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How do I Choose the Best GPS?

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  • Written By: Erika Peterson
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 19 September 2016
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Choosing the best GPS can be a difficult task. The best GPS for any user depends on the functions that the person is looking for in a navigational system. GPS devices are today's most popular navigation tool. They work like electronic maps, showing one's location, and providing instructions for how to get from Point A to Point B. A GPS will alert the user to traffic issues that make detours advisable, and the best GPS will suggest coffee shops and gas stations along the way.

To choose the best GPS for you, you need to consider features and screen sizes. GPS devices come with varying features and screen sizes, which will determine the cost of the GPS. The best GPS systems for basic users will be very different than the systems that are preferred for advanced users. Basic systems may not have extra tools; such as Bluetooth® or that ability to connect to car or boat stereo system.

When deciding what kind of GPS to buy, you need to determine what it will be used for. For the casual user that will use the GPS for an occasional short trip or for recreational use, a basic model in the lower-end price range is all that is needed. The lower priced models do not necessarily equate to much lesser quality, only fewer features.

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If the GPS is going to be used daily for business or frequent traveling, it is best to purchase the highest-end model that is affordable to an individual's budget. The top quality and extra features will make the GPS an indispensable addition to a traveling business person. For some, up to the minute traffic information is a necessity, and in this case, it would be most beneficial to purchase a high-end GPS. For other options, such as being alerted to the nearest gas stations and stores, top quality technology is not necessary.

Many GPS devices that are designed for cars can also double as a handheld and be used for walking. Some cell phones are now equipped with a GPS, and there are designs for almost any function. Some companies make a GPS specifically for boats, motorcycles, bicycles, and joggers. Most people will have their navigational needs met with a basic handheld or automobile GPS in the lower price range, but frequent travelers, campers or vacationers would likely want to spend the extra money for the higher-end GPS devices.

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lighth0se33
Post 4

I am on the road a lot, so my GPS is essential to me. I have one of the best GPS units available, because I need all the help I can get in unfamiliar territory.

One particularly helpful feature is the speed limit display. My GPS always tells me what the current limit is, and if I go over that, it will let me know by displaying my speed in yellow if I am slightly over or red if I am too far over.

Also, it gives me traffic updates in real-time. This has kept me from getting stuck in a jam on numerous occasions.

StarJo
Post 3

I bought my GPS many years ago, so it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles available in today’s models. However, it has enough valuable features for me. I’m really not all about having the latest technology, anyway.

The main thing that I like about my GPS is that it gives me more than one route to a destination. I love being able to choose between the fastest route, the shortest distance, and the least use of highways. Sometimes, I want to get where I’m going quickly, but other times, I’d simply like to avoid traffic and take the scenic route.

orangey03
Post 2

@Perdido - I have been in a similar situation, but even though the GPS couldn’t alert me about the detour, it could tell me which way I needed to go to get to the same destination. That is why I always like to have my GPS on, even if I know the route by heart.

I had to take a detour that involved turning down several different roads. The sad thing is that after the first orange sign, drivers were expected to simply guess which way to go. For out-of-towners like me, this spelled trouble.

However, my GPS recalculated the route and sent me on my way. It may not be very advanced, but it serves its purpose, and I’m glad I have it.

Perdido
Post 1

One bad thing about a basic GPS is that it often does not include current information. For example, a few years ago, I was traveling to Nashville along the Natchez Trace Parkway when I came across a detour that the GPS had no clue existed.

A section of the parkway was gone, and everyone was being rerouted through another road that ended further down the Trace. I have been traveling that way several times over the past year, and my GPS is still unaware of it.

It isn’t an issue for me now, because I already know about it. However, the first time that I came upon it, it would have been nice to have had some warning ahead of time.

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