I have been using Google Maps Navigation beta on my Google Nexus One and it has performed very well, especially for a free voice guided navigation client. One aspect of this solution is that you have to be connected to your wireless carrier network to use Google Maps Navigation. Nokia has a very good Ovi Maps client that works offline and online with advanced premium features such as traffic, weather, pedestrian walking mode, and voice-guided navigation. Prior to today's announcement these premium services were subscription services on most devices (some devices had lifetime licenses). Today, Nokia announced that ALL of the Ovi Maps premium services will now be FREE on Nokia smartphones. This announcement helps Nokia towards their goal of making GPS navigation as standard on smartphones as the quality cameras they have been providing on devices for years. This adds significant value to Nokia smartphones and fires another major torpedo into the sinking PND ship.
The offline navigation support is a big deal and something that I have personally experienced in the past when I traveled to Singapore and used GPS navigation on my N95 without a SIM card in the device. People will save LOTS of money by having Ovi Maps on their smartphones for pedestrian and driving navigation needs around the world. Ovi Maps provides turn-by-turn navigation in 74 countries in 46 languages, traffic information in over 10 countries, and detailed maps for over 80 countries. This is an amazing reach across the globe and should make GPS navigation in your hand a common and expected feature.
Ten Nokia smartphones are supported at launch with this new free premium service offering, including the Nokia N97 mini, Nokia 5800 XM, Nokia E72, and Nokia X6. Support for more S60 3rd Edition Feature Pack 2, 5th Edition, and Maemo devices will be rolling out in the future.