Garmin is undoubtedly one of the most popular brands of GPS devices, and the one that people turn to by default because of the high quality of their product. One of the defining characteristics of the Garmin GPS is its functionality, which has helped lead many travelers out of tight spots and guided them to their destinations. Here is a brief buyers’ guide for Garmin GPS devices.
You’ll want a GPS with a screen that you can easily view so that you can clearly see the route you’re supposed to take. In general, the recommended average screen size is around 4.3-inches, although you can save money if you choose a model with a smaller screen but you’ll be sacrificing visibility. Most Garmin GPS models have 4.3-inch screens, although they are also available with 3.5-inch and 5-inch screens. In addition, you should also look at the screen resolution, since this determines how clear the image that appears on the screen is.
If you’re only travelling within the US, Garmin GPS come with a full set of preloaded maps. If you’re travelling outside the country, however, you may need to download maps or get a model which has these maps pre-loaded. For example, there are some Garmin models that also come with maps of Canada and Mexico in addition to US maps. You should also regularly update the pre-loaded maps that came with the GPS since roads are regularly changing, which makes maps easily obsolete. Depending on the location where you want to travel, maps may be available for download, on Micro SD cards or as CD-ROMs. You can find new maps as well as updates on the Garmin site.
Unless you have an adapter that allows you to charge your GPS from your car’s cigarette lighter, you should look for a model that has the longest battery life on a single charge. Garmin GPS models can run as long as eight hours when fully charged although this also depends on what features you’re using.
Live traffic updates
Garmin models with a T have a built-in traffic receiver that allows you to get regular updates on which streets are suffering from bottlenecks while providing you with alternate routes. Next generation traffic services offered in partnership with navigation systems provider TomTom even offer traffic updates as frequently as every thirty seconds, rather than the traditional fifteen minute updates, which let you stay on top of rapidly-changing traffic conditions.
For convenience of updating, you may want to get a Garmin GPS that supports USB connectivity and has a microSD slot. Some people may also prefer to use voice-guided navigation rather than relying solely on the map displayed on the screen.
Once you’ve decided which features you want in your Garmin GPS, you can get the best value for your money by comparing the various models. You should also comparison shop at several sites to see if the Garmin GPS device that you want is available at a lower price.
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