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Gadget Review: Budget Sat Navs

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I have been considering purchasing a new sat nav for a while now, well for about 10 years actually, ever since my car took me down a Bridalway. I really need to update the maps, but I can’t find the cable that connects it to a computer. So I am looking for a low cost sat nav that will give me easy options to upgrade my maps.

 

I am looking for a low cost sat nav, as I highly anticipate that my future car will have a built in navigation system. I am confident that my Google Map on my iPhone can get me to my destination, but I have also considered what happens when someone calls me and how it will interrupt the display and my journey.

During my search for a low cost sat nav, I have looked at the following criteria: price, mapping locations, connected traffic information, screen size and usability and lifetime maps.

I have provided a list of my top 5 budget sat navs on the market today. At the end of the review I also talk about recent upgrade to Google Maps on Android and iPhone below and also discuss the future of in car information.

Top 5 Sat Nav’s when on a budget

Binatone F350 Sat Nav – £37.99 from Ebay

Review:  General online reviews of this sat nav, is that it could have a better display and be easier to use. Perhaps this is due to size of the touchscreen, being smaller than most at 3.5 inches.

Mapping locations: UK and Ireland
Connected Traffic information:  No
Screen size and usability: 3.5 inch touchscreen
Lifetime Maps: No

Garmin Nuvi 52 Sat Nav – £79 from Tesco

Review: A budget sat nav that gets you to your destination. The ‘WHERE I AM’ feature is helpful if you break down to get exact coordinates. A useful sat nav to have for those who are not sure if they need one!

Mapping locations: UK and Ireland and Western Europe (24 countries)
Connected traffic information: Not available
Screen size and usability: 5 inch touchscreen
Lifetime Maps: Map updates cost extra on this Garmin, but they are generally free on more high end versions.

TomTom Start 25 Sat Nav – £89 in Tesco

Review: Simple screen layout and usability. This is the sat nav of choice for those who are looking to upgrade to a sat nav that supplies map updates. The advanced lane guidance is also a nice upgrade feature.

Mapping locations: UK and Ireland
Connected Traffic information: No
Screen size and usability: 5 inch touchscreen
Lifetime Maps: Yes, free daily map changes for life from the TomTom Map Share Community. Life services connectivity via Bluetooth for Map updates.

TomTom Via 135 Sat Nav – £109.99

Review: There is a voice recognition software on this device, however you are unable to verbally enter postcodes. The improved 1Q routes (smartest,most efficient route) and Bluetooth for hands-free calling.

Mapping locations: UK and Europe (45 countries)
Connected Traffic information: No, but you can buy a separate traffic receiver.
Screen size and usability: 5 inch touchscreen with hands free, voice recognition technology. Lifetime Maps: TomTom Map share – free daily map changes for life from the TomTom Map Share Community

TomTom GO 400 Sat Nav – RAC Shop – £137.99

Review: This is a smaller Sat Nav than most at 4.3 inch rather than 5 inch. It was reviewed by our friends at Motorpaper.co.uk here.

Mapping locations: UK, ROI and Europe
Connected Traffic information: Yes, it connects to your Smartphone over Bluetooth.
Screen size and usability: 4.3 inch screen and pinch and zoom technology. 3D maps for landmarks.
Lifetime Maps: Yes

A recent upgrade to Google Maps on Android and iPhone

I was reading last night over at the Google Maps blog, about how Google Maps for Android and iPhone/iPad had added a ton of new features, including better navigation & offline maps.

I was pleased to see the feature which allows you to save the maps to use offline, which is handy when your phone is out of signal. I also like that the Google Maps app now shows you which lane to stay in or move to, so that you don’t find yourself driving for miles down the wrong road or down a bridal path (which as you know has happened to me before!).

As I no longer have an A to Z map in my boot, (which is now full with bats, balls, pram, spades and buckets), I regularly screen shot a map of going to a new destination and turn my phone in circles to try to find out where to go. The offline maps feature sounds very useful indeed.

The future of in car information

Early last year we discussed the future of in car entertainment, predicting that in the next few years, technology will develop faster than ever for cars, which Mark Humphrys pointed out will be ‘great news for both drivers and passengers’. He wasn’t wrong. We were dreaming once more at the end of 2013 when Sam Chilcott gave an interesting insight into which operating system will become the favourite with car manufacturers in her post: Connected Cars – The Battle for Incredible Infotainment. She was a little bit sceptical that we would see iOS interfaces within cars in the very near future. Alas news broke 3 months later that the Volvo Car Group and Apple Inc had joined forces to make Apple’s widely used operating system available to drivers. The new service is called Apple CarPlay and enables the driver to fully interact with the features on your iPhone through the user interface of your car. As you can imagine this was pretty big news for Apple fans and will be rolled out with the all new Volvo XC90 later in 2014.

Find out more about what happens when Apple iOS meets Volvo’s new user interface in the below video and say hello to Apple CarPlay:

Apple have more technology up their sleeves, as two newly published patent applications highlighted that that they are keen to develop ways to track down and control your car by your iPhone’s Bluetooth. Read more here: Apple envisions ways to find and start your car with your iPhone. Another interesting story I saw was that the Garmin sat nav app has found its way to Sony Smart Watch 2. This gives me the reason I need to have s seperate phone and sat nav. You can read more about Garmin’s Experia Edition app working on the Smart Watch here. If you are interested in upgrading your current car, for the very purpose of getting access to the very latest mapping information available on center touch screens, why not fill in an application form for car finance, to find out the ways we can help you to finance your new car.

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