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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.

Mapping

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.

Reception

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.

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Garmin Edge 810

Garmin Edge 810 Car GPS Receiver


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Garmin Edge 810
Garmin nuvi 3597LMTHD
Garmin Edge 510
SkyCaddie SGX (2012 Version)
Garmin nuvi 3590LMT
Garmin Edge 810 Car GPS Receiver
Garmin nuvi 3597LMTHD Portable Bluetooth Vehicle GPS
Garmin Edge 510 GPS Bike Computer
SkyCaddie SGX Golf GPS (2012 Version)
Garmin nuvi 3590LMT GPS Receiver
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Release Date
Jan 2013
Jan 2013
Jan 2013
May 2012
Feb 2012
Screen Size
4.3 inch
5.0 inch
2.2 inch
3.0 inch
5.0 inch
Map capabilities
Internal
Internal, Download maps
Internal
Internal
Map cartridges / Data cards
Designation
Motorcycle / Bikes
Automobile
Motorcycle / Bikes
Golf, Outdoor
Automobile
Form Factor
Mountable
Portable
Mountable
Handheld
Fixed
Input Method
Touch Screen
Touch Screen
Touch Screen
Touch Screen, Buttons
Touch Screen, Voice Command
User interface
Touch Screen
Touch Screen, Voice Command
Touch Screen
Touch Screen, Buttons
Touch Screen, Voice Command

  • Garmin's Edge 810 is a great GPS device for recording and analysing data from bike rides. It can map your routes, as well as tell you your speed, elevation changes, and even how hot it was that day. It's lots of fun to use, especially when you hook it up to a smartphone, but the interface on the device itself could stand to be a little more intuitive.


  • With the 810, Garmin is introducing smartphone connectivity and utility, with features including live tracking, real-time weather, and wireless data transfers. The Edge 810 is also loaded with other capabilities, such as wireless heart rate monitor support, customizable display, and turn-by-turn directions from installed maps. If you're looking for the ultimate in bike computers, the 810 is it.


  • Garmin's Edge 810 is a great GPS device for recording and analysing data from bike rides. It can map your routes, as well as tell you your speed, elevation changes, and even how hot it was that day. It's lots of fun to use, especially when you hook it up to a smartphone, but the interface on the device itself could stand to be a little more intuitive.


  • The Nuvi 3597LMTHD continues to refine Garmin's brand of navigation with premium design and one of the best interfaces in the business.


  • Garmin has done it again with the nÃ?¼vi 3597LMTHD, a high-end portable GPS device that continues to set the bar for the genre. The question is whether there's a market for pricey in-car navigation systems these days.

  • Rating Unavailable

    The new magnetic mount and various new features (up ahead, traffic announcements, active lane guidance) are great additions to the Prestige line. Unfortunately the poorer than expected Bluetooth and voice command don't measure up. Hopefully those issues can be resolved with a firmware update.


  • The new Garmin Edge 510 isn't exactly the comprehensive overhaul some people were expecting, and aside from the connectivity aspects we don't see much reason for current Edge 500 owners to switch unless they're regularly moving the unit between multiple bikes and really want different screens for each. We're also a little disappointed in the touchscreen's legibility in bright sunlight.


  • Very clever GPS bike computer that's relatively easy to use, but only worth the price hike over the Edge 500 if you're going to use alongside a smartphone


  • To put this review into context, we're comparing the Garmin Edge 510 to is its predecessor, the Edge 500. There are so many new features and functions to talk about, but did we find them useful? Yes, there's no doubt that Garmin makes remarkable devices that has added a new dimension to our riding. If you already have a Garmin 500 and it's still in good condition, it's probably not worth the upgrade. What you're essentially getting with the Edge 510 over the 500 is LiveTrack, which is in the early stages of something that could be great.


  • Expensive, but for the enthusiastic amateur it's a superb training tool and round recorder.

  • Rating Unavailable

    While the SkyCaddie SGX incorporates some features which users will find appealing, the lack of polish in the interface, no touchscreen ability, the poor course coverage, and buggy desktop software make this device difficult to wholeheartedly recommend at a cost of approximately $500 for 3 years.

  • Rating Unavailable

    Overall, in my opinion the Skycaddie SGX GPS navigation is a superb tool for the more complex golfer. This product isn't something for that weekend hacker. It is perfect for the gamers that need to make enhancements around the course.

    If you are not seriously interested in your round of golf you might like to take a look at other Gps navigation models because that one is a little pricey around $300.

  • Rating Unavailable

    If you already own one of Garmin's higher-end nuvi models purchased within the last 2 years, the 3590 LMT probably isn't compelling enough to warrant upgrading. If you don't already have a GPS, or are looking to upgrade an older/lower-end model, the 3590 LMT is a solid navigator packed with virtually every feature available on a Garmin GPS: 5-inch screen, traffic, free map updates, multi-touch gesture support, voice command, Bluetooth and much more.


  • It's getting tougher to make the case for high-end GPS devices, but the fully loaded Garmin 3590LMT easily succeeds. It's a worthy purchase if you have the cash.


  • The Garmin nuvi 3590 LMT is a high-quality, feature-rich sat-nav. As we've commented before with regard to the Garmin smartphone app and the nuLink 2320, the Live services do get a bit pricey. If you purchased all of them, you would be paying £62.24 a year, which is significantly more than TomTom currently charges for its LIVE services. However, the device does come with lifetime map updates and lifetime RDS-TMC traffic, so you can get traffic information without the enhanced 3D Traffic service.


Top 5 portable gps:

  1. Garmin Edge 810 Car GPS Receiver
  2. Garmin nuvi 3597LMTHD Portable Bluetooth Vehicle GPS
  3. Garmin Edge 510 GPS Bike Computer
  4. SkyCaddie SGX Golf GPS (2012 Version)
  5. Garmin nuvi 3590LMT GPS Receiver