Friday, April 30, 2010

A VZ Navigator 5 Review

I use Verizon Wireless, and I have for some time. Around 5 years, I believe. My first experience with any sort of GPS unit was with Verizon's VZ Navigator, mainly because I'm eternally poor for some reason and decent GPS units are just now starting to creep in under the $100 mark. That being said, I've always liked VZ Navigator. I have all my favorites in my pocket regardless of what car I'm driving that day. That's a convenient thing for someone with no sense of direction.

Then came VZ Navigator 5.0. I honestly couldn't tell you if the first version of VZ Nav I used was the 1.0. Probably not. However, I can tell you that this is the first one that is complete and total trash. I'm serious. I've used it off and on for a few weeks now, just to be sure it's not just me, and it is complete and total chihuahua vomit.

It takes forever to figure out where I am. I doesn't have all the points of interest that 4.0 did. It did a horrid job bringing my favorites with it, somehow reverting my home address to the one that I used 2 years ago, and mostly not bring them at all. Once it does figure out where I am, it changes its mind once I ask it to navigate somewhere. It somehow thought I was going east on one road when I was going north on another. It actually runs slowly on my phone, which is an EnV3, hardly an old phone. It defaults to this terrible caricature of 3D. I still haven't figured out how to save a new favorite.

When trying to find a restaurant a few days ago, it claimed we were on the feeder and should get on the highway (while we were on the highway), then recalculated route and said we should be, and I'm not kidding here, basically flying sideways to get to the feeder road on the other side of the highway. There was no overpass...never has been. This is a route that VZ Navigator 4 had no problems with. It's really shocking how bad this thing is.

They even added in advertisements! It's a freaking paid feature, and they're posting ads on it! Amazing.

It's inconceivable that Verizon thinks that this program was ready for release. I'm talking, alpha stages of something that should've never been released, bad. If you use VZ Navigator, and you're still on 4.0, don't upgrade. There is absolutely no advantage. A quick look at Verizon's forums shows that I'm not the only one that has no use for it.

On the flip side, if you use VZ Navigator to find food of any kind, it could be considered a weight loss tool! By the time you figure out how to get there, you'll be so pissed off that the last thing you want to do is eat.

If you have already upgraded, you may as well cancel and buy yourself a cheap GPS unit. That's what I'll be doing, even though I can't really afford it.

Edit: Verizon responds! Read here for instructions on downgrading to VZ Navigator 4.5.