the 6110 is so much more detailed (Route 66 vs Sensis), but that the 6110 also uses the mobile network to triangulate position and so speed up the navigation process and account for when satellite arenít fully available, to make it more accurate. Additionally, once satellite positioning is acquired, I can place the phone almost anywhere in the car and it still keeps track because of the dual information system; you cannot do that with a normal GPS. The only thing Iím not entirely sure of at the moment is whether the small amounts of packet data exchanged in this process are charged to me or not (more when I know).

    The mapping detail that is available with the 6110 is amazing and, while observing both screens while driving (when safe to do so), the 6110 is showing so much more information than the Mio, making the Mio look like something from the eighties (technology wise). But the interesting thing is that for me to read anything clearly off either screen, I need to use my glasses and the larger screen of the Mio provides absolutely no advantage over the much smaller screen of the 6110. The Nokia was consistently displaying every street that was within the screen view, with names, and clearly distinguishing main roads from minor ones. The Mio would just draw lines of a different colour and occasionally provide street names.

    The Nokia also has a Ďwalkingí mode for when youíre not in a car, to aid in locating a destination. It also provides similar features to the Mio and other navigators, with such things as points of interest, fuel stations, restaurants etc. There are also a lot of add-ons that you can buy if these meet your fancy. The only thing that you donít seem to get with the Nokia, and thatís the same with the Mio, is that you canít work out destinations on your PC beforehand and then transfer these to the phone. This would be a very neat and functional capability.

    In some ways the 6110 doesnít have as easy a destination setting process as the Mio, but then again, you donít have to type in the details as completely with the 6110 (a Bluetooth keyboard could be handy), as it has very good predictive search capabilities. Once I get used to the methodology, I think the speed will improve (Iím a very slow SMS texter) and then maybe things wonít seem so slow afterall. Itís still early days with this system, but I have to say that Iím really impressed with what Nokia has conceived. This is just the first step in integration and convergence, and I can see that there are some amazing things ahead. Slowly, ever slowly, practicality is coming forth to support the needs of the current mainstay generation, rather than the blather of the weenies, teenies and 20 somethings.

    My apologies for reference to weenies, teenies and 20 somethings, but as a somewhat tech savvy old fart, I keep waiting for practical things to come out of modern technology convergence, not another device to play music and video with funky themes and screen savers.

    Cheers

    Ray

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    Default Re: (Way OT) Nokia 6110 Navigator

    I currently have a Nokia N93 and I have to say hands down it is by far the best screen I have ever used - it's bright and colourful with a good resolution but where it really shines is outdoor viewing, I can use it perfectly in bright sunlight which I find I simply cannot with most portable devices even when fitted with an anti-glare coating.

    At the moment I'm using a slightly older Windows mobile phone/pda for sat nav (Tomtom) and a separate bluetooth GPS receiver. This pairing works well, the Sirfstar III chipset achieves a lock quickly and the mapping is accurate although I've been considering moving the sat nav to the N93. The issue for me though is I think the touchscreen suits sat nav well although I'm sure it wouldn't take long to get used to using the keypad for it.

    John
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    Default Re: (Way OT) Nokia 6110 Navigator

    I have an Alpine GPS for the vehicle and it is pretty near flawless. At least it is after the firmware and map database update.

    My blackberry 8800 also has a GPS that is pretty effective for walking around and pretty darned accurate too.

    I had a GPS module for a Kodak DSLr that stamped where an image was taken but at that time it was pretty rudimentary.

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    Cool Re: (Way OT) Nokia 6110 Navigator

    Quote Originally Posted by laingjd View Post
    I have an Alpine GPS for the vehicle and it is pretty near flawless. At least it is after the firmware and map database update.

    My blackberry 8800 also has a GPS that is pretty effective for walking around and pretty darned accurate too.

    I had a GPS module for a Kodak DSLr that stamped where an image was taken but at that time it was pretty rudimentary.
    There is software that will integrate trackpoints from a GPS device with the EXIF information (by matching up the time events in the picture). I don't have a GPS, so I can't say how well it works in practice, but one such software is Oziphototool:
    http://www.oziphototool.com//

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