How to choose a GPS navigator
The principle GPS-Navigator of operation is based on the constant communication of the device with the satellites of the global positioning system (GPS – Global Positioning System). Three or more satellites constantly send a signal to the device, tying it and hence the car, to a certain point of space. The software of the Navigator processes the received information and indicates the position of the car with a high degree of accuracy on the loaded maps.
The advantages of GPS-Navigator are the possibility not only to find out the exact location of the car, but also to lay the most effective route to the desired destination.
Like all technologically complex devices, GPS-Navigator has many characteristics, the main ones are: the size of the screen used, functional content and software.
Types of GPS navigation screens
Modern navigators have an LCD screen with a diagonal size of 3.2 to 7 inches (17.78 cm). For cars, it is preferable to choose a device with a diagonal of 5 - 7 inches, because the driver for a short time with a cursory glance at the screen should fully cover the whole picture and get the necessary information about the position of the car. Devices with a smaller diagonal greatly complicate this procedure. Navigator with a screen diagonal of more than 7-inches, will not always be the best option, since its size will narrow the view of the road.
Pay attention to the resolution of the display matrix - the bigger it is, the clearer the image will be (see pic.). For example, for a 7-inch screen, an acceptable minimum resolution would be at least 800x480 pixels (SD), normal 1280x720 (HD).
When purchasing a navigator, it is advisable to check the operation of its display for glare in various modes of illumination, as well as to pay attention to the maximum comfortable viewing angle.
For some motorists, it will be important to have a touch control function and a light sensor with automatic adjustment of the screen back light depending on the ambient light.
Types software for car GPS-navigator
Software plays a key role in the full operation of the equipment. On the modern market represented by the three largest manufacturers.
The company “Navteq” has created one of the best software for installation on car navigators - Garmin. This is the most complete and accurate collection of maps with the possibility of targeted positioning in the main settlements. In addition, there are regular updates that can be purchased on disks or flash drives (see pic.)
The company “Navel” offers soft not only for car navigators, but also for tablets, phones and other mobile equipment. The company’s software has voice tracking and traffic congestion functions. This is very convenient, although it adds some cost.
Software “iGO” is installed on a wide range of navigators of various companies. This program can be attributed to the budget option, since its cost is low. The wide popularity of the product brought a simple and convenient interface and the ability to install from removable media.
Car GPS-navigator hardware options
When choosing a functional content should pay attention to the power of the installed processor. So, for normal navigation, a processor with a frequency of 300 MHz is sufficient, and for viewing a video image, the processor frequency should be more than 500 MHz. But in all cases, the more powerful the processor is, the faster the device will respond to commands.
The amount of internal memory of the navigator determines how many cards you can load into it, and if the device is also multimedia, then do not forget about various media files: photos, music or video. Some devices have an additional slot for flash cards of various types (SD, CF, MMC and others), which expands the possibilities for storing information. However, if there is no card slot, then you should not purchase a navigator with a memory capacity of less than 4 GB, since one card can reach a volume of about 1 GB.
Above, we mentioned the multimedia capabilities of some similar devices - playing music, watching videos and photo files. In addition, the navigator can be equipped with a TV and FM tuner or FM transmitter, which allows you to wirelessly communicate with the car stereo and transmit the audio signal from the navigator to it: voice prompts GPS, audio from video or music (see pic.).
With the Bluetooth option, you can synchronize your device with any Bluetooth devices. For the driver, synchronization with a smartphone or a mobile phone can be very useful - which allows you to have a telephone conversation on the speakerphone while driving. Additionally, you can connect your device to other devices, such as a laptop or tablet, if you have a USB interface.
When choosing a GPS-navigator, you should also take into account that the platform of the device must match the software, and the equipment itself should be purchased from leading and known manufacturers.
Do not forget that a tablet PC with the GPS option and a special mount for it in the car will easily replace the GPS navigator. In this case, the functions of such a gadget will be much more.
Manufacturers are trying in every way to expand the functionality of the proposed devices. And now navigators with the ability to view the video signal and hybrids of the navigator and the DVR are quite available - what is possible for you will be the best option for acquiring a car.