Benchmarking mobile maps

When you are passionate about gadgets and technologies, it’s only natural to compare what’s available to find the best fit. This is particularly true nowadays with smartphones. Many manufacturers, including Nokia, have recently introduced their newest mobile devices and the Internet is buzzing with numbers and specifications.

We are very proud of the hardware innovation that powers the Nokia Lumia 920, like PureView, NFC, wireless charging and PureMotion HD+, but we believe that there is even more.

It’s not only about raw numbers; it’s about what you can actually do with your smartphone. For example, it can be something you were unable to do before, like taking photos without flash in low-light conditions. Or it can be a better way to handle everyday life, like driving to work.

Location experiences

For all the needs that begin with a “where” question, we have developed a compelling suite of applications that delivers the best location-based experiences – helping you to discover the world around you and navigate your life. Not only is this possible because the location business is strategic to Nokia, but because these apps are running on the world’s most advanced location platform.

Unlike our competitors, which are financing their location assets  with advertising or licensing mapping content from third parties, we completely own, build and distribute mapping content, platform and apps.

In other words, we truly understand that maps and location-based apps must be accurate, provide the best quality and be accessible basically anywhere. That’s been standard practice at Nokia for the past six years, and we also understand that “pretty” isn’t enough. You expect excellence in your smartphone mapping experience.

Our superior apps are built on the most accurate, automotive-grade Navteq maps, meticulously developed by over 20 years of know-how. We believe that the best user experience comes indeed from precise data, robust processing of core platform functionalities like routing, geocoding and traffic, and by user friendly apps. All this cannot be built overnight.

A mapping experience is a must-have feature for many of us. In fact, a recent survey by IDG found that 77% of respondents are using smartphones for GPS navigation. No wonder that many of our readers are closely following the recent development and changes of mapping apps and the user experience on the newest smartphones.

The benchmark

Let’s take a look at the location experience on some of the newest smartphones:

“Nokia’s suite of location-aware apps and services on its new Lumia devices put it in a clear lead over its competitors in terms of the depth, breadth and integration of the mapping, navigation and transport experiences it can offer. It also leads in terms of the global coverage it provides,” said Tim Shepherd, senior analyst at Canalys.

I think the most impressive difference, beside the ability to use Nokia location-based apps offline as well as online, is the number of countries where voice guided turn-by-turn navigation is available.


The big map is Nokia’s, the bottom left is Google and Apple is on the right.

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