Guide to buying car GPS
The GPS has become today an essential piece for our trips by car. Not only because it helps us to reach our destination, but also because it gives us greater security on that route, by anticipating risks such as sharp curves, dangerous areas or traffic jams. However, a good part of these functions depend on the GPS model that we have chosen, since not all the models that we see in a car GPS comparison have the same capacity. Therefore, we are going to leave you some ideas about what you should take into account so that finding a cheap and quality GPS is as easy as getting to your destination.
The first point of interest in our guide to buying the best car GPS is the screen. After all, this is where we are going to see the data of our route and this is also the element that helps us to maintain control of the device. So a good size and quality screen is key when it comes to finding the perfect GPS.
Regarding the size, this ranges from 4.3 to 7 inches, in general. This first measurement, the 4.3 inches, is not entirely recommended since the device is small for a car, so it is his thing to bet on models of at least 5 inches. In addition, the difference in how much one model costs or another does not make it practical to reduce the size of said screen so much.
Regarding the larger ones, the 5 and 6-inch ones are usually used for passenger cars, offering a good combination of screen with a size that is not excessively bulky. However, if you want to see everything big, you can also make the jump to 7 inches. Some models that, generally, are designed for trucks although they also serve for passenger cars. By the way, car GPS radios also have this 7-inch measurement that we discussed, so it’s easy to see everything big on them.
The main objective of a GPS is to indicate the route to our destination. But to do so there are many ways and with many other elements that can help us on our way. We are talking about additional services to driving, a field in which manufacturers have worked in a remarkable way to offer us safer and quieter trips.
Among these services, perhaps the most prominent is live traffic. A function that requires a Bluetooth or WiFi connection in the GPS and a mobile with data to access the network. The advantage it offers us is that of knowing, at the moment, when a traffic jam occurs and obtaining an alternative route that saves us time.
We also have other informational services on the route, such as the presence of dangerous curves, school zones, speed limits or the presence of radars. Small aids with which to drive more safely. And in case you want to find restaurants, gas stations and other points of interest, there are many car GPS that already include this information, even integrated into the route itself. A host of additional functions whose additional cost is worth it to travel better.
Driving aids aside, a car GPS also has other very interesting additional functions and features. As an example, in the case of models with Bluetooth, these can be used to answer our calls in hands-free mode or to play music. This function can also be useful to control the mobile with your voice, in the same way that it is possible to control some of the car GPS that we have on the market.
Another interesting feature is the multimedia player that some of these car GPS incorporate. This function allows us to take advantage of this screen to play video or audio, coming from the mobile phone or from SD cards. It is a function that, for example, is always present in GPS car radios, which become an interesting multimedia center to give a more fun touch to our trips.
Finally, we would have to talk about camera support. This feature allows you to view the rear of the vehicle, after installing a compatible camera, so that we can use the GPS screen to look behind our vehicle. Something that is of great help in maneuvers such as parking, for example.
Frequently asked questions
Q1: Is it essential to use external car GPS antenna?
In principle it is not essential, as long as the GPS is located in an area that is not too hidden inside the car, such as the dashboard or the windshield. But it is true that in certain larger vehicles or in those with integrated GPS, it may be necessary to have an external antenna. In any case, it will be the device itself with its behavior that tells us if it is really necessary to have that antenna or not.
Q2: Can a car and mountain GPS be used?
Unless we use this GPS to move through mountain roads, opting for a car GPS for this use is not recommended. Mountain GPS have specific maps, which include roads, routes and trails, as well as other useful details in the middle of nature, where car GPS would be lost within a few meters of separating from the road.
Q3: Can I use a motorcycle car GPS?
The use of a car GPS on a motorcycle has no greater problem than finding a support that we can mount properly and safely on the handlebars. It would also be convenient if this support allows us to achieve an adequate orientation to avoid glare. However, we must also be careful to protect the GPS with a cover or similar, which avoids the effects of humidity in case the rain surprises us in the middle of the route.
Q4: Can a car GPS be used as a locator?
Although the technology used by both devices is the same, it is not possible to use a car GPS as a locator. The reasons are several, although the main one has to do with the inability of the GPS to send its position, accompanied by problems related to the size and battery of the device, which would also rule it out for this type of use, even if they were modified correctly. .
Q5: How to update built-in car GPS?
Well, it all depends on the car manufacturer, since the system changes. At a technical level, when the GPS is integrated, it is usually enough to have the updates to execute said update. However, to obtain these files, it is usually necessary to check out at the dealership to obtain them and to proceed with the update. Some brands offer a system that uses subscriptions and vehicle connectivity to “send” these updates, although they are the least. Anyway, going through the box is already a classic to have your GPS up to date.
Q6: How does a car GPS locator work?
The GPS locator works in the same way that the GPS itself works but in reverse. The GPS tells us where our destination is depending on where we are, while the GPS locator guides us to where the car is according to our position. So what the device does is mark the position of the device, send it to a server and from it, via app or web, inform us of where the vehicle is and even how we can get to it.
Q7: Is a car radio with GPS reliable?
It all depends on the quality of your antenna, but generally speaking this is not usually a problem. In fact, the results that these products give us are usually as good as those of an external browser. The reason is that many of the GPS car radios have an external antenna, which helps us to further improve the quality of the signal perceived by the device. In any case, it is worth taking a look at the user comments to see how it works, as well as keeping the device well updated with the corresponding updates, so that the product maintains its performance at all times.
Q8: What improvement does a Bluetooth car GPS bring?
The main advantage that Bluetooth has in these devices is to have additional help when interacting with our mobile. These models have functions such as hands-free, so we can manage our phone calls with great comfort. They also serve as a connection for models that include live traffic functions and other smart functions, which use these connections to give us that information in real time.
How to use a car GPS
A car GPS is the best solution not only for finding a quick route to your destination, but also for driving safely. But for this to be possible, it is necessary to know how to properly handle the product and optimize its performance before starting to use it. Something that will be easy with the instructions and tips that we give you below.
Always update the product
The first thing we should do with our new GPS , once out of the box, is to connect it and update it. This update will allow the device to be able to have the latest versions of both the navigation maps and the software that allows the device to work. So it is the best way to start browsing safely.
Placing the GPS
Another key aspect is the placement of the GPS. This must always be done away from the airbags and the ventilation grills, in order to avoid risks in the event of an accident or that the cold and heat affect the product. Obviously, the mounting must be done in a place where we have good visibility of the device and, if possible, free of reflections. Also check that the product is correctly fixed, to prevent its accidental fall.
Choosing the route
When choosing the route, the GPS offers us several options: the fastest, the shortest, without tolls … Leaving aside the specific parameters, such as tolls, in general the fastest route is usually also the most safe, since it uses motorways and highways preferentially. There are many cases in which choosing the shortest route implies using secondary roads, which are not exactly the safest. That is why it is convenient to verify the route before leaving, to check that it does not send us by any inappropriate or dangerous route.
GPS is not touched
Once we are on the road, we must activate all the options that allow us to forget about it, unless it is strictly essential. If we have had the good idea of choosing a voice-controlled model, it will be convenient to activate this mode of use, to handle it without using the hands. It is also highly recommended to use the text-to-speech system, so that we do not have to read instructions but rather it is the GPS that “chants” them as necessary.
Take advantage of connectivity
As a last tip, it is essential that we take advantage of the connectivity features that GPS includes . If it includes Bluetooth, we can use the GPS to answer our calls and even read our messages. And if real-time traffic information functions are included with this connectivity, it is also interesting to use them, since these functions can help us avoid traffic jams and lose more time than necessary on our route. Although, as we have said before, all the configuration must always be done with the vehicle stationary, to avoid unnecessary risks .