Verizon Droid Incredible

Why try to pick a fancy name for a phone… Just call it “Awesome”… too much. How about “Incredible”… that’s better. That’s what Verizon is calling their latest Android powered handset from HTC. Droid Incredible. Droid Incredible will be available beginning April 29 and will cost $200 after a 2 year contract and a $100 mail in rebate.

Droid Incredible will come with HTC Sense user interface, integrate with Exchange ActiveSync, carry Qualcomm’s 1GHz Snapdragon processor, and an 8MP digital camera.

Here are the detailed specs for the device:

  • Android 2.1 with HTC
  • 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor
  • 8 MP camera with dual LED flash
  • 3.7 inch WVGA (480×800) AMOLED capacitive touch display
  • Optical joystick
  • Proximity sensor, light sensor
  • Digital compass
  • Integrated GPS
  • Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g)
  • 3.5 mm headset jack

There are many ways you can get GPS navigation on this phone. The easiest of course is Google’s own Google Maps with Navigate feature.

smartphone GPS navigation review

Thank you engadget for putting together this very needed review.

They are reviewing Blackberry Storm running VZ Navigator application, Motorola Droid with Google Maps, and Nokia N97 with Ovi Maps.

Here is what we think: If your work is paying for it VZ Navigator is fine. If you need your maps where no cell signals can reach you go with Nokia (works all over the world; obvious choice for your Euro trip), all others stick with Google Maps. There.

If you’re one of those tl;dr types (too long; didn’t read) here is the summary:

Verizon launches VZ Navigator 5.0; still wants to charge for it

VZ Navigator seems to be well and kicking but for how long? Verizon does have a huge customer base but soon they’re all going to look around and realize everyone else is getting this service free. But hey, at least they have some extra features that you don’t get with Google Maps or Nokia’s Ovi Maps which are both free.

VZ Navigator 5.0’s biggest catchy feature seems to be the Facebook integration which lets you update your status via the application and optionally share your location with them - making it yet easier for your stalkers to track you down. There are some other enhanced features with this version too such as crowd sourcing of traffic information, voice recognition for search and destination, and quicker navigation start due to streaming of data.

Here is the bad part: VZ Navigator costs $10/month, or $3/day. If you’re one of those customers who pay $10/month tell us your reasons please. Maybe your company is paying for it, maybe it is the only navigation app available on your phone.. Whatever it is, we want to know.

Droid Devour

Motorola seems to have a new kind of Droid under their sleeves, possibly called the Droid Devour - which would be their second Android powered phone.

It looks like it will come to Verizon and have a slide down keyboard both of which you could tell just by looking at the picture. This nicely sized keyboard and screen is complemented with WiFi, a 1420mAh battery, 3MP camera, electronic compass, microSD card slot, and most importantly a GPS receiver so you can ditch your standalone GPS navigation system once you get a proper car mount…

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VZ Navigator sold for $170 million

Networks In Motion - the company behind Verizon’s VZ Navigator - was just recently sold to TeleCommunication System for $170 million.

Maybe it is a good time to get out of this market now that Google has made GPS navigation free for all Google Maps Mobile. As you know VZ Navigator is not free and costs $10/month.

press release

NPR does not like Google Maps Navigation

gpsOur favorite news source NPR just talked about our favorite smartphone OS Android - developed by the mighty Google. The article is actually comparing the new (and free) Google Maps Navigation application which is now available on Android 2.0 and Android 1.6 to standalone GPS navigation systems. It is not good, they call Google Maps navigation unreliable. It takes a lot of guts to call something from Google unreliable :) Previous reviews and our own review had better things to say than NPR.

To be fair the reviewer likes the voice recognition and Verizon’s 3G coverage for the Droid. However manual traffic warnings, wrong directions (no left turn on rush hour), wrong prediction on travel time, no choice for shortest/fastest option ends up with an obvious thumbs down for Google Maps Navigation application.

Google Maps Navigation reviews

Google - master of the universe - as you know came up with their own, completely free GPS navigation program, Google Maps Navigation. There are a few reviews around and we thought we could share them with you:

gadgeteer: Mostly positive review but the down sides are screen size, voice quality, and of course data access…

A nice fix would be for the navigation to load in all the maps for the route, so I don’t need to sweat the connectivity. Every network has holes, I assume Verizon has far fewer, but it is still annoying.

pocketnow has an 8 minute video review:

gizmodo loves the voice search, and text-to-speech, but not that impressed with regular text search or the street view:

It’s an extremely powerful program, but the execution isn’t the best. Not by a stretch.

HTC Ozone

Verizon just introduced a new smartphone called HTC OZONE. It offers 3G network support, Wi-Fi, and a qwerty keyboard. It comes with a 1500mAh battery which means it will hang in there with you on those long business trips. It even comes with international charging adapters.

HTC Ozone does feature a GPS receiver and lets you use the VZ Navigator which costs $10/month. However the GPS features is not locked which means you’re free to install any other GPS navigation you may choose. The actual device, HTC Ozone that is, will cost you $50 after a 2 year contract and a $70 mail in rebate.

HTC Ozone will be available beginning June 29.

Casio Exilim for Verizon does GPS

Verizon just introduced a new phone called Casio Exilim. Other than including an A-GPS receiver and allowing for the VZ Navigator, the new Casio Exilim phone has a few other pretty cool features. Take for example the 5.1MP camera with flash and auto focus, or the 180 degree rotating display: when combined turns your phone into a pretty decent digital camera, even supporting 3x optical zoom! Any other phones out there with an optical zoom?

Some other features of the new Casio Exilim includes 1X/EV–DO Rev A. network support, bluetooth, music player (up to 8GB memory card support), and video recording.

It is already available via Verizon and costs $279 with a 2-year contract after a $50 mail-in-rebate.

Verizon unlocks GPS on HTC Touch Pro

Verizon has decided the unlock the GPS feature with the release of their latest firmware 1.08. But if you’re a regular Navigadget reader you already knew how to unlock the GPS on HTC Pro. Anyways, with the freedom to use the GPS you’ll be able to make good use of Google Maps and even Windows Live Search.

The GPS in your HTC Touch Pro will work independent of network availability, so even in airplane mode you can still get a satellite fix.

Looks like you’re no longer required to use VZ Navigator…

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