How we pick our products
A GPS has become a highly popular tool for enhancing the driving experience. It helps drivers plot their position, identify and follow clear routes to a specific destination. GPS manufactures have been creating increasingly better products, taking this device to a higher level. In this article we discuss some of these new features.
Given their usefulness, more people are opting to buy a GPS to help them on the road. However, finding the best GPS is not straightforward and requires some knowledge. We have prepared this shopping guide to help with that process. Here, we discuss some of the most frequently asked questions about GPSs as well as the top products on the Canadian market.
- 1 Key Facts
- 2 The best GPS on the Canadian market
- 2.1 Garmin Drive 50 USA LM GPS
- 2.2 GPS Navigation for Car 7 Inch Vehicle GPS Navigation Car System
- 2.3 Garmin eTrex 20x, Handheld GPS Navigator
- 2.4 JRCX GPS Navigation for Car, 7 Inch Car GPS Updated 8GB LCD Touch Screen
- 2.5 Garmin GPSMAP 64, TOPO
- 2.6 Shopping Guide: Everything you need to know about a GPS
- 2.7 What is a GPS?
- 2.8 What are GPSs for?
- 2.9 What are the advantages and disadvantages of a GPS?
- 2.10 Is a GPS worth buying?
- 2.11 Who should buy a GPS?
- 2.12 What types of GPS devices are there?
- 2.13 What are the most important functions that a GPS includes?
- 3 Shopping Criteria
- 4 Summary
- The GPS system links to a network of around 24 satellites. In general, at least six satellites are accessible by the GPS receivers at any specific time.
- When choosing a GPS, the first question to determine is its intended use. The best GPS will vary, depending on if you are driving a car, truck, motorbike or just hiking.
The best GPS on the Canadian market
The following is a list of the five best personal GPS systems currently available on the Canadian market. We have compiled this list after studying the market and identifying quality products at an affordable price.
- Garmin Drive 50 USA LM GPS
- GPS Navigation for Car 7 Inch Vehicle GPS Navigation Car System
- Garmin eTrex 20x, Handheld GPS Navigator
- JRCX GPS Navigation for Car, 7 Inch Car GPS Updated 8GB LCD Touch Screen
- Garmin GPSMAP 64, TOPO
Garmin Drive 50 USA LM GPS
The Garmin Drive 50 is our top pick. It has advanced features, yet the price tag is affordable. Its main features include: notifications before sharp turns, changes in speed, school areas, red lights, cameras and more. The unit comes with free map updates for the life of the device. The Garmin Drive 50 also displays street names, speed, speed limits and estimated time of arrival.
This unit guides by identifying notable landmarks along the route. It integrates data from Foursquare including countless stores and restaurants along your route. The display resolution is particularly high quality – 480 x 272 pixels. The battery life lasts up to 1 hour, so you will need to make sure that there is an available charging device in your car.
In close second on our list is this 7-inch GPS by Junsun. It has excellent features and is especially suitable for people looking for a budget option. It offers a Lifetime Map that is updated for free. The unit comes pre-installed with 101 regions and maps that cover Canada, the US and Mexico.
This GPS is also versatile. It can be used between different types of travel modes including car, truck, pedestrian, bicycle, emergency, bus and taxi options. It provides speed camera alerts, sound warnings and route planning. Notifications are provided in real voice with options for over 40 languages. Junsun offers a 1 year warranty and a 90 days money back guarantee.
The Garmin eTrex 20x is an advanced GPS for hard-core off-the-beaten-track explorers. It is not cheap, but if you are a fan of back-country off-the-grid multi-day hikes in the wilderness, this GPS is for you. Its main features include enhanced resolution and expanded memory for access to a larger number of maps. It attaches to ATVs, bikes, boats and cars.
The Garmine eTrex 20x supports geocaching GPX files for downloading geocaches. It features 65K color display with excellent resolution (240 x 320 pixels). An additional strength of this GPS is its ability to determine location even when located in thick forested areas. It is ideal for summer-canoe and hiking trips.
This GPS by JRCX is a solid option, both affordable and offering the most important features a driver needs. It comes with free map updates for life. Voice guidance can be selected in several different languages. Its alert systems notify drivers to upcoming sharp turns, school areas, red lights, speeding cameras and more.
8GB ROM, provides enough space to download and store large quantities of maps that can be used on trips to new places. The unit also includes charger and attachment mechanisms and mounting device. There is a 90-day money back guarantee for nervous buyers. Additionally, the unit comes with a lifetime warranty.
Garmin GPSMAP 64, TOPO
The Garmin GPSMAP 64 is the holy grail of outdoor exploration GPSs. For most people this GPS is overkill – its specialized for way-off-the-beaten-track use and it comes with a hefty price tag. However, if you are working in remote areas of Canada in the oil industry or tree-planting for the summer – this GPS has your back. It includes full coverage of Canada. Additionally, it includes a quad helix antenna with high-sensitivity, that locates your position quickly and precisely and maintains its location even in heavy cover and deep canyons.
Garmin GPSMAP 64 comes with a compass, identifying your direction at all times. Its altimeter can determine your altitude, and can even help you monitor weather conditions. Last, the Garmin GPSMAP 64 synchs with your iphone and enables you to wirelessly receive email, texts and alerts – an invaluable feature in Canada’s back-country.
Shopping Guide: Everything you need to know about a GPS
Before you purchase a GPS, it is worthwhile to take into consideration several aspects. In this section, we examine information about GPSs and the most frequently asked questions by GPS users.
What is a GPS?
The GPS positioning system operates through several land-based control stations as well as a web of satellites. In order for a GPS to work, it must receive signals from no less than six satellites.
What are GPSs for?
What are the advantages and disadvantages of a GPS?
|They let you know your position with a high level of accuracy||Sometimes, they can distract you from the road and increase the risk of an accident|
|Some GPSs do not need to be connected to the Internet to determine your position. This way, you can use them in places where 3G or 4G internet coverage does not reach||Updating maps can be an extra expense|
|They provide detailed information on the route and points of interest|
|They make it possible to estimate the approximate time of arrival|
|They offer information and warnings of fixed speed cameras|
|They help you drive more comfortably and safely, as you don’t need to rely on your mobile phones’ navigation system|
Is a GPS worth buying?
Who should buy a GPS?
What types of GPS devices are there?
|Installation||They are light and easily transportable. They have a bracket to attach them to any vehicle||They are normally installed as standard in the dashboard of the car|
|Battery||You usually connect them to the car’s cigarette lighter to charge the battery on long trips||You don’t have to worry about charging the battery|
|Speed||Turn on speed varies between models. You may need to wait while the navigator system is loading||They work as soon as the car is started, so the waiting time is minimal|
|Use||They can be used in different vehicles||Can only be used in the car in which they are installed|
|Probability of theft||Given their small size, they can be easily stolen if you leave them inside the car||They cannot be stolen unless your entire vehicle is stolen|
What are the most important functions that a GPS includes?
An additional functionality is the signalling of fixed speed cameras. GPSs can also advise which lane is less congested.
If you are thinking about buying a GPS, there are several factors to consider before buying. In this section, we highlight key criteria to help inform your purchase decision.
The intended use of a GPS is the most immediate question to take into consideration. GPSs are generally built for cars, but there are devices available specifically for trucks or motorcycles.
GPSs for trucks provide information on road width as well as tunnel height. GPSs for motorcycles are more hardy to protect against outdoor elements, and so they are often waterproof and have more attachment brackets.
Most people prefer a GPS with the largest screen possible. Keep in mind that a larger screen is usually more expensive. Additionally, brightness and minimal reflection are also important. If viewing the screen is not easy, there can be an increased risk of accident.
Some GPS models include free lifetime map updates whereas others require fees for updates. The former tends to require a higher initial cost, but in the long term, it could save you money.
Consider whether you will require frequent updates. This will help you decide whether to invest in a GPS with lifetime updates or simply pay for updates as needed.
Every GPS includes pre-loaded maps. When deciding on a device, consider which package of maps you need at the onset. The devices available to you will vary depending on if you want state maps, entire country maps as well as maps for neighboring countries.
There are currently two main map providers for GPSs: Navteq and Tele Atlas. Their functionalities are similar but it is still worthwhile to study the features and additional information that each provider includes.
For the most part, GPS batteries last between two to three hours. That said, charging your battery in the car is simple. If you plan on using the GPS with another type of vehicle, such as a motorcycle, charging becomes less straightforward and as such each use-case should be studied in detail.
A good fastening system is an important aspect of your GPS. Also, it is important that the GPS has a charging system compatible with your vehicle. The most common form of charging in a car, for example, is through the cigarette lighter.
Another interesting “extra” is a Bluetooth connection. With Bluetooth, you can synch your phone with the GPS. Some GPSs can connect to the Internet via WiFi for map updates.
Having a GPS can be helpful when you are on the road (or trail). They help plan routes, identify locations, find gas stations, as well as alert you about dangers along your path
When figuring out which GPS is best, consider how you will use it. You should also study its specifications such as screen, maps, battery life and “extra” accessories.
Finally, if you found this guide useful, please leave us a comment or share it through your different social networks.
(Source of featured image: Moreno Soppelsa: 10480474/ 123rf.com)