Best GPS – buyer’s checklist and best buys

gps australia

Some of the most important features to look for when buying a GPS (Global Positioning System) navigation device are:

Text to speech
Some GPS devices can tell you names of streets you are approaching. If you want to know which street you are on, or which street to turn into withoutytaking your eyes off the road, then this is a very handy feature.

Traffic Channel Data
Some GPS devices can pick up signals from live traffic channels, helping you to avoid traffic incidents. It can save you alot of time by warning you about traffic jams, road closures and roadworks.

This is a useful feature if you would like to make hands-free calls on your mobile via the GPS device.

Big Screen Size
Go for a larger screen if possible – 4.3 inches is ideal. If portability is essential (ie if you will be on foot or without power for extended periods of time) having a smaller screen will help conserve battery life.



UNDER $300

Developed in Australia for local driving conditions, the NavigBr has some nifty features including an electronic trip log. When you get in the car, you enter your odometer reading and purpose (personal or business) and the Navig8r records the distance and time driving. This feature makes it perfect for commercial drivers or those wanting to claim travel on tax returns. The device also features voice and visual prompts of speed limits, its 2GB memory can be expanded with a memory card, Australian and New Zealand maps from Navteq, red-light camera warnings and it weighs just 142g.

Another simple navigator that delivers value for money is Navman’s Ezy45. It has a 4.3-inch touchscreen and 2GB of internal flash memory to store maps. It arrives with three years of free map updates, but users are ‘well advised to back-up map data to a computer with each update or risk losing important points of interest. The Ezy45 offers turn by turn navigation with voice prompts and has 3D junction views and lane guidance. You can also find your nearest petrol station or parking garage among more than 600,000 points of interest.

This more cost-efficient GPS offers simplicity. It has two options “Where To?” and “View Map”. Compared with its more expensive stablemate, the 40 is slower-to access satellites, uses different directions and is slower to refresh. However, you can navigate straight out of the box with its preloaded Australian maps, it has a 4.3 inch touchscreen, more than five million points of interest come preloaded and it announces street names. It also has a built-in speed limit indicator.
While basic, its a good option for the price-conscious.

UNDER $500

GARMIN NUVI 3760 $449
It’s a relatively high price to pay for a modern personal navigation device, but this one works both quickly and accurately. It also looks slick with a flat glass screen and an almost iPhone-like design. All the usual features are on board, including voice prompts, street-name announcement, full touchscreen, photo viewing capability, pre-loaded
points of interest and multiple route options including options to avoid tolls, drive the shortest distance or take the fastest route. It weighs just 112g and offers a 4.3-inch screen to show off preloaded maps of Australia and New Zealand.

Drivers who prefer to see roads on the big screen should appreciate this TomTom navigator with a whopping
S-inch display. The bigger brother of the Go Live 800, it offers many of the same features of its sibling, including
lane guidance, spoken street names, a Bluetooth connection and voice controls to make phone calls. Importantly, it also features a built-in SIM card and a one-year subscription to TomTom’s HD Traffic service that alerts drivers if they’re about to drive into a trouble spot. The 244g device also arrives with its mount affixed, for easy installation and removal, and maps of Australia.