In the last few years mobiles phones with GPS technology have gained a lot of popularity and due to further developments many people tend to use the GPS apps in their smartphones. However the standalone portable navigation devices also known as PNDs are still surviving as mobile phones with cameras haven’t been able to completely saturate the standalone digital compact cameras. This means there is still competition among different PND products and this article will familiarize you with top 5 best handheld GPS devices of 2013.
1. Garmin Nuvi 3490 LMT
Garmin has introduced a great navigation system this year, Nuvi 3490 LMT with its sleek design, user friendly interface, nice graphics on its 4.3’’ screen and really improved performance. It is equipped with a really good hands-free voice command system, which can also be regarded as one of the best ones available at the moment. Moreover, users can keep it updated for many years because of the available 3D Traffic Digital system and lifetime updates for the map. However, its Bluetooth connectivity is not up to par and does not sync with address book of phone perfectly and along with a heavy price tag ranging from $250 to $350 it seems rather expensive.
2. TomTom GO Live 1535M
TomTom GO Live 1535M boasts a 5’’ screen and a simple but nice design and weighs only 8.5 ounces. The connectivity options users can get on this PND are really great! The integration of TomTom GO Live 1535M’s with popular travel apps such as Google, Expedia, Yelp and TripAdvisor provide accurate information. Users can also connect this PND with Twitter to update their friends and family with ETAs which is better and safer than texting. Driving becomes safer with its integrated Fold & Go Mount, Bluetooth hands-free calling and intuitive voice recognition system.
TomTom also included its HD traffic service which provides real time and accurate traffic solution along with other live services such as weather forecasts and fuel prices making it really connective. However, finding connected services can be somewhat tricky and sometimes there’s a lag. Now priced from $70 to $110, 1535M seems a reasonable and smart choice.
3. Garmin Nuvi 50
Nuvi 50 is Garmin’s way to cater the entry-level PND market. It boasts a 5’’ screen which is good for the colorful maps on an entry-level device along with other features such as easy to understand navigate UI, text-to-spoken names of streets; it can record max speed, mileage and total time, indicates the speed limit and provides junction view of lane. However, to keep its price low at $80 Garmin has not included a USB cable and a dashboard mounting disc. To conclude, it doesn’t do any wonders but with few tweaks and improvements Garmin is trying to cater the low-end market of PNDs and also it can get the job done reasonably which isn’t too bad.
4. Magellan RoadMate 5175T-LM
Among other PNDs, Magellan’s RoadMate 5175T-LM doesn’t stay behind and to stay in game it comes with 5” touchscreen (not bad!) GPS navigator and its exclusive TourDirector app is more like a tour guide and also allow users to set routes, optimize the travel time and search for local or nearby attractions right from its menus. However, the destinations in TourDirector are arranged by proximity and not top rated, popular or other sorts of rating which might not be too handy for people travelling in unfamiliar states, cities or countries. RoadMate 5175T-LM also boasts Wi-Fi to browse the internet which seems to work pretty good and the device’s firmware can also be upgraded through Wi-Fi. But, the built-in web browser isn’t something to wow about! Priced at around $125 it still seems a decent bargain.
5. TomTom Via 1535
It seems like Garmin and TomTom have secured quite a few spots here. TomTom’s Via 1535 has sleek thin design equipped with 5” screen to view maps and some top of the line features such as one-shot address voice recognition, Bluetooth hands-free calling which ensures the safety along with free lifetime updates for the maps as well as free traffic updates. Traffic updates can actually come handy and save the users from traffic jams. TomTom has improved the EasyPort connection on this unit as compared to previous models along with the user interface.
However, despite of being ‘friendly’ the UI can make the users somewhat confused and the traffic information doesn’t provide the users with secondary roads and surface info. Its price ranges from $150 to $200 and with no Wi-Fi connections seems a bit too high price to ask and Magellan’s RoadMate might be a better choice.
This is the list of top and best handheld GPS devices of 2013, well there will be more PNDs in the market soon, however the list can be altered depending upon the preferences such as quality, prices and other extra or premium features.