Nokia and Google Square Off with Sat Nav Services

There is no doubt that Nokia came first with the offering of free satellite navigation services –an announcement that must have shaken down companies such as TomTom, with all their Ovi Maps capable handsets. At that time, it was one of the biggest news headlines and even today when GPS services are a lot more common to have around, Nokia’s handsets still provide some of the cheapest alternatives to getting free sat-nav easily. This offer however, was matched not soon after by Google.

Thus begun the sat nav power struggle between the two major players; Nokia had the advantage of having more Ovi capable smart phones already out on the market, Google has more map data to offer, and consumers are definitely the winner in the competition.

Of course, for those who have yet to make a decision, figuring out which service is better takes a little footwork to do.

On Google Maps, there is a vast array of data to choose from. There are driving, walking and even biking routes available (biking is still experimental). The number of landmarks is higher thanks to all the user generated content and for those who seriously need a visual guide to move around, Street View can be used in conjunction to the map service.

The Ovi Maps offers connectivity of the GPS device to social networking tools for live updates to your account on your current location (though this is actually creepy in certain instances), and better map gestures that allows users to easily use the phone even when driving.

Of course, those who are planning to go with a Nokia handset might want to wait it out for the upcoming Nokia N8 Symbian^3 smart phone. Google Android fans on the other hand would do well with the Samsung Galaxy S or the HTC Desire.

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