If you are in the market for an automatic GPS device, there are many important factors to consider. Built-in GPS devices are practical, but portable GPS devices are more useful for those whose car was not equipped with a built-in GPS.
There are also dozens of different features to consider and a huge price gap, between the cheapest and most expensive GPS devices.BERLIN WEATHER
Here are some of the most important factors that may influence your decision:
If money isn't an issue, it's a good idea to establish a general price range first. If you're looking to spend less than a hundred dollars, you'll probably have to settle for a small screen and save a little on features. You can also look for a bargain on an older model, but make sure you don't end up with outdated maps that are expensive or impossible to update.
Your budget will also affect your decision to go with an integrated unit or a standalone unit. Head units with built-in GPS navigation are usually quite expensive, so stay away from them unless your existing head unit is begging for an update. That being said, there are several main units with built-in GPS navigation that have some pretty impressive features.
Many OEM infotainment systems come with integrated GPS navigation, but it's also an option on some high-end aftermarket endstations. These GPS navigation devices are usually quite expensive, but they are also quite sophisticated.
If you're opposed to sticking the unit to your dashboard or windshield, but you're not quite ready to buy a new car, then upgrading your radio to a main navigation unit may be a good option.
These GPS devices are usually the cheaper option, but that doesn't mean they're all cheap. Individual devices range from budget models under £500 to feature-rich devices that typically cost over £1500.
Apart from price, the main advantage of standalone GPS devices is portability. Since they are not built into the dashboard of a single vehicle, you have the option of using one device in multiple vehicles. This is even easier if you take an extra bracket and power supply with you.
There are several features that you should look for regardless of your budget and other considerations.
Some of the most important ones include:
Screen size and resolution are usually very closely related to price. Budget models tend to have smaller screens with lower resolution, while you can pay much more for devices with large, detailed touchscreens.
If you're not familiar with GPS screen sizes, you should personally check some of them out before you buy. To determine if the screen is large enough, you can step back a few feet and try looking at it. If you have trouble seeing the display, you may want to switch to a larger screen.
When it comes to receivers, some are more sensitive than others. GPS devices with low sensitivity receivers fall into the budget category, but not every budget model has a weak receiver. If you want to make sure that your GPS device actually knows which road you're on, look for a device that has a very sensitive receiver.
And while most GPS devices include audible directions in the car, they're not all the same. Some devices have text-to-speech technology that allows them to read actual street names, which can be useful when driving in an unfamiliar area.
Other devices are nearly unintelligible, so consider the quality of the audible directions when purchasing a GPS device for your car.
Other less important features that you may find useful include:
There are also several other features that you can find such as:
These features can be useful in limited circumstances, but they are mostly useless. Instead of looking for a Swiss Army knife that can do a lot of unrelated things, it's a much better idea to focus on a device that does one thing really well.
Before buying a car GPS device, you should also check for the availability and timeliness of map updates.
This is especially important if you are buying an inexpensive device that is a little long in the tooth. While you can find some amazing deals by buying old stock and factory refurbished car GPS units, it's important to make sure you're not stuck with old map data.
If map updates are expensive - or the company no longer releases updates - it may be advisable to pick up a passport.
Due to the proliferation of devices like smartphones, you can count the days of a dedicated auto GPS device.
In the past, these devices were the only game in town, but now you have many other options such as:
If you already own one of these devices, you should check out the navigation options before spending money on a new GPS device for your car. Most smartphones have GPS navigation built in, and some cheap GPS-enabled phones even offer some functionality.
Tablets and a car computer may be an even better replacement for a standalone Auto-GPS device. And while your multimedia non-Smartphone may not be a good choice for heavy use, it can serve the purpose in an emergency.