If you're on an Android 2.1 device with Google Maps, it might be hard to justify spending $9.99 a month on another navigation app. Verizon knows this, so it shot its VZ Navigator app full of features that would make TomTom and Garmin blush.

The result is Version X, which comes packing a host of new and improved features over Big Red's previous nave efforts. The usual suspects are present, including multitasking, traffic data and POI search (through Bing), but the real selling points are the freeway views with overhead signs and the virtual city driving the renders building in kinda-sorta photorealistic images. Version X also includes Smart Start which aids navigation when a strong GPS signal isn't available and the ability to plan a trip on your computer and send it to the phone.

For the time being, the new VZ Navigator is only available on the Droid X, Samsung Fascinate and Droid Incredible, with more models being added to the mix throughout the year. And if $9.99 a month is too much to swallow, Verizon's also offering $4.99 weekly and $2.99 daily plans, along with a light version. Get all the details in the press release and video below.

[Source: Verizon via Engadget]

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New Version Gives Customers Enhanced Navigation Capabilities, Including 3D Views and Satellite Maps

Verizon Wireless today announced VZ Navigator VX – the latest version of the company's award-winning navigation service – is now available on select DROID™ smartphones, including DROID X by Motorola, DROID Incredible by HTC and the Samsung Fascinate™. Powered by TeleCommunication Systems, VZ Navigator VX is unlike any other navigation service offered today, providing customers with 3D navigation views using enhanced 3D city models and true-to-life images of highway and exit signs.

An evolution of ordinary direction services, the 3D capabilities of VZ Navigator VX are available in six cities at launch, including: Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Kansas City, Mo., New York, and Washington D.C., with more cities being added in 2011. The 3D city and road views add dimension to the turn-by-turn directions VZ Navigator VX offers. Other enhancements in the newest version include "real" signs and road views, satellite maps and day/night modes among other features.

"Verizon Wireless continues to add more to VZ Navigator, and VZ Navigator VX now gives our customers some of the most advanced mapping and navigation services available today," said Kristi Crum, director, Consumer Solutions for Verizon Wireless. "Whether they are in a familiar place and need to get around more efficiently or exploring new territory in a car or on foot, customers can turn to VZ Navigator to get them where they want to go."

VZ Navigator VX builds on existing location-based technology, including an easy-to-use interface, improved functionality for finding points of interest, the ability to run multiple VZ Navigator functions simultaneously within a navigation session and integration with Facebook®.

Customers can download VZ Navigator VX from the Android Market™. It is available for $9.99 a month for unlimited access, $4.99 for a weekly usage or $2.99 for a one-day/24-hour use. VZ Navigator VX is available initially on DROID X by Motorola, the Samsung Fascinate and the DROID Incredible by HTC with additional devices rolling out in 2011. Unlike traditional navigation devices that require annual upgrades to remain accurate, the monthly charge includes continuous updates to maps and points of interest. Download charges vary and airtime or megabyte charges may apply when browsing, downloading and using certain applications.

TeleCommunication Systems (TCS) (Nasdaq: TSYS), is a leader in location-based technology whose mobile services empower consumers to make quick, smart decisions when they're on the go. For more information about TCS products and services, visit www.telecomsys.com.

Verizon Wireless reminds customers that when behind the wheel, safe driving should always be the first priority. For additional information and a full set of terms and conditions for VZ Navigator, visit www.verizonwireless.com/vznavigator.

For more information about Verizon Wireless products and services, call 1-800-2 JOIN IN or go to www.verizonwireless.com.

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