ALK CoPilot Live 7 North America Bluetooth Edition Review

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$299

Pros: Receives GPRS traffic data without a subscription; Fast rerouting; Compatible with wide range of Windows Mobile phones

Cons: Multibutton controls are challenging; Car holder isn't as good as a standard suction cup mount

Verdict: ALK CoPilot Live 7 North America Bluetooth Edition

If you'd like GPS navigation on your smart phone and you're not interested in subscription services like TeleNav or VZ Navigator, consider CoPilot Live 7, which works with devices running Windows Mobile 2003, 5, or 6. It's not as easy to use as a dedicated device, but it's one of the most cost-effective ways of getting GPS.

What's Included

We tested CoPilot Live 7 with a Samsung BlackJack II. It's convenient to have GPS on your phone, but you'll still need to carry the small GPS receiver. ALK also sells an SD Card that works with GPS-enabled devices ($199). That's the same card we tested, but without the receiver.
The package includes the program on a 2GB microSD card (as well as miniSD and SD adapters), a Bluetooth-enabled GPS receiver, and a holder that fits onto car vents. The car vent holder is a poor substitute for a window mount, so plan to spend an extra $15 to $25 for a third-party suction-cup cradle.

CoPilot Live 7 Setup & Interface

Loading the program is simple and traffic is free (not counting your cell phone's data plan), which makes this the cheapest way we know to get live traffic data. The software includes North American maps, and more than 6 million points of interest.
The program's multibutton controls are challenging, and finding your way around the menus can take a while. It's not that menus are organized poorly, but navigating with a touchscreen GPS device is much easier than with a cell phone's keypad.

Navigating Traffic

CoPilot uses GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) traffic data, which is comparable to the TMC data that other devices receive. After you've loaded a destination you can select traffic options to view incidents along your route. You can set CoPilot Live 7 to avoid trouble spots automatically on a route. If a new obstacle occurs on a route you're already driving, the software will offer a detour. You can also view a text list of all the incidents in any major metropolitan area.
Traffic directions were easy to follow, although the program doesn't pronounce street names. Rerouting for missed turns was especially quick: By the time we had finished making a wrong turn, CoPilot Live 7 had already provided an updated route. That's fast.

CoPilot Live 7 Verdict

We prefer dedicated GPS devices, but CoPilot Live 7 puts navigation and traffic as close as your favorite smart phone for less.
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Laptop Mag & Tom's Hardware
Wi-Fi No
Bluetooth Yes
Touch Screen No
USB No
Serial No
Size 2.6 x 1.8 x 0.7 inches
Weight 2.1 ounces
Company Website www.copilotgps.com/