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Review: Nokia’s smart2go

May 3, 2007 in Mobile Phone Software

According to a Nokia press release, the smart2go mapping application was downloaded thirty thousand times (30000!) in the first two days. That’s pretty impressive considering no one had any idea when the thing was supposed to come out.

So is it worth it? Or is it just a piece of crappily made software made of overblown hype? Let’s find out!

Smart2go by Nokia.

Smart2go by Nokia.

When you first load up smart2go for the first time, there’s a sizable lag.

Afterwards, you’re presented with the last known (GPS) position on the super-zoomed-out view. If you don’t own a Bluetooth GPS receiver, then you’ve got one of two options – that is, if you don’t want smart2go to load some place in Europe every single time you open the program. First, smart2go supports GSM triangulation, which is a method of calculating the precise location of a cell phone. In the USA, I can tell you that Cingular/AT&T definitely does not support this feature, but your network might.

What I find to be very cool about this program is that you can scroll just about anywhere in the USA, and zoom in for a closer look – right down to the small side streets. It’s sort of like the online version of Google Maps, but in the palm of your hand. Even Google’s mobile map application doesn’t even come close. In addition to what’s stored in the default application, you can install optional state (or country) packs that add places of interest, etc.

You can easily add a favorite place to your landmarks and use it as a starting point or destination for driving directions. Which, I should say, is well done. Calculations are fairly quick, and you can even run a simulation of the course in real-time (you specify on foot or by vehicle, and it moves with a set speed). There’s also a search feature that lets you find specific addresses or POIs.

Let’s talk about the drawbacks. First, the application is damn slow. I mean, scrolling around is an effort. There’s also no way to scroll diagonally, which is a huge pain when you’re trying to follow a diagonal road and you have to keep hitting UP and LEFT, as an example. There’s a reason for it, though, besides the obvious one of having a slow mobile phone load up a gigantic map. Smart2go tries to tell you the street of whatever the cursor is on – even if you’re looking at a map of the entire United States and your cursor is somewhere in Nebraska.

Next is using the software without a GPS. As previously mentioned, every time the program loads it defaults to the last GPS position. But if you don’t have a GPS hooked up OR GSM triangulation enabled on your network, you’re stuck. You can’t manually tell “smart”2go to default somewhere. And it’s especially frustrating when you accidentally hit the “GPS Position” button (right softkey) and it goes back to Europe. Ugh!

Summary

Nokia’s smart2go is undoubtedly one of those “must-have” Symbian applications that you can get for your mobile phone. Having a map of the entire United States in the palm of your hand without requiring a GPS, Bluetooth, or any form of Internet is just far too useful to ignore. This despite the fact that smart2go is also one of the slowest programs I have ever used in my entire life.

Highly recommended.

Download links for smart2go. (scroll down a bit)

***

Tags

Neil
11/10/2007
2:19 pm

This is a cool app, but so terribly slow that I find it unusable.

I am using the program on a Nokia N75 (S60).

zyzyeast
8/15/2007
10:21 am

to Ian:
Are you sure that it will not run on S40?
The website in our country said it’s planed to transform this software to S40 platform.

james
6/29/2007
5:48 am

when will this software be avilble for a nokia 6288

Ian
6/6/2007
6:28 am

Up till now ( June 2007 ) this software only runs on S60 mobiles. It will not run on S40 eg Nokia 6288. If you know any I would love to hear

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