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About Our Rankings
Our editors rate and review products objectively based on the features offered to consumers, the price and delivery options, how a product compares with other products in its category, and other factors.
The ratings are based on the expert opinion of our editors and on underlying technology that analyzes decisions made by similar users to provide individual, targeted recommendations to each person who visits our site.
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Choosing The Best Option
What goes into being the best, you may ask. The criteria we've looked at include:
GPS Navigator Shopping Guide
With their convenient, no-fuss directions, GPS navigational systems have become essential to most people, making printed paper maps of yesteryear practically a relic of antiquity.
While smartphones offer basic navigational features through popular apps, there are simply many functionalities that only a standalone GPS navigational device can accomplish. Not only can they take the burden off your smartphone’s data plan (not to mention its battery life) they can be a lifesaver with their advanced features.
Standalone GPS Navigators vs Smartphone GPS Navigators
The basic functionalities of GPS navigational devices are much the same. You simply plug in your destination, and the GPS tells you how to get there, step by step. Best of all, if you lose your way, or there's terrible traffic up ahead, the GPS device recognizes it, and adapts, re-routing you if necessary.
There are several good reasons you might want to invest in a standalone GPS navigational device. Perhaps one of their best features is that they tend to be more user-friendly. After all, there's nothing more frustrating than having an electronic device tell you to "turn left" without clarifying exactly where you should turn left. You can quickly become a distracted driver as you struggle to zoom in on that tiny map, trying to decipher your next move as you unwittingly veer into a neighboring lane. Standalone GPS devices avoid this altogether; they tend to be more specific, not to mention easier to see.
The size of the average standalone GPS navigational device screen is about 5 inches when measured diagonally—although some models can be as large as 7 inches. Not only is the screen larger, but all those graphics aren’t taking a giant bite out of your smartphone battery life—or your data plan. Freeway exits that can’t be differentiated on a smartphone are often more clear and concise on standalone devices.
But perhaps most importantly, standalone GPS navigational devices offer safety features that simply can’t be matched by a smartphone.
GPS Navigators For Remote & International Travel
If you've driven through remote areas, you may know the panic that can set in if you stray off the beaten path. Perhaps you pull out your smartphone in hopes of locating your exact whereabouts, but you soon discover you have no signal. In fact, the last time your smartphone detected your whereabouts was 20 miles ago.
This is where GPS navigational devices go above and beyond a smartphone app. Because maps are stored to the device (and additional maps specific to a destination can also be downloaded), your device is less reliant on a cell signal to keep your route directions going steady.
Traveling abroad? Standalone GPS devices are immensely popular amongst travelers in Europe and elsewhere for their ability to cross borders without the subsequent risk of egregious data charges.
GPS Navigators With Built-In Dash Cams
Did you know that Americans spend 70 billion hours driving? With video recording on the rise, it seems wise that some of your driving activity should get a bit of video documentation. After all, should you land in a car crash dispute, video footage can make all the difference in helping protect your side of the story, protecting you from someone else’s expensive mistake.
Look for GPS devices that include a dash cam. Many perform continuous recording for a certain amount of time and if a collision of some kind is detected, the device saves the most recent footage for you to retrieve later.
Dash cams, when combined with GPS, can enable other features that can seriously make your drive safer. Some devices offer forward collision alerts which can enable your GPS device to have a sense of what’s in front of your car. Forward collision alerts can tell you if a car or truck is ahead of you, helping you maintain a safe following distance.
Still other devices have lane departure warnings - a must for long road trips that often result in risky drowsy driving. Lane departure warnings can alert you if you are swerving out of a lane inadvertently.
GPS Navigator Special Features
The following are some other features to watch for when choosing a GPS navigator:
Alerts - Watch for GPS devices that alert you to a vast array of pitfalls that are ubiquitous to driving. From railroad tracks, speed limit changes, to school zones, you are far more likely to be aware of your surroundings with these types of alerts.
Smartphone Connectivity - Connecting your device to your smartphone can allow you to receive more timely traffic and weather updates.
WiFi Updates - WiFi updates allows you to update your GPS navigator and maps without having to manually plug into a computer.
Map Updates – Some companies offer lifetime map updates for their navigators which is great especially for quickly-growing or changing areas.
Voice Control - Voice control allows you to use the GPS device without having to use your hands which makes for safer and easier driving conditions.
GPS Memory/Storage - Memory card slots can allow you greater storage capacity, making map updates, multimedia functionalities, and other upgrades a bit easier.
Trusting our Top Pick
Navigating the many choices for every consumer purchase can be challenging. Our team spends hours doing research, combing through forums, and reading consumer reviews on even the most basic of household items, and we summarize that information in clear, precise comparisons.
Join the millions that have trusted BuyersGuide.org to help them make smarter buying decisions. We help our readers spend their money wisely and find the right product to suit their specific needs. Our independent expert reviews and data-driven shopping recommendations empower you find the GPS navigator that is right for you.
What Sets Us Apart?
We leverage user data to understand decision-making and put the best products in front of each user. We tailor our comparisons to what matters to our user's needs, specific or broad. We keep our content up to date, we are constantly looking for new merchants and products to compare, and we are quick to remove any that are outdated or no longer meeting our standards. Our rankings change day-to-day based on our proprietary algorithms, that crunch data to identify top-performing products and tailor recommendations to exactly what our readers are looking for.
Have a question or want to make a recommendation? We love to hear from our readers and are always looking for new products to include on our site. Get in touch!
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