In title I put a kind of opposition of these two projects, but it is not fully correct to compare them. In some aspects they are different and pretty significant.
Waze allows you to get the very recent information about the road and traffic. Actually, it started as a community based project. People were driving around and reported changes of the roads, traffic issues, police traps and many more problems, drivers are acquainted with. On the early stage, I found a lot of empty zones in the maps. I added some streets in Tallinn and Daugapils. But mostly I used it for traffic reports and it really helped me a lot to avoid traffic jams. Now, the majority of maps are very correct and just updated and it used mostly for traffic reports and in some places for changing the road layout. The only problem with Waze is – it requires permanent Internet connection. Request for offline maps is one of the top from users.
As soon as Waze was not an option for travelling abroad, I was looking for some solution, which would allow me to use navigation offline. Several years ago I found Sygic. It gives 7 days trial period and user can get all the maps during this period. Actually, after trial period ends, you can use navigation on about a full. After a week it stops speaking with you – no voice navigation is available. And it keeps reminding you that your Premium period is off and you need to buy a subscription. Subscription is not critically expensive – starts from 30 EUR.
Although, Sygic promises to refresh maps data several times a year, but I found that sometimes information is pretty old. Latvian maps are outdated for at least 4-5 years. Maps in Finland and Estonia are pretty new, but also Estonian ones are old for a year. We used Sygic for walking navigation in London and Luxembourg and it was a pretty good experience. It give a route to selected location very good and we didn’t missed a target anytime. On an island St. Miguel (Azores, Portugal) we used Sygic and one time it routed us to a sand road, which is used by locals only. But it turned out to be the shortest route.
So, you see that Waze is the best solution for online navigation and Sygic is pretty good for offline. Check both to select which one you’d like to use more.