Shopping for a GPS monitoring navigation unit can be overwhelming for someone who has never owned or used a GPS system. Should a customer buy a Tom-Tom GPS, or that cool Garmin watch, or perhaps that new handheld Magellan GPS system?
In many cases, a person who is buying their first GPS monitoring system won’t know what to look for in a navigation unit. The shopper may opt for the most popular brand or he may purchase a navigation unit with the best price. But these methods won’t lead a customer to the best GPS systems for his/her needs.
When buying a navigation unit, it’s important to consider the navigation system’s features relative to the customer’s needs and intended use.
Types of GPS monitoring Systems – Car Units, Watch GPS, Handheld Systems
There are several different types of GPS monitoring navigation systems and each model is best for a particular purpose. Here is a look at the basic types of GPS units.
In-Dash GPS Car Units – An in-dash GPS navigation unit is similar to a stereo in that it remains in the car’s dashboard at all times. In-dash navigation units typically feature a large display, which is ideal for drivers who have a difficult time seeing the small displays on portable units. The primary disadvantage is an inability to use the unit in multiple vehicles.
Portable Car GPS Units – Portable car GPS navigation units are convenient for drivers who wish to use the unit in different vehicles, as the GPS mount attaches to the dashboard or windshield. Unfortunately, the displays tend to be smaller than in-dash units and they’re more apt to be targeted by thieves, who look for the suction cup mark on the windshield or dash.
Handheld GPS Units – Handheld navigation systems are generally designed for use on and off the road. A handheld system can be used in the car, on the boat, or while cycling or hiking (in fact, some specially-designed hiking GPS navigation systems are designed specifically for hikers.)
Watch GPS Units – Watch GPS navigation units are are new, novel take on the handheld system. Watch navigation units are great for cyclists, motorcyclists and hikers. While the wrist-mounted watch design is great for portability, the small display may be inconvenient for some users.
Wondering which brand or model is the best GPS unit? Lots of websites offer “top 10” lists, but in reality, the “best” navigation system will vary from person to person; the best unit for one person may not be the best for another. When deciding on what type of GPS navigation system is best, it’s important to consider where and how it will be used.
Considering Navigation Unit Features When Buying a GPS monitoring
There are many features and attributes that customers must consider when shopping for a GPS navigation unit, including portability, ease of use, update availability and frequency, waterproofing, screen size, Bluetooth compatibility, detour and routing options and traffic report availability. The top GPS units have a wide array of features.
Generally speaking, shoppers should seek a GPS unit that offers fast route re-calculation. For instance, if a driver misses a turn, some navigation systems will instruct drivers to perform a U-turn in an attempt to keep the driver on the original route unless they press a “recalculate route” button; other navigation units will instantly determine a new route.
Travel routes based on real-time traffic reports and the ability to opt for a route that takes the driver around traffic congestion is a very valuable feature. This feature makes city driving much easier and faster.
When shopping for a GPS navigation unit, drivers who frequent the city should also seek a model that provides spoken street names – instead of “Turn left,” the driver will hear “Turn left on Main Street.” This feature eliminates the confusion that can arise when traveling through an urban area.
Detour and routing options are another navigation system feature that can be helpful. A “trucking route” option can also be a handy, as this allows drivers to opt for routes using primary roads and highways instead of secondary streets and back roads.
Reading Reviews of GPS monitoring Navigation Units
GPS system reviews can provide great insight when shopping for the best GPS system to suit a customer’s needs. Customer reviews and ratings are available for car units, boating GPS systems, and handheld navigation units for hiking. Whatever the navigation system type, customer reviews will provide information on factors like:
Ease of use
Comparisons of GPS units
Often, the information provided in a customer review or GPS rating can be invaluable when shopping for the best system, as some benefits and downfalls may only be realized once the navigation unit is put to use.
Professionally-written GPS reviews on sites can provide even greater perspective for someone who’s looking to buy a GPS system. Professional reviewers have a unique perspective, since reviewers generally review an array of similar products. For this reason, reviews by professional reviewer can offer valuable comparison information. A reviewer is in an ideal position to compare GPS units, providing information on a navigation unit’s performance relative to other models and other brands.
GPS navigation systems make a great Christmas gift idea. In fact, many parents of new teen drivers may consider a GPS unit as a Christmas gift idea for a teen.
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