Some of the benefits with a traditional GPS navigator
is that they often have a larger screen, better connectivity to satellites, and better maps than mobile phones. There are also specially adapted models for boats, motorcycles and terrain where a mobile phone isn’t always that practical.
When selecting a GPS navigator, you need to know how and where to use it. There are models adapted for mounting on cars, motorcycles, for hiking trails in terrain, and for boats. The differences are type of maps, weather resistance, mounting brackets and the like.
Most maps come in 2D with a flat design, and where your progress is shown obliquely from behind. Those who want a more detailed image of the surroundings can choose GPS navigators with 3D maps. There are also a small number of models that can show extreme detail in a few big cities with Real City3D, which is useful if you drive often in areas that are supported.
When it comes to maps, it’s obviously important to choose the right map area to be included. Some models only include maps for (Sweden/France/Finland/Norway/UK), but most models also have maps for most of Europe. It’s often possible to add these afterwards, even the speed camera display, if this is not initially supported.
Route planning and rest stops are practical functions
Another practical feature worth getting is route planning with intermediate goals. Perfect when you go longer distances and want to make a stop along the way. GPS coordinates are useful for guiding rescue personnel or carriers to a specific location, and displaying road signs helps you in urban and dark driving. The professional driver can also choose models with support for driving diaries where needed.
Those who like to ride on terrain, can choose practical features such as altimeter for altitude measurement, weather reporting, and support for tracking, so that for example the family can follow your progress. Those who often bring their dog on the trip can choose a GPS navigator with accompanying dog collars to keep track of where the dog is.
Finally, those who often drive longer distances have a lot to gain from choosing a model that can quickly show alternative routes in the event of an accident or the like. There should at least be support for TMC (Traffic Message Channel), and then there are often manufacturer-specific solutions that tell you when obstacles are to be found along the way.
The alternative to the GPS navigator is a standard mobile phone built-in GPS, and applications like Google Maps, Apple Maps, Waze or free navigation devices. Or, if you prefer the maps from Navigon and TomTom, they are available through Google Play Store and Apple App Store.