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Sat Nav's - What Should You Get

Apr 6

In the world that we live in today Sat Navs or Satellite Navigation Systems are very common devices for people to have in there car especially those who drive for a living and don’t want to sit in traffic all day or get lost.  The problem comes when choosing the best sat nav system for you own driving.  How do you choose the best sat nav? Do you read sat nav reviews? Do you look at Sat Nav Recommendations and customer ratings?  Here’s our thoughts

Over the last few years, finding the right route to your location has evolved from using maps and having in your car a selection of maps that range from country maps, down to city maps for those specific cities that you would go to.  The next stage of the Sat Nav was to have use map software that you would download onto your computer from where you could print maps for a specific location that you wanted.  These worked well until you changed your mind and decided to go to a different location than you had originally decided to go which meant that you had to refer back to your mapping software to help with directions.

With the introduction of GPS Technology meaning that you could pin-point your exact location to within a few feet, Sat Nav’s were born and you could buy devices that used the same software that you would put on your laptop computer with the only difference being that you could now use the GPS technology to pin point your exact location on the map and use the software to work out a route that you could follow.

Over the last few years, sat nav devices have envolved further to today’s models which can not only give you turn-by-turn direction using your precise location, but also have added benefits such as traffic alerts which help you to stay away from any major traffic jams, Bluetooth connections meaning that you can use pair the GPS unit with your smartphone for hand-held calls and use the vast internal database to look for places that you might need such as Petrol stations and Cash Machines.

Which Unit Should You Buy?

With prices starting at 39.99 for rising all the way up to 399.99 for a top of the range Sat Nav it can be a really hard decision to choose the best sav, however our advice is that you stick to the brand named sat nav devices as they will offer the best value for money.  Yes you can get a cheap sat nav off the internet, however often these units either break quickly, have maps that are out of date within a few months or have a selection of fantastic features that honestly you will use once and then get bored.

Again, its easy to assume that you could use your smartphone they come with Google Maps which is very good, however the problem with using your smartphone is they often either run out of battery and the wrong time or your data plan runs out of credit meaning that you’re back to square one.  Sat Nav’s run on satellites and therefore are completely free meaning once you have bought your GPS unit, its completely free from then onwards.

The best sat nav device is the one that get you from point A to point B in the quickest time, using the best route that has the least amount of traffic on and comes with a price tag that you can easily afford.  If you have money to blow, get yourself a TomTom Go 600 as it’s a fantastic sat nav system with a massive screen, fantastic maps and navigation and a selection on useful features that you will use, however it does retail at over 300 which makes it’s a substantial commitment that actually a lot of people will not be able to afford, or quite frankly want to spend on a satellite navigation system.

Garmin 2597LMT

The Garmin 2597LMT has a fantastic 5-Inch, bright, super clear dual-orientation screen.  The screen is so good that you can easily see your directions on the screen in direct sun-light, whilst having dual-orientation means that you can have more than one display at any one time.  This is a very useful feature of the latest sat nav models as it allows you for example to view a map with your direction whilst at the same time view your current speed and the road speed limit or in a difficult junction you could view an over-head image showing you the junction whilst at the same time view an animated image showing the lane that you’re meant to be in to take the correct exit.

The Garmin interface and menu system is the best on the market and super easy to use straight out of the box.  To enter your destination, you simple bring up the on-screen keyboard which allows you to easily enter the address of where you want to go to.  Given this is a 2013 model, the sat nav comes with super fast processors that will quickly and easily calculate the quickest route for you.  If you make a mistake along your route by taking a wrong turn, the device will quickly calculate a new route for you.

The Nuvi 2597LMT is one of Garmin’s best sat nav and comes with latest Maps of the UK that are both super clear and detailed.  Most importantly the navigator comes with free lifetime updates meaning that you will never have old maps and therefore will always know of any road changes that could have been made.  On top the maps the Nuvi 2597 uses Garmin’s latest real directions with real voice guide to give you spoken turn-by-turn directions which uses recognizable building and landmarks to direct you rather than distances.  With these latest devices, you’re more likely to hear your sat nav tell you to turn right after the traffic lights than the old method of turn right after 300 meters.

For those really difficult interchanges, the Nuvi 2597LMT has this covered by offering you “PhotoReal” and “Birds Eye Junction” which gives the user detailed images of junctions along your route to stop there being any problem when exiting those complex junction. As an added benefit, the Garmin unit comes with Garmin’s fantastic traffic alerts which are fully integrated in to the sat nav system meaning that not only will the unit take into account any traffic problems when deciding the best route to send you on, but traffic alerts will appear to the side of your map.  The traffic alerts will warn you and can give you details about the traffic problem such as how long the delay will be and whether there are any ways around the traffic jam.  Best of all, traffic alerts are free with no subscription or additional fees.

The Garmin Nuvi comes with a selection of fantastic features such as Garmin’s “Up Ahead” feature that shows you nearby services such as petrol stations, banks and restaurants, voice-navigation meaning that you can speak to your sat nav and change your destination or find the nearest petrol station without taking your hands off the wheel or your eyes off the road and Bluetooth meaning that you can make and receive calls using the sat nav in-built speaker system.

Smartphone Link is a free app that will connect your Sat Nav to your iPhone or Android smartphone where you can look at destinations before uploading them onto your sat nav or access Garmin’s Live Services which use real-time information to access weather or driving conditions.  The major downside of this model is that the mount is terrible.  It just does not stick to the wind-shield and if you go around a corner to sharply the sat nav will fall off the windshield.  This is not a huge problem as Garmin make such fantastic other Accessories.