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Nokia N95 GPS Smartphone
Posté le 15 juin 2007 à 22:06:31 par gpspassion.

First Smartphone GPS with TI chipset

Nokia GPS Chipset - 3G - Smart2go - 2.5" 240x320 Screen - WiFi - Bluetooth

UPDATED 02/2008 - New performance comparisons with AGPS enabled N95 : >> LINK <<

The N95 doesn't lose its bearings even in the rain !

The Nokia N95 was the first Smartphone with a GPS to be announced by Nokia at the end of 2006, and though it was joined by the 6110 at the 3GSM, the latter is not yet available. Hard to believe it descends from the Nokia 6600 of only 3 years ago with all the latest mobile technologies Nokia crammed in : 3G/3G+, WiFi, Bluetooth, Hi-Resolution screen, 5Mp Camera and...a GPS module that we're more particularly interested in at GpsPasSion.

Previous attempts to add GPS to a Smartphone have been rather unsuccessful, particularly on the Java/Linux SXG 75 with its weak Qualcomm chipset and more recently on the upcoming HTC S730 that has apparently been shelved due to poor performance.

Having had access to an N95 test unit for a few days, I put its GPS module through its paces, both performance wise and compatibility wise, with pictures taken for good measure.

You can't beat a side-by-side comparison to get a clear view so I did a test run on the usual "GpsPasSion track" with the N95, the Mio A701 (SiRFstarIII), the HP hw6915 (Globallocate) and the M1000 Bluetooth GPS (MTK).

Here are the results :

The two devices were placed side by side to allow for a fair a comparison

Overview of the resulting tracks

Comments : Generally speaking the GPS performance of the N95 is good, even better at times than those of the Mio A701, a reference in this field. This is the case for multipath handling (bounced signals in urban canyons) for which the N95 is on par with the MTK based Holux M1000. The N95 did drop out when I drove under a building (bottom right) when the A701 and M1000 kept tracking, likely an indication of lower sensitivity. It also comes short in the "square" drive, bottom left, but still does better than the HP hw6915.

A more thorough analysis of this test run will be done in the upcoming "GPS Performance Compared - May 2007".

Time to Fix - Some have pointed out that Time to fix was slow, but when I simulated a "warm fix" (4+ hours without using the GPS module) in a spot with a clear view of the sky using a re-radiating antenna in my office, the N95 always got a fix in less than 60 seconds, a sign that it works properly. However, it has neither the large antenna of a Bluetooth GPS or of a PND, or the correlation power of a SiRFstarIII based GPS or the AGPS assistance, so you'll have to follow the "GPS Rules" : a good view of the sky and staying static if possible. If you need a GPS unit that will get a quick fix when you drive out in an urban area, then you'll be happier with a system with some form of A-GPS assistance (SiRFinstantFix on the Mio A701 for instance) - UPDATE : Nokia released a new firmware that supports A-GPS, get it here.


The N95 comes with the Smart2go software, an on-board/off-board hybrid. It is free to use for map browsing and address/POI lookups, but will need to be upgraded for route calculations and active guidance. More details in this topic of the forums.

The Symbian version of Route 66 v7 is reported to work, wile the TomTom v6 Symbian S60v3 version runs on the N95 but it does not handle the internal GPS module (yet?).

There are however some interesting GPS apps that rely on online maps, Google, Yahoo, Ask or Microsoft :
1. J2MEMAP ->
2. MGMAP -> with live tracking on Gmap-track


Next to the viamichelin X970T AIO and the Mio A701


Finally some decent "glass" on a Smartphone ?...

...not really as can be seen with an ixus 50 comparison on the left

Back and Side views

A large screen that comes in handy for Google Maps !

If you have questions or comments, you can use this thread of the forums.

UPDATED 02/2008 - New performance comparisons with AGPS enabled N95 : >> LINK <<

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