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Sygic Sucks (and so does Google)

In this article I explain the multiple issues I've had with Sygic that make me strongly recommend that people avoid it if at all possible. I actually wanted to post this as a review on Google's app store but you can't do that if you don't have a Google+ account. Apparently having a Google App store account with both a credit card and mobile phone associated with it isn't good enough. Well screw that! So I'm posting my review here.
Before Sygic I always had to drag along my old TomTom GPS on trips because we go places like Canada where we don’t have cell coverage and sometimes go out in the boonies in the US where cell coverage is spotty to non-existent. Yes, I know, Google Maps has offline support but only for 50 mile radius’s and only if you plan your trip carefully. I wanted something more robust than that. Besides, I really hate the idea of dumping all my data into the Googleplex and the fact that Google Maps uses Waze really turns me off since I think Waze encourages behavior that puts lives in danger.
So I did research and the consensus appeared to be that Sygic had the best GPS app for Android. I can’t say if that is right or wrong but I can say that Sygic, in my experience, really sucks. Here is a laundry list of issues I’ve had with it.

We’re There!!! Or... not.

On at least three occasions Sygic has spontaneously decided we were at the destination of our route when we were not. I remember when we were driving in Palm Springs and suddenly heard Sygic tell us we were at our destination when we were at least 20 minutes away. We were going 65 MPH on the freeway at the time and suddenly had no directions! We had to pull off and reset the software. The last time this happened was in Vancouver, Canada and were 200 km from home. I think Sygic has figured out they have an issue because this time when the unit suddenly decided we were in Seattle it seemed to figure out this couldn’t be right and so started to walk the entire route backwards (I could see this on the screen) before finally arriving back in Vancouver and starting to give us directions. I suspect this only worked because we were at a stop light when this all occurred. If we were moving I wonder what it would have done.

The location database has steered us (badly) wrong

Remember, the whole point of Sygic for us was to have something that works offline. So if we are going someplace we want to be able to use Sygic’s built in database of locations to find the address. Unfortunately their database of locations is, in my experience, wrong. When we were in Palm Springs it cost us an hour when it had a completely wrong location for our hotel (which has been there for many years) and sent us 30 minutes away so we had to drive back. Since then I’ve learned never to trust it but I have to admit that I do take a perverse pleasure in checking addresses against it and sure enough it has several times given wrong or old addresses.

The Traffic add on is just awful!

I paid extra (I know, stupid me) to get the Traffic service. It’s awful. First of all, in many cases, it just plain won’t load data. Even though I have a strong WiFi connection. Even though Google maps is gleefully coloring traffic data all over its maps. Sygic will just sit there with its traffic icon showing its loading circle and never loading anything. And when it does load something? Oy, it’s so bad it’s almost funny. It’s hilarious (in a gallows humor way since I paid for this) to see the traffic information it puts on the map vs Google’s. It misses major incidents, has very limited data and the resolution of the data is awful (e.g. it marks as problematic much larger or smaller areas than actually have a problem). I would suggest not wasting your money.


This is a bug that has made Sygic useless to me at home. I actually filed this bug with Sygic since it had a 100% repro. The bug is that for some reason Sygic has decided that when a street name includes the abbreviation NE (aka North East) it will read it as Nebraska. Now if you don’t live in Seattle I can imagine you might find this funny. But in Seattle almost all of our streets include a directional queue like NE or SE or whatever. So anytime we are in the north east area of Seattle every single street reads out with Nebraska! “You are on 10th street Nebraska”. It drives me batty!

Sygic support is awful!

I mentioned in the previous issue that I filed the Nebraska issue as a bug. I sent in the issue on 4/8/14. I got a response two days letter on 4/10/14 with the support person telling me he couldn’t repro. On 4/12/14 I responded back that I have a 100% repro and sent him the version number. He then disappeared until 6/3/14. Just... gone. The rep apologized for abandoning the issue (which still exists) for 2 months because of his high request load. Well, duh!


So what to do? In our case we still have our old TomTom so we can use that when we go to Canada and when we are driving places in the US with bad connectivity. But what if we didn’t have it? We can’t rely on Google Maps. It isn’t designed to really be used offline if you are going non-trivial distances. So one needs something. Given how awful Sygic is I can only recommend finding another software for Android (although the rest seem to have even worse reviews) or buying a hardware unit as a backup.

33 Responses to Sygic Sucks (and so does Google)

  1. Carlo says:

    I appreciate these comments and maybe not used it as long as this user and I don’t have the traffic addon, but having said that I have found this application absolutely a saviour in my recent trip to Florida.
    I used the app to plan a route from Orlando airport to the hotel on international drive, to Kennedy and back, over to Tampa, down to Naples, across to Miami, then Fort Lauderdale and finally back to the airport. I stored my hotels before I left England and places I wished to visit, all of which after putting in a general address I found on the POI list, I found the guidance almost faultless (will explain below) and it guided me to my locations without any problems, re-routing was also fast and I had no problems with this feature.
    Like the above reviewer I did encounter the “you have reached your destination” a few times before I had but it never lost the route and just carried on directing me to my final destination.
    The only times I found the instruction not as I would have liked when it instructed me to go slightly right when it was actually a right turn, but once I realised this a quick glance at the screen and with the lane guidance feature never had the problem again. The speed limits were not always correct but were mostly accurate and the points where speed limits changed were and you should always check with the signs anyway.
    I am not saying the application is faultless but for me to find places to eat, nearby petrol stations and my hotels and other places I decided to visit whilst over there it never let me down.

  2. Eddy from Spain says:

    Before the Android update Sygic worked wonderfully. Now, after the update only a black screen appears during 2 seconds and nothing more.
    I send several emails to the technical support Sygic but received only mails to confirm that they have received my complaint. And that´s all.

  3. witgang says:

    i just started using it a few days ago on a sony xperia sp, and it seems to freeze at times, after u reach destination and move a bit it tells you to turn back(i would expect it to end the navigation).
    the most annoying thing for me as a beginner on the road is that it instructs you to ” take the third right” when that actually means take the third road that allows you to go right, so in a way it forces you to check all streets if they let you go right or not and count only those that do, and then decide where to turn without looking at the screen; now doing all that in some big town center like athens on a busy morning where there may be like 5 -6 other streets between you and the street you’re supposed to take it’s a real pain.

  4. Traian says:

    About Sygic: I wanted to like this app especially due to HUD. Installed it on New Year’s Eve, and used it to get to a restaurant in DC. Long story short, a few cars left from the same coordinates but I arrived 1/2 hour later than everyone else. Deleted the app immediately and used my old TomTom GPS. Don’t even think trying or buying it.

    • Administrator says:

      The sad part is that I still have to use it because I need some kind of self contained GPS app on my phone for when I’m out of cell range (and no it isn’t always possible to set up Google maps downloads correctly and with a wide enough area). I also however have a Tom Tom. Of course the Tom Tom has had its own challenges. So basically my hope is that between the two of them I might get where I’m going. :(

  5. Giovanni Becattini says:

    I confirm that Sygic support is maybe the worst I have seen in 40 years that I have been working in ICT.

    Dont trust them and avoid these people if you can…

    • Administrator says:

      Alas what other choice is there for Android that works internationally and completely offline? Google maps supports a very limited version of offline but its too fidgety to make me comfortable.

  6. UK User says:

    Recently purchased this and really wish I hadn’t. Trying this as a motorcycle use so listening is all I get from it. I set a destination at the end of a 5 mile road and 3/4 way through and where there is no turn due to road going through a field I get, “Turn right then turn right” where there are no turns to use lol.

    Getting a refund.

  7. cam from Ontario says:

    Sygic redesigned their software last year and they really F%^* it good. They should have left it as it was because it used to work, but now, we’ve had nothing but problems.
    Worse part is you can’t install the old software.
    What a waste of money

  8. Foksie says:

    Hello, I’m using Sygic in Europe, Belgium for a while until a few weeks ago, when starting up Sygic it did a few updates restarted and then got no maps on my display, just a black screen with a site bar !! I uninstalled and re-installed the software allover again but same story, I asked the Sygic crew for a solution but till now?? nothing, still black, has anyone a solution for this problem? thanks

  9. Anonymous says:

    Try Nokia HERE maps guys. Works totally offline, while finding route AND navigating.. is reliable and light.. and free! As a bonus, also shows speed limits for the road. I wish it had lane guidance and speed/red camera alert but i think it is getting there..

  10. lol'd says:

    Sygic support are useless, they are scamming the shit out of us. It seems to be crashing with Xposed Framework SDK 22 (android 5.1), and blaming xposed for being in alpha state (when 300+ apps works just fine). They are saying that they are looking to fix this problem but they actually not, not their main concern I guess, while they are still milking our money! God pity those poor victims.

    • Administrator says:

      Per a suggestion made below I’ve tried out the free Nokia HERE app and it works really well for offline. The only problem is that Nokia just sold HERE to a bunch of auto companies so I have no idea what the future of the app is. But while it’s available I’d grab it.

  11. edmundas says:

    yes,it really sucks just a black screen on my galaxy s3 and no any responses from support

  12. Thierry says:

    Sygic with the new software have many many bugs … the application stop
    furthermore it’s very slow when you are looking for POIs
    In resume a nightmare

    Thierry from France

  13. Yes SYGIC do hang / freeze and crashed many times on my Samsung Galaxy S3.
    Older version like 14.x worked good, but new UI is more confusing with lesser options. old is gold :P

    • Administrator says:

      I never could get Sygic working properly and I’ve been using it for a number of years. It seems you had more luck than I.

  14. Alexander Koval says:

    My Sygic on Samsung S3 doesn’t go beyond initial screen with logo. Update and three complete reinstallations didn’t help. Wasted money twice.
    This was Sygic GPS Navigation, not Sygic Car Navigation, which has other issues.

  15. Dan says:

    I had been using Sygic for about 4 years now. The last workable version for me is 14.3.3. The most basic of functions like navigate to contacts and addresses, search contacts don’t work properly with subsequent releases. The new versions I tried also had stability issues. My advice is don’t upgrade. Stay with 14.3.x until Sygic can fix all the problems with the new version.

  16. mike says:

    I ordered the premium set-up on line.They gave me a code to use and it did not work-I’ve e-mailed their support team twice with no response from them.I paid with paypal and have filed a claim-they haven’t heard from this outfit either-live and learn I guess

  17. Michal says:

    I tried Sygic in Greece in 2014 and 2016 and it was disaster in both cases.
    In 2014 I tried it in Athens. It did not calculate the fastest routes, did not report nor tried to avoid traffic congestions. After trial period I installed Copilot free GPS which works for me until today flawlessly.
    It is even worse when driving off the highways. Any navigation software (even the free openstreetmaps) can route via highways, but try to drive avoiding tolls and motor ways! I drive regularly Nauplion – Athens. It is a 100miles distance of which 50 is on highway for which you have to pay 10eur toll. Since the toll costs as much as the petrol I use the “old road”. After trying Sygic in March 2016 it reported that it is not possible to avoid tolls and insisted on driving via highway. After checking the offline map, I could find all the roads I use, but the software could not use it.
    I deleted the Sygic once again and now I plan to buy the Copilot only to hear voice navigation.

  18. Ivo R says:

    Interesting, different people, different devices (I guess) and so many different experiences …
    I use Sygic since 2010 or so (was on my old HTC Desire then) in Europe and never had any issues (Xperia Z1 Compact atm). I use it often in Greece without any problems though I never tried to avoid the highway, so I can’t comment about avoiding tolls …

    Of course we people always bitch about whatever happens to us, but we should also consider, that let’s say after I bought a Garmin Nuvi 1300 with Greek map and at some wanted to upgrade it to Europe, the cost of 75GBP seemed a lot to me compared to Sygic World Premium + traffic for a life time let’s say for 40 eur … Plus with a powerful phone (and they are getting more and more powerful) Sygic works faster than the Garmin …

    So, probably the best thing is just to check few things and see what works best for everyone … obviously different people have different expectations and with maps I am pretty sure that different locations get different attention from the dev team … more busy locations get for sure more attention …

  19. Mark says:

    Hi all, i tried Sygic with 7 days free premium features and just works great! It has so meny great features i enjoyed Traffic services and Head-up Display. I fully recommend to use Sygic navigation app

    • Administrator says:

      So the Mark Egnis comment is interesting, not just because it’s literally one of the only positive comments I’ve gotten but also because I can’t find anyone in any search engine named Mark Egnis and when I looked up the posting IP address it points to You noticed the ‘sygic’ part right? And the sk? That is for Slovakia which just so happens to be where the headquarters is for Sygic. So, dear reader, I leave it to you to decide. Is Mr. Egnis a truly happy Sygic customer or is Sygic so ridiculously desperate for positive reviews they are willing to post fake ones on obscure blogs like mine?

  20. Frank Kalf says:

    It really does suck here in the Netherlands.
    In the UK it is working a little bit better, but i still do not have enough fingers/hands to count the times it send me to where i was not ment to be in both countries.
    I’ve paid for premium Europe and the HUD app a total sum of apprx 50,= euro and now they like to rip me off for another 20 euro’s for the traffic service, (including the premium and the hud!!)

  21. steve says:

    Could not even find my street address in Lakevillle MN. No street address is not a new street but one built in the 80s.

  22. Tom Morgan says:

    It is probably a guess, but do you not think that the reason so many critics post here is because there is really a problem with the app? I tried the app. It does not deliver what the app developers promised in their ads. I purchased all the features for U.S. And the Southeastern state. Then, after an update which developers states was needed to fix things…. The features I purchased under the old version needed repurchasing in the new update! Really? Yep. You fool me once, shame on you! You fool me twice, shame on me! Sygic’s is like a dog that won’t hunt! Bye! (Now, I guess I’ll be getting Sygic junk mail for this post!)

  23. Frank Kalf says:

    Found an excelent free and adless openstreetmap alternative : Maps.Me
    Works like a charm!

  24. eugen says:

    I disagree with sygic beying awfull, ive used it in many many trips the last few years including a 3800km trip in europe (1 way trip) and it worked like a charm.

    Having said that, there are quite a few bugs with sygic that should be resolved, like flickering issue after calculating a route or the very small erronous calculated route when choosing fastest route (almost insignificant as it only takes from you sometimes 1 or 2 minutes when that happens).

    Apart from that its the best offline navigation you can own, theres really nothing that can compete with it, not even copilot.

    • Administrator says:

      I upgraded Sygic and even though I own a ‘lifetime’ license it decided that my license is no longer good for turn by turn instructions and it has a permanent banner telling me to upgrade to premium. Seriously, how much more annoying an can app be? And the Here wego app for Android is way better. It works really reliably when I don’t have a data plan. It doesn’t crash. Doesn’t annoy me with upsell ads. It just works. We just used it on a trip to Canada with great effect. Very happy with it.

  25. Peter says:

    We’re There!!! Or… not: I concur! I downloaded Sygic because it supported GPX files and offline maps. The first time I used on a 500 mile trek through three states it appeared to be working great up until it left me stranded a busy intersection several miles from my destination in a town I had never been to before. I was leading a motorcycle ride and fortunately having pre-planned the route I vaguely remembered the direction and one other member in our group had my GPX file loaded on a Garmin Zumo. Sygic still has issues to solve and offline POI to add before I will purchase their product. Oh yeah, the traffic reports are useless.

  26. Mark says:

    This is my Google Play review, which as explained at the beginning of this blog, Google does not post!

    Not bad, but I will not use …
    UI is good, maps look great (2 new highways east of Toronto missing on 2016.03 version though), BUT the routing is POOR. I tried Fastest, Shortest, Economical and the calculated route(s) takes you many miles out of the way most of the time. I just tried going to a store from a POI. The app thinks I have arrived while still on the expressway ramp! Should I hop the fence to get there?

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