Sat navs are virtually a must have item for everyone who drives nowadays. Long gone are the days of trying to drive with a big, heavy street directory balancing on your lap. Sat navs just make life easier. But with the plethora of options now available, how DO you select the right satellite navigation, or GPS device for your needs and budget? Why is doing research so important and how can you be sure that you are buying the right product that will serve you for years to come? This article will cover all of these points and more, and will hopefully assist you in selecting the perfect sat nav!
Benefits Of Having A Sat Nav
Before we get started on researching a sat nav for you, you might still be up in the air about whether you even need one at all. Why buy a sat nav device and how can it benefit you? Consider the following.
1. Avoid getting lost
This is of course the number one reason people want a sat nav – so you can get clear directions on how to get from A to B without fuss.
Looking down at a street directory is not only inconvenient, but it can be downright dangerous. Sat navs have completely eliminated this driving hazard of yesteryear.
3. Speed monitoring
We’ve all done it: inadvertently climbed over the current speed limit without being aware of it. Particularly when you are in unfamiliar territory and may not have paid close attention to the last speed limit sign, you can quickly find yourself going a little faster than you should be. A good sat nav system is able to notify you audibly when you have exceeded the current local limit, as well as when you are approaching a speed camera. Even the most careful of drivers can make costly mistakes, so this little feature can literally pay for your entire investment in a sat nav, just through one avoided speeding fine!
4. Find points of interest
Low on gas or need to find something to eat in a town you’re not familiar with? In days gone by you’d have to drive around hope to randomly come across a location. But with a sat nav, just enter the type of facility you need to find and it will locate a bunch of the nearest fuel stations, eateries, or other point of interest near you. This not only saves time, but if you’re particularly low on fuel, can be a real life saver too.
5. Avoid traffic
Not all sat navs have this feature, but some models are able to receive information about current traffic build up and congestion, and then recommend an alternative route for you to take in order to avoid the gridlock. If you live somewhere where traffic is a problem much of the time, then this can be a really worthwhile feature to look for when you are researching a sat nav device.
Why Take The Time To Research Sat Navs?
We are blessed with so many choices now when it comes to buying almost any technology related product, including sat navs. But that doesn’t mean the choice is easy. Each sat nav product will have its own unique set of features, ergonomics and nuances and it is often the small things that make one stand out above others. Additionally, your budget is likely to determine which devices you’re going to focus your research time on.
Doing detailed research is important when it comes to buying a new sat nav. This is a product that you will be using for many, many years; and, if you are a heavy road user, perhaps one that you will use almost everyday. Therefore, being completely comfortable with its usability, features and capabilities is absolutely vital. Making the right decision based on solid research will ensure that you are not disappointed with your final selection.
Aspects that you will want to seriously consider when doing your research include:
Needless to say, you probably have a budget to stick to and this will be your first form of filtering; once you know how much you wish to spend, you can start looking at sat nav products within that price range, and go from there.
Screen size and type
Screen size is an important consideration. The last thing you want to be doing is taking your eyes off the road to strain to see the sat nav screen. It should be large enough for you to be able to quickly focus on it, but not so large that it blocks part of your view. Therefore, the size of your car and windscreen is a factor here too; some sat nav units are as small as 4 inches, whilst the largest can reach 8 inches and beyond. The type of screen is also something to think about, particularly when it comes to the touchscreen function. Is it pressure sensitive, require a firmer push (and slower input), or would you prefer the smartphone style finger sensing screen, which are much more sensitive to the touch?
How detailed and what age are the preloaded maps on the device? How much does it cost to update the maps when you need to, or to purchase additional maps? This will vary between brands.
Number of satellites
The more satellites that the unit can connect to, the faster it will be able to pick one up. Generally the number of satellites a sat nav can connect ranges from 12 up to 20.
Point of interest (POI) database
How extensive and detailed is the point of interest database, and how easy is it to search through? If this is a function you use often, it is worth researching this feature in detail.
Some sat nav units have a traffic receiver, but you’ll usually have to pay a monthly or annual fee to access the service.
Satellite navigation devices used to be expensive and only available to those on a big budget. These days however, things have changed, and the technology is available to anyone, on any budget, and with features that make the devices of only a few years ago seem like dinosaurs by comparison. By being educated and aware of desirable features, you will be in the very best position to purchase the perfect sat nav device for your needs and your budget.
Take a look at the current best selling Sat Navs on the market here!