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Lesson 4: GPS Navigation System Ratings

GPS navigation systems have soared in popularity over the last few years, and the increased demand by the general public has left the first-time buyer with a bewildering array of systems from which to choose. GPS navigation system ratings can help to shed a little light on the best and worst features to look at when you are in the market to buy.

GPS navigation systems range in specification and price from the most basic road map and directional capabilities to multi-functional devices with larger screens, MP3 players, and personal voice recorders included. They can start at around $100 for slightly older basic models, and rise in price to several thousand dollars.

For those that want a capable unit to direct them from points A to B across various states including a voice recording giving directions and a clear and easy to read the live map, they can expect to pay around $150 to $200 for a basic model.

GPS navigation system ratings will allow you to compare prices and features of the current models available in the marketplace, along with test driven reviews of each unit.

There are no nationwide officially recognized GPS navigation system ratings. Instead, these statistics are offered by dedicated GPS review websites, price comparison sites and by individuals and enthusiasts that have set up their own sites, giving reviews of the merits of individual models, and offering others a place to do the same.

It is essential to visit one or all of these types of GPS navigation system rating sites to allow you to make an informed decision when purchasing for yourself. You will also learn which models include the elements that you desire.

There seems little point in buying a sophisticated and expensive system that gives constant news and live traffic updates, shows photographs and has an integrated MP3 player if you just want to be able to type in an address and get there without any fuss.

The majority of GPS navigation system rating sites will rate products on ease of use and functionality. The features that are reviewed and rated can vary from site to site, so it's best to check several sites to get an overall picture. Some of the rated areas include the following:

Physical Features

* Portability

* Screen size

* Mount design

* Ease of use

* Weight of unit

* Dimensions of unit

Technical Features

* Battery life

* Connection inputs and outputs

Ease of Use

* Ease of data input

* Ease of menu operation

* Voice quality

* Routing options

* Map quality

* Routing time (loading of routes and chosen maps)

Optional Inclusions

* Traffic update capabilities

* Bluetooth hands free

* MP3 player

* FM transmitter

* Map area coverage

* POI database (information and areas covered)

* Text to speech capability

* Alternative routes depending on vehicle size/speed

The above includes some of the criteria covered by GPS navigation system ratings for most portable road vehicle units. This report has provided a basic introduction to GPS. Know that there are also systems specifically dedicated to mapping for boats, runners and hikers, as well.

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