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Review: TeleNav GPS Navigator

TeleNav GPS NavigatorWhere will life take you today? If you’re like me sometimes you need a little direction in your life. Thankfully I have my CrackBerry BlackBerry to keep track of all my appointments, respond to emails, and tell me where to go. Yes, I use my BlackBerry to get me where I need to go.

GPS functionality on a phone isn’t an entirely new concept, however there are few apps that do it well and provide users with extra features. I’ve trusted TeleNav GPS Navigator since September of 2009 to get me where I need to be on time and without any doubt of ending up in a cornfield or late to a funeral.

Why TeleNav?

Despite being a guy, I will admit that I do get lost or don’t know my way on occasion (a lot more than I care to admit, but I’m just a face behind a screen). Knowing that I have access to turn-by-turn directions at ALL times alleviates the stress of exploring unknown territory.

So why not just buy a regular GPS you may ask? I can’t tell you how many times I’m in one of my friend’s car and they are a little unsure which direction to go. They don’t have a GPS themselves, but luckily I’m the trusted co-pilot. I’ll stop my tweeting, texting or BBMing on my BlackBerry, launch the TeleNav application and get us to where we need to go.

One of those extra features I mentioned earlier includes TelevNav’s real-time traffic. While driving to your destination TeleNav will actively seek the latest traffic updates and let you know of any delays along the way. If a delay is detected, TeleNav will alert you with a pop-up and and display the following details such as: how many miles away the congestion is, the average speed through the problem-area, and a small description of what is causing it. Even better, the system will reroute your destination with the push of a button.

What I Love and What Could be Improved

If my glowing review hasn’t already made you reach into your wallet and grab your credit card yet, maybe a break-down of the pros and cons of TeleNav’s application will assist you in completing your purchase.

Pros

Traffic Alerts – Traffic alerts are available at no additional cost to you. Even if you know where you’re going, pull out TeleNav and see where the delays are along your path. TeleNav can automatically recalculate your path and ensure you get where you need to be on time.

GPS in Your Pocket – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve needed directions when walking around the city. TeleNav is pedestrian-friendly and it’s easy to switch between the various modes of navigation. It is relieving to know that I have TeleNav help me to where I need to go almost whenever I need it. I mean, I guess you could carry your GPS around in your pocket but forget about wearing your skinny jeans that day.

Application vs. Standalone Unit – TeleNav ALWAYS has the latest maps. There is no need to purchase any sort of map update. TeleNav also pushes new features every so often, no need to buy a new standalone unit just to get lane-assist, text-to-speech street names, or new maps.

Address Book Management – There are multiple ways to enter a destination. By default you can type the address to where you want to go. However TeleNav can scan your contact list for any addresses you have saved. In addition, you can sync and manage addresses via their website. This prevents you from sitting in your car for 5 minutes typing in the destination when you’re already running late.

Cons

Device-Support – If your device isn’t supported, you could be out of luck in getting GPS on your phone. The iPhone, various BlackBerry models, and other popular phones are supported. Be sure to check out the supported device list.

Pricing – The monthly pricing ($10 a month or $99 a year if ordered through TeleNav’s website) can be a little tough to swallow at times. Why should you pay a monthly fee versus purchasing a GPS from Target or Wal-Mart? Because in order to get traffic updates on your stand alone GPS you would have to pay a monthly fee anyway. TeleNav includes traffic updates in its monthly price along with free updates that include numerous new features and up-to-date maps. If you’re not a spontaneous trip-taker like me, then packing your standalone GPS ahead of time could save you some money in the long run. My ideal pricing plan would be paying upfront for the app and then paying a nominal fee for new features and/or upgrades.

Customization – Unlike some of TeleNav’s competitors I have limited customization options. I’m stuck with either a British-sounding lady named Sara or I can purchase Santa Claus to guide my sleigh. For those longer trips I would like someone who was a little soothing to the ears. One other pet peeve is that I can’t customize the car that guides me on my screen. My parents Garmin offers multiple options including a pair of shoes, a beach ball, and a tank. A few options to choose wouldn’t hurt.

Verdict

TeleNav has guided me on numerous occasions. As long as I have my BlackBerry with me (aside when I’m in the shower, it’s always on me) I know I can pull up directions whenever I need to find my way. It’s a feature packed GPS that you always have handy. The pricing structure is sometimes a little hard to stomach. However, you’re entitled to free upgrades with new features and maps that are always current. Overall, it’s a solid product and a bill I never regret paying. I would give TeleNav a rating of 9 out of 10.

Bonus!

TeleNav OnMyWayAs if TeleNav wasn’t great enough already, they have recently released an additional application called “OnMyWay”. OnMyWay allows you to enter a person’s phone number or email address to be alerted when you leave your current location and when you’re X amount of minutes away from your final destination. In addition, if you get caught up in traffic, TeleNav can alert your contact of choice as well. This feature is great when you’re running late to the office for your meeting with your boss… assuming that traffic is the reason. This application is free and a must-have if you’re a TeleNav user.

Read more about TeleNav OnMyWay here.

Give It a Try

TeleNav is supported on a number of popular devices such as the Apple iPhone, various BlackBerry models, and more. To see if your phone is supported, click here.

If you’re still hesitant after reading my review, why not give it a try? TeleNav offers a free 30 day trial. If you’re not satisfied, simply cancel your account within the 30 days, hassle-free.

TeleNav on the Web

Be sure to check out TeleNav on the web. They also have a very active social media presence. TeleNav would love to hear your thoughts on what you like and what could be improved with their product.

TeleNav on Facebook TeleNav on Facebook
TeleNav on Twitter TeleNav on Twitter
TeleNav Website TeleNav Website

… and Some Legal Jargon

This review was written in response to TeleNav’s blog post review contest found here. However, it has NOT influenced my review of the product. I’ve been a happy customer since September 2009.