10 Best Navigation Devices: Reviews and Buying Guide

Navigation systems are already part of our everyday life. If you are traveling by car and need to drive to foreign areas, a navigation device is an ideal companion. Without casting a constant eye on the classic roadmap or the atlas, you can usually reach your destination easily and without searching.

There is a large selection of navigation devices, although they usually lead us all to the desired destination, they differ in their operation, the presentation and the features. On what you should pay attention to when buying a navigation device and what the little companions can offer so everything, we would like to explain in more detail in our navigation device comparison.

Top 10 Navigation Devices

What types of navigation devices are there?

In addition to the mobile navigation devices, there are also permanently installed in the vehicle navigation systems. These are usually installed in the music system and can therefore only be used for driving by car.

And that’s exactly where the mobile navigation devices have their clear advantage, as they can be used more flexible. In addition, the map material in the stationary navigation systems is often not up to date.

And more and more often the smartphones are used as navigation devices. Through appropriate apps, the little companions can be used as a route planner. Although the screen is smaller than a mobile or stationary Navigerät, for traffic jams and the route planning, the smartphone is also sufficient as Navi.

In addition, a distinction is made in the mobile Navigeräten for devices for cars and trucks, or motorcyclists. For example, in the navigation devices for trucks, the weight restrictions or bridge heights are displayed. In our comparison, we only focus on the mobile navigation devices.

How do the mobile navigation devices work?

As already written, the navigation devices have a GPS satellite receiver, which determines the current position. Based on the maps and the selected destination, the navigation system determines the route. The software of the navigation systems ensures that the position of the vehicle and the suggested route can be seen on the display.

Navigation devices based on the radio are equipped with a receiving unit that determines the current position. If three signals are detected by the navigation device, the position can be safely determined. An electronic compass detects the direction of movement of the vehicle, determines the longitude and latitude, to determine the exact position and display. Based on the current speed, the navigation device calculates the kilometers to drive, the travel time and the arrival time.

In the routing and their calculation, of course, the traffic management and obstacles are considered accordingly. One-way streets, dead ends or ferry crossings knows the Navigerät and takes these into account when calculating the route.

The dates where the trip should go are entered on the display by touch. For the determined main route, some navigation systems also propose alternative routes and the driver can decide which of the displayed routes is the better one for him.

While driving, the navigation device announces where and when to turn to reach the destination. That is, the navigation is both visually on the display as well as linguistically by the voice “in Navigerät”.

Navigation devices have a battery, but the battery life is not very good and long. However, this is not a problem, since the Navigerät its power via a charging cable, which is connected to the cigarette lighter relates.

In some Navigeräten the antenna for radio or satellite transmission is separate, for others, the antenna is integrated into the charging cable. This antenna is there to be able to receive congestion and traffic reports promptly and thus possibly determine an alternative route.

Arrived at the destination, the Navigerät can be removed from the holder so that it is also protected against theft from the car.

The different features of the navigation devices

While the often cheap navigation devices are purely for navigation and get along without a lot of bells and whistles, there is Navi system, which is equipped with several features. In the following, we would like to explain to you which differences and features are available with the mobile navigation devices.

  1. The map material: If you want to buy a Navigerät, you should pay attention to the pre-installed maps. Some navi devices have the so-called “DACH card”, which stands for Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein. But, as a rule, most navigation devices have already pre-installed over 40 different maps of Europe.
  2.  Navigating the navigation device: Most popular navigation devices come with a color touch-screen display that controls and controls destination entry. However, newer Navigeräte can be adjusted by language. Especially when the display is slightly smaller or changes must be made while driving, the voice input makes sense.
  3. Route planning: When calculating the route, you can usually select different criteria, for example, whether you want to drive the fastest or shortest route. The advantage of the new navigation devices is that you avoid busy roads when planning your route to reach your destination faster. However, this usually only offer the newer, more expensive navigation devices. As already mentioned, the Navigeräte are not only suitable for cars, but also for pedestrians and cyclists. In order to show the way as a pedestrian, it requires the switch to “pedestrian”.
  4. The lane assistant: It is now standard equipment for navigation devices. This informs you in good time about a lane change, which makes sense in multi-lane roads.

Pleasant additional functions of the navigation devices

” TMC ” (Traffic Message Channel) or “TMC Pro FM” are useful additional functions that make the use of a navigation device effective. Traffic reports are transmitted via FM radio wave to the navigation device. These messages come from the authorities or the police and of course offer benefits for you as a user of the navigation system.

However, TMC Pro FM is charged as it is privately owned. This feature is more accurate because it comes from mobile wireless data and sensors found on highway bridges.

Internet access is in some of the navigation devices of the party. This means that maps can be easily and quickly updated over the Internet.

POI stands for “Point of Interest” and includes maps showing restaurants, hotels, petrol stations, service stations, hospitals, toilets, and ATMs. These are geo objects that appear on the navigation device as a point and are tailored to the needs of the driver.

Some navigation systems also show you offers on cultural things, such as museums, attractions and the like.

What should you consider when buying a navigation device?

With a wide range of navigation devices, it is not easy to find the right system. Especially since everyone else has ideas and expectations concerning handling, route planning or various additional options. For that reason, you should, first of all, think about the expectations you have with the mobile route planner.

For many, a very important purchase criterion is the display size. Most navigation devices have a screen of 5 or 6 inches. Of course, smaller displays are available, but you have to say very clearly that the presentation is also correspondingly small.

In addition, you have to operate the navigation system via touches of the display, which can be a bit difficult with a small. Navigation systems with 5 or 6-inch displays display a large, clear picture of the route and the keyboard is easy to operate.

The maps also play a role, with most Navigate now have maps of Europe. And the update of the maps is – at least for all navigation devices that we have presented to you – for a life free.

If maps of certain countries are not included, they can usually be installed by the manufacturer – and for a surcharge – by download. So, if you know that you plan to travel to exotic countries by car, then you should be careful when purchasing if maps of that country are included.

Traffic jam warnings and traffic announcements make sense while driving. For this reason, you should make sure that this is part of the device when buying a Navigerates.

Pay attention to the operability of the navigation device. The destination should be simple, and the addition of intermediate stations should be easy to grasp. And finally, the usability often depends on the display size.

Bluetooth and handsfree – this can also some Navigate. The navigation device is connected via Bluetooth with the smartphone so that the navigation device plays the calls through the speaker.

Navigation devices with speed assistants are also a pleasant thing. These help to maintain the prescribed speed. For example, if you have overlooked a speed sign and you are traveling too fast, the navigation device will point out a signal, usually with a signal.

And some navigation systems can be used as a tablet after driving, such as the GPS navigation device for car and truck from our comparison.

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