October 29, 2008, 10:45 AM —
Powered by TeleNav, which also produces AT&T Navigator, Sprint Navigation gives verbal, turn-by-turn directions with live traffic alerts offering detour suggestions. The search feature lets you hunt for weather reports and gas prices (by location, along route, address, or airport), as well as for restaurants, movies, and event reviews. Sprint's interface, however, is not as easy to use as AT&T's, or, for that matter, Verizon's VZ Navigator.
I tried Sprint Navigation, as well as AT&T Navigator and VZ Navigator, on BlackBerry Curve handsets. All three are very accurate, and can lead you to your destination with little fuss.
Keep in mind that the functionality of a cell phone GPS application can vary depending on the phone's capabilities; on a small, standard handset, the app might not be able to do all of the same things that it can on a BlackBerry. In addition, a great deal of the GPS functions are dependent on your cell carrier's network, so you won't be able to take advantage of them if you're out of range of a cell tower.
One nice touch: Both Sprint Navigation and AT&T Navigator allow you to call a toll-free number and speak your destination address. Unfortunately, Sprint then requires you to navigate to another screen to prompt the GPS to direct you to the location.
Sprint Navigation includes a freebie TeleNav Maps tool. It's similar to Google Maps--you can get written directions, but without GPS assistance.
Sprint Navigation gives you only a one-day free trial (AT&T offers a 30-day trial). You might be able to grab a 30-day trial through TeleNav's site, however.
After the trial period, the cost is US$3 per day or $10 per month, the same price as other carrier-branded services. As for the data streaming (for downloading maps or doing searches), if you intend to use the GPS service extensively, you'd probably be wise to consider an all-you-can-eat data plan.
"Cell phone GPS app smackdown", PC World (US), Oct. 28, 2008.
"VZ Navigator cell phone GPS", PC World (US), Oct. 28, 2008.
"AT&T Navigator cell phone GPS", PC World (US), Oct. 28, 2008.