By Andrew Eisner
Holiday GPS reviews, values, deals, and some great GPS gift recommendations
We’re not sure if there are more people feeling lost and looking for direction or they just want to own one of the hottest digital lifestyle gadgets, but Retrevo is seeing lots of interest in everything GPS from cheap GPS devices to high-end GPS devices. There are some great GPS values this holiday season. Retrevo’s Value Analysis Engine analyzed the latest crop of GPS reviews including ones like a Garmin nuvi review, Mio GPS review, Magellan review, and other GPS systems reviews along with GPS features, and GPS prices to come up with a list of recommendations which includes GPS devices from Garmin, TomTom, Mio, and Navigon.
Hot GPS Features This Season
Avoiding traffic jams is top on every commuters list this year. Real time traffic information often requires an extra device to receive the data sent on FM, cellular, or satellite signals. You’ll also often have to pay a monthly, annual, or lifetime fee. MSN Direct, bundled with some units like the Garmin nuvi 680 is available for 120 cities and not only gives you traffic info but adds gas prices, weather, and movie times. Some GPS devices like the Navigon 7100 include free lifetime traffic.
Text-to-speech (TTS) lets the GPS device give you audible street names, directions, and points of interest (POI) information. This feature is sometimes called spoken street names and is pretty standard in most high-end devices. The Navion 2100 is a new low price GPS device that offers TTS.
Bluetooth allows you to use your GPS for hands-free calling. You pair your Bluetooth phone with your GPS and then use the GPS microphone and speaker (unless you go through your car stereo) to make calls. Usually the guidance is muted while you’re on the phone.
Great GPS Gift Ideas
|Garmin Forerunner 201||Garmin Forerunner 205||Garmin Forerunner 305|
The Garmin Forerunner 205 is a GPS device that you wear like a wristwatch. It tells you how far you ran and how long it took. Serious runners rave about this GPS device. You can buy the Garmin Forerunner 205 for around $180. The older 201 which reviewers don’t like as much as the 205 can be purchased for around $120 or you can buy the higher end 305 that adds a heart rate monitor for around $220.
|Garmin eTrex||Garmin eTrex Legend CX|
The Garmin eTrex family that includes very small, portable, and waterproof handheld GPS devices make great companions for outdoor activities. They come with WAAS accuracy enhancement technology and run for many hours on AA batteries. The basic Garmin eTrex sells for around $100. The Garmin eTrex Legend CX sells for under $200 and offers 36 hour battery life and a color display.
Black Friday Hot Sellers You Can Still Buy
Retrevo looked at what happened in the world of GPS devices on Black Friday and found there are still plenty of good values out there. Here are a few:
|TomTom One LE||Navigon 2100||Mio c230||TomTom XL-S|
The TomTom One LE was a doorbuster at Best Buy for $119. The TomTom One LE doesn't come with traffic. To get that you would have to pay over $100 to get the optional traffic receiver and then pay an annual fee. It has a 3.5 inch display, Bluetooth, an SD card expansion slot, and comes with a windshield mount which are illegal in California and Minnesota. You can buy the TomTom One LE at Best Buy for $149.
The Navigon 2100 has an MSRP of $249 but they were gobbled up on Black Friday at Staples for $99. Staples had the Navigon 2100T the T is for traffic and was included in the price. You can get the 2100 now for a little over $200. The Navigon 2100 is part of a Navigon GPS family that just started selling in the U.S that include The 2100, 5100, and 7100. The 2100 and 5100 have a 3.5 inch screen while the 7100 is a widescreen device. Traffic is included free in the 5100 and 7100. The 2100 gets good marks for industrial design and flash-like graphics but there are concerns about icon and font readability and data entry.
The Mio c230, featuring text to voice was on sale at Radio Shack for $149. You can get this basic 3.5 inch screen GPS that offers TTS (Text-to-Speech) functionality and gets high marks for performance and ease of use for well under $200. Mio reviews indicate Mios are more popular with consumers who are comfortable tweaking their units.
Walmart is still selling the TomTom XL-S for $259. This GPS has a 4.3 inch widescreen display, offers text-to-speech and MapShare which allows users to update maps. Mapshare is a big differentiator between TomTom and Garmin and can be very useful especially for people who live in fast growing areas.
A couple of sites we like for GPS information:
Retrevo’s new GPS Product Advisor crawls the web, analyzes many thousands of products, expert reviews, user reviews, features, and prices to report the best values in electronics. The new Value Map for GPS devices displays GPS devices based on bang for the buck.