How I found places to Visit in London Using Nokia's Here City Lens

I’ve had a Nokia Lumia for a while now. Started with a 920 and because it would not fit completely in my coat top pocket, I went for a smaller version – the 720. There were two things that made me buy a Nokia compared to an iPhone.

  1. My FastHosts Business Email was hard to setup on the iPhone and it would not validate the server POP settings. No such issues with the Nokia.
  2. The camera picture quality is amazing. It made my little Canon Ixus redundant within weeks.

I travel a lot and when I do get to a city I do not know, I like to see the best attractions in one clean sweep. While I try to map out my journey steps in advance, this it is a bit of a challenge if you are visiting a major metropole like London. There are so many attractions like The Big Ben, The Houses of Parliament, The London Eye and Buckingham Palace. The problem is, all these tourist hot spots are far from each other and you will lose time on the Underground or with Cabs if you are trying to see them all in one day.

Here City Lens

Here’s where I found City Lens from Here to be a massive help. It’s free – which is always a good thing when you are getting an app from the Windows Store and it’s super friendly and easy to use. You fire it up (an Internet Connection is needed, 3G, 4G), you lift your phone up and start moving around from the position you are in. The screen will soon start showing you points of interest based on the category you picked when you loaded up the application.

Lumia-620-Nokia-City-Lens
Nokia Lumia 620 City Lens Menu Example Featuring San Francisco

I usually choose Sights and Museums and this is an actual screenshot I took yesterday close to Buckingham Palace, London.

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The white spots in the circle on the right are actual interest points (hotspots). As you move around, they move with you. If you turn to the right or to the left, the light zone shines on new interest points, bringing them on the screen.

If you tap on any of the zones, you can see further detail – like address (directions), telephone number, website, opening hours and feedback received. This is especially useful when going to a restaurant!

You can even save a place for later or share it with friends.

One thing I did not know about the app, is when you point your phone towards the ground – the camera shuts off and you see a Road Map with all the interest points as pins.

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It was a great experience – I got to visit three interest points next to Buckingham Palace I did not know about and I loved it!

No more wandering around for a café. No more looking for street signs.

If you wish to find out more, check out the Here website for more information.

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