Last week, members of the media were invited by Nokia Philippines to a gathering they called, the Nokia Maps Challenge. While you could pretty much get the idea of what was about to happen from the title, the only other cryptic message was to wear comfortable clothes.
Filled with curiosity and dread, I agreed to the invite.
Once we had met with the people at Nokia Philippines, we were oriented with what was going to happen. The challenge was basically an Amazing Race-style competition where we would use Nokia phones to get our clues from Twitter and check-in at checkpoints and post our photo evidence on Facebook. We would essentially be roaming around the Makati area–using Nokia Maps–and would be looking for, and taking photos of landmarks which would be out checkpoints. Once verified, we would then be DM-ed our next clue. The exciting thing about the challenge is that Nokia will be giving a Lumia 900 to the one who finished the challenge first, an 808 PureView for the second, and a Lumia 800 for the third person to finish.
Each of us was assigned Nokia smartphones for the challenge. While Nokia Maps is included with every Nokia smartphones from the most affordable Asha to the latest Lumia smartphone, we were given various Symbian smartphones to keep things fair. Handed to me was the Nokia E6 mobile phone. The QWERTY-equipped smartphone also has a touch screen and came with Nokia Maps out-of-the-box. We were also given enough time to familiarize with our equipment so that we wouldn’t be fumbling with our phones during the competition.
I have used Nokia Maps and Nokia Drive while I played around with the Lumia phones. To be honest, I am pretty impressed with the implementation. I was also impressed that the maps are up-to-date and detailed. I particularly liked the offline capability of Drive as I can navigate and get turn-by-turn navigation without a data connection.
However, I was less familiar with Nokia Maps on Symbian devices such as the E6. Fortunately, it was familiar enough that I didn’t need much time being tutored on how to work the app. The included shortcut and widget made it much easier to access Maps as well as check-in to areas for the challenge.
Since we were looking for landmarks, the built-in POI (Points-of-Interests) in Maps made things a lot easier in looking where the checkpoints were.
As the challenge started, we were all pretty cordial with each other, sharing laughs and theories of the clues. However, it became apparent that the sense of competition was taking over when people started running and ignoring one another. After the first checkpoint, the challenge was definitely on a competitive pace. Sweat ran down people’s faces and soaked on our cloths.
By the end, I was left alone, not knowing who was ahead of me, but knowing I was not the last. I arrived at the end point full of sweat, legs aching, and in need of a drink of water. The Nokia Maps Challenge was undoubtedly fun and the sense of competition sent my adrenaline through the roof. Bringing one of these did help make thinks worthwhile.