GPS: How to choose the best model in 2021
Today we will talk about GPS, a device that serves to indicate the location of the vehicle and guide the best route to reach the desired destination.
Although some people think that GPS has fallen out of favor, due to smartphone apps that fulfill the same function, the truth is that these gadgets have excellent features and affordable prices.
But with so many options of models and brands, you can be lost when choosing the ideal device. With that in mind, we have prepared this article with all the information you need to know about this device. Good reading!
First, the most important
- GPS works via satellite signal, so you don’t have to worry if you are in a remote area, with no phone or internet signal, as the device will continue to work.
- In addition to the basic function, GPS can come with interesting features such as digital TV, FM radio, multimedia file reader and even compatibility with the rear camera.
- Generally, the GPS comes with a vehicle charger, equipment support, instruction manual and warranty certificate. Some models come with a reverse camera.
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Traveling with family or friends is always fun. What nobody likes is getting lost on an unknown road or city, going round and round until patience (or gas) runs out.
To avoid this type of inconvenience and make your way even safer, it is worth investing in a GPS. Do you want to know all the features and functionality of this gadget? Read this Buying Guide.
What is a GPS?
GPS is an abbreviation for Global Positioning System , which in Portuguese means Global Positioning System and indicates a location and navigation technology based on satellite signals, transmitted to GPS.
Among the features of a GPS we can mention: driving instructions, indication of speed cameras and traffic cameras, notification of maximum permitted speed, among others.
If for any reason you deviate from the route or take the wrong path, GPS recalculates the route automatically and traces a new route for you to reach the desired location.
You can set up some frequently used routes like your home, college or work address. Some devices are capable of leaving up to ten routes programmed.
What are the advantages of having a GPS?
GPS has several interesting features:
Driving alerts: GPS provides alerts that encourage safer driving and increase situational awareness. We can highlight:
- Sharp turn alerts
- Speed change notifications
- Railroad Crossings
- Animal crossings
- School zones
- Speed camera and traffic camera notifications
- Fatigue warning, which suggests possible rest areas when you have been driving for many hours.
Touchscreen: these devices have a touchscreen, which facilitates the handling of the device during the journey. Some models allow you to choose whether to use the device vertically or horizontally.
Speaker: all directions given by the GPS are informed by a speaker. You can configure whether you want to hear a male or a female voice. Some models have a voice command.
Free updates: some GPS models have software updates at no additional cost. These updates serve to renew the maps and locate new radars and traffic cameras.
School zone warning: issues a notification whenever the vehicle is close to these areas, so you can slow down to avoid accidents.
Reverse camera compatibility: some models are compatible with a reverse camera that allows you to see obstacles on the way through the GPS display. The camera can accompany the device or be purchased separately.
Indication of places nearby: with GPS you can consult suggestions for restaurants, snack bars, accommodation, gas stations, shops and tourist attractions on the route and destination.
- You find models for car and motorcycle
- No phone and internet signal needed to work (receives satellite signals)
- When without battery, it can be charged in the vehicle’s own socket
- Some devices offer software updates at no additional cost
- Some devices offer software updates at no additional cost
- Comes with support for attachment to the vehicle
- Some models have paid updates
- Most models do not indicate the traffic situation
- Some models do not indicate radars and traffic cameras
What is the best place to install GPS?
The ideal is to place the GPS on the driver’s left side, as close as possible to the dashboard and rearview mirror and always below the driver’s eye line.
It is also important to pay attention to the fixation. If a collision occurs and the GPS is incorrectly installed, it can be launched into the face of any of the passengers and cause serious or permanent injury.
What are the features of a motorcycle GPS?
If you are looking for a motorcycle GPS, check if the device is made with resistant and waterproof materials. It is also important to assess what the screen looks like in sunlight and in the dark.
Give preference to the models suitable for the motorcycle, because in addition to the support being different, it is important that the device can be loaded on the motorcycle itself (but look for a model in which the battery is long lasting).
GPS or location application: What is the best choice?
In the past few years, many people have stopped buying or even using their GPS devices because they prefer to use a location application, but is this exchange worth it?
Despite delivering a good service, with maps and information updated in real time, using the application as the only way of location is not recommended, because to work, the software needs an internet signal and the mobile phone network.
With GPS you will never run the risk of getting lost out there, as the device picks up satellite signals. In addition, if you use these services frequently, it is ideal that you look for a device suitable for this purpose.
In addition, the smartphone has some disadvantages: the screen size often does not allow you to view the entire route, the volume is lower and the battery consumption is very high.
The GPS has a bigger screen, battery with greater durability, does not depend on phone signal and internet, has many interesting features and good cost-benefit.
In recent years, prices for GPS devices have fallen sharply. Nowadays, the consumer finds very complete options at very affordable prices.
The cheapest models cost between R $ 180 and R $ 300. Intermediate devices are usually a little more expensive, most options cost around R $ 500. The premium models cost between R $ 1100 and R $ 3200.
Where to buy?
You can find several models of GPS in automotive stores. The device is also sold in department stores, among others.
An interesting alternative is to buy GPS over the internet. In addition to finding a wide variety of models, brands and price ranges, you can read the reviews of other consumers and thus make a safe choice. Our suggestion is to take a look at Amazon.
When purchasing a GPS, review the navigation interface of the device. Ideally, the icons should be relatively large for easy viewing. The screen must be touch sensitive, so you don’t have to use the digital pen to navigate.
Another fundamental feature is the voice guidance tool, that is, when the device tells the direction to be taken to reach the desired location. These characteristics prevent the driver from distracting attention while driving.
Many people do not know, but checking which maps are present on the GPS device can be a very important purchase criterion if you plan to travel by car to countries abroad.
Some models only have a map, but most have maps of some South American countries like Argentina, Uruguay and Chile. Some models also have the United States map.
Although they are a little more difficult to find, some GPS models are even more complete and have maps of the entire world. But if your choice is for a simpler device and you need additional maps, you can buy or download them from your computer.
Stay tuned while most manufacturers offer free updates, some offer one to twelve months of free updates, but then start charging a fee to keep the maps up to date.
When choosing a GPS, observe the screen size of the device. Most models have a 4.3 inch screen, but you also find some options with 5, 6 or 7 inches.
Tip: models with a 5-inch screen are the most popular, because this size is considered ideal, after all, you can easily view the information and the device takes up little space.
GPS can come with some features that go far beyond directing the driver’s path and serve to entertain and distract the family during longer journeys or traffic jams.
- Digital TV and FM Radio: it will keep you entertained during that boring traffic or long journey. (Note: devices with these features have an external antenna).
- Micro SD reader, e-Book, MP3 and MP4: like these media players , you can open text, audio, video and image files while traveling, without changing the main functionality of the device.
- Reverse camera: this tool will help you perform perfect maneuvers, avoiding damage to the vehicle’s bumper and possible accidents. Devices with this functionality may accompany the camera, but in some cases it must be purchased separately.
- TripAdvisor: this resource serves to suggest the best accommodations, restaurants and attractions along the route or at your destination. The cool thing is that you can access other travelers’ reviews of such places.
- Live traffic: this feature can be very interesting to avoid congestion. To use the tool, the GPS needs to be connected to a smartphone with internet access.
- Bluetooth calling: some models are able to integrate with the smartphone interface and allow access to the contact list and make calls.
Like any other electronic device, GPS has software, an operating system and internal memory. The better the set of these features, the cooler your experience with the device will be.
The internal memory is responsible for storing maps offline, saving programmed routes, points of interest and other important information. You can find models with 2, 4 or 8 GB.
If you want to store more information in the GPS memory, look for a model with a memory card slot.
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