The Motorola MOTORAZR 2 V9m phone equipped with AAA Mobile, gives users turn-by-turn audio navigation and visual route maps. Powered by Networks in Motion, the AAA Mobile application is available on several GPS-enabled cell phones and smartphones via Verizon Wireless, Sprint and Alltel.

It was easy to set up my location for the GPS, although the address for my workplace was imprecise. It thought my office was east of the nearest cross street instead of west and insisted I turn right on my way to work instead of left - a small hiccup, but one that counts when you're in an unfamiliar place.

The voice navigation is clear and timely. "Your destination is on the left" is a nice alternative to searching both sides of a road, and I could get a map of each step at anytime.

After searching for the nearest Starbucks, AAA Mobile found the 10 closest coffee houses in less than 10 seconds. The phone shows the address and phone number with the option to call the business directly. I was able to bookmark locations for future reference and recall recent searches.

A general search of nearby businesses and hotels found plenty of AAA-rated, three-diamond lodging. A search of neighboring attractions yielded the local movie theater, a sake brewing facility and the nearest Elks lodge. The only misstep was a failure to locate an ATM which opened earlier this year.

AAA Mobile includes listings of nearly 100 U.S. airports, from Anchorage to Miami. If an airport isn't included, users can enter its three-letter code and the application will find it. I also located nearby taxicab companies, train stations, Greyhound and regional bus stations.

Different modes are available - including car, bicycle and pedestrian, and users can plan routes to avoid highways, toll roads and carpool lanes. You can also choose to display in metric units.

Users can call AAA roadside assistance, and their current location is transmitted to AAA - helpful if you're in unknown surroundings.

While imperfect, the service was accurate enough to get me to destinations without much trouble. Limitations include interrupted navigation during incoming calls, inability to navigate if coverage is unavailable and volume that's inadequate in noisy traffic.

The MOTORAZR is a slim unit with a camera offering 1600x1200 resolution. If you want music you can get it via Vcast. Monthly subscriptions are $9.99. All in all, it's a chic yet powerful phone.

Rating: four out of five

Specs

Motorola MOTORAZR 2 V9m

o 2.2-inch QVGA 65,000 color internal display

o CDMA 800, 1900 MHz, 1X and EVDO support

o integrated 2.0 megapixel camera with 4x digital zoom

o messaging via MMS, SMS, e-mail

o streaming audio and video; video capture and playback

o stereo Bluetooth wireless technology

o integrated music player that supports various audio formats

$419.99

AAA Mobile service

· voice-guided GPS navigation

· integrated AAA Emergency Road Service and TourBook guide information

· search points of interest

· identifies users' current location even if users are unsure of whereabouts

· automatically updated maps

· save frequently used locations

· nationwide, scrollable color maps let users zoom in and out $9.99 per month

 

Miriam Jones  |  Chief Copy Editor