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How to Buy a Cell Phone With GPS Navigation

If you've purchased a cell phone within the past year or two, the chances are it already has a rudimentary GPS capability. Your phone may not tell you where you're at, but in an emergency, when 911 is called, those on the other end can tell where you are. GPS navigation goes a step further, telling you not only where you're at, but depending upon the package you select, it tells you how to get to where you want to go. GPS navigation is not just an add-on or a convenience. In today's world it is a useful and practical capability to carry with you.

There are claims that since GPS is a free service, you shouldn't have to pay extra for it. There is truth in this in the sense that if you have a GPS device you pay only for the device, and not for the GPS capability itself. In truth, the companies that produce GPS systems for use in cell phones don't do it for free, and your cell phone service may or may not charge for their GPS capability. The majority, but not all of the major wireless companies, charge for the service, and those charges are almost uniformly around $10 a month as a flat rate, or less if the service is only to be used occasionally.

Many of the newer cell phone and smart phone models have the GPS capability loaded in and ready to go. Other models can incorporate the feature through downloading. Downloading charges and airtime fees can vary.

•Verizon's GPS system is called VZ Navigator, obtainable from Verizon's Get It Now virtual store. By going online you can determine if the phone you have is GPS compatible, and get the instructions for downloading.

•T-Mobile uses Garmin's proprietary navigation software, and has unveiled an Android-powered smartphone called the Garminfone. T-Mobile also features the Nokia 5230 Nuron. The Nokia Nuron offers the navigation software for free.

•Sprint's Navigation system is available for download to any Sprint GPS-enabled phone. If you have a Sprint phone, you'll need to check their website for compatibility. There is a free trial offer available, with the GPS service costing $2.99 a day, or you can subscribe for unlimited service at $9.99 per month.

•AT&T has come out with their AT&T GPS Navigation Service, replacing the older TeleNav capability. This navigation system is available on selected Motorola, Samsung, and Blackberry devices, plus a few others. If you are already an AT&T customer, you can try the Navigation Service free for 30 days. After that, if you wish, you can sign up for $2.99 per day usage or a flat rate of $9.99 a month.

The choice may boil down to the phone itself, and what other features are available, with cost naturally being a consideration. As is the case with pay-as-you-go calling plans, the choice here is either one of a monthly subscription, a day by day charge for infrequent use, or a phone which includes the capability free of additional charges. Take advantage of the free trial offers before buying.
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Article Added on Saturday, August 6, 2011
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