Thanks to today’s modern technology, there is almost no excuse to get lost anymore. With a navigation system, you can find out the exact location and directions to any place you are traveling to within minutes. Simply put in the address you want to locate, press a button, and a navigation system will give you step by step, detailed directions that you can easily follow to reach your destination.
From navigation systems that can be accessed via your smartphone to portable devices, there are so many options to choose from when it comes to navigation systems. With so many options, finding the best navigation system for your specific needs can be a bit challenging. How do you know which device to choose? To help you on your quest for finding the best navigation system for your specific needs, we have put together this handy buyer’s guide. This guide highlights the different types of navigation systems that are available, the factors that you should take into consideration when choosing a navigation system, the features that they can offer and the best navigation system brands. After reading this guide, you will have all of the information that you need to find the best navigation system and you will be ready to start shopping for the best one that will best meet your particular needs.
The Types of Navigation Systems
In order to find the best navigation system for your needs, you first need to understand the different types of navigation systems that are available. The purpose of all navigation systems is to provide you with step by step directions with pinpoint accuracy. While the goal of all navigation system is to provide you with directions, the manner in which they operate differs.
There are five main types of navigation systems, which include:
- The smartphone GPS device
- The in car infotainment system
- The Android Auto or Apple Car Play system
- The telematics system
- The portable GPS
Below, you will find a detailed description each of these types of navigation systems, including how they work, the benefits they offer, and some of the disadvantages that are associated with them.
The Smartphone GPS Device
With this type of navigation system, you can simply jump into your car with your smartphone, select a preloaded app and your phone service will provide you with multiple options for your trip, including directions, traffic patterns, alternate route suggestions for the fastest trip, and even warnings that will let you know if you are traveling too fast. You place your smartphone into a device that will secure it on your dashboard or windshield, selection your options and you are ready to go. This type of navigation system usually offers bright displays, so reading them is easy on a sun filled dashboard. You won’t have to worry about the added expense of buying an additional GPS device, and you won’t have to worry about carrying around an additional device. They are also always updated, so you get the most accurate information.
In Car Infotainment Navigation Systems
This type of navigation system usually works without a plugged in smartphone. The infotainment system is built directly into the car’s dashboard, and you can adjust it using a touch screen, controls on your steering wheel or with voice commands. This type of system can do more than just provide updated directions and traffic information; they can also do things like regulate climate controls and provide you with updates about your car. You will always have your navigation system with you, so even if you forget your phone, you can still get the information that you need.
Android Auto and Apple Car Play
This type of navigation system is built into the car, or it can be professionally installed aftermarket. This type of navigation system is similar to the In Car Infotainment system. It is essentially a modified version of the screen on your smartphone, with larger icons and an edited menu, which appears on the in dash screen. Since you are already familiar with the way your smartphone works, using this type of navigation system is a bit easier to get adjusted to.
The Temelatics Navigation System
With this device, your carmaker combines GPS and cellar technology to access emergency help, provide directions, and do a host of other things. Some of these systems can even unlock your doors automatically. Navigation is usually offered via a graphic display, which shows each upcoming turn, and also provides voice direction. They are easy to use and you have the ability to speak to an actual human on the other end, adding to the convenience.
The Portable Navigation System
As the name suggests, this type of navigation system is portable. This means that you can move it and use it in different cars. This type of navigation system is connected to a satellite, so they won’t freeze or leave you stranded if you lose phone service. Portable devices usually offer the same features as built in systems, and they can even offer more. They are compact and they are easy to carry along with you and share with other people. They are also less expensive than built in devices. Some of the newer models even come with Bluetooth hands free calling and dashboard camcorders that can save footage of your trip.
Factors to Consider When Shopping for a Navigation System
There are a number of factors that you are going to want to take into consideration in order to choose the best navigation system for your specific needs. Some of the most important factors to consider include ease of use, the ability to keep track of traffic, and the efficiency of the device, among other things. To learn more about the factors that we consider the most important to take into consideration when choosing a navigation system, keep on reading.
Ease of Use
One of the most important factors to consider when shopping for a navigation system is the ease of use. The last thing you want when you are using a navigation system is something that is difficult to use and hard to understand. The best navigation systems are easy to use and can be set up within in time.
Accuracy of the Navigation System
You should also consider the accuracy of the navigation system. Because you want it to provide you with directions and other pertinent information, you want to make sure that it will provide you with absolutely accurate information that you can rely on. If the device isn’t accurate, it is rendered almost useless, as you will not be able to rely on the information that it provides.
You also want to make sure that the display on the navigation system is as clear as possible. This includes clear and easy to read maps and other information, such as weather and traffic reports. If the display is not clear, it will impact the accuracy of the device, which can impact your ability to find out the information that you are hoping to attain from the navigation system.
The Installation of the Navigation System
If you are shopping for an aftermarket navigation system, you want to make sure that you consider the installation of the system. Those that are easier to install are a better choice, even if you opt to have a professional install it for you, because it will take less time and will require less intensive work; this translates to less cost when it comes to installation.
The Size of the Screen
The size of the screen is also a very important factor to take into consideration when choosing a navigation system. Opting for a smaller screen may be tempted because it may have a lower price tag; however, it may be more difficult to read the information on the screen, which can make it more difficult to use the system and can impact its efficiency. You want to make sure that the screen is large enough so that you can easily read the information that it is showcasing. On the other hand, you also want to make sure that the screen isn’t too big, as it can obscure the windshield and make driving less safe.
Real Time Traffic Info
In order to ensure that your navigation system is as useful as possible and will provide you with the directions that you want – as well as keep tabs on the traffic you are going to be encountering – you want to make sure that you choose a navigation system that offers real time traffic information. With this, you will be able to keep tabs on the traffic you are going to be encountering, including accidents, road closures, traffic jams, speed traps, and more. To keep in mind that traffic reporting on portable GPS units or infotainment built ins may not be precise; it can be outdated and inaccurate. Phone apps offer real time traffic that allow you to stay current with traffic information.
Rapidly Locates Satellites
If you are going to be choosing a GPS device that is supported by satellite, you want to make sure that it can rapidly locate those satellites. This will allow traffic information to be resumed and updated as quickly as possible. The main function that affects the responsiveness of a navigation system is the number of channels on the device.
The Cost of the Navigation System
Another important factor that you want to take into consideration is the cost of the navigation system. These systems vary significantly in price, so you want to make sure that establish a budget and know how much you want to spend before you start shopping. The more features that the navigation system offers and the more advanced it is, the expensive it will be. Make sure that you know how much you want to spend before you start shopping so that you can avoid spending more than you are comfortable with.
Features that Navigation Systems Can Offer
There are a number of features that navigation systems can offer. These features are intended to make the navigation system easier to use and more accurate. As mentioned above, the more features that a navigation system offers, the more expensive it will be. It is important to understand the features that a navigation system can offers so that you can determine whether you want or need certain features, and if spending the extra money will be worth your while.
Here is a look at some of the top features that a navigation system can offer.
A Speed Alert
Some navigation systems set off a warning sound when you exceed a preset limit that you have input into the system. With this feature, you will be able to reduce the odds of getting a speeding ticket. This can save you money in the long run, and points on your license.
This feature will allow you to determine the terrain that you are driving on so that you can get better reception and more accurate results.
Pedestrian and Bike Route Routers
With this feature, you will be able to find these types of transportation modes, so you will be able to use it while you are walking or while you are riding a bike.
This feature will ensure that your navigation system does not get damaged when it gets wet, and can even help it to stay afloat if you are using it on the water.
The Best Navigation System Brands
There are a number of companies that produce navigation systems. Here are our picks for the top brands of navigation systems.
This company produces exceptionally high quality navigation systems that offer the most advanced technologies. They are easy to use, are extremely accurate and offer outstanding results.
Boss Audio Systems
This is another manufacturer that delivers high quality navigation systems. Their systems are high quality, offer a range of features and provide outstanding results.
Garmin has been the leader in navigation systems for over a decade. This company uses state of the art technologies and the most cutting edge advances to ensure that they deliver outstanding products.