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Handheld GPS units are available in a wide range of sizes and host features depending on the price you are willing to pay.

Since you're looking for a budget handheld be prepared to lose out on a lot of those popular features, from Bluetooth to the text-to-speech facilities. Mentioned here are a few of the points you could consider shelling out for.

Mapping: This is the most essential feature of any GPS, budget or high end. Most low budget GPS devices come with built-in base maps for navigation. Budget handhelds do not come with built-in detailed maps. And what's a GPS without detailed maps, really? Base maps are fine for elementary navigation but will not be sufficient to guide you too accurately. If you're looking for a handheld GPS, the chances are, you might considering using it for trekking, hiking or geocaching, and all of these activities require detailed maps. The maps are available for buying from the store or can be purchased online from the company website. However make sure your unit isn't one of those that do not support detailed maps or downloading them.

Memory: Some of the cheaper handheld GPS units do not have inbuilt memory at all and depend entirely on a memory slot, while some have small inbuilt memories and no expandable memory slot. Neither is really advisable. You need a GPS with as much inbuilt memory as your budget can offer. You need to be able to load maps, at least 1000 waypoints and points of interest etc. In addition if you have an SD slot as well it would work great to download any information you need from your computer.

Coming to the build and other features of your budget handheld, look for a screen of around 2 inches to 3 inches depending on the cost. It would be great for outdoor activities if you got a waterproofing element like the IPX6 or IPX7 as well. Scroll down to view our collection of the best budget handheld GPS options for you.

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Whistler GLF-125

Whistler GLF-125 GPS Receiver


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Whistler GLF-125
Dual Electronics XGPS150A Handheld GPS Receiver
Magellan eXplorist 110
TomTom XL 350
Golf Buddy Voice GPS Rangefinder
Whistler GLF-125 GPS Receiver
Dual Electronics XGPS150A Handheld GPS Receiver
Magellan eXplorist 110 GPS Receiver
TomTom XL 350 4 3 in  Car GPS Receiver
GolfBuddy Voice GPS Rangefinder
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Release Date
Aug 2011
Dec 2011
Jan 2012
May 2010
May 2012
Form Factor
Handheld
Handheld
Handheld
Handheld
Handheld
Map capabilities
Internal
Internal
Internal
Internal
Designation
Golf,Outdoor
Hiking, Outdoor
Automobile
Outdoor, Golf
Input Method
Keypad
Keypad
Touch Screen,Keypad,Voice Command
Buttons
Screen Size
2.5 inch
2.2 inch
4.3 inch
User interface
Keypad
Keypad
Buttons

  • The TomTom XL 350 and XXL 550 series of GPS devices represent a marked improvement over the previous generation, keeping its great form factor while streamlining its software.


  • The TomTom XL 350 is a GPS receiver for people who frequently need to get where they are going in a hurry. It gives you advanced notice on the highway which lane you need to be in, and has fast route re-calculation when you go in a direction you aren't supposed to.


  • The XL 350-TM provides TomTom's usual impressive navigation features, with an industry standard 4.3-inch screen. Included lifetime traffic and lifetime map updates make this one of the most feature-packed GPS devices available for the price.


  • For golfing enthusiasts, the GolfBuddy Voice is a nifty little GPS rangefinder that incorporates audio readouts. It has a very large number of course and hole information from all over the world built into it, with no additional costs, and it even managed to find the little public course that we tested it on.

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    The GolfBuddy Voice GPS dazzled us at the PGA Merchandise Show just a few months ago and continued to through our testing. It works as advertised and delivers accurate measurements with the touch of a button. It is also a great conversation piece when not playing with your regular group as not a single person that we encountered played without asking about it. This new gadget hits stores this month for a price around $180.

  • Rating Unavailable

    If you're looking for small and convenient, and you're happy with GPS yardages, GolfBuddy is a great choice. My home course, Treesdale Golf & Country Club, has carts that come equipped with GPS systems, and the yardages I got from those matched GolfBuddy Voice's almost identically. I didn't test it against Sky Caddie, a GPS rangefinder that's based on actual ground-walked measurements, but my use of Sky Caddie has convinced me it is extremely accurate.