Navigation system – compare& buyer’s guide
Finding the best navigation system can be a time-consuming task, given the wide range of products and the many different features available. So in addition to the installed maps, you need to check whether the updates are included, the route calculation is good and useful and whether the additional functions such as hands-free, rear view camera compatibility and what else you need are available. If you don’t have the time, but still want to make a good decision, you can follow our recommendation. The drive 51 LMT-S EU from garmin was particularly convincing in the test, because it is compatible with the BC30 rear view camera, 46 countries are preinstalled and it includes lifelong map updates and extensive functions. . It is also easy to operate and the route planning was also convincing in the test. Alternatively, the start 25 M from tomtom can be recommended, as it is a very inexpensive entry-level model that nevertheless offers 45 preinstalled countries including map updates and is well equipped and scores points with its simple and convenient operation.
Overall, the navigation device is very well equipped and offers a lot at a low price. Map updates are free for a lifetime, a rear view camera can be connected and the routes are very good thanks to 3D intersection view and real directions. The touch screen is easy to use and additional functions such as radar warning, parking assistant and POI information are convincing.
The current traffic information can not be transmitted via DAB, but only works when a smartphone is paired with app. In addition, the device cannot be operated via voice control, but only via touch.
The bottom line is that this is a very well equipped and functional navigation device with lifetime map updates. The equipment and functionality are overall very good, so that the price-performance ratio is very good despite small weaknesses.
The start 25 M from tomtom is a very affordable entry-level model with good features and free updates. 45 countries are pre-installed, the lane assistant works well and the route calculations are dynamic and sensible. The touch operation is also convincing, because it is intuitive and simple. The price-performance ratio is very good overall.
There is nothing to criticize about the navigation device itself, because it works as it should and is inexpensive. However, the map updates are sometimes very cumbersome and nerve-racking, which is a big hurdle if you want to keep the system up to date.
If you are looking for a very inexpensive yet functional and intuitively controllable navigation device that suggests sensible routes and is well equipped, the entry-level model from tomtom will certainly appeal to you, because the price-performance ratio is very good overall.
The tomtom via 135 M is a very solid model with lifetime map updates for all 45 pre-installed countries. The route calculations are intelligent and sensible, and the lane assistant also works well. Thanks to the TMC receiver, you receive traffic information and it can also be used as a freespeech device.
In itself, the navigation device is absolutely recommendable and has no major quirks. Only the somewhat more complicated menu navigation compared to simple models caused some testers to be a little displeased.
All in all, the tomtom model offers very good equipment, solid operation and, above all, lifelong updates for all 45 preinstalled maps. Thanks to lane assistant and sensible intersection view you can drive with foresight and thanks to bluetooth you can also use it as a handsfree in your car.
Navigation device buying guide
If you are buying a new car, you are often thinking about buying a new navigation device as well. Although many car manufacturers offer integrated navigation systems, mobile devices are still an excellent alternative. Not only because they are cheaper, but also because they allow you to be mobile without restrictions and updating is usually much easier. Before you buy a cheap navigation device from the huge offer, you should be clear about the desired size and above all make the right choice with regard to the map material included.
Only then should you weigh up the functions you need and compare the prices of the devices in order to find the best navigation device for your needs. In the top 5 list of the best navigation devices in 2022, you will find a selection of excellent devices with a good price-performance ratio, which can make the decision process easier for you.
size and usability
An inexpensive navigation device is usually also somewhat smaller than the more expensive models and is usually equipped with a weaker processor. Common models are available between 8.9 cm (3.5 inches) to 10 cm (4 inches). the recommendation is to go for the larger model, as it is a bit easier to use. especially touch control is much easier on a large display. Good operation requires a smoothly running system. A certain minimum processor performance is required, depending on the software installed. If the software is broken, the operation is also correspondingly sluggish and bad.
Make sure that the display is non-reflective and has an automatic day/night switching function. This increases the readability significantly. If you want to install the navigation device in a vehicle where the unit is mounted a little further away from you (for example, in a camper van), a remote control is very useful, otherwise it will be difficult for you to operate the device. In this case, a voice input function can also greatly improve operation. If you are far away, you should definitely opt for a larger display, because otherwise it can be difficult to see the map view.
Simple and self-explanatory operation is particularly important if you frequently want to change the route planning while driving. If the controls are complicated or difficult to reach, or if the touchscreen is too sluggish because the processor or sensors are too weak, controlling the device can become a real challenge. If you use it while driving – which you should never do – it may even be dangerous to buy a device with uncomfortable handling. You can get a good orientation from the top 5 list of test winners.
The larger the display of a navigation device, the more suitable it is for connecting a rear view camera or dashcam. But pay attention to compatibility. you are of course on the safe side if you have a garmin dashcam, for example, if you also buy a corresponding navigation device from garmin.
Map material and updates
Voice output and adequate computing power in relation to the software are offered by all well-known manufacturers. But very few people pay attention to the date of publication and the extent of the map material included in the delivery. Inexpensive navis are usually only equipped with a map of Germany, while higher-quality models often have maps of the whole of europe. The scope is always marked and should be taken into account when buying the device. D-A-CH stands for germany, austria and switzerland.
some manufacturers offer additional material for western or eastern europe. Here you should pay close attention to which countries are included in the declaration. Most of the time the map material is updated every year. Therefore, when buying a navigation device with map material older than 1 year, you should consider that an update of the maps is imminent. The more current the map software is, the better! Many manufacturers also offer the first map update free of charge. This makes sense and is also a powerful argument, since 15% of all roads change in the course of a year. If you want to make sure that you don’t frequently end up in road works, dead ends or changed traffic routes, you should go for a navigation device that includes a lifetime map upgrade. In the past, such devices could not be bought for less than 200 euros, but today they are much cheaper.
If you bought a navigation device only one or two years ago, but no free map updates are included, the purchase of a new device can pay for itself within just over a year, as you save the additional costs for updates.
Additional functions and price range
Cheap navigation systems can be found for well under 100 euro. However, the processors here are often quite weak, the operation only mediocre and free upgrades for the map material are also usually not included. You can get good entry-level navigation systems for less than 100 euros. Even if no free updates are included, you can easily last two years with it. But if you consider that good devices including free map updates are also available from about 120 euros, it is hardly worth buying a device without an update. During the test period, a device including free updates was even available for less than 50 euros!
Newer and more modern devices have additional functions that can make your everyday life much easier than old navigation devices. Advances in voice recognition make many commands easy to send to the system by voice input. So you can easily see the nearest gas station or. Calculate the route without leaving your hands on the steering wheel.
Another sensible investment could be a large memory card, if you don’t already have one. many devices offer not only the navigation function but also optional music or photo playback, travel guide or the search for interesting points, sights or even act as a travel guide. All of this requires space, which is why a large memory in modern navigation devices usually pays off.
If you want speed camera warnings, current traffic jam data and other information, you should pay attention to the transmission type of this information. Some manufacturers offer TMC data transmission, but this requires a worm antenna or a charging cable used as an antenna. Sometimes the TMC antenna is also integrated into the comfort bracket. The alternative to this is the live service, which transmits information to the devices equipped with live service by analyzing cell phone data.
In the end, the choice of the right device is up to you. Even a very inexpensive device can serve you well for more than 2 years. At the latest then the map material is so outdated that you need an update, which can sometimes be quite expensive. If you want more additional functions, more extensive map material, which you can constantly update, you have to dig a little deeper into your pocket. the bottom line is that modern, good mobile navigation devices are true high-tech all-rounders that can help you navigate and drive for many years to come.
5 best navigation devices (test) 2022
Finding the best navigation device can be a tedious task. Therefore, in the test of the best navigation devices in 2022, a preselection has been made for you. all devices offer an excellent price-performance ratio and are suitable as entry-level devices. Every car navigation device offers free map updates, so that even over years no additional costs arise. Since all navigation devices have 5 inch displays, the prices are directly comparable.