Why don't Lumia 720, Lumia 520 Windows Phones support HERE Drive+? Nokia explains.

Nokia is pushing out the new Lumia 520 and Lumia 720 Windows Phones, but what's interesting to note (if you're looking to utilise such functionality) is how the two new Nokia smartphones do not come packing HERE Drive+, but the Lumia 620 does. Windows Phone forum member powersquad received a response from Nokia that may help clear some of the confusion.

We've first got to start with the difference between HERE Drive and HERE Drive+. The former provides turn-by-turn navigation in a single country or region, while the more advanced solution covers almost 100 countries. The selected country or region is calculated with the app launching for the first time, taking into account the country the inserted SIM card belongs to.

All this means is that if you purchase a Lumia Windows Phone with HERE Drive, you'll be limited to the region (or country) the SIM card inserted belongs to. Should you buy one in the UK and insert a US SIM card, you'll have the service activated for use in the states. This is the same for all other Windows Phones that now have access to Nokia's navigation app.

It's not a major difference, but if you're looking to travel abroad, what are your options to use the HERE Drive service and Windows Phone when in a different country not currently supported? For the time being, there's nothing available, not until the HERE Drive apps reach commercial status and are out of beta. But should you be packing the HERE Drive+ app, you're all set to go.

For those with the HERE Drive app, it'll be possible to upgrade to the plus version with a global navigation license for around 100 countries. Nokia hasn't released any information regarding when the apps will come out of beta, or just how much the upgrade will cost consumers. Note that this does not affect HERE Maps. Consumers can download all country maps to the device and enjoy walk navigation, etc.

"So far we haven’t announced any details about timing and pricing yet, but we’re planning this step for the coming months. And even though you will have to pay for the upgrade from Drive to Drive+, you will save more money on roaming costs and data charges when travelling abroad thanks to our leading true offline capabilities than you will have to invest for the worldwide navigation license. This is unmatched by any 'free' mobile navigation solution on the market today."

The difference between the 620 and 720

Lumia 520 Lumia 620 HERE Drive

Nokia Lumia 620 with HERE Drive Beta + and the Lumia 520 with HERE Drive

So why does the Lumia 620 have the more advanced navigation option, while the more expensive Lumia 720 only has the standard, single-country/region app? The Nokia response explains that the unique combination of experiences are to target distinct price points and market opportunities.

Much like the Lumia 620, the Lumia 520 is an affordable Windows Phone, but because the Lumia 720 includes wireless charging, improved imaging, etc. Nokia opted to include a local navigation experience to meet its targeted price point. It makes sense as the Lumia 720 is a rather advanced Windows Phone, but not as high-end as the Lumia 920.

So to wrap all this up, there's not a massive difference between HERE Drive and HERE Drive+. If you're using HERE Drive+ you can use the app in multiple countries and regions, but if you're limited to the standard HERE Drive app (all non-Lumia Windows Phones, Lumia 520, Lumia 720, etc.), you'll have to wait until an upgrade option is available.

Be sure to read up the full response from Nokia and join in the discussion over on our community forum. Thanks, Techman, for the tip!

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • wow they are pulling excuses out of their asses now.  offering drive + is a zero cost scenario to them. 
  • No. They wish to make it a premium feature, which they have every right to. Just because they have an app doesnt mean they *NEED* to provide it free.
  • grow up.
  • "pulling excuses out of their asses" would be claiming there is a technical reason Drive+ won't work.  Instead Nokia is being pretty honest here.  Drive+ is a premium feature that you have to pay for through a higher cost phone, or a to be determined fee.  I'm sure the costs for maintaining and developing their mapping services are immense and Nokia has to recoup those costs somehow.
  • no they've already used technical excuse BS for why HERE can't be brought to 7.x phones.
  • Well "Here" on WP8 in current form is almost similar to Nokia Drive on WP 7.x.
  • exactly, but they couldn't even be bothered to extend the same branding to WP 7.x so they came up with a BS excuse that it couldn't technically support the features of HERE.
  • They are worlds apart. Nokia drive has the maddeningly ambiguous "Turn left sometime around now, hopefully there's only one road or you'll have to guess!" instead of reading street names. It's so terrible I keep using Bing maps.
  • I might be confused as to what you mean.  There is Nokia Drive on WP7.  Also I don't have my old Lumia 900 on me, but I'm pretty sure it had stuff like City Lense.   Otherwise, WP7 and WP8 are different platforms with different API's and features, so of coarse the product offerings will have been forked.
  • And you know this how?
  • What are you asking "you know this how"?  That Nokia has to spend resources on their mapping services?  I know that because I understand the basic concept of "shit aint free".
  • "I know that because I understand the basic concept of "shit aint free""
  • What's that term heavily used for Android which should apply to this????
    I call that FRAGMENTATION!
  • There is no doubt that a certain level of "fragmentation" has creeped into Windows Phone.  But this is sort of by necessity.  At the time I applauded their goal, but looking back, it turned out that Windows Phones single spec mentality failed.  MS tried to have one spec sheet to enforce uniformity and they ended up in a situation where WP couldn't compete at the low end, or the high end.  I think MS has done the right thing in opening that up; 512MB vs 1GB RAM, 480p vs 720p, etc...  And letting Nokia single out premium features/services for premium devices helps Nokia compete with high end and low end offerings.  So yes, this is "fragmentation".  But is this comparable to how Android used to be?  I remember my friends having Android phones that had completely different skins/UI.  They would download apps that ran at 5 FPS.  One of them updated their phone to Android 2.2 or something only to find out that it would completely cripple and lag their experience basically forcing them to purchase a new phone.  So yes, at that time Android was rightfully criticzed by us for fragmentation.  I have to assume they have gotten better though.  Or at least they have stopped issuing crippling updates to phones that can't handle them.  But with Windows Phone, my phones have always ran the same smooth experience.  Is there room to improve?  Of coarse.  For starters, I wan't to see all phones recieve updates at the same time and not when the carriers decide to get around to testing/approving.
  • Does NOKIA want to survive? If yes, then they should offer it at leas to ALL Nokia phones for free! How can you charge/punish the customers of your own phones, especially if the market leader gMaps doesnt cost a cent?
    GPS navigation with offline maps (also available with gMaps) are a vital part of a smartphone! I understand that Nokia was forced to offer this to all WP8 devices..but you either say yes and offer it to everybody in the same manner or just don't do it. It is bad marketing and let customer feel angry and neglected....
  • Yup, extensive, detailed global mapping data lands on Nokias desk for FREE, right? All they need to is wipe it clean of poop and they are good to go. Hmm, wonder if could pull some from mine and get some real competition going?
  • You really don't seem to understand the basics of corporate financials at all. Nokia's different units, believe it or not, do pay the licencing fees internally. The fee for Drive+ is significantly higher than for one country only.
    And that, if you can count 1+1, means that the end product will be more expensive for the end customer, if they were to put Drive+ for all phones.  This is the reason for the whole alleged Indian tax-issue also - internal software costs (even if Nokia is using 100% internal OS and other softwares in those phones in question)
    Next time, you could read the interim report and see how the structure of revenue is composed between the companies inside the corporation called Nokia.
  • Since most of the people spend a lot of their time in the country in which they live, they should be fine as HERE provide free navigation anyways in that one country.
  • And you say this based on which statistics? 
  • Common sense.
  • +1000
    Stole my response!  But that's it in a nutshell!
  • lol? When you are at your home country you probably know your usual roads and you don't travel in your country too much. You know a lot of people travel a lot so they need some navigation. So f*ck your "Common sense.".
  • No, f*ck yours. Here is why: If we go with your assumption, the majority of people should be outside of their country at any given time. That means, for example, the Japanese, Americans, Indians should usually make up the majority of Russia's population. That is absurd. We know the majority of Indians are living in India and Iranians in Iran. These people are the ones who buy these phones. Therefore, no matter what you think about when these people use the navigation systems, the people Nokia is counting on to buy their phones, are living in their home country. That's why a single country navigations solution is efficient. Those who travel abroad a lot would be the minority who can choose another phone or buy the + service.
    You might argue that the navigation system becomes actually useful when you travel abroad. My personal experience, including that of my friends and family (plus the rationale behind the GPS navigation systems onboard cars in every country) indicate the most common situations involving  these systems is when you say "I wanna get to the X restaurant from work, which way is faster?" (We know people's cars have GPS, people use them, people usually don't use their cars to travel abroad).
    Had to spell "common sense" for you, but I hope it cleared things up.
    Be polite next time. You might not be as "right" as you think.
  • You are assuming that people don't travel outside thier country. Which can be the case if you live in China or the USA. But in Europe 46 milion people travel outside their country atleast once a year.
    In European countries (like NL, BE, LU) there are lots of people who work in one country and live in another. Or in border areas between countries people visit other citites for shopping and leasure.
  • Exactly, there are some more countries in the world then USA, Canada and China. I don't want to count how many times I was abroad. I live in one country and work in another-  just 300km away. Besides I have a lot business trips which include a lot of driving. Lot of mine friends following, maybe not same, but similar pattern. 
    Europe is very interesting, there are a lot of places worth to see. I live in Poland, work in Germany, when visiting my family for a holiday go for a ski to Slovakia. Winter holidays I can spend winter holidays in Italy or Austria or just take a ferry to Sweden and drive to visit my friends in Norway.  Still using E52 for traveling because of battery life and Nokia Maps.
    Europe is like US in geopolitical sense. Doing what Nokia is doing is just flipping its finger toward people living in EU. I could not count how many Finns I met outside thir country in Sweden, Denmark, Estonia or Latvia. Nokia doesn't care, especially their accountants.
    I was really looking forward to get L720. L920 is to big and heavy. 820's design sucks. 620 to small and feels more like a toy. If only 920 has a version with smaller screen and body. Now I will probably embrace android more which I am not a fan.
  • +1
    but consider to stay with Nokia...I have the 920..it is not as heavy..and due to the better and bigger display really good for navigation...
    (eventhough Nokia's policy is marketing-suicide; see my post above)
  • 100% agree, I also bought 720 for the same reason, now bloody disspointed
  • Well you said statistics. Statistically the majority of people don't leave their home country. USA, INDIA, RUSSIA, JAPAN, CHINA, MEXICO, ETC. Yes there is some in EUROPE but that's a small number. Traveling and shopping is considered a luxury. So therefore you have to pay for a premium service if you buy a budget phone.
  • Lol Mirtas, you just got took.
  • That's what I was thinking the whole time.
  • Because Nokia is greedy and Microsoft don't want windows phone to be a success, right?
  • Because they're the ones developing the app and have every right to charge for a premium version. Sorry that Nokia can't make everything you want for free. Get over it.
  • Dumb move if you ask me.
  • Ok, we won't ask you.
  • lol..i actually laughed hard at this one..
  • hilarious!
  • Haha good one...:D
  • LOL!
  • Too late response, But thanks to Nokia for clarification. Those travelling from one country to other country will face the problems immeditately.
  • Lol no they won't because just as was stated, HERE maps works just the same. I just came back to the California from Sweden and I can assure you most of the people who are travelling, usually aren't driving. So this is really not a big deal at all.
  • Can the region for HERE Drive be changed once it is associated with a SIM card, by inserting a SIM card from another country? I mean, if someone buys a phone in UK, activates HERE Drive using UK SIM and later travels to US and inserts a US SIM there, would the HERE Drive region change to US?
  • Nope.
  • You can't change it because as I catch the information from the article, the region/country is locked to the first SIM card that inserted to the Lumia 520 and Lumia 720
    For the example: If you bought the Lumia 720 in US and you inserted the UK SIM card, your HERE Drive licence just for UK and not for US
  • yeah was wondering, but how about resetting the phone, reinstalling HERE Drive etc? anyway, makes no difference. Most users will use their phone in their home country.
  • Yes indeed that is correct, if you read the article it does mention if you put in a Sim card from another country or whatever then the Here Drive will change to that country or whatever.
  • If I understood correctly...lol just read it again but I'm pretty sure yea..
  • Then again, why would anyone need navigation for a country he's not even at? I mean as long as you have navigation for your current country, you should be good, which is offered by Drive. Once you move to some other country, changing the SIM/resetting the phone/anyhow should unlock navigation for that region and you can navigate there?
  • Exactly.
  • My decision to choose 620 never wrong after all: great design, perfect dual color, and awesome specs inside. :D
  • Problem is the 620 is not available in all countries and may not work with all carriers. Some people's choices will be limited to either the 720 or the 520 :-(
  • Well...I do get Nokia's point of view. If they put everything on the L720, then the L920 isn't a flagship anymore is it? Though I must say, I would much rather have wireless charging on the L620 than Nokia Drive+ (sorry, never going to call it "HERE")...
  • They hardly put everything on the 720. Its a budget phone, check the specs on gsmarena
  • That's why I used "if" ;)
  • I just wish Microsoft brought Bing navigation back. I'd probably still use drive + on my 920 but I really did like Bing navigation.
  • It is still there. There is an app in the marketplace called maps. That will launch the Bing maps app.
  • Thanks man but I feel real stupid now. I actually downloaded the maps app and didn't realize it had the Bing navigation.
  • Hello Rich, or maybe Daniel if you're reading this. I don't want to get off topic or anything, so forgive me if this is too off topic. Do either of you know, or have heard any word about when the Nokia Lumia 520 will be arriving to T-Mobile USA? Also, is there any word as to when or if the Nokia Lumia 720 will be available in the states? Thank you, sir(s)
  • The Lumia 521/501 whatever its called I think its the 521 will be coming in may from what I hear.
  • Thanks "WinFan1"! I like the name by the way, my name on Twitter is "WP_alliance". WinFan's unite! (I wish we had secret decoder rings...that showed notifications and push messages!!) Anyways, thanks again for the info.
  • No doubt windows phone powers activate!!!
  • Just curious what do you like about the 520?
  • Its good for people who don't need bells and whistles. Possibly for your kids or w.e.
  • Oh ok. I guess my kids are spoiled lol. 2 have G3's and 1 has a iPhone 5.
  • Hey if you can afford it know what I mean lol
  • I like how off-contract it will probably be no more than $249.99.
  • Nokia Drive on WP 7.8 seems to have international functionality, since I just used it on my Lumia 800 in South Africa (I'm from the UK). It was a hugely useful feature.
    I was contemplating getting a 720 as my next WP to replace the 800, but this is just yet another thing to add to the 'The 720 is not really an upgrade from the 800' list. Very disappointing indeed, and poor poor show, Nokia.
  • On 7.5 and 7.8 I can download world maps. I have Canada (well, Ontario) downloaded as my brother lives in the Toronto area. As it is, I thought all these downloaded maps were for offline functionality only given it can search online and find locations for maps I haven't downloaded (I can get directions to Disney World, but I only have two states (Michigan/Ohio) installed.
    Can someone with WP8 and I guess a 720 in particular, clarify this point? Can you still get directions as long as it has access to searching online? If this is the case, I can't see why anyone is making a big deal about this. If you're in another country for and extended period of time, you'll probably want a SIM card or upgrade your plan to allow for data usage in the foreign country.
    If not, I suppose the arguement could be made that Nokia is trying to position the 620 as a quality budget phone for a world traveler. Let's be honest... unless someone is cheap with their phones, but has money for traveling, chances are you won't have something less than an 800 series anyway. I'm not implying that someone owning a 520//720 is poor, however, if someone has the disposable income to do a lot of traveling where this would truly matter, chances are that same person can afford a higher end phone. Those that personally decided on a 520/720 and still travel a lot, I can see how that would suck. I just have to imagine that the percentage of Lumia users that are affected here is quite small.
    It might not be a decision that makes sense at first, but I can see how Nokia wants +s and -s from top to bottom. The 620 has a smaller screen than the 520, FFC, NFC, compass. Given the price difference between the two, this seems fair. Between the 620 and 720, the 720 has gorilla glass, larger display, HD ffc, way better rfc, optional wireless charing, bigger battery. Of course the price differences vary from country to country.
    Expansys USA (all unlocked): 520 = 224.99, 620 = 249, 720 = 349, 820 = 549, 920 = 689. 
    Given the advantages and disadvantages, I think these are pretty fair price differences. Even if you throw in Drive vs Drive+ into the equation. Personally, I think the 720 is probably the best bang for your buck although I might be bias being a 710 owner. I also think the 500, 600, 700 series should move down one notch and make a new 700 series with the same cpu/gpu as the 700 series, but with 1 gig of RAM and price it in the mid 400s and if it would feel more justified for the price hike, add Drive+ or some other small feature. This is the one reason I dislike my phone and have a hard time considering a 720... I'll take slower, smaller, worse cameras, no native wireless charging, but I want the same amount of RAM as the "big" dogs.
  • yet Nokia will tell you that WP7 lacks the technical capabilities to get HERE.  Right, WP7.x lacks the capability to have WORSE functionality lol
  • Was thinking about switching my 920 for a smaller phone and buyunlocked in u.s.  Looks like that is not happening,
  • Not going to make people with budget phones happy but you have to appreciate the up front honesty of their reply. Ever seen something like that from Apple?
    I do wish the distinction had been made clearer up front though. This is going to frost the socks of many Customers who travel and I doubt they understand the limitation of Drive Here.
  • Which honesty? There should be an official statement on their website and on the 520 and 720 page, including all the prices of all the country maps.
  • If you live in USA, you will get map of entire USA, all states. If you live in India, you will get maps of all Indian states. But why if you live in EU you will get map of only one state? Why not maps of entire EU? It make no sense for me.
  • http://mynokiablog.com/2013/03/11/here-drive-here-drive-differences-expl...
  • Rich, 
    Look at this article at MyNokia Blog where Pino from Nokia has officially provided info. 
    This Drive+ license is tied to "Region" not just "country". 
    A region can have more than 1 country as explained in that article by Pino. Atleast that is better than 1 country. :)
    I had first thought that you can change sim cards and license can also change with it for the region, but that is not yet clear.