Would you pay for turn-by-turn navigation when Google’s own service is free? Verizon Wireless sure hopes so. Today the carrier announced availability of VZ Navigator VX ($9.99 per month), an update to the carrier’s existing GPS navigation service. According to Verizon, this latest version — which goes further than Google Maps 5.0 — now offers 3D views and city models in select metropolitan areas: Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Kansas City, Mo., New York, and Washington D.C., with other locations planned in 2011.
Besides 3D representations of city streets, VZ Navigator VX will also show maps in satellite view and features day and night modes. Plus, it boasts what Verizon calls “true-to-life” images of highway and exit signs similar to features found on high-end GPS models that display facsimiles of roads and freeways you’re actually driving on based on real camera shots. We’ve seen this on GPS devices from Garmin and Tom Tom but it hasn’t yet been implemented by Google Maps.
At the moment, VZ Navigator VX is only offered on a few of Verizon’s smart phones, including the Motorola Droid X, HTC Droid Incredible, and Samsung Fascinate. The carrier does plan to bring the service to other handsets later in the year.
Available through the Android Market, VZ Navigator VX costs $4.99 for a week, $2.99 to use for a day, or $9.99 per month. Stay tuned for hands-on impressions.