Pros Accurate navigation, TTS, very responsive and stable OS.
Cons Could use some better display features, like the ability to select larger labels for street names, and current trip information. Phone and multimedia features are not very useable.
Summary My old GPS was swiped recently, so I was looking to replace it and upgrade. I wanted a unit with a bigger screen (4.3") and multimedia capabilites. I came across a deal for the Nokia 500 online for $99. Yes, I said $99. I figured, at that price, it's worth a try. It has bluetooth for handsfree calling, FM transmitter, and built in music/photo/video player. Sweet, right?
Well, it is foremost a GPS and I am thankful that it does a pretty solid job of navigating. It does everything you would expect a GPS to do, and does it very well. The POIs, maps, trip planning, text to speech, interface, 2D/3D views, etc, all are very well implemented. This is my second unit, and I've seen the Mio, TomTom, and Garmin systems for the most part, but never used them in the real world, so I am not the best source to compare. But I find the Nokia system perfectly suitable for guiding you to your destination. I've noticed a few routes that don't seem to make much sense to me, but this is the case with every GPS from any manufacturer. I wish the main screen views were more customizeable. I'd like to see bigger icons/labels for POIs and street names, etc. Seems like a waste of screen real estate when the map is no bigger than on my old 3.5 inch gps screen. They should put the map up on the whole screen and overlay the other information instead of using a portion of the screen to show time, distance, speed, etc. Also, it doesn't give elevation, which I think is nice to know on long trips.
The added features are, for me, pretty much useless, and here's why:
1) Bluetooth works, it paired with my phone right away and even downloaded all my contacts effortlessly. I could go into the phone menu, select a person and talk to them just fine. BUT, you can barely hold a conversation in a moving car. The speaker on the unit is not loud enough even at max, and the people on the other end could not hear me very well and always reported a lot of static. Also, the voice calling features won't work. I press the button on the unit, wait a second, then hear the voice prompt from my phone. I say "call [name] home" but before the phone can confirm the number, the Nokia unit times out and the call is cancelled, very frustrating. What is more frustrating is that you cannot activate the FM transmitter from the phone menu, so if you were planning to hear a caller through your car's speakers, you have to navigate out to the main settings to acitvate the FM transmitter (strangely, you CAN activate the FM transmitter from the mp3 player menu). However, the FM transmitter automatically times out after 1 minute, so unless you have the mp3 player going continuously, you have to re-activate it for each phone call. This must be a law in Europe, because it makes a point of telling you about it in a pop up box when you activate the feature. It should be disabled for US customers. So, the unit is ultimately useless as a bluetooth handsfree speakerphone.
2) The photo and video players both do what they're intended to do (the video player takes up a lot of processing power, so you must deactivate any navigation operations running in order to watch a video). I won't be watching video on this unit anyway. One minor complaint about the photo viewer, don't expect to just pop in an SD card from your camera to take advantage of the bigger screen on this unit for portable photo viewing. The screen is nice enough, but unless you are viewing very small files, it takes 10+ seconds to load and display a photo from a typical 6-8 megapixel camera. Not very convenient.
3) MP3 player, the other major reason for purachasing this unit was to play music through my car stereo via the FM transmitter. The player software is rudimentary. It will cetainly find and play everything, but you can't scroll through files or playlists at will. You can't bring up a list of albums, artists, genres, or anything else we are accustomed to by now, whether you have an iPod or other mp3 player. You have to navigate to a particular folder and then play the songs IN ORDER. Well, that's dumb. It will show you the whole list of songs in that folder, but you can't touch song #5 to hear it. You press play, and it starts with the first file in the folder. If I want to hear song #5, I have to press forward/skip 4 times. Furthermore, the FM transmitter is weak. It's great that you can turn it on and adjust/store up to 5 different stations right from the mp3 player menu. However, I have not been able to hear a song yet without some static or other noise coming through. My standalone fm transmitter sounds awesome with virtually no noise or static at all, even on stations with a weak broadcast coming through. So again, pretty much useless for listening to music.
Overall, for $99, its a great GPS, but not much else. And I adamantly disagree with the CNET reviewer. There are plenty of us out here who want a PND with multimedia features.
Pros None.... it never worked from Brand New
Cons TERRIBLE SUPPORT FROM NOKIA MAKES THIS A VERY BAD CHOICE!
Summary The Nokia 500 looks great but when received from Buy.Com it did not work. Buy.Com does offer support service and sent me to NOKIA. Nokia made me mail it to a service center. After 5 weeks (they did not call or respond) I called them and they said it would NOT BE REPLACE OR REPAIRED even though it was brand new. Their POLICY, which the tech said he was embarassed to share, was to give refunds only! I had to jump through more hoops and AGAIN fax proof of purchase, even though they had everything for 5 weeks with the product. I could not believe this policy so... I called a Nokia supervisor because it was hard to believe they would not replace it but they confirmed the policy. They also refused to email any policy or any confirmation of anything they told me. Now nearly 6 weeks later, I again have not heard from them, and I call them. I ask for a Supervisior who tells me the refund is in proces but "due to Red Tape" it will take at least another 4 weeks and they will only refund my base cost excluding TAX AND shipping (I lose $30.00)! I ask for written, fax or email confirmation of a refund to come and they tell me they have no outgoing email or fax! I asked WHY they could not just replace the unit and now they tell me (I am not making this up!) they have NO units to offer me at any of their centers. I told the super that while we were talking I found 3 places on line selling the product! He again said they had NO units to offer me and I could only get a refund. Tonight I called VISA and stopped payment on the order. We shall see where this goes. BOTTOM LINE: Buy.Com provides NO SERVICE on many of their products but it is in small print. NOKIA - has no desire to help customers whose brand new purchases are defective (though Buy.Com claims Nokia Will Do So). Though the 500 Nokia GPS may be a good product, with NO SERVICE....it is a big mistake!
Pros U can find pros from other reviews
Cons Lot of cons - can't fit here - Pl check my summary
Summary I purchased this GSP 2 weeks before and started using it right from day one. Faced following issues:
- Entering address - made it too complicated. On GPS 90% of time user enter/find addresses and Nokia made is that screen itself complicated.
- It has multimedia features. FM transmitter doesn?t work well (at least in my 2 cars). Has noise and not able to hear proper music / road instructions. Secondly you can watch movies once you reach to destination ? but u can?t charge it in room. Only way u can do it with computer USB cable. If I have computer with me ? why I will watch movie on this 4.3? screen.
- Maps are on ONLY SD card i.e. this device doesn?t store maps on its local hard disk. So 2GB SD card which comes with device is not sufficient for music/photos/movies and maps. When u take photos on your camera?s SD card ? u will have to copy them on the GPS SD card so that you can get navigation map and your photos. Boss ? r u really going to use your computer to copy photos to this GPS SD card while you are on trip? Same point ? if u have computer ? why will I watch photo on this 4.3?. (Same goes for music files). It's only good if u get high capacity SD card and dump - movies/photos/music all at once and don't change it for long time. But I don't think someone do that :(
- When I try to enter my street address ? it doesn?t find it ? but I can see my street name on map (when I zoom it and navigate manually). Dam ? u r lucky to know there is problem in finding your address though it is there on the map ? but now I don?t know how many such faulty cases are there with outdated map software. I can understand that it is not on map and will not able to find on search screen b'cos of old map software - but this not the case here.
- Base line ? it has so many features ? but can?t use them efficiently. And that remains with only GPS ? why will I buy this with out-dated maps. Lot of better devices are there if I only have to get basic navigation.
Giving 2 stars just b?cos Nokia might have realize these issues and that?s why kept so low price to flush their product.
Pros - looks nice and appealing, with a lot of extras, but see my cons below
Cons - DO NOT DOWNLOAD UPDATE. Your bluetooth will not work afterwards and
- SUPPORT IS NON-EXISTING
- music transfer to radio; bad, bad, bad with a lot of noice interference
Summary I only know the Nokia 500, but there's got to be better models with better service.
Pros Reasonable price, good screen & sensitivity. good maps. good signal reception.
Cons Bulky, No map given on CD. windshield fixing stand is enormous - like an elephant tusk. charging full takes hours & hours. map in on sd card. - No internal memory. Cannot keep track of route taken offroad. Nokia support people doesnt knowthe features
Summary I bought this product to guide me in deserts. That purpose is completely defeated. This is only for those who only drive on roads. It cannot show the track through which we came so that we can return along same. FM transmitter switch off after 1 min(they say legal reasons). Bluetooth fuction is OK but mic is not good. listeners complain of unclear sound even when parked. There is provision to enter longitude & latitude but nowhere they mention how to enter degrees mins etc. I mailed nokia care & they dont even know about this feature. There is no point in buying this scrap though you pay less. I want to sell it off & go for nuvi 765T