- 1 Best Satellite Navigation Review
- 2 Best Budget Satellite Navigation
- 3 Best Value Satellite Navigation
- 4 Best Performing Satellite Navigation
- 5 In the box
- 6 Best Sat Navigation (Overall Winner)
- 7 The Bottom Line
Going back a few years and everyone had a sat nav in their glove box, that or you got very lost. But with the advent of most cars now having inbuilt satellite navigation the market suffered greatly.
We are now seeing a new wave of interest and sales in the market. The reason is two-fold, firstly in-car sat nav’s get out of date, so new roads aren’t updated on them and secondly, they seldom have live traffic information on them. It’s no use having a sat nav that either tells you to take the fourth exit and it’s a crossroads or consistently takes you to queues of traffic.
This new generation of satellite navigation systems have live traffic, can have their maps updated via your WiFi and some even support features such as mirroring your phone to them. Allowing you to view text messages, answer calls, etc all from the screen.
- Real-time traffic information
- Up-to-date maps
- Some models can be expensive
For this review, we take an in-depth look at some of the best sat nav systems on the market. We look at satellite navigation systems from renowned brands like TomTom and Garmin.
The TomTom Go 5200 is one of the best budget sat nav models on the market to date. The Go 5200 uses TomTom’s magnetic mounting system. This mounting system allows you to quickly lock it in place or remove it. It really isn’t a good idea to leave your sat nav stuck to the windscreen while you get out, this quick release system makes it easy to quickly remove.
The 5-inch screen has the same sensitivity as your smartphone screen. This was always a bugbear with me when it came to sat nav’s in the past, especially from TomTom. You almost had to put your finger through the screen to get it to respond! It allows swiping through menus and responds quickly.
So, what do you get with TomTom Go 5200? Autosuggest, this feature makes it easy for you to search an address. Suggestions include recently visited, drive home, and saved places. The Go 5200 comes with world maps as standard, this is great if you are planning a European holiday and plan on driving there. Or maybe you are headed to the states and want a sat nav for when you arrive. Another great feature is the TomTom traffic updates. As I mentioned above this is something that has really made the satellite navigation start to gain traction again. People will pay a lot to not have to be stuck in traffic!
All these features are for free for the lifetime of the device, and you can update them easily via built-in WiFi. The Go 5200 is also compatible with Google Now and Siri. This allows you to sync it with your smartphone, enabling hands-free calling and messaging. Rather than reaching to your phone to trigger your digital assistant, it’s available right on your sat nav.
Google Now and Siri can be downloaded on the TomTom website for free. This sat nav isn’t the cheapest sat nav on the market, but the fact that you get traffic update services, speed camera alerts, and lifetime global maps make it worth every penny.
Benefits of the TomTom Go 5200
- Allows phone integration.
- Lifetime speed camera updates.
Disadvantages of the TomTom Go 5200
- Voice calling isn’t very clear in noisy environments.
- Display size: 5 inches
- Connectivity: Bluetooth, USB
- Dimensions: 1.9 x 14.2 x 9.1 cm
Being one of TomTom’s premium sat nav’s, the Go 5200 is a must-have. Most users found this device useful due to the live alerts and the lifetime updates bonus. Though there are some niggly parts, TomTom Go 5200 is still one of the best sat nav’s available at the moment at this price point.
What makes this Satellite Navigation different from the competition? It has a variety of options depending on what your method of transport is. If you are driving in a regular car it’s pretty standard and works just like most basic sat nav’s do.
However, if you drive HGV’s there is a dedicated truck mode, this is very useful and alerts you to avoid low bridges and roads that are unsuitable for the height or weight of your vehicle.
This brilliant navigation device has a 7-inch screen that uses the latest capacitive touch-screen technology. This means that the device responds to the touch as fast as a smartphone does. It also has turn-by-turn voice navigation that guides you and helps you avoid height, weight, length and width restrictions. The voice is available in different languages, which makes it not only useful to the English market.
This sat nav allows 2D and 3D views. Another great feature of the 7 Inch sat nav is the speed camera detection. This feature is designed to help you keep tabs on your speed and alert you to known locations of fixed speed cameras. These can be updated along with the map data.
This navigation system allows postcode search, which is pretty standard now, but some still only support searching via road names.
The Navpal 7 Inch sat nav comes with:
- GPS navigation
- USB cable
- User manual
- AC adapter
- Car charger
- Suction mount
- Comes with a 3-year warranty.
- Automatic night and day switching.
- Saves points of interests and destinations.
- Some users found it had difficulty establishing alternative routes fast.
- Screen size- 7 inches
- Driving test approved
If a big screen is an important feature to you with a sat nav, the Navpal could be just the ticket. If you a truck driver some of the features would also be invaluable. Finally, there are free lifetime updates on the mapping software and speed camera software.
The Garmin DriveSmart 50LM was designed to encourage smart driving. It has a 5-inch screen that allows pinch-to-zoom of the display. You no longer have to squint to view direction details on your sat nav.
This device comes with a huge list of features. One of its features is the driver awareness feature;
This feature alerts you in case of dangerous curves, speed cameras, and speed changes. It also makes use of a fatigue warning system. This alert helps you to know when to get off the road and rest before proceeding. It isn’t overly fancy, it just tracks how long you have been driving for and advises you take a break. Want a reliable assistant while driving? The Garmin DriveSmart 50LM can be paired with your smartphone. We love these features as seen on the TomTom.
Once you pair it with your phone, you will get texts, apps, and call notifications, all on your navigation’s 5-inch screen. The Bluetooth also provides you with hands-free calling.
If you are like most people, you want to avoid traffic. Pairing your phone with Garmin DriveSmart also helps you to avoid traffic. You get live traffic updates right on your phone.
Another feature that DriveSmart 50 boasts of is its voice-activated navigation. This feature allows you to use voice command to search for your destination. No more scrolling and getting distracted. It works surprisingly well too and managed to understand us.
Apart from pairing DriveSmart 50LM with your phone, you can pair it with two types of cameras; The Garmin babycam and The Garmin BC 30 backup cameras. The Garmin babyCam camera is ideal for parents. It helps you monitor your child in their car seat. The BC 30 backup camera is designed to help you view obstacles and vehicles via the sat nav as you reverse.
Additional features include lifetime software and maps updates, free Garmin Express software, Garmin real direction, lane assist and junction view.
In the box
- USB cable
- Garmin DriveSmart
- Vehicle suction mount
- Vehicle power cable
- User manual
Benefits of the Garmin DriveSmart 50LM
- Driver awareness features.
- Voice search feature.
- Ability to integrate cameras.
Disadvantages of the Garmin DriveSmart 50LM
- Maps limited to 45 countries
- Connectivity: Bluetooth
- Dimensions: 8.4 x 1.8 x 14 cm
- Weight: 172g
- Maps: UK, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Ireland
- Display size: 5 inches
On average, verified users have rated this Garmin sat nav model 4 out of 5. Yes, it has an issue or two, but you will always find issues with any product? Users have found it particularly useful due to the live traffic updates, voice navigation, and free maps for 45 countries. We, at Cleverhab, highly recommend this Garmin sat nav model.
While the Garmin DriveSmart 50LM and Navpal 7 Inch sat nav have a lot to offer, their features cannot be compared to the TomTom Go 5200. The drivesmart can be a little complex for some users and the Navpal 7 Inch sat nav maybe too big for some drivers. However, if you are a truck driver and you need a sat nav that can work on your truck and car, then go for Navpal 7 Inch sat nav.
TomTom Go 5200 has a capacitive screen that responds fast to touch. Another reason we recommend this sat nav is that it is the only sat nav, among the ones listed above, that has Wi-Fi capability, great for updating the mapping data.
The Bottom Line
There are many different sat nav’s available to purchase. This is just in our opinion the best 3 of the moment. As I said above, one major advantage of modern-day sat nav’s is the integration with your smartphone. The other thing that is worth thinking about is, they come with a plug. If your phone battery should die or you cannot get a signal, the sat nav works perfectly by getting a signal via satellite.