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Garmin Mobile XT - Tested
Posté le 06 mars 2009 à 00:50:29 par gpspassion.

Article written by Paul, moderator of our forums and experienced user of GPS Assisted Navigation, first on PocketPCs and handheld systems, then on AIOs and smartphones. If you have questions or comments you can use this topic of the forums.
I've been a iPhone person since it came out, but the new 3G version has a number of drawbacks that keep me from using it full time. First, reception is lousy. I'm constantly suffering from dropped calls. Second, the battery life is terrible. If I'm using the phone in any sort of intensive way I will be lucky to get through the day. Third, I just can't type on the on-screen keyboard. I find that I'm delaying answering emails until I can get to a computer. Not good.

So I decided to change phones. I wanted a real keyboard, good battery life and good reception. I ruled out Windows Mobile, as I also need a good browser, as I've taken over management of the TeleRead website (, and the browser on Windows Mobile is a joke. This left Nokia as the strongest contender, and I got an E71 and am very happy with it. Of course it uses Symbian and this makes it hard to find GPS software for it. The phone comes with Nokia Maps, but Nokia, here in the States, wants $180 for the maps and subscription and that's way too much. Looking around I found Garmin Mobile XT.

Mobile XT has a Symbian version, but it didn't work with my phone. The graphics were totally messed up. Finally, Garmin did an update to version 5.00.30 and this worked just fine with the E71. You can find a later update here.

Above you see the standard Garmin opening screen. You move about the screen using the Nokia's d-pad. If you click on the GPS symbol on the top left you get this screen. Not much information.

The GPS on the E71 is quite sensitive and gets a lock very quickly. I have been pleased with its performance. The Nokia specs do not mention which chipset is being used. Mobile XT detected my phone's GPS and required no intervention from me.

The program also includes Garmin's trip meter:

Starting out you can choose from various destination functions. However, you can't plan a "test" trip. You need to have a GPS lock in order to have a starting point. Here is the trip planning screen:

It's pretty obvious, except for the Local Search. One of the great things about Mobile XT is that it uses Google Search and your phone's connectivity. Just enter your search item and the phone will go out to Google to find it. This worked seamlessly on the E71. I didn't have to configure any settings at all. The amazing thing is that there is no charge for this, even when using the Garmin servers, from which most of the information comes. I wonder if access is free because it's being used as a "test bed" for server access on the upcoming Nuvi Phone.

Here you see the follow-on screen after you click on Google. There are a whole bunch of pre-designed categories, or you can just enter a name by itself, like this:

Here I was looking for a Japanese supermarket in Edgewater, NJ. Google found it, too.

Plotting the route was pretty fast and the software has all the usual route options. The spoken directions were clear and easy to understand, but the program does not have text to speech. Above you see a typical route map. It is very nice to get the actual exit numbers when you are on the interstates.

Here are two typical direction screens:

As you can see, you can get the details of the route:

and you can edit them by adding via points. But you can't avoid a specific road. There is an avoid function, which is found in the "Detour" screen accessed from the main page, but you can only avoid the road for several miles ahead, or avoid an upcoming turn. Not a very useful function.

The Where Am I? function can be quite useful. Hit it and you get this:

The big bang for the buck comes with the extras that Garmin throws in free of charge. You can get weather at any location you want:

Get fuel prices by grade of gasoline:

Get flight status information:

Using Panoramio Photos you can also see points of interest, with pictures, that have been posted by other Garmin users:

Mobile XT will also allow you to check real time traffic and you can set the program take traffic into consideration in planning a route. It will re-route you if traffic shows up along the way. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any traffic jams to check it out. Here are three of the traffic screens. Again, this is free.

I have been very impressed with Mobile XT and will adopt is as my main program when using the Nokia phone - especially given the high cost of the Nokia Maps alternative. The package includes programs for Windows Mobile and Palm, but I have not tested them out. On the Windows Mobile platform the advantage over OnCourseNavigator 8 is the connection to the internet through your phone, but OCN is a far more powerful and sophisticated program as far as navigation and display goes. Like OCN, Mobile XT comes locked to a micro SD card, but Garmin does not give you the option of getting it on larger cards. With OCN you can get the program on up to an 8G card. Garmin limits you to a 2G card, which is a real pain if you carry a lot of other stuff around with you - especially music or videos.

I got Mobile XT from Semson's at $79.99. As far as I can find out, other than the expensive Nokia Maps, it is the only program available for Symbian in the US.
If you have questions or comments you can use this topic.

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