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.
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.
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.
Verizon's VZ Navigator has much of the functionality of Garmin Mobile, but it sports a slicker interface.
TeleNav GPS Navigator
Pocket navigation done right.
Samsung BlackJack II
It should be called the 1.5, but the BlackJack 2 is still one of the best value-priced smart phones.