With any new technological advance, many companies compete with one another and begin manufacturing similar products. Of course, there are a couple brand names that stand out as the top competitors in the market for each new form of technology. When it comes to GPS systems, most consumers are familiar with the brand names Tom Tom and Garmin. However, it is important to keep lesser known brands in mind as well.
When comparing companies that manufacture GPS devices, it is important to remember that there is more to consider than price. Ultimately your search will come down to features more than price, because price will not vary much from one company to another. Because the market is so competitive, most companies have updated their features to compare to one another. Differences between brands will only be subtle, and defining the best device is more a matter of preference than anything else.
It is difficult to tell which brand you will prefer without comparing them to one another directly. You will need to decide which features and particulars are important to you in order to make a decision. The larger brands are basically the same quality as one another.
Most likely, you will find that your search is more for the correct model than it is about brands. Of course, you will want to research reviews just as you would with a cell phone or a laptop computer to make sure that the brand you choose has a good reputation for quality, customer service, warranties and other important factors.
Consider also that many modern cell phone models have built in GPS devices, so do not rule these out as options. If you are planning to upgrade your phone sometime in the near future, look into the differences between quality and price for the data plan for a phone with GPS and for purchasing a separate GPS unit.
Along with cell phones, one GPS option that is often overlooked is OnStar and other navigation services that come built into vehicles. If you purchase a newer vehicle, there is a great chance you will not need to buy a separate GPS unit. However, you will have to pay a subscription to the service, and you should also consider and compare quality and features offered between navigation devices that are built into a vehicle and those that are offered on a separate device.
There does not seem to be any overwhelming consensus among consumers regarding which brand is preferred. Finding the right GPS unit is more a case of determining your personal preferences and, if possible, getting a chance to try out different models. Look up different brands and their models and make a list of the features you are looking for. After you have decided what is important to you, you can narrow down your list to a few comparable models from different brands that would suit your needs. At this point, go to a store and test one out or at least research each of these models in depth to determine which you prefer. Sometimes, it is just a matter of small differences, such as the size of the keypad or the organization of the icons that cause a consumer to prefer one brand over another.