With most standalone GPS devices being of the touch screen variety, it is no surprise that the BlackBerry Storm is the perfect platform for a GPS program. Historically, Verizon only offered VZ Navigator for it’s device, including the BlackBerry Storm. As you may have seen from the video I shot during CES, Telenav has entered the arena with it’s own GPS application for the Storm. We’ve decided that it would be a great idea to give you a quick comparison between VZ Nav vs Telenav on the Storm.
The first difference that you’ll notice between the mapping of the two programs is that VZ Navigator is 2D, similar to the old MapQuest maps and Telenav is 3D. Although this isn’t a deal breaker, VZ Navigator should at least provide 3D maps as an option, as Telenav permits. Additionally, moving the map on VZ Navigator with your finger requires the program to request data from the network which delays the loading of the map. Telenav requires this as well, but it feels significantly faster, refreshing the map in only moments.
I felt that using VZ Navigator everything moved more slowly. Although it’s a small detail, I found the spoken voice from Telenav much more agreeable than VZ Navigator’s default voice. Additionally, when I was doing some usability testing in my home with the Storm, the Telenav application was able to capture the GPS signal while VZ Navigator was not. I’m unsure how that’s possible, except that Telenav may require fewer satellites to work. One place where VZ Navigator stands out is the ease in which you can choose between Car/Motorcycle, Truck, Bicycle and Pedestrian for Vehicle Type. Having this easily accessible makes it handy, especially when you used the navigation to park at a location but you are a few blocks away from your destination and you need to walk. Telenav, I believe, permits this as well, but I struggled to find it.
Both Telenav and VZ Navigator have features that are quite helpful but aren’t found on both. For example, in VZ Navigator, you can text someone your current GPS location from the application. This is great if you and a friend are in a new part of town and are trying to get to that same sports bar. In the meantime, if you’re running low on gas, you’d want to check out Telenav’s Gas by Price feature which, as the name suggests, offers you a list of gas stations by proximity and price. EDIT - Thanks to Verizon Employee and The One, Gas by Price is available in the VZ Navigator via Local Search, and choose “gas stations/prices.”
VZ Navigator and Telenav both fought a good fight. In the end, the usability, speed and quality of Telenav’s maps won out over the small benefits that VZ Navigator provided. Since both VZ Navigator and Telenav come in at the same price point, I can’t seem to find a reason to recommend VZ Navigator over Telenav. It’ll certainly be interesting to see what VZ Navigator has in store for their next release and we at BlackBerry Cool look forward to the next battle between these two offerings. Until then, we feel your money will best be spent with Telenav. As always, I look forward to discussing this further with you in the comments!