When it comes to finding your way around, nothing is more efficient than a GPS navigation system. These high-tech devices provide you with real-time directions, show you exactly where you are on a map and provide you with several routes to reach your destination. Many newer model vehicles come with navigation systems, but you can easily install one in your dash if your vehicle does not have one. When choosing a GPS navigation system, it is important to consider the features and price of systems before making a purchasing decision.
One disadvantage of using online map services for directions is that they do not provide any real-time information about traffic conditions. Although you may have the appropriate directions, you can experience serious delays if something is stalling traffic. To alleviate this issue, some GPS models offer alternate routes if the directions provided are in construction zones or if there is heavy traffic due to an accident. In most cases, the traffic information is pulled from FM airwaves. For an additional cost, some GPS devices come with even more advanced features such as weather reports, movie times and gas prices.
One thing to consider when selecting a GPS navigation system is the screen size of the device. Most standard models have a 3.5-inch screen, which can make it difficult to see the route details. A model with at least a 4.3-inch widescreen makes it much easier to see. Although this may not seem like a necessary feature, it makes a big difference.
Another feature to look for when choosing a GPS navigation device is whether it has a hands-free speaker phone. This feature eliminates the need to read the device while driving. It is important that the sound is easily heard, even in noisier environments. Having a speaker phone can help prevent unnecessary accidents because it allows you to remain focused on the road and not on working your GPS device.
You may want to consider a GPS device that has point-of-interest data. This feature pulls up common places near your destination, such as hotels, banks and restaurants. Make sure that the system updates the information on a regular basis.
An increasingly popular feature in GPS navigation devices is tracking devices. Individuals who are usually interested in tracking devices include parents with teenagers who drive and employers who have company-owned vehicles driven by employees.
Installation and Price
The installation requirements should be considered when choosing a device. The installation of some systems is more complex than others, especially for devices that display data on large monitors. Once you find devices that have the features you desire, eliminate the ones that are not in your budget. Although you often get what you pay for, there are plenty of well-made GPS navigation devices available to budget-conscious consumers.