The best portable navigation system

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The best portable navigation system for your car depends on Like you want it actually. I try to offer valuable advice based on which browsing capabilities and features are worthwhile.

First write a list with the features you would like to have on your navigation device. Think about things like: Do I need Bluetooth, Avoid traffic using live traffic update or TMC, device mount, screen size, map coverage, audible road directions, spoken street names,. The most important thing is of course that the device gets you from A to B quickly and safely. But they all do, I hope 😉

Second, set a price that you would be able to spend on your navigation unit.

There are several navigation brands. I will name the most important: Garmin, TomTom, Navigon, MIO/Navman and iGO (not in any specific order). Of course, there are many other systems. But in my opinion, these are the most important in the PND market. Each navigation model has its own strengths and weaknesses.

Most navigation devices have the ability to use software to check for map/software updates and load external points of interest (like speed camera locations, fast food restaurants, etc.). This software is mostly written for Microsoft Windows system. Only a few systems support Apple iOS. Be sure to check this before purchasing the device.

Another important aspect concerns updates/upgrades. If you have outdated map material, this can be very frustrating. It is therefore practical to have up-to-date cartographic material. The prices of these updates are very different. I know of (integrated) systems that charge $250 for cards that are over 2 years old!! So please check when you have found a possible system how often they will have map updates and what the prices are. TomTom has for example map sharing. This feature allows you to make updates to the map and share them with other users. This feature is free and you can enable or disable it.

When you finally find a device that comes close to meeting all your needs/wants, be sure to connect to the internet and search for reviews. You never know if there is a specific model that has issues with hardware/software or something else.

Another suggestion I would like you to give is: Look for a possible seat in your car. Some windshields have a special coating (to block the sun) which reduces the GPS signal. Most devices these days have a very sensitive GPS device, but this can still be a problem and you end up losing your GPS connection (your car’s location) while driving. In most cases there is a place in the windshield where they left out the coating. It’s often behind the rear view mirror.

Last but not least. Go to the store and ask (ask) to play with it before you buy. You must feel comfortable with the device.

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