Verizon Wireless GPS Opinions

I’ve got to renew my wireless contract soon and will get a new cell phone in the process. The one thing I really want is a decent gps system. This isn’t so much for driving but for walking. I have no internal compass and am more than capable of getting lost on a grid system.

I want a gps that explains where I need to go as simply as possible. I don’t want something that will just tell me to walk north for 200 yards as there is a better chance of me discovering a process for nuclear fusion than there is for me figuring out which way is north (or south, east and west).

I’d like to stick with Verizon which leaves me with two options. The Motorola Droid w/ Google Maps or VZ Navigator. Anyone use either of these? Did you like them?

I use VZ Navigator regularly. It’s way better than any other GPS’s I’ve played with, though still not flawless. It works well enough though that several friends, having previously forsworn GPS navigation, signed up after traveling with me and mine. Again, not perfect, but certainly better than average.

I have a Droid with Google maps and it’s great. Never tried VZ Nav.

I had a friend with the VZ Navigator and it seemed to perform very well. The extensive and what is probably a continuous updating of the data-base is a nice thing to have.

Just to be the Devils Advocate, you can buy a small GPS for less than $100 that can be carried around at a substantial savings over time. I like the phone GPS but spending $10 month makes me pause and think if I’ll get my money’s worth out of it.

Just to point out that you don’t have to renew your contract, you can continue month to month, and if you have to cancel you don’t have to pay a early termination fee.

Also have you considered a small compass on your keychain.

My wife had VZ Navigator on her old phone. She liked it, but I thought it was dreadful compared to my cheapo GPS. We never tried it for walking.

I have a new Droid, and Google maps is awesome. I used it to direct people walking in San Francisco last week, and it showed both exactly where we were and the identities of all interesting buildings. I didn’t get directions from it, but they weren’t necessary. This is one of the best features of the Droid I’ve tried out so far.

BTW, I got directions from work to a Best Buy yesterday both from google maps at and my Droid. They were different, with the Droid directions being far superior. I wonder if it knew that traffic on its preferred route was good the time I wanted to travel.

Thanks everyone for your replies!

Not to mention, you can also use VZ Navigator on a one-off basis. I’ve used it twice, for 2.99 a day.

The first time I used it was driving to a ski resort in West Virginia last year. It worked well enough at first, though it instructed me to exit the one bit of limited-access highway sooner than I really needed to. Then it quit working at all (couldn’t get a signal) for the last 90 minutes or so of the drive - which were in mountainous terrain with some rain, VERY heavy fog, and after dark. I don’t know if a GPS system would have worked in those circumstances.

The other time was when I was stuck in completely-stopped traffic on US 15 in Maryland (there was a nasty accident). I exited the road and took back roads, guided by the navigator tool, and got around the accident. It worked well enough.

My cautionary tale for ANY mapping tool is that you should always do at least a high-level sanity check on a real map. A friend found that out the hard way when she was driving a carload of Girl Scouts from northern Virginia to Wildwood NJ. Her GPS routed her over the Cape May Ferry, and the trip took an hour longer than it took the rest of us (we all took the interstate).

Just to clairify some phone based “GPS systems” are not really using satellite signals for tracking as stand alone GPS systems do. They are trianglating your postion based on how your cell phone is being picked up by the nearest cell towers. Make sure the phone you are looking at has a real GPS receiver built into it or when you are at the limits of cell range you will be out of luck.

I use VZ Navigator on a daily basis, and I love it. The only thing I wish it had was voice recognition so I could do hands free in the car. Is that common with newer dedicated GPS units?