Previously, ships and hikers found their way with our old compass. Today, this orientation tool has been lost in the twists and turns of modernity to give way to GPS. This device has quickly become popular with a large number of vehicles. However, it is mostly popular with cars. If the compass was limited to indicating only the north, the GPS is used to know its route and its exact position. If you aspire to acquire a new GPS unit, we provide you with some tips for finding a good model through our buying guide. We also reveal some references with our selection of the 5 best models on the Canadian market. Among others, discover Garmin 010-01198-05, an operational GPS even without a GPRS chip and with its ultra-detailed maps. As a second choice, we offer TomTom GO 620 GPS Navigator with a 6-inch screen.
Buying Guide – How to Choose a Good GPS?
Where to buy the best GPS? Should I order online or go to the store? Both are equally suitable. But before looking for your salesperson, ask yourself how to recognize a successful model. To find out, we give you some clues through the buying guide below.
The different types
The GPS is not only this voice command emanating from the dashboard of your car. Indeed, there are other types that are characterized by their main use. Before you buy one, check them all out:
– PNA or Personal Navigation Assistant: durable, this type of GPS is distinguished by the many options that come with it (electronic compass, altimeter, pressure indicator, etc.). It is especially suitable for outdoor use.
– Mobile GPS: nowadays, high-end Smartphones carry a GPS giving access to map navigation, door-to-door guidance, traffic and weather news, etc.
– Car GPS: this is the most common version. It is generally placed on the dashboard of the car, motorhome or truck.
– Altimeter or portable GPS (mini GPS or GPS-watch): this is a device perfectly suited for hiking and trekking. It is a generally efficient and energy-efficient model. It offers various options including position reading, pedestrian and road navigation, cardio belt, etc.
– Sea GPS: it is used to find your way around the open sea. It is more precise than a simple car GPS.
– Optional GPS modules for PC, Smartphones and PDAs: these are optional elements that can be synchronized by Bluetooth or USB with a PDA, a computer and a mobile phone. This module, like that of Android GPS or iOS Carplay, makes it possible to make your devices an effective GPS.
Here, it is not a question of going in search of the most efficient model. We rather try to find the model adapted to our needs.
For road guidance and occasional use, a conventional GPS may suffice. In particular, this allows continuous information on the state of the traffic. It also helps to know the shortest route from point A to point B. This information is thus used to optimize and shorten the travel time on the road. Advices ? The best references are attributed to Tomtom and Mio.
To go on a trip and play the tourist on the road, you will need more advanced functions. In addition, you need a model with more detailed mapping and dotted with tourist and cultural stopover points. These GPS draw their reference in part through sites and travel guides such as Guide Vert, Petit Futé, Routard, etc.
From then on, this precious logistical tool provides information on nearby cultural venues, hotels, restaurants, embassies, etc. In this category, the Garmin, Mappy and Navigon ViaMichelin GPS units are particularly efficient.
To answer the call of adventure and the outdoors, you’ll need a sat nav that’s rugged and fearless like you. This model is designed to cope with unconventional settings: at the sea, in the desert, in the mountains, etc. Here, the device must be programmable as to which route to follow.
You should be able to enter a list of breakpoints. Like a survival kit, this model is decked out with vital features including: maps (topographic, road and marine), satellite signal quality, electronic compass, altimeter, calendar with hunting and fishing time slots, trip computer, etc. Following a small comparison, the palm of the best outdoor GPS goes to Garmin and IGN.
With the imperishable evolution of technology, the GPS has continued to improve. Which means that today, he is no longer content to indicate the way through his screen. Indeed, it embeds more or less various essential functions depending on the model. Following this buying guide for the best GPS, a good model is coming with voice guidance, traffic report, route choices, map updates via Wifi, etc.
If your budget allows it, opt for a model with a large 7” screen (5” is the standard size) equipped with an anti-glare and a zoom. Concretely, you can also turn to the spoiled devices of associated technologies which are: the systems of “Info Trafic” (also known as TMC) to have the FM band of the state of the traffic, the waypoints , a Bluetooth function to take advantage of hands-free use and call notifications, dedicated functions by brand (NavPix from Mio, IQ Routes from TomTom). Any price comparison would guarantee that an all-in-one model is more practical.
The 5 Best GPS (Reviews & Tests) of 2022
Which GPS to choose when the market continues to grow and offer a thousand and one variants? How to recognize models that stand out and are reliable? If you want to find out, just take a look at our selection. Indeed, we have gathered in this top 5 the best models of the moment.
1. Garmin 010-01198-05 GPS
Are you planning to travel in the coming months? Do you want to know which is the best GPS on the market? For you, the Garmin brand is a significant reference? If so, Garmin 010-01198-05 is a model you might like.
This car GPS is from the Navigation Essential series. Easy to handle, it is controlled via a 5” screen with dual orientation: horizontal and vertical. It is an autonomous model whose operation does not rely on cellular signals. Which makes it work even in areas without a network. Practical and powerful, this geolocation tool comes with accurate preloaded maps of the United States and Canada.
To further facilitate its use, it guarantees unlimited and free updates. And if most models require access and subscription fees to take advantage of a traffic info function, this is not the case with this product. This device allows you to criss-cross urban arteries while avoiding traffic jams thanks to its information and road guidance. With this nüvi 56LMT device, you will easily find addresses and stops of interest.
This device does not need signals from a GPRS chip to operate. It is operational even in remote places without cellular signal.
Accessible, this Garmin car GPS allows you to freely enjoy its features. The updates of its maps as well as its traffic info function are free of charge.
Whether in Canada or the United States, this model delivers road maps and detailed points of interest on its bright screen.
In view of the minute details, the maps of this GPS can be voluminous. As a result, it may require the purchase of a larger microSD card.
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How to buy a better value for money GPS? If you want butter and butter money, go for TomTom GO 620 GPS Navigator. This model is one of the best GPS navigation units on the market. It has a 6 inch touch screen. It was designed to make every journey easier.
It embeds various practical features such as map updates and traffic alerts. It also offers a multitude of preloaded maps. And with Wifi updates, several other additional cards remain accessible.
The hands-free calling function of the TomTom GO 620 GPS Navigator is easy to use. And since this model has access to SIRI voice assistants as well as Google Now, it reads requests in a clear, understandable voice without any problems.
Regarding the grip of the GPS navigator, the stability is there due to the shape as well as the magnetic base of the interior support. And the rechargeable battery lasts for an hour (approx.).
Updates provide quick access to several other preloaded maps.
Provides clear and understandable instructions, no need to look at the 6 inch touch screen for clarification or detailed information.
This device benefits from an ergonomic and easy-to-follow map reading. In addition, the resolution of the images is pleasant enough and offers good readability.
Count at most 1 hour if you want to use this device unplugged. This explains why it is a car model. It must be permanently connected to it.
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3. Garmin DriveSmart 50 60
Garmin is far from resting on its laurels as automotive and mobile phone technologies continue to evolve. Considered the best brand of GPS (at least one), it confidently asserts its expertise with Garmin DriveSmart 50. This model is part of Garmin GPS navigators. Less expensive than its more premium cousins Garmin Drive and DriveLuxe, it is aimed at modest budgets looking for many features.
Garmin DriveSmart 50 has more or less the same design as the 2589LMT model. Both have the same dimensions as well as the same glass multi-touch screen. They also keep the same WQVGA resolution with the USB-D connector. Nevertheless, the Garmin DriveSmart 50 GPS comes with a global driving assistant giving access to more notifications. It is a better GPS on this level.
It warns you, for example, of nearby school zones, level crossings or speed changes. Added to this is a notification of interest including the fatigue warning in the event of prolonged driving. If paired with the Link mobile app and on Bluetooth connection, you have access to additional notifications: SMS, incoming calls, calendar notes, etc. This device comes with lifetime traffic and map updates for the United States. Added to this is a route guidance function.
Additional notifications via the mobile application make this material pleasant to use. They allow you to benefit from safe and trouble-free use.
Thanks to this connectivity, this device allows hands-free driving. You can directly receive and voice control access to your text messages, calls and calendar.
This notification is one of the best aspects of this device. It detects long journeys and offers the driver to take breaks if necessary.
Compared with its previous version, this model has few technical innovations. It sports the same design as well as the same image resolution.
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4. TomTom Via 1625tm Touchscreen Laptop
As the market is full of models adapted to all tastes and budgets, how to choose the best GPS of 2022? Can we consider that TomTom VIA 1625TM is more reliable than other GPS? To find out, zoom in on its features.
From the outset, the main function of TomTom VIA 1625TM is to allow a quick, easy and hassle-free journey. It does this by providing smooth and easy map navigation. This TomTom GPS is quite compact. It is equipped with a 5” touch screen, a size that many motorists consider to be ideal. It’s also a relatively cheap device compared to a host of similar devices.
One of the most valuable features of VIA 1625TM: its Advanced Lane Guidance function. This option indicates whether you have enough time to plan a stop or an exit from the route. This is extremely useful if you are driving on a busy highway and need to take a better route out of it. This device also stands out with its free lifetime map updates.
Although the majority of manufacturers now offer free map updates, this is still a good point for TomTom VIA 1625TM.
This device comes with a touch screen that is easy to use and view. 5” is considered the most ergonomic screen size for GPS. This model combines this with a very compact and practical design with its Junction View split screen. Added to this is a double mounting system allowing orientation according to your convenience.
This model’s voice function works great, as does its Advanced Lane Guidance option and turn-by-turn guidance.
TomTom VIA 1625TM relies on radio signals to detect traffic alerts and updates. Except that most radio stations only deliver updates or alerts every 15 minutes.
Some may be disappointed to know that its battery life is limited to about 3 hours. However, this problem is easily solved with a USB charger on car.
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5. Magellan RoadMate Rm2036-mu 2036 GPS Receiver
Where to buy a new GPS when you want to swap your old built-in model with a sophisticated device? How to find good references. For our part, we offer you this Magellan RoadMate Rm2036-mu 2036 GPS receiver.
This Magellan GPS is distinguished by its ONETOUCH function. The latter allows you to have quick access to the icons and favorite bookmarks of your favorite stopover points. This device delights motorists and adventurers with free and unlimited real-time traffic access. In addition, having this data does not require the payment of costs.
This device also stands out for its calculations, descriptions and records of AAA diamond tourbook with AAA places of residence/games/dinner. It allows you to locate service stations as well as rest areas on your route. This device comes with preloaded maps of the USA, Canada and Puerto Rico. Black in color, it has a 4.3” screen. On the connection side, it has Wifi compatibility.
Most of the time, these materials require an internet connection with payment of subscription fees to have traffic information. However, it is different with this model from Magellan. It provides free access to road flows.
When purchased, this device comes with maps of the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. If you live there or plan to visit, that’s all good.
Generally speaking, the standard size of good models is 5”. With its 4.3”, this Magellan model can find itself at a disadvantage when it comes to reading data.
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frequently asked Questions
Q1: What is GPS and how does it work?
The GPS, acronym for Global Positioning System (Geo-position by satellite) is presented as a system of assistance to driving or universal geolocation. To operate, it captures and delivers almost exact positioning data by exploiting the signals and radio frequencies emitted by 30 dedicated satellites (generally a minimum of 4 satellites per calculation). These positioning coordinates are also obtained by the longitude, latitude and altitude calculated by the GPS.
This device is able to find the distance between its receiver and these satellites. Which means that it determines in real time the terrestrial coordinates of its receiver (by extension of the vehicle or the person) by referring to the geodesic system WGS 84. Not to be confused with a GPS plotter, a GPS navigator has several features such as traffic information, journey time calculation, hands-free option, etc.
Q2: How to read GPS coordinates?
Once the device delivers a position in decimal degrees, you must convert the result into minutes and seconds.
For example, you have 104.1345658748 Longitude. Here, the GPS indicates north, because the longitude is positive. If this is negative, the device indicates the south. If it is latitude, the device indicates the east if it is positive and the west, if negative. The first three digits of this data specify a degree (here, we have 104°).
The minutes are obtained by multiplying the decimals of the coordinate by 60 (0.1345658748 x 60 = 8.0739522488 which makes 8 minutes). As for seconds, you take the decimals of the result of the minutes calculation and multiply them by 60 (0.0739522488 x 60 = 4.43714928 seconds).
For our example, therefore, you get 104 degrees, 8 minutes and 4.43714928 seconds north. You can also search for the position delivered by the device by entering the coordinates obtained on Google Maps. To do this, simply type in the search field the longitude and latitude coordinates calculated by the device (separated by a comma).
Q3: How much data does GPS use?
A mobile GPS application requires data only for downloading maps, traffic information, points of interest, consulting and sending image/video content, as well as tracking journeys. In general, the use of this equipment requires approximately 1 GB for weak reception (3G or 4G) for a trip of 2 to 3 weeks.
That said, this quantity may vary depending on the map download platform (TomTom, Waze, Google Maps, etc.). Note that the simple reading of GPS coordinates does not necessarily require a data source since the equipment will simply pick up the signals and not emit them.
Q4: How do I update a GPS?
Device update varies from brand to brand. But in general, this requires downloading specific software to a PC, available on the brand’s website (TomtomHome, MyDriveConnect, Garmin express, etc.). Thereafter, connect the hardware to the computer and open the software. Manually download the necessary updates there.
Classic map updates are usually free. To have more accurate data and foreign maps, you have to pay to get the updates. For the integrated GPS, the updates are done automatically via Wifi or via data on SD card or USB card. If these solutions prove unsuccessful, contact your dealer.
Q5: How do I use my phone as a GPS?
To do this, simply download and install the GPS application. Then, turn on your data or Wifi to access its various features.