Nokia Lumia 520 and Nokia Drive: Top tips and tricks

nokia-drive-nokia-lumia-520-01The Nokia Lumia 520 is the budget member of the Nokia Lumia Windows Phone 8 family. However, that doesn’t stop it being a great all-round smartphone. Here we take a look at how you can use Nokia Drive to have the best in-car sat-nav experience.

Nokia Drive is nothing less than a full-on sat-nav replacement. It’s reliable, quick and bets of all, it’s totally free and comes pre-installed on your Nokia Lumia 520. What’s more, with Nokia’s time-honoured commitment to improving its own software, Nokia Drive is only going to get better and even more fully featured.

Looking to buy a Nokia Lumia 520? Click here for the best prices

The Nokia Lumia 520 comes with a 4-inch touchscreen display, which makes it the ideal size for using as a sat-nav in the car. What’s more, with its loud speaker it’s perfectly placed to take advantage of the turn-by-turn voice commands that are an integral part of Nokia Drive.

Here we look at the top tips and tricks to getting started with Nokia Drive on your Nokia Lumia 520:

Nokia Lumia 520 and Nokia Drive: Buy a holder

In order to keep a good view of your Nokia Lumia 520 while still being able to keep your gaze predominantly forward and focusses on the road ahead, you should buy a decent phone holder. We like the look of the iGloo In Car Windscreen Suction Holder Mount And Charger, it’s less than £10 from the likes of Amazon. The beauty of this solution is that it also comes with a charger, so you won’t be drained the battery on your Nokia Lumia as you go.

Nokia Lumia 520 and Nokia Drive: Download Maps


The first time you set Nokia Drive up you’ll be able to download detailed maps for a huge number of countries around the world. If you’re travelling abroad and want to download a new map, simply enter the settings menu, select Manage Maps, hit the + button and select which country you want.

There are free turn-by-turn navigation tools on other smartphone platforms, of course, but they largely rely on a network connection or caching to obtain the actual mapping info. Having the maps on your Nokia Lumia 520 is particularly handy when you want to turn your network connection off, such as when you’re travelling abroad – after all those roaming charges can be a killer!

Nokia Lumia 520 and Nokia Drive: Offline mapping and navigation

While we’re talking about saving roaming costs, once you’ve downloaded maps and simply want to use them, then nip in Settings (tap on the icon in the bottom right-hand corner to pull up the section). From here you can elect whether to have your connection online or offline.

Nokia Lumia 520 and Nokia Drive: Check the navigation licence


Nokia Drive offers turn-by-turn navigation in the country of origin not for the device itself but for the SIM card you’re using. That’s why, if you try and use Nokia Drive on your Nokia Lumia without having the SIM card inserted it simply won’t happen. If you tap on Settings and pick Navigation licence you’ll see which countries this applies to. For example, a UK licence covers the United Kingdom, Ireland, Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey.

Nokia Lumia 520 and Nokia Drive: Turn up the volume

The environment you’ll be operating your Nokia Lumia 520 in while using Nokia Drive will be different to usual – it’ll be noisy and you won’t have the phone all that close to your ear. As such, we recommend turning the volume up so you can hear what the automated voice controls have to say.

Nokia Lumia 520 and Nokia Drive: Preview your destination


Once you’ve selected a possible destination you’ll be taken through to a preview panel, with a map on the top and some basic info on top of a Start button. If you’re don’t like the look of the route selected, maybe you a shorter, faster or more balanced route, then you can opt for one by hitting the Settings icon in the corner of the display.

Nokia Lumia 520 and Nokia Drive: Get back on track

Our impatient co-traveller is always grabbing our Nokia Lumia 520 and scanning ahead on the map to see what’s coming up. The problem they encounter then is returning to our current location, which is most annoying when a turn is approaching! The solution is simple though – just hit the back button and Nokia Drive will re-find your position.

Nokia Lumia 520 and Nokia Drive: Change to 2D to get your bearings

If you do want to get your bearings or simply scan ahead to get an idea of the route, we’d recommend going into the settings menu and flicking from the default 3D view to 2D. The default 3D mode is better for real-time, zoomed-in navigation, but it’s far easier to get an overview from a traditional 2D map view.

Are you using your Nokia Lumia 520 as a sat-nav and got any more tips and tricks you can share?

  • Mikey_Bee

    Yup, great news all round :)

  • supermitra

    Finally all Lumias can upgrade to Global Navigation! :-D

  • Mikey_Bee

    Thanks for the comments, some good food for thought.
    The Nokia Lumia 620 is an amazing smartphone for the price point, the NL520 is very much for those on a budget who want/need that larger screen

  • dicey

    I recently helped someone pick up a new WP8 handset, first looking at the 520, then having a 620 next to it. The thing that surprised me most and made me decide I will never look at the 520 again is the fact that the 520 does not support the citylens app (and of course the local sat-nav vs. global sat-nav). Couple that with the much improved screenquality (I love that polarisationfilter and clearblack sort of stuff) of the 620, the (in my opinion) better looking covers, that lime-green one is just simply the best cover ever made for a phone, and then the price difference which is most of the time extremely small, the 620 was for me obviously the better choice.

    Also, yes I know the City Lens app isn’t something most people will use all that much, but it does show that it lacks some hardware features the 620 gets by default. Where you can match a 620 on just about every level with some of the most expensive phones out there, the 520 just sacrifices a little too much for the minor difference in price from the 620. It is however great to have both these devices at this low a pricepoint, it completely takes over the lowcost market and makes all the Android offerings look like ancient jokes.