View Full Version : Using N95 as in-car sat nav replacement?

08-04-2007, 08:02 AM

For your N95 users, would it offer itself as a replacement for an in-car sat nav?

I am looking to buy a TomTom 910 but was wondering if I could save the cost by buying an N95 and just mounting it in the car.

I have read that it has issues locking on to a sat originally but once this is done, doe it survive well during in car movement (60 mph+)

I am on T-Mobile web'n'walk pro so data downloads is not an issue.

Thanks in advance for your advice.

08-04-2007, 10:31 AM
The only problem with N95 could be the accuracy and lag time to fix sattelite, because it uses the old SiRF II chip, and not the modern, SiRF III one. But to use other GPSsoftware like Tomtom or Route66, and not Smart2Go, the only way is by external GPS hardware (SiRF III), by Bluetooth, and not the internal one. And at least on this case, the N95 with the 2,6" screen is a solid GPS device, on car or anything else.

08-04-2007, 10:41 AM
But to use other GPSsoftware like Tomtom or Route66, and not Smart2Go, the only way is by external GPS hardware (SiRF III), by Bluetooth, and not the internal one..

Fingers crossed TomTom and R66 will produce patches for their software to allow use of internal GPS devices in a month or 2...

17-04-2007, 06:49 PM
Apologies if this has been answered elsewhere, but im not the most technical minded and hope someone can clarify a few things for me. I want to use the N95 as an in car sat nav,
will tom tom 6 work ok on it?

If your using it as an in car sat nav i presume its better to purchase an external gps because its quicker etc, any recomendations which one?

Once your using tom tom with an external gps is there any data transfer charges from the network provider (im with orange)

Effectively i want to use the phone for car navigation without being charged to use it. Ive played about a bit with the 'maps' but that seems to involve data transfer which costs.

Thanks in advance for any help

17-04-2007, 07:06 PM
A couple of points to make

I used my N95 to leave London and travel down the M3 on Saturday. My car has a fairly sloped windscreen, but even so I had to have the unit well forward to pick up enough satellites to maintain a fix, which made it un-readable. If I picked it up to look at the screen, it lost its fix.

And that's the second problem. Its screen is readable at sort of 0.5m max. But if you place it at the forward part of the dashboard shelf to pick up the signal, it's too small to read.

I'd say it was only useful for me when hand held.

17-04-2007, 09:20 PM
Hi all,

I've only used it as a brief test between my home town and Peterborough which is about 35 miles away.

Yeah, the locking time on average is around a minute for a warm start, about 2 for a cold and say 20 - 40 seconds on a hot. Not great compared to the latest devices, but I can forsake 2 minutes of getting out of a driveway and at least heading in the right direction for the saving of £200!!!

I've found the accuracy to be spot on - had no problems with it so far. The routing engine and maps are as good as any other dedicated or non-dedicated device out there to be honest.

The car issue doesn't seem to happen for me. I've got a seperate add-on cup holder on my car from halfords a couple of years back. Put the N95 in there, open the slider and works fine. Distance to the screen is great and the signal strength seems to be good too.

If you're a sales rep or someone who does traveling on a day-to-day basis all over the place then it's not for you - look at a dedicated device. However if you do the odd trip to some obsecure place every month or so then the N95 is just the ticket.



17-04-2007, 11:08 PM
Knowing tomtom, there'll be no rush.

18-04-2007, 07:00 AM
I've heard reported that on new modern cars there can often be some kind of shielding on the windscreen for UV or something like that and this can interfere with the satellite signal. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable on these matters can comment?

Travelled up to London from Plymouth yesterday and used TomTom with an external bluetooth GPS. Worked like a charm.

14-09-2007, 05:33 PM
I've heard reported that on new modern cars there can often be some kind of shielding on the windscreen for UV or something like that and this can interfere with the satellite signal. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable on these matters can comment?

Travelled up to London from Plymouth yesterday and used TomTom with an external bluetooth GPS. Worked like a charm.

That is correct, my Clio 182 has a heat reflective windscreen which means that I have to use a bluetooth GPS reciever under a clear square at the bottom of the windscreen. The windscren has a metallic film sandwiched in it which blocks the signal. However I believe that Ford windscreens with the tiny wires (quick clear I think it is called) lets the signal through.

I found that reading the sat nav was only practical when the phone is in a holder on the dashboard by the radio head unit as it is a bit too small any further away so using a bluetooth GPS reciever is the only way for me to do it. I do however like the way that the N95 asks if you want to use bluetooth before defaulting to the internal GPS chip.

14-09-2007, 09:22 PM
i use the tt6 and it works a treat
yes it uses an external device but it is far, far better than nokia maps and yes it makes a fantastic car device, no probs.

if you need more help

15-09-2007, 10:41 AM
I use mine in my car at least twice a week on a journey from South London to near Coventry, and then the return journey. I have to say I'm really pleased with it. I get a fix within about 20 seconds max of turning on the Satnav software. Mine's mounted in a Brodit holder which is attached to the cental air vents. The signal stays strong for the whole journey.

The only problem I have is with the software. I'm using Route 66 and find their traffic updates to be next to useless. I seem to run into traffic or roadworks at least once during each journey. It took me about an hour to get out of London last night. I remember when I used to have TomTom a couple of years back I thought the traffic was really good on that. Does anyone have any experience with Navicore's traffic service? I'm considering this as an alternative until TomTom release the next version in November.

16-09-2007, 04:42 AM
I have my N95 in a proclipsusa charging mount in my car and use TomTom with an external GPSlim240 bluetooth GPS receiver and it works great.
Even drove I-40 from Wilmington, NC to Barstow, CA and back and not once did I have any issues with TomTom. Since I was using an external bluetooth receiver with a SIRFstar III chipset there wasn't any need to use A-GPS. The built-in GPS needs A-GPS because Nokia went with a craptacular GPS chipset.
I've even used it with the version of Route66 that uses the built-in GPS and it worked fine even though Route66 sucks compared to TomTom.
I've used dedicated GPS navigators before (Medion/Navigon, Garmin, TomTom) but I find the "all-in-one" capabilities of the N95 combined with TomTom make it a perfect navigator.
Now, if only TomTom would hurry the phuck up and deliver on a version that uses the built-in GPS units on the newer Nokia models (N95 & E90) so I can put my GPSlim in storage.

17-09-2007, 02:53 PM
Firstly, I've never owned a conventional SatNav, have always used a PDA with GPS CFCard, BT GPS or Internal GPS.

Currently using Navigon's 'Mobile Navigator (v.6.3.5) in my N95, quite pleased so far.
Useful quick commands from number keypad.
Quick recalc if different route chosen.

Doesn't give me the current road/street that I'm travelling on.
Can't rename 'favourites'.

Don't believe TomTom is available yet which uses N95 built-in GPS. (website will have more details soon...)

17-09-2007, 03:14 PM
I use a Holux slim 236 GPS receiver with TT6 mounted with Brodit Pro Clip on centre RH Vent. The N95 is fully adjustable so no glare problems.

Works a treat although I maily use it for Speed camera warnings from pocket world GPS.

17-09-2007, 03:17 PM
Blimey palmtopman, thats some list of clients you have there.

JOHN DANILOVICH - Ambassador, U.S. Embassy, San Jose, Costa Rica

JOHN SUCHET - Former ITV Newsreader

Impressive really.

17-09-2007, 11:13 PM

I have been using TOMTOM on my N95 for some time now and its absolutely fantastic.

I bought a, i-Blue PS-757 GPS receiver from ebay. Its very accurate and very fast for cold start. I bought this as i wanted a unit the could recharge via solar.

Get yourself some double sided velcro tape from the hardware store and this will allow you to sit your GPS receiver on the dash with complete safety.

TomTom on N95 (symbian s60 v3) is wonderful. Very accurate directions and TTF calculation. Best of all it does not complain when you miss a turn, it just recalculates...


18-09-2007, 07:51 AM
I've used it from great yarmouth to wolverhampton because we got lost on the way. It was very helpful and managed to get us back onto the right road. Only bad thing i can say is that the phone needs to be in the right position to get a good signal else you can lose signal every 5-10 minutes. I'm using route 66 myself

Sulphur Man
18-09-2007, 08:48 AM
I've been using mine with Navigon in a 1994 Mercedes E280 Estate without any problems. Sure, it takes a minute or two to signal lock, but once there, there's been no problems. Navgion is very clear and the instructions are well-timed. It's also good value - 99Euros buys the software and the whole of Western Europe. It also talks through my Nokia CK-7W handsfree bluetooth system, if needed. All in all, very happy, and a big saving over dedicated sat nav device.

ps. is selling 6Gb microSD cards for £36.95 at the moment.....

18-09-2007, 02:57 PM
When I first got the N95 I concluded the the internal GPS was merely a gimmick and that I would never use it over my bluetooth one. It took a lifetime to lock in perfect conditions and its operation was very poor.

At the time I used Navicore with my BT GPS which is fantastic. Comparing Maps to this....well theres no comparison really.

Maps was and still is clunky, slow, ineffective.

Now Navicore and R66 work with the internal GPS and now I use the A-GPS its as good I think as any bluetooth module. Time to lock is about 10seconds even indoors and it stays locked in all conditions i've tried!!

I never thought the day would come where I sold my bluetooth GPS to use the N95's internal one and it did.

In my opinion the 3 best bits of software to utilize this are:

Route 66

Maps still has a lot to learn but has some very nice features that others dont.
When tomtom finally has an update and with more and more companies creating software for use with the internal GPS it will only get better.

I hope Yahoo Go will be updated to use the A-GPS, it works with the internal receiver but for some reason not with the Assisted GPS :mad:

18-09-2007, 03:04 PM
Shouldnt have anything to do with the software being used. AGPS is independant of the program being used.

Im still waiting to replace navigon with tomtom.

19-09-2007, 07:55 AM
Shouldnt have anything to do with the software being used. AGPS is independant of the program being used.

Im still waiting to replace navigon with tomtom.

Well I switch on integrated GPS and it does work but just A-GPS and it doesnt!
I would say it is SW dependant otherwise the fix for things like Navicore wouldnt have A-GPS as a GPS source! Instead it would just have integrated GPS and would choose whatever is enabled by the phone!!

19-09-2007, 12:25 PM
Mine work perfectly with R66 and internal gps. Lock in under a minute, quick route calculation.. usually have 4-9 satellites, and for journeys I know well, i still use it to monitor my speed, theres an alarm function which i have activated for 73mph, could save me alot of money and points. Also hook it up to the aux in on the stereo and use music player simultaneously, for me its been a great all-in-one'r

19-09-2007, 01:54 PM
Even better, i've jus bought a universal window cradle for my N95 and I never lose signal now, how mint :D this phone is great

03-03-2008, 10:45 PM
If you think your N95 internal Gps gives you a good fix look at this - (
Thats a little trip I made on Saturday and logged with Sports tracker. Its not bad but you can see it tends to go off course a little.
I log the route with Sports tracker and the N95 internal GPS and use Tomtom Navigator 6 with External GPS to give the directions. I've never seen the Tomtom external go that far off route.

08-03-2008, 09:44 AM
Hi Guys,

I am from the team that has worked with Nokia and developed a site to track James Cracknell’s Sports Relief Challenge from Dover to Morocco.

James has been using the N82 GPS function linked up to an application called ‘Sports Tracker’. I'm sure many of you know what Sports Tracker is, however, for those of you that don't...

Sports Trackers has been sending us a signal showing exactly where he has been going on his bike through France and Spain. For the last six days, James’ supporters have been able to follow his progress via

This function can be used on Nokia N series and is particularly useful to cyclists, walkers, runners etc to allow them to track their routes and collect their stats – i.e. distance run, time taken etc. The stats can also be uploaded and compared on

Check out James’ site at to see exactly how the function works.

If anyone has any feedback or suggestions on both the site and the sport tracker application, I’d really appreciate it.


08-03-2008, 04:50 PM
I've just bought Navigon MN6.3 and it works great with the N95 8GB.

The maps are OK the directions are clear and accurate and it is much better than my dedicated Navman Sat Nav which, to be fair, is 3 years old.

The turn instructions are far better as they show dots to the next turn and when it reaches the top the instructions tell you to turn. Much better than .."in 120 yards turn left" and that's it

It's also one less distraction on the windscreen.


10-03-2008, 03:02 AM
i have been using n95 with mini sd card, i have gamin and tomtom on my unit both working fine.i bought a £3.99 phone cradle from halfords clipped to my air
vent in a merc ml i have driven from south london to sheffield and further using garmin and n95 in-built gps and i have not had any problems at all. have also used garmin with external gps bought from maplins through a friend with some
code voucher cost £19. work perfectly,also using tomtom with external on n95
works perfect no problems at all. and full camera poi
i use my n95 as a dedicated gps unit so i would recomend it. i also have a both
tomtom and garmin on another larger sd card with most maps that cover the world

10-03-2008, 10:18 AM
I like the Sports Tracker app and use it a lot when I am cycling. However, I find that my N95 8GB tends to lose the signal quite a bit, probably because I keep it in my pocket with the slider closed when riding.

I also find it can take quite some time to lock. In the car I tend to only use the gps for the latter stages of a journey in towns. Yesterday it took more than 5 mins to get a lock in the car. However, the last time I used it on the previous day was probably more than 60 miles away. More typically it takes three to four minutes standing outside, when the last time I used it was the day before in the same location. I do have the A-GPS switched on, but am considering getting a keychain GPS to help speed up lock times and make sure it still maintains a fix in my pocket.


11-03-2008, 09:39 AM
I've been using Garmin XT for a few days and am pretty impressed, not quite as easy to use as my old dedicated Garmin either in the UI or the physical buttons but nicer graphics in 3D, better reception and a bigger screen on the N95 so better for actual navigation. Of course, if my old dedicated unit had been newer with a bigger screen, 3D graphics etc. I might not be quite as impressed.

The only real annoyance is the light setting, I had it set to "while charging" which seemed like the perfect option, I thought "yes, only use the light when on external power" but the software seems to take it rather too litteraly and the light went off when the "battery full" message popped up...

11-03-2008, 02:28 PM
The N95 now has assisted GPS which uses the mobile phone masts to help fix position as well as the GPS receiver. The iPhone only has A-GPS and manages but the N95 has both.

I believe together they work fantastically well. It fixes a position much quicker than my Sony with the SIRFstar III and in my peugoet has no trouble keeping a fix (unlike my Sony which has to be put outside the car and allowed to find over 6 sats before placing back in the car due to the windscreen).

11-03-2008, 02:33 PM
The iphone only has triangulation based on cell data. You cant have AGPS without GPS. AGPS just helps GPS find out where it is.

The antennas in the newer nokias are in much better places.