Best GPS navigation systems of 2020: ranking and price comparison

Which are the best GPS navigation systems of 2020?

Best GPS navigation systems of 2020 (1 - 5)
GPS navigation system comparison
Comparison winner
GPS navigation system comparison
Comparison winner
TomTom GO 60 S
Comparison winner
TomTom GO 600
Comparison winner
TomTom GO 60
Comparison winner
TomTom GO 50 S
Comparison winner
TomTom GO 50
Comparison winner
TomTom VIA 1605 TM
Comparison winner
Garmin Nuvi 3590LMT
Comparison winner
Garmin Nuvi 3490LMT
Comparison winner
TomTom GO 2535 TM WTE
Comparison winner
TomTom GO LIVE 2535 M
Image
TomTom GO 60 S
100points
TomTom GO 600
99points
TomTom GO 60
96points
TomTom GO 50 S
91points
TomTom GO 50
87points
TomTom VIA 1605 TM
79points
Garmin Nuvi 3590LMT
73points
Garmin Nuvi 3490LMT
71points
TomTom GO 2535 TM WTE
68points
TomTom GO LIVE 2535 M
64points
Best price
Best price
Summary
Summary
  • General info (83)
  • Connectivity (75)
  • Navigation (100)
  • Features (75)
  • General info (82)
  • Connectivity (75)
  • Navigation (100)
  • Features (75)
  • General info (83)
  • Connectivity (75)
  • Navigation (93)
  • Features (75)
  • General info (74)
  • Connectivity (75)
  • Navigation (100)
  • Features (75)
  • General info (74)
  • Connectivity (75)
  • Navigation (93)
  • Features (75)
  • General info (78)
  • Connectivity (0)
  • Navigation (95)
  • Features (67)
  • General info (80)
  • Connectivity (25)
  • Navigation (95)
  • Features (89)
  • General info (81)
  • Connectivity (25)
  • Navigation (88)
  • Features (100)
  • General info (63)
  • Connectivity (0)
  • Navigation (91)
  • Features (67)
  • General info (63)
  • Connectivity (25)
  • Navigation (84)
  • Features (67)
Pros
Pros
  • Bigger screen size
  • Higher resolution
  • Dedicated smartphone app
  • Wireless synchronization
  • Automatic sync
  • Bigger screen size
  • Dedicated smartphone app
  • Wireless synchronization
  • Automatic sync
  • Bigger screen size
  • Higher resolution
  • Dedicated smartphone app
  • Wireless synchronization
  • Automatic sync
  • Dedicated smartphone app
  • Wireless synchronization
  • Automatic sync
  • Dedicated smartphone app
  • Wireless synchronization
  • Automatic sync
  • Bigger screen size
  • Higher resolution
  • Longer battery life - GPS
  • Longer battery life - GPS
  • Currency converter
  • Longer battery life - GPS
  • Longer battery life - GPS
Cons
Cons
      • Lifetime traffic updates
      • Resolution
      • Resolution
      • Lifetime traffic updates
      • Internal storage
      • Device-to-device sharing feature
      • Weather updates
      • Screen size
      • Weather updates
      • External memory slot
      • Internal storage
      • Resolution
      • Device-to-device sharing feature
      • Resolution
      • Internal storage
      • External memory slot
      General info
      Battery life with GPS onThere is less chance that you will run out of battery during an adventure.
      Battery life with GPS onThere is less chance that you will run out of battery during an adventure.2h2h2h2h2h2h4h4h3h3h
      External memory slotThe device has a standard memory slot (such as an SD or micro SD card slot) that enables you to extend the built-in internal storage with affordable memory modules, or easily retrieve data, such as photographs, from the memory card.
      External memory slotThe device has a standard memory slot (such as an SD or micro SD card slot) that enables you to extend the built-in internal storage with affordable memory modules, or easily retrieve data, such as photographs, from the memory card.
      Internal storageThe internal storage refers to the built-in storage space available in a device for system data, apps, and user-generated data. With a large amount of internal storage, you can save more files and apps on your device.
      Internal storageThe internal storage refers to the built-in storage space available in a device for system data, apps, and user-generated data. With a large amount of internal storage, you can save more files and apps on your device.8GB8GB8GB8GB8GB4GBN.A.N.A.4GB4GB
      ResolutionResolution is an essential indicator of a screen's image quality, representing the maximum amount of pixels that can be shown on the screen. The resolution is given as a compound value, comprised of horizontal and vertical pixels.
      ResolutionResolution is an essential indicator of a screen's image quality, representing the maximum amount of pixels that can be shown on the screen. The resolution is given as a compound value, comprised of horizontal and vertical pixels.908 x 480px800 x 480px908 x 480px480 x 272px480 x 272px800 x 600px800 x 480px800 x 480px480 x 272px480 x 272px
      Screen sizeThe bigger the screen size is, the better the user experience.
      Screen sizeThe bigger the screen size is, the better the user experience.6"6"6"5"5"6"5"4.3"5"5"
      Total score for "General info"
      Total score for "General info"
      Connectivity
      Automatic syncThe device automatically syncs your data when in range of your computer or smartphone.
      Automatic syncThe device automatically syncs your data when in range of your computer or smartphone.
      Device-to-device sharing featureThis feature allows you to transfer your favorite routes or waypoints to other devices, and it makes it easier to keep your device up-to-date.
      Device-to-device sharing featureThis feature allows you to transfer your favorite routes or waypoints to other devices, and it makes it easier to keep your device up-to-date.
      Wireless synchronizationThe device syncs all of your data wirelessly, without the need for cables.
      Wireless synchronizationThe device syncs all of your data wirelessly, without the need for cables.
      Wi-Fi connectivityThe device can connect to Wi-Fi.
      Wi-Fi connectivityThe device can connect to Wi-Fi.
      Total score for "Connectivity"
      Total score for "Connectivity"
      Navigation
      Lifetime mapsUsers are able to download the latest maps four times per year with no further fees or subscriptions.
      Lifetime mapsUsers are able to download the latest maps four times per year with no further fees or subscriptions.
      Lifetime traffic updatesThe device includes a subscription to a lifetime of free traffic updates.
      Lifetime traffic updatesThe device includes a subscription to a lifetime of free traffic updates.
      Route avoidanceThe device can avoid certain routes depending on the user's preference. For example, if you wish to avoid expensive toll roads then the device can design an alternative route.
      Route avoidanceThe device can avoid certain routes depending on the user's preference. For example, if you wish to avoid expensive toll roads then the device can design an alternative route.
      Route optimizerIf the user has many destinations planned, for example a UPS driver, they can enter in all of the destinations and the GPS will calculate the most efficient route to take, saving time and reducing fuel costs.
      Route optimizerIf the user has many destinations planned, for example a UPS driver, they can enter in all of the destinations and the GPS will calculate the most efficient route to take, saving time and reducing fuel costs.
      GPS navigation with turn-by-turn directionsThe device will signal upcoming turns and prepare you, ensuring you stay on route.
      GPS navigation with turn-by-turn directionsThe device will signal upcoming turns and prepare you, ensuring you stay on route.
      Total score for "Navigation"
      Total score for "Navigation"
      Features
      Currency converterThis allows the user to calculate currency exchange rates when passing from one country to another.
      Currency converterThis allows the user to calculate currency exchange rates when passing from one country to another.
      Dedicated smartphone appThere is a dedicated smartphone app that is designed to be used with the device.
      Dedicated smartphone appThere is a dedicated smartphone app that is designed to be used with the device.
      Emergency shortcut appIn the case of an emergency the user can quickly contact the emergency services through the device.
      Emergency shortcut appIn the case of an emergency the user can quickly contact the emergency services through the device.
      Favorite destinationsSave all your favorite destinations, such as certain towns or restaurants, so you have directions ready for your next visit.
      Favorite destinationsSave all your favorite destinations, such as certain towns or restaurants, so you have directions ready for your next visit.
      Weather updatesYou can access weather forecasts using the device.
      Weather updatesYou can access weather forecasts using the device.
      Total score for "Features"
      Total score for "Features"

      How to choose the best GPS navigation system

      Whether it’s a fun road trip or a tedious work day, GPS navigation systems can always keep you running with best routes, regular traffic updates and much more. Yes, using a Garmin Nüvi or a massive Magellan RoadMate is not easy, but once you’re used to these devices, you’ll love hitting the road equipped with your GPS. Smartphones with navigation apps are useful, but that does not mean that GPS systems are out of the game. The prices have plunged down drastically and the category has fully matured in all aspects. Today, you can find GPS devices doing much more than just finding your way or providing live traffic updates. These standalone devices can be your perfect partner on the road and here’s what you should keep in mind when looking for the best GPS naviagtion system.

      Screen size and Resolution

      Selecting an ideal display panel is very important for choosing an appropriate GPS device. Though you can find a slew of screen sizes in this category, the best option is a 5" IPS panel which is neither too big nor too small. A large display like on the Magellan RoadMate 9055 saves you from the trouble of looking for a long time at the map or the street name, but it can gobble up your dashboard or windshield space quite easily. On the contrary, a smaller unit saves space and comes at a lower price, but you may find problems while reading the text on the display. When buying a GPS device, you have to be sure that its screen is thin and large enough to display graphics and text easily. It should a fairly high pixel density (pixels per inch) and guarantee a detailed visual experience with immaculate viewing angles. In case you’re looking for a high-end model, you can also opt for a matte panel which comes with an anti-glare layer and improves the viewing experience at the cost of decreased contrast and color intensity under low-light conditions.

      Maps and Routes

      Along with screen-size and resolution, you should also check what else the GPS system has to offer. Some navigational devices only provide map and route guidance, while others also include things like points-of-interest, live traffic updates, and route avoidance.

      • Points of Interest: Points-of-Interest (POIs) can help you find the closest restaurant, ATM, auto-body shop, or gas station. This feature can save you from the trouble of driving endlessly and can take you right to your destination within few minutes. But, it is important to note that not all GPS systems guarantee detailed results. Since the database varies, some devices give detailed, accurate and real-time results, while others leave you even more confused. The best way here is to check out product reviews before deciding on a model.
      • Live Traffic Updates: The GPS system you select should certainly have the ability to provide real-time traffic updates without any subscription or additional charges. This could help you avoid traffic jams, especially during peak hours when everyone is rushing. Normally, a GPS device provides traffic updates every 15 minutes, but you can also find some newer Garmin and TomTom models which provide updates every 30 seconds.
      • Free map updates and route avoidance: Alongside real-time traffic updates, the GPS you select should also include free map updates. It should keep track of all the routes and should suggest an alternate route in case of roadblocks or other issues. Garmin Nüvi 3590LMT and TomTom VIA 1535TM include free map updates, but some companies still charge for each map update.

      Portability

      While looking for a GPS device, always consider build quality and portability. Even if you’re not in the driver’s seat, a portable GPS can be used to check directions. It can fit in your pocket while strolling around and can be mounted back later for your next trip. So, look for a GPS device that is light and thin. The dimensions can vary, but you should stick with a slim profile so that you don’t ruin your ride’s interior with an unwieldy GPS system. There are also handheld GPS devices which can be used when biking, hiking or doing other outdoor activities. Just like other GPS devices, these handheld devices have maps, weather alerts and waypoints and routes. One of the best handheld GPS devices is the Garmin eTrex 20x, which has a battery that lasts for 25 hours, making it the perfect travel companion for long trips.

      Battery Life

      One huge advantage GPS navigation systems have over smartphones is the extended battery life. A classic GPS navigation system lasts much longer than your smartphone. Instead of using 4G or Wi-Fi, it works seamlessly and finds the desired route even in areas with no network coverage. GPS apps drain a tremendous amount of battery power, so smartphones might not even make it through the day if navigation apps are always in use.

      When it comes to portable GPS devices, battery life becomes a major area of concern. Normally, small GPS devices use 2 AAA cells and last 4 or 5 hours on a single set of batteries, while larger and heavier devices use up to 4 AA cells and last for almost 10 hours. So, if you need a cost effective way out for short trips, GPS devices with built-in rechargeable batteries could do or you’ll have to make sure you have enough replacement batteries with you. Since performance depends largely on battery life, make the choice by considering how many hours you would use the device on a single charge.

      Storage and Connectivity Options

      In order to stay updated with latest routes and POIs, you’ll have to download the latest map versions. If you have free lifetime map updates, you can download a super-detailed map whenever you need. But unless you have sufficient storage space on your device, you cannot get full advantage of this feature. Maybe you can install the update two or three times, but once the storage gets full, you’ll have to clean up old maps and POIs to try the new ones. In a nutshell, make sure that the GPS you select has sufficient internal storage, as well as support for external storage with a microSD card.

      Other features

      Text to Speech: Using this feature, the GPS device can give voice instructions. It can read out street names and direct you by giving short and understandable commands. This way, you don’t have to look at the map every now and then to check the route or available POIs.

      Voice Commands: A GPS systems that supports voice commands allows you to easily control the device's functions. Every time you hit the road, you don’t have to touch any button. A single voice command and you’re ready to go!

      Currency Converter: An inbuilt currency converter can prove extremely useful during your foreign trips. You can keep your finances in order with instant currency conversion.

      Pedestrian Mode: Pedestrian or walking mode optimizes the route to your destination and the estimated time of arrival depending on your walking speed. Once enabled, the mode works just like driving mode and has text and voice directions to guide you.

      Saving Large Waypoint: A waypoint is an exact position on the map which is expressed in latitude & longitude and is stored for future reference. GPS devices save waypoints electronically, but you have to be sure that the model you select should has enough storage space for waypoints.

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