Nokia blows away Google Maps Navigation and PNDs with FREE Ovi Maps

NYusa(08)In the past I have used Ovi Maps (then called Nokia Maps) on Nokia smartphone without a SIM card as my navigation solution in foreign countries. Today, Nokia took a huge step forward in making Personal Navigation Devices (PNDs) even more unnecessary with their free Ovi Maps walk and drive navigation offering. These advanced/premium navigation services used to have subscription fees (that were actually quite reasonable) and lately we have been seeing Nokia launch devices with free lifetime navigation (like the Nokia 5800 Navigation). Starting today, selected S60 device owners can download and install a new version of Ovi Maps that gives you all essential car and pedestrian navigation features, such as turn-by-turn voice guidance for 74 countries in 46 languages, and traffic information for over 10 countries, as well as detailed maps for over 180 countries for FREE. There are NO longer any costs associated with using Ovi Maps (includes traffic, city guides, etc.) on supported devices and there is no degradation of quality or loss of features.

As clearly stated by Anssi Vanjoki, Executive Vice President, Nokia:

We want to make using your mobile for navigation as familiar as using it to send a text or take a picture. We believe that making the best maps with voice guided navigation available for free will be the catalyst to do this. Why have a mobile phone and a separate car navigation system that works in only one country or region? Put the two together, make it free, make it global and you have something that is truly useful and can help you get round almost any city in the world whether you’re on foot or driving.

The big news before this announcement was the Google Maps Navigation beta that is on the latest Google Nexus One and available for Android 1.6 devices. I have used this free service and it is quite good, but it does require a data connection since maps and voice navigation is streamed to your phone and there is no offline capability.

IMHO, this new offering of Ovi Maps from Nokia takes what Google offers to the next level with global coverage (over 180 countries), offline navigation support, and unique hybrid technology. One of my favorite features, rolling out on other platforms as well, is the ability to create destinations in your web browser and have them synced through your Ovi account across all of your Nokia smartphones. Offline navigation is HUGE and something I have used in foreign countries in the past. You can download maps to your Nokia smartphone before your trip and use Ovi Maps without a SIM or data connection.

Supported devices

This new version of Ovi Maps is immediately available for download for these 10 Nokia handsets, with more Nokia smartphones expected to be added in the coming weeks:

  • Nokia N97 mini
  • Nokia 5800 XpressMusic
  • Nokia 5800 Navigation Edition
  • Nokia E52
  • Nokia E55
  • Nokia E72
  • Nokia 5230
  • Nokia 6710 Navigator
  • Nokia 6730 classic
  • Nokia X6

As you can see some 5th Edition devices and S60 3rd Edition, Feature Pack 2 devices are supported. I no longer have an E71x, but that is a Feature Pack 2 device and would be interested in hearing if any of you are able to get the E72 version loaded on your E71x.

I spoke with Christof Hellmis, Vice President – Location Services, and he clarified that support will not be provided for earlier S60 3rd Edition devices. Don’t forget though, that existing Ovi Maps services on these devices will still work and any subscription you have should still work. I have to say though that I am SHOCKED the Nokia N97 is not in this list of supported devices and think this is a bit of a slap in the face to all of these people who bought the N97, especially since Nokia promised updates for the device that have yet to be delivered (such as Skype support). If the 5800 XM is supported, how in the world can the N97 not be at launch? I do understand that the N97 will eventually be supported, but still can’t understand their thinking here.

Maemo 5 and the N900 are not supported yet, but I understand Nokia is working to bring an updated version to the Maemo platform in the future. The N900 would be a perfect PND with its large display.

For the latest device list, please go to In the meantime, current owners of Nokia smartphones that are compatible with the new Ovi Maps can download it free of charge from Beginning in March 2010, new Nokia GPS-enabled smartphones will include the new version of Ovi Maps, pre-loaded with local country map data, with high-end walk and drive navigation and access to Lonely Planet and Michelin travel guides at no extra cost.

FREE does not mean cheap

Let me be clear that there are no new features or functions added to this latest version of Ovi Maps. This update is only to flip the switch for free advanced features. There will be NO priced aspects of Ovi Maps on your compatible device after this upgrade and there is NO degradation of the services provided to you for free. I personally find the pedestrian/walking support in Ovi Maps to be an outstanding functionality and looked to the premium version before for this capability. Many people walk around unfamiliar cities while traveling and now you just need a Nokia smartphone to free yourself from worry.

There are offline, priced solutions for the iPhone, Windows Mobile, and Android operating systems that range from $20 to $100, but also remember that this is a one-time cost for current maps and there are fees for additional connected services and map upgrades. ALL of this is FREE with Ovi Maps and thus you can immediately see significant added value to a Nokia smartphone over these other devices.

Future with Ovi Maps and GPS

Nokia also understands the future of social networking and social location features and has an Ovi Maps API that others can use to make their apps work with Ovi Maps. You can use Ovi Maps to share your location to Facebook now and there will be more social networking functions added in the future.

Nokia set the bar with camera phones on the phone and now is working to make GPS navigation as common and necessary across their smartphone offerings.

UPDATE: We have now heard that N97 support is coming very soon, but requires a firmware update first. I STILL think that Nokia should have had the firmware and Ovi Maps update ready to support their “supposed flagship” product out of the gate. They should have held up the announcement until the N97 support was added if they had to. You don’t want to piss people off with an announcement like this and those paying big bucks for the N97 should be rewarded.


45 Comments to Nokia blows away Google Maps Navigation and PNDs with FREE Ovi Maps

January 21, 2010

No N97…..epic fail!

January 21, 2010

No maps for N97 original is not the biggest slap in the face of N97 owners. The Mini was the biggest slap. It clearly stated they had a half-baked prototype sold to them :)

JC in Spain
January 21, 2010

No support for E71 and other devices, as I understand one has to continue to pay for the licence, this is a bit unfair, dont you think? This will make me have to change my currnet phone (E71) which serves me 100% now for another to benifit from the free services on Nokia maps. Do they contemplate maybe changing for previous versions to become free/

Michael H
January 21, 2010

Sorry, but its another fail from Nokia. Nice idea, but they leave out the owners of their flagship handset from the initial release – and they’re the one group of people who have loud voices, wide circles of influence, and are most annoyed by the company.

So yes, good one Nokia – shaft us N97 users again.

January 21, 2010

The update will be rolled into v3.03 of the Ovi maps. The N97 will be getting it via a firmware update from the 28th (some last min bugs).

@ JC: Currently its being released for s60v5 and v3 fp2. Maybe going forward they port it to other v3 devices?

January 21, 2010

Arrgh, won’t make it available for earlier devices like the N95? Is there any chance Nokia can simply hand out license codes for older phones if they’re not going to update the software?

January 21, 2010

Works on the 5800! Awesome! Sorry N97 users… I’m sure it will come soon.

January 21, 2010

Tried installing e72 on e71x – no dice, even with certificate check off. Apparently it determines the device and halts installation despite selecting to go ahead and try installation.

Banibrata Dutta
January 21, 2010

And how about E71’s poor cousin, E63 ? Those sold like hot-cakes (I have one too) and looks like every other Smartphone wannabe owner I run into, has one of those. I believe that from Symbian OS standpoint both are same s60 v3 fp1++ (i.e. some fp2 features rev ported). Would be really good to have those features on E63 as well.

January 21, 2010

It didnt work on the e71x using the e72 version. The installation says “Application not compatible with device, continue anyway”. I choose yes and got “Unable to install. No Access”.

January 21, 2010

This is HUGE!!! I have an n96, I guess I won’t be taking advantage of this. But it’s still a huge step for Nokia, forward. Good for you Nokia :)

[…] weight around’. Matt at Nokia Experts is equally upbeat about the news. He reckons it’s a ‘huge step’ forward for […]

January 21, 2010

Arggg, I just paid for a year of service on my 5800 XM. I seriously doubt they will refund my purchase!

Matthew Miller
January 21, 2010

I asked and they never answered this question and doubt you will get a refund. However, you do now have free maps for life so the contract you made with them is still valid.

January 21, 2010

I have Nokia Maps 3.0 on my e71x. I tried to install the e72 version but it didnt work. What about if I buy a license for a week (for the voice and turn by turn), will it continue the service even after the week is over since Nokia now shut down their billing system?

January 21, 2010

I just surprized myself with an E71 for Xmas. Sofar I defied the request to pay for GPS guidance. I can’t see that Nokia would be so shortsighted that it would ignore the E71 and their only ‘recently hot’ devices. There is an awful lot of us around.

January 21, 2010

What about e71, also tried installing it and getting the unable to install, no access message. it couldn’t be that far different from the e72 surely.

Justin C.
January 22, 2010

No love for the N900 … one more reason to get a Nexus One.

  • JC
Terje Mathisen
January 23, 2010

Works very nicely on both my N95 8GB and my wife’s E75.

I.e. finding the download location for my N95 was a little bit more complicated than for one of the officially supported units, but as soon installed the Nokia Maps Updater everything worked hazzle-free.

January 23, 2010

Terje Mathisen,

Can you show me where you downloaded it for your n95? I would like to get it on my n96.

January 23, 2010

5800 expressmucic, latest firmware. Getting the Cannot Install, no access error when installing via PC. Or if installing directly using the Ovi app on the phone then just getting installion failed. Very annoying.

Mashhood Khurram
January 24, 2010

please make a version of this latest ovi maps for E90… please nokia i beg of you!

January 24, 2010

This is awesome, although I know my own area so well that the nice English woman directing me couldn’t up, so I changed the language to Arabic, so now I get cool sounding directions I don’t understand :)

This is fantastic toy for my 5800 and I’ll use it where ever I travel

[…] Nokia Ovi Maps: GPS Revolution […]

January 25, 2010

It works with e71 but you know just worthless


I cant search my place.. and signal reception is very poor.. doesnt work in house.

Main part is search function.. It just doesnt searched my location. but with google maps I can search anything in my area and its very quick too

January 27, 2010

Google maps is a still more comprehensive when it come to finding a hotel etc hence it is more usefull in this regard ,Ovi maps is usefull if you want turn by turn voice navigation.I have both a Nokia 5800 and Nokia 5230,The free voice navigation works on the 5800 but NOT on the 5230 both phones have been updated to latest firmware and map software.

January 27, 2010

I am a long term Nokia supporter and have an N97, that I got shortly after the launch. It is fully patched (firmware version 20) and it is just getting worse.

It will shortly be thrown out of the nearest window as it is so flaky.

Think I’ll get a Nexus 1!!!!!!

January 29, 2010

hey…mainly @ ray. I just read about the free ovi maps tonight…went to nokia’s site and selected suppport for other devices..the e90(my baby!) is there. I followed the steps and it worked! I noticed the billing aspect is still there…but i already used it for a quick drive and it worked free!! I did notice the premium service reminder pop up..but after I closed it twice that was it. Strange thing though..when i checked the version it says 3.1. Even so this rocs!! Loads maps and get gps signal almost instantly..also if you do a search…and pick show on map thats also instant…route your trip…instant! This is so much quicker that my gmobile xt.

February 1, 2010

nokia E90 support contiues to LAG. Come on nokia, this is supposed to be your flagship business device. I undersatnd (club nokia today) that a Fimware update is imminent but no further data was available.
As Nokia has effectively shut down Nav4all by not renewing its liscense, we E90 owners are screwed over yet again.
So we business uses folk out for the highest cost device you sell, & get support from a dogs backside!

February 11, 2010

As a E90 user I am surprised that Nokia has not brought out the latest free services for this late flagship device. It is still the only heavyweight business phone of nokias. However far more annoying has been when moving from Nokia version 2 to Ovi version 3 making a)the loss of satellite image, b)poorer maps coverage of restricted roads (eg. extensive private roads in Kuwait), and c) inability to store new locations in favorites. In addition while the version 2 satellite images were reasonably up to date and I used them for route finding and navigation where roads were not marked or incorrectly marked on maps, the online sat, images on version 3 on internet (not downloadable to phone)are of low resolution in most areas and very out of date. In case of Bahrain at least 5 years out of date, since when whole townships have been built! Nokia you are going backwards!!!!

a no nymous
February 11, 2010

another reason for me to throw away (literally) my E71 and buy an iPhone 3GS.

Jorge Arturo
February 18, 2010

I had N97 and the newest free Ovi Maps, without any problem I got it the day they announce it.

February 23, 2010

I have N97 with latest firmware (21.0) and its working fantastic.. just i have BURRP instead of Michelin as i am in India.

[…] was big news in January when Nokia rolled out Ovi Maps for FREE for selected devices. There was some angst with owners of existing devices since Ovi Maps […]

[…] via Posted in Cell Phones, Phone Apps Tags: Degradation, Foreign Countries, Global Coverage, Google, Hybrid Technology, Innovations, Loss Features, Maps, Navigation Devices, Navigation Solution, Navigation Support, Next Level, Nokia, Nokia Smartphone, Pedestrian, Personal Navigation, Platforms, Sim Card, Smartphones, Web Browser « 10 I-phone applications. . If you had 10 best iPhone applications there are to choose, what would it be? You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed. […]

April 30, 2010

I have a N86 and a 5800 on 3, none will work with navigation.

I think its time for an I phone, as nokia are seriously lacking in customer support!

July 13, 2010

i got ovi map on my nokia 5233 but after updateing i am not getting that. Solve it. If i go to any nokia care will i get that back?

August 3, 2010


November 13, 2010


At last, I have solved the e90 problem! I am giving it to my son because I have just ordered an Iphone. No more Nokia license politics for me. My son will try and get the things to work but will probably end up ditching it too. This is my last Nokia after after having had 5 of them.

unhappy Nokia user

November 27, 2010

I have a e71x from AT&T. It took me a couple of hours of trying different versions, but I finally got it working on my e71x. I also installed it on my dad’s e71x. I had to install version 2 first or it would give an error about not being able to find route. The file that I used to install it was nokiamaps3.03L10wk22b02s603.2_rom.Nocs.sis for the 6760 slide. During installation, it says that it is not compatible with the phone, but it works.

January 12, 2011


July 18, 2011

OVI map are all misleading! took me wrong place many times. i stopped using it! EPIC FAIL

mukesh sahani
December 7, 2011

thanX. Vary nice and good sofware

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December 11, 2011

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