Many people love to investigate new places but could use a bit of help finding or reading the directions. If this is your situation, then knowing how to buy a gps device will help get you back on course and on your way. Follow along to see how such a small device can be packed with so much useful information. By the time you reach the end of this Guide, you will know precisely how to choose a gps device that's just right for you.
>> How will you use a gps system?
There are many use for a personal global positioning system, and as you consider how to buy a gps device, think about where and when you might need it.
Driving -Whether you have just moved into a new area, are commuting to work or enjoying your vacation, a vehicle gps can be most helpful. Get directions to the local grocery store or, if you are not sure where your destination is, just plug in an address and go. For that morning commute, top gps devices will find the fastest route with the least road blocks. When off on that cross country vacation look to your gps devices to find places to eat or the nearest gas station. Some of the best rated gps devices will let you know when construction is blocking your route and give you alternative ways to get to your final destination. There are even gps device brands with features designed specifically for motorcycles.
Fishing and hiking -When the wild outdoors are calling, handheld gps devices are the way to go to assure you don't get lost on the trail. If fishing is your passion, marine types of gps devices are designed with a water-resistant or waterproof casing that offer features such as sonar to find where the fish are biting.
Sports and fitness -When sports and fitness are on the top of your list, the best gps device for you would be a wristband version created just for fitness, golf or even for runners to track distance. Even if your vehicle is a bicycle or dirt bike, there are types of gps devices just right for you.
Tracking -Have you ever lost a son or daughter in the department store or had your pet escape the yard? If so, consider small gps device brands that can be sewn into clothing or used as collar or zipper tags. These are traceable from your smart phone and keep loved ones in sight. There are even types of gps devices to install in your car in the event you need to locate it.
>> Decide between auto and portable
While considering how to buy a gps device, take a look at whether an installed vehicle gps or a portable unit would be more useful. Many new cars today have auto gps units built in as part of the vehicle sound system. This type of gps device is there for you every time you are in your car. If you need your gps devices in other areas of your life then consider a portable model. Portable gps and navigation units only need a power outlet to stay charged in your car and can travel anywhere you go, be it on foot, bike, boat anywhere.
>> Consider the display
During your quest for knowledge on how to buy a gps device, consider what it should look like. Most all gps devices have color screens, though some do offer a color-blind setting. Screen resolution will vary slightly, and the best rated gps devices will usually have the best resolution. The most variation you will see is in the screen size. Sizes run from 3.5" up to 7", measured diagonally. Of course, the larger the screen the easier it is to read, but you need to look at where, or if it is mounted. While a sizable screen would be great most cars don't require larger than a 4.3" screen, particularly if mounted on the windshield so it does not block the view of the road. The smaller size types of gps devices are lighter and easier to put in a pocket, while those with large screens offer a good view, specifically for heavy trucks that have seats much further away from the dashboard than in a car. When possible explore the gps display in the electronics department so see what feels the best to you.
>> Consider other features
As you consider how to buy a gps device, comparison of different features will help simplify the process.
GPS Feature Functions Comments Bluetooth • Hands-free phone
Link with your cellular phone to have hands-free phone capability. This is a must when driving, as in many states it's illegal to talk and drive. Voice recognition • No data entry
• Quick save
Talk to your gps device to enter destinations or save a phone number you see from the road. Ask for a nearby restaurant or the closest fuel station and never have your hands leave the wheel. Lane guidance • Turn-by-turn directions
• Advance notice
Audio turn-by-turn directions and advance notice before coming to intersections or when freeways splits lanes can be helpful notification to have. Coming into big cities can be like driving in a bowl of spaghetti if you are not clear which ramps to take. Live services • Traffic
• Speed limits
• Emergency alerts
• Fuel prices
• Food and hotels • Web search Some live services are included in many gps device brands, and some live services are by subscription. Traffic updates and speed limits help when trying to get through congested parts of town and knowing the gas station with the cheapest gas is always a plus. As you travel knowing what hotels and restaurants are on your route offers a bit of comfort, and emergency alerts like accidents or weather in your path can help to avoid trip delays. Maps • USA
• Other countries
• GS survey maps
Maps are available for almost anything. Some maps will be updated automatically, and others require map update purchases. Golfers can find maps of popular golf courses, and hikers can access maps for well-liked trails and hiking areas. Geo-caching • Search for hidden treasures
Use the gps coordinates in different types of gps devices to be the first to find hidden treasures during live outdoor hunts. Locators • Child tags
• Pet tags and collars
• Car locators
Special types of gps devices offer location information that will link to your smart phone to find anything missing from a child to your keys. >> Consider accessories
Now that you have plenty of information on how to buy a gps device, it's time to check out the accessories that are available for your unit. First look at mounting kits as there are kits for mounting on your dash or windshield in your car. Different mounts offer different levels of security and convenience. If you tend to move your gps from car to other locations look at temporary mounting options for the fit to your lifestyle. Grab a carrying case while your shopping for those times you want to carry it with you or put it out of site when not in use.
Last of all special bundles are available for cables and chargers to keep you up and running whenever you need it. No matter how many different types of gps devices catch your attention you will know just how to buy a gps device perfect for you and your lifestyle.