22 April 2013 by Shifali Rao
A good GPS device owes it to you to simplify as well as optimize your daily journey, so here's our little guide to make sure you don't lose out on the best portable GPS for your needs.
Style or design
The essential attribute of a portable GPS unit is its comparatively lighter weight. However the weight restriction does put a plug on the screen size you're offered. So our selection of the best portable GPS units comprises highly recommended models whose screen sizes range from 1.8lb to 5lb.
Additionally with the unlimited supply of GPS designs today, it's imperative to first consider your unit's purpose and handheld units are perfect for outdoor activities like Geocaching, hiking or golf. The slightly larger GPS models on the other hand, are perfect for bikers or for a car-to-car transfer. They're the fixable kind that have a mount suitable for the handle of your bike or the dashboard of your car.
Whatever you intend to do with your GPS the hallmark of a good GPS is accurate mapping abilities with in-built base maps as well as detailed maps. The advantage of having detailed maps is that they point out several navigational features from private and local roads to shopping centers and hospitals. Since a portable GPS's chief function is to travel in, out, or around the country with you, having detailed maps is essential However, the issue with them is that you might not have maps of the areas you actually need and you might have to buy them separately. Here's where your choice of brand is crucial. Many of the leading GPS brands to not have extensive mapping coverage and to add to this, many manufacturers do not give you support to load third party maps, so you're limited to the ones the brand site provides you with. Garmin and Tomtom however, have pretty good mapping coverage around U.S. and Europe and Garmin currently still permits third party maps to be loaded onto your GPS.
In addition look for other amenities like around 3000 waypoints, points of interest which are customizable to your needs.
Accurate mapping requires good reception, and good reception in turn has a couple of demands of its own. Firstly, for all practicable purposes a 12 channel locking capability is the best and a must have for a portable GPS device. To add to this, a GPS that is going to be used inside a car or one that might be taken around tall building, trees etc that impede satellite signals, needs an external antenna to enhance reception.
Other beneficial features
The best portable GPS units today come with the text-to-speech option that offers constant audible instructions while driving and possess sunlight readable touchscreens for easy operation, while for a few extra bucks you could also pool in a bluetooth in your portable GPS.