Navigation Systems

Top 5 Best GPS Systems for Your Money

When it comes to buying your next GPS system, you don’t want to skimp but you also shouldn’t have to spend a fortune for good quality. With today’s market, it actually is possible to purchase a navigation system without breaking the bank, but you just need to know what you’re looking for. The following devices are more affordable options that allow you to keep some cash in your pocket without sacrificing usability. Along top-notch navigation, these GPS systems may even come with a few unexpected features.

TomTom Via 1535

TomTom Via 1535

Since the inception of handheld GPS navigation, systems have grown more and more complex. The TomTom Via 1535 shows some of these advances without increasing the price to unjustified numbers. With hands-free Bluetooth calling and accurate voice command, the Via 1535 maximizes driver safety.

For up-to-date traffic data, TomTom’s 1535 has a receiver built in to the power adapter which provides colored overlays over major surface roads and highways. Of course a GPS is nothing without on-point navigation, and the Via 1535 does not falter in this area. Accurate satellite reception far improves upon early GPS models, where the slightest obstruction would sever the signal.

Garmin Drive 50LMT

Garmin Drive 50LMT

One of the biggest names in GPS navigation is still around, providing affordable and quality devices. The 50LMT amplifies driver safety with warnings of speed-limit changes, railroad and animals crossings, red-light cameras, school zones, and upcoming sharp curves. Garmin’s latest device still provides top notch navigation, making features like the optional back-up or rear-seat baby camera an incredible bonus without sacrificing quality elsewhere.

A 6” display comes in a little larger than most competition and the extra inch is welcomed, though voice command capabilities makes poking around the device’s screen a thing of the past.

Magellan SmartGPS 5390

Magellan SmartGPS 5390

Smartphones have given way to SmartGPS systems, which connect to the web to port over contacts, recent destinations, Yelp and Foursquare data, and up-to-date gas station pricing, road hazards, and traffic data. Like many modern GPS systems, the SmartGPS is equipped with Bluetooth connectivity but Magellan’s model also includes the ability to surf the web through an Android-powered Web browser.

The 5390 connectivity allows drivers to choose destinations on their smart phone and beam it to the GPS for later navigation. In terms of getting to where you’re going, the SmartGPS does not falter, with turn-by-turn directions that occasionally uses landmarks rather than street names. Visual lane guidance and accurate highway signs take the guesswork out of driving on in unfamiliar territories and helps avoid last-minute lane changes.

TomTom GO Live 1535M

TomTom GO Live 1535M

If the connectivity of the SmartGPS piqued your interest, the Go Live 1535M should grab your attention. Building upon the typical GPS functionality, TomTom’s smart device connects to a range of apps including Expedia, Trip Advisor, and Google to maximize traveler knowledge of the area. The addition of Twitter is ideal for social media lovers and offers a safer alternative to texting friends and family ETAs.

The online connectivity is for more than just apps as the GO Live also updates drivers on upcoming traffic, weather forecasts in the region, and accurate fuel pricing. Like the less-advanced Via 1535, the GO Live includes voice commands to amplify the devices push for driver safety.

Garmin Zumo 660LM

Garmin Zumo 660LM

Cars aren’t the only vehicles on the road that need navigation and Garmin created the Zumo 660LM for a more affordable option for motorcycle riders. A smaller 4.3” touchscreen is ideal for bikers and reacts even to a gloved hand. Bluetooth connectivity works with cell phones and Bluetooth-enabled helmets, which amplifies the added benefits of voice commands and an included MP3 player.

Though feature-rich, where the 660LM shines most is with navigation. Junctions, road signs, landscape, and interchanges are realistic and easy to see, ensuring the ride isn’t bogged down by ineffective displays and imaging.