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VZ Navigator Cell Phone GPS

At a Glance
  • Verizon Wireless VZ Navigator

    PCWorld Rating

    Excellent display, easy-to-use navigation controls, and accurate traffic reports--but no extras or frills.

VZ Navigator, Verizon's branded cell phone GPS service, features accurate turn-by-turn directions, navigation, live traffic alerts with detouring options, and weather and gas-price searching by location (along the route, by specific address, or even by airport proximity). Movie and event reviews are also available.

I tried VZ Navigator, AT&T Navigator, and Sprint Navigation on BlackBerry Curve handsets. All three applications are very accurate, and guide you along your route with no hassle.

The functionality of a cell phone GPS application depends on the phone's capabilities; on an ordinary flip phone, the app might not have the same array of features that it does on a BlackBerry. Also remember that the GPS functions are largely reliant on your cell carrier's network, so you won't be able to use them if you're out of range of a cell tower.

Powered by Networks in Motion, the VZ Navigator service boasts an easy-to-navigate interface; the screens are loaded with info, whether in 2D, 3D, or bird's-eye view. For instance, in my tests the display showed the total trip distance as well as a smaller inset showing the distance to the next turn.

Unfortunately, Verizon had more trouble than the other services I tested in quickly locating gas stations, rest areas, and restaurants; in some cases I had to try several times to get results. In addition, the Verizon service posted traffic alerts only on screen (in contrast to the AT&T and Sprint services, which announced slowdowns verbally).

Like other carrier-branded cell phone GPS services, VZ Navigator costs $3 per day or $10 per month. Find more information on the VZ Navigator site.

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    Excellent display, easy-to-use navigation controls, and accurate traffic reports--but no extras or frills.

    Pros

    • Large, easy-to-see icons; great zoom feature
    • Traffic often more accurate than competitors

    Cons

    • Point-of-interest searches can be difficult
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