Nokia officially brings HERE to Samsung Galaxy smartphones, expanding the reach of its powerful mapping software outside of Windows Phones and handsets that bear the Nokia branding. For the time being, the app is exclusively available in the South Korean maker's app store for Galaxy devices, but, later, it will make its way to other Android smartphones as well.
The HERE app may currently be labeled as a beta, but it does not skimp on features. It arrives with pretty much all the major features that Windows Phone users are enjoying from the HERE suite, which says a lot about Nokia's plans post-Lumia. Let's take a look.
Naturally, HERE can display information in multiple views, like Map and Satellite, and show traffic and transit data. Live traffic information is provided for more than 40 countries, while public transportation is covered in more than 750 cities from more than 40 countries.
It also gives users the option to download entire regions, countries and even continents' maps for offline use. Up to 200 country maps can be downloaded on the device, with the only limitation being the amount of available storage. The whole USA map takes up more than 4,700 MB, for instance. That is a lot, but the ability to know where you are and how to get to the destination, without having to connect to the Internet, will more than make up for it, based on my experience with the software. Offline maps are also touted to be faster than their online counterparts. Also, if there is an update, you can get it on your device as soon as it is offered.
Speaking of destinations, you can get turn-by-turn directions, when using navigation, in nearly 100 countries, using your choice of roads (paved, unpaved, free, with tolls, and so on) and navigator (man or woman, with voices available in a generous number of languages). You can also easily search for points of interest, which will help you get right where you want to go.
While relying on HERE, all my trips have been mostly uneventful. That's probably the best thing about the software. Unlike Google Maps, it works anywhere, even on top of a mountain without cellular coverage, and it has all the right features to ensure that you find your destination and get there in time. The only downside that I have noticed is that it may not be updated to take into account all the most-recent roadworks.
HERE is available to download from Samsung Galaxy Apps. It works on Galaxy smartphones with at least 1 GB of RAM and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, and newer.