Looking for a new sat-nav to make your journeys as pain-free as possible? Look no further. We’ve rounded up the top sat-navs available right now. Whether you’re trying to decide between TomTom or Garmin or considering whether it’s worth shelling out for a top-end device, you’re bound to find something here.
Although most people will use their smartphone for navigation these days, the standalone sat nav is still one of the most reliable ways of getting from A to B. Many still prefer having maps pre-installed on their sat-navs, rather than relying on their smartphone’s data connection to ensure map data can be downloaded on the fly. What’s more, dedicated sat-navs will usually feature shine-free screens and you don’t have to worry about interruptions such as phone calls or notifications.
When it comes to buying a standalone sat-nav then, options range from around £50 to around £300. These days, the industry is dominated by TomTom and Garmin, so there’s not as much choice as there once was. But there’s still some great devices available, all of which you can find in our round-up.
Before buying a new sat-nav, however, there are several factors to consider. You’ll want to look for something that’s going to get you to your destination as easily as possible, updating you on traffic changes and alternative routes.
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Firstly you have to determine whether you’ll be using the device abroad or just in your own country. Most sat-navs will come with European maps, but only some will include world maps, and not all will provide you with lifetime updates, meaning you’ll have to pay for map pack updates in the future.
Most models will come with free updates, but be careful when buying older models, as you may find yourself having to shell out in the future.
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Secondly, you should consider whether you want your sat-nav to come with traffic updates. These days, most sat-navs will feature some sort of traffic service, alerting you to delays and traffic jams. But it’s still worth checking, if you want to ensure you don’t get caught out, that the model you’re thinking of buying comes with a traffic service and whether that service requires you to pay after a certain time.
Some devices will come with built-in traffic updates while others will require you to pair your smartphone in order to use its data connection for traffic information.
Many sat-navs will also feature speed camera warnings. Again, it’s worth checking whether this feature comes as standard or whether it’s a paid extra.
You should also consider how big a screen you will need. If you want to limit how much the device obstructs your view, there’s a range of sat-navs with 4-inch screens available. If you don’t mind something a little bigger, you can pick up devices featuring screens of up to 7 inches. Bearing in mind, you average smartphone will measure anywhere from 4 to 6-inches, it’s worth considering how big you want your dedicated device to be.
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There’s also the resolution. Many entry-level sat-navs will feature a 480 x 272 display, which is adequate for displaying navigation directions and maps, but if you want to use the device to get information on local areas of interest and so on, you may want to consider a model with a slightly higher resolution screen.
Aside from these main considerations, there are other extras to look out for such as voice control and Bluetooth connectivity which will allow you to use the sat nav for hands-free calling. With all this in mind, take a look at our sat-nav round-up and see which model is right for you.