By September 6, 2009

NDrive Windows Mobile SatNav review

Quite some time ago Matt was up to his old tricks and threw away a question, ‘Want to test some new software that’s not even out yet?’ Me being me…….here’s the review.

NDrive are a Portuguese company that was founded in 2001 dedicated to the GIS and Mobility markets and developed the NDrive brand and software from 2005.

The software in question is the NDrive satellite navigation for mobile phones. Here’s the blurb..

‘NDrive is a personal navigation solution. NDrive provides an advanced navigation experience, with clear and precise turn-by-turn spoken and visual instructions, including street and place names for door-to-door navigation with detailed local information, tailored for business or entertainment use, in a language of your choice. NDrive provides highly-accurate and detailed digital maps of countries all over the world, with a simple yet powerful user interface, ideal for inexperienced users.’

Key features

    • Zero installation: just plug in, switch on & GO
    • Latest and most complete maps: on DVD or Memory Card, providing a door-to-door navigation in more than 80 countries.
    • Very simple interface: touch-screen operation with gestures recognition, developed for the inexperienced users
    • Navigation to any address or point of interest: in any country or region with clear and accurate turn-by-turn voice instructions
    • Fast, complete and easy to search contents: powerful database at your fingertip
    • Dynamic data support: real-time weather reports and forecasts and cultural events (require country local provider)
    • Phone support: directly call a POI, access dynamic navigation information on the go (requires GSM)
    • Multimedia: play audio, video and view photos (on selected devices)
    • Multilanguage support (24 languages): written on screen and voice commands
    • Advanced features: Make your own personal information, export and import it from other formats
    • On both map mode and routing mode you can pan, zoom, rotate and change perspective angle at an amazing speed.
    • Depending on processor’s speed NDrive can draw a new map from 6 to 10 times every second, bringing the fastest video like navigation experience in the market.
    • See smooth map design through a superior proprietary anti-aliasing technology, transparencies, moving icons and different map templates to choose from.
    • Most representative buildings rendered in 3D



Supplied on an SD card the software was an absolute doddle to load and initialise. Out of the box it has been easy to use and great features like large buttons, really quick UI etc. Make it very useable on a day to day basis.

In my laziness, and to save having to transfer the software on to my HTC diamond (which hasn’t got a card slot) I loaded the NDrive on to my trusty old Asus P526, bearing in my this is a 200 MHz processor, the NDrive faired really well. It was quick and responsive, with the addition of QuickGPS, the satellite lock was fast and the for once no lag between the map route and the real drive. You appear exactly where you currently are on the map.

The directions are very clear and loud, the addition of speed safety cameras and POI’s which you are able to update online, again are easy to use and clear.

There are loads of options at the touch of a button, a few can be seen here..


For those of you Tomtom users you will be familiar with the ‘just have a play’ mentality and this is very similar, every time you pick it up you find something else it can do.

It is also completely finger friendly, with most screens being single touch and easy to scroll for different options. Even things like adding ‘Home’, ‘Favourite’, ‘Itineraries’ and ‘Email co-ordinates’ are all one touch. This makes it an alternative to MapPoint with very good user interfacing. No one wants to fumble on a GPS while driving…


Navigation is no hassle and appears accurate, there are options full 6 character Post code searches, POI, co-ordinates, or just simple City centre or street centre searches. The route calculation is really quick, and during playback of the route, it is definitely a more video type experience even on the old Asus.

Points of interest information may carry descriptive and photographic information depending on country availability for better user understanding of the location. They can also have phone, email, website that can interact with your phone navigation device, for immediate action. Drill into the POI’s and there is another world of information, as seen.. in this case search ‘London’ and then ‘Tourist attractions’.


Once again, all one touch and very quick.


This software is very capable, quick and easy to use, at a cost in the region of 80 – 100 euro, I do wonder if entering this extremely fierce and competitive market is a wise move, to live in this world you need to be good.

The NDrive does prove itself to be reliable and fully feature packed as well as being competitively priced. I had no issues with using it over an extended period; it appears stable and overall very user friendly. Available to suit most users it is installable on Symbian, WM 5 and 6 as well as being able to buy standalone units for around 125 – 155 euro.

I wonder what else it can do that I have missed. Most of the info was taken from their website, so head over and take a look, if you are fed up with the usual Sat Nav suspects, this may well make a change and offer a viable alternative.

Review by: Steve

Posted in: Reviews

About the Author:

More than 20 years in the IT industry. Blogging with a passion and thirst for new technology since 2005.
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