GPS Navigation Buying Guide
There are a number of considerations to bear in mind when shopping for GPS navigators:
- Choose a navigator with a screen that enables you to read information with ease and be careful not to choose a model with a large screen that obstructs your view.
- It is advisable to shop for a GPS navigator with a glare-free screen as this will help you read information in practically any condition.
- When shopping for a handheld navigator consider durability, waterproofing and battery life.
- If you plan to use your GPS navigator abroad, be sure to shop for a model that allows you to download and add overseas maps.
Types of GPS
In-car GPS takes the stress out of trying to get somewhere. Simply set the destination, follow the instructions and arrive feeling calm, cool and collected.
- Where possible, shop for a navigator that offers live traffic updates and lifetime maps as this means you will always be guided down the best possible route.
- Similarly, it is advisable to shop for GPS that features voice prompts, lane guidance, safety camera warnings and voice control as this means you can focus solely on the road.
- Some GPS navigators now feature built-in dash cams. These provide you with irrefutable evidence in the event of a crash and are worth the money if your budget can accommodate one.
Hybrid GPS & Dash Camera
Combine all your in-car device into one with a Hybrid Dash Camera. This type of dash cam also includes GPS functionality for extra convenience.
- Don't have enough space to put both a dash cam and a GPS in your car? A hybrid solves your problems and saves you space.
- As with single lens dash cams, hybrids rarely allow you to record what's happening at both the front and back of your car.
- Consider cost when opting for a hybrid dash camera as many are more expensive than either a single lens or standalone GPS navigator.
Screen Size & Display
The size and type of display in a GPS navigator can have a significant impact on how easy it is to use.
- In-car GPS units are available in four sizes (screens are measured diagonally): 3.5-inch, 4.3-inch, 4.7-inch and 5-inch. Bigger is generally better so long as it does not obstruct your view.
- Handheld GPS units are available with both monochrome and colour displays. Colour displays tend to be nicer to use, but they are also likely to be more expensive.
- Where possible, shop for a GPS system with a glare-free screen. This will mean you’ll be able to see the display clearly even in bright sunlight.
Maps & Traffic
What's a GPS without maps? GPS navigators include a variety of different maps that feature different levels of detail. Keep the following in mind when shopping:
- GPS update their maps via a connected SIM or via TMC (which uses an FM radio signal). Consider which is a better and more cost effective option for you before purchasing.
- Consider how much detail you need in your maps. Would you like to see details like parking, local restaurants or other landmarks? Certain GPS navigators include these features.
- Most GPS devices can also show traffic congestion. Look for models that deliver live updates if you're often driving through heavy traffic areas.
Extra Features to Look For
There are a host of extra features that can help you get even more form your GPS navigation system. Look out for the following:
- Routing features allow you to set a custom routes that mean you can take in a specific landmark on the way or avoid certain roads such as those that require a toll.
- Opting for a GPS navigator with Bluetooth will allow you to pair it with your phone or music player and use it as portable speakers.
- Similarly, choosing a navigator with an SD card reader will allow you to use it as a media player so you can watch videos or admire your favourite photographs.
Keep your GPS navigator safe and ready for the next adventure by storing it in a durable case that will protect it against knocks, bumps and scratches.
Make sure your GPS navigator can keep you right on even the longest journey by adding a car charger kit to your equipment. Ensure your car is compatible before purchase.
Keep the screen clean and easy-to-read by using specialised cleaning equipment to remove dust, finger prints and other blemishes without damaging the display.