What else you need to know about GPS devices for your car

Updated Dec 30, 2019 | Same topic: Let's Drive Smart!

Here’s everything you need to know about choosing GPS gadgets for your car -- the different types, features you need to consider, and everything in between.

If you’ve never used a GPS gadget before, the search can get tougher. You will also need to ask yourself a few questions before actually heading out to buy your GPS device. You even have a choice whether you prefer buying the unit off a physical store or online instead. Both have their pros and cons.

But what exactly should you know about GPS devices? Is there any special knowledge that you should have before you acquire one? Are there any special types of GPS devices out there? What factors should affect your purchase? You’ll get all the answers to that right in this article from Philkotse.com:

1. Different GPS units in the market

Once you start looking for a GPS device, know that there are a few things you should consider. First off, you should know that there is more than one type of GPS device. There are portable ones and there are also built-in ones as well.

You can pretty much get an idea of what the difference is between the two. There are also tons of different features that you need to look at before buying. Here are the important factors that can influence your decision.

GPS device


You should know that there is more than one type of GPS device

>>> Read more: All about GPS Tracking Technology for cars and its benefits

2. Budgeting for your in-car GPS system

If the sky's the limit for you, then you may as well skip this. But if the price is as important as features, consider reading this section carefully.

Before you take a look at available GPS models, you first have to set a budget. Just remember to stick to the range you set. Then, eliminate the choices that are out of your budget range. This will help prevent you from spending more money than you originally wanted to spend.

But keep in mind that a smaller budget will allow for limited features as well. This will affect the size of your screen. This will also affect the capabilities of your GPS. If you think you can do with a used GPS, you can also look for a bargain at garage sales or online.

You will usually end up with an older one. Depending on the model, the maps may be outdated so you may have to allot money to have this updated.

GPS in the car

Keep in mind that a smaller budget will allow for limited features

Your budget will also determine whether you’re buying an integrated or a stand-alone unit. There are head units that include built-in GPS navigation, but the only problem is that these are quite expensive.

So friendly advice would be to veer away from these. That is, of course, unless your head unit needs a replacement. If your head unit does need a new replacement, you can find other models. There are integrated GPS navigation systems that boast impressive features.

>>> Make sure you know: 5 other smart things you can do with your GPS

3. Integrated GPS Navigation

Most of the available OEM infotainment systems in the market come with integrated GPS navigation. However, this is also an option when it comes to the more luxurious types of head units. In-dash GPS navigation units are known to be expensive. But if you invest in the right one, you’ll realize that they’re actually worth the price.

If you are:

  • Against planting a bulky device into your windshield or dash
  • Not (in any way) ready to buy a new car

Then the best thing you can do is upgrade your radio to a navigation head unit. There are so many of these available in the market. You can look up some models online without even visiting an actual store.


Most of the available OEM infotainment systems in the market come with integrated GPS navigation

If you don’t know what you want or what’s compatible with your car, you can ask a sales representative. This is usually applicable only in physical stores. If you’ve opted to order online, you can visit the reviews section of reading through forums instead.

Some of the head units available out there include amazing stuff. They usually have a built-in navigation system and are also counted as actual carputers. Just remember that there are factors that you need to consider when you compare standalone GPS to in-dash head units.

Different types of GPS device

There are head units that include built-in GPS navigation, but the only problem is that these are quite expensive

>>> Check out: 

4. What are standalone GPS units?

These are usually a less expensive option but that doesn’t make them cheap in quality. Standalone units can have different prices depending on the store and brand of the unit. Featured-packed models are usually more expensive.

Aside from the more affordable price, another benefit of the standalone GPS units is that it’s portable. This means you can bring it anywhere you want. You can also use it one vehicle and use it another once you need it. Its usability becomes easier once you find a fitting mount for it.

standalone GPS unit

Standalone GPS units are usually a less expensive option, but that doesn’t make them cheap in quality

5. Features you need to consider

There are tons of other features that you may need to think about, but these ones are the most common and important ones.

  • Screen resolution and size – Larger screens allow bigger images. This becomes more important once you’re behind the wheel. A bigger screen will let you easily see it without losing sight of the road ahead.
  • Receiver type –This isn’t a “cool” feature, but a receiver is basically what describes the overall quality of your GPS. This will show you where you are on the road.
  • Voice directions – Text-to-speech and spoken directions are very important. This is especially useful if you don’t want to lose concentration while driving.
  • Automatic routing – This feature automatically finds another route to your destination if you stray from it.

>>> Grab your attention: [Philkotse pick] Top 7 best GPS trackers for cars in 2020

Screens of GPS unit

Larger screens let you see bigger images

Hanna Sanchez

Hanna Sanchez


Hanna is one of the most competitive swimmers in the country during her day. It was not long before she discovered her passion for the automotive industry as well. Nowadays, she balances her passion through writing as well as coaching.

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