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Best sat-navs: group test review


Satellite tv for pc navigation is now thought-about a necessity of the trendy motorists and if a automobile would not have sat-nav built-in, there’s an excellent likelihood {that a} transportable sat-nav system shall be employed by its driver. There are lots of free sat-nav apps for smartphones, however they work off your cell phone knowledge so it could be higher to depend on a devoted sat-nav unit.

As you may think, there’s a variety of transportable sat-nav techniques obtainable at numerous value factors – there are even devoted models for bikers, which now we have examined additional down the web page. Large names corresponding to Garmin and TomTom supply low cost sat-nav choices alongside their higher-priced models, so discovering the best system for you may be tough.

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Because the title suggests, sat-navs use a mixture of satellites and mapping software program to find out a automobile’s place and plan the perfect path to a selected vacation spot. Probably the most up-to-date fashions are sat-navs with stay site visitors knowledge. They do that by not merely taking you through probably the most direct route, however by detecting site visitors jams and velocity cameras to assist eradicate wasted time in site visitors or accruing fines. There are even models that may map different nations, useful when you’re planning on driving overseas. Costs vary considerably, however an excellent high quality unit will value not less than £100.

How we examined them

We used a normal route mixing busy metropolis driving and sooner A-roads. Clear mapping was key, as have been easy-to-follow voice instructions. For stay gadgets, we wished traffic-busting recommendation and intelligent shortcuts. Different options corresponding to velocity digicam alerts have been taken into consideration. Value was the ultimate issue.

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Reside sat-nav critiques

Garmin DriveSmart 65 

  • Value: £229.99
  • Display dimension: 6.95 inches
  • Ranking: 5 stars

The Garmin’s display is simply a bit smaller than a TomTom’s, however as on smartphones, the show goes near the sting, so general it’s a smaller, neater design. This could be essential on vehicles with a small windscreen. You probably have an older automobile, the Garmin’s potential to make hands-free calls through its Bluetooth shall be enticing too, supplying you with the connectivity of a contemporary system simply by suckering the Garmin to your windscreen. 

Just like the TomTom Go Uncover (under), the DriveSmart makes use of WiFi to replace the maps, velocity digicam data and different alerts, and to offer stay site visitors knowledge. It could possibly even connect with a wi-fi reversing digicam. Coming into locations was simpler than with the TomTom, and the voice activation was significantly better at deciphering the place we wished to go too. Add within the £50 saving over the TomTom, and the Garmin simply finds its method onto our winner’s spot.

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Garmin DriveLuxe 51 LMT-D

  • Value: Round £330
  • Protection/updates: Europe and North America/free
  • Ranking: 4 stars

A glossy steel physique offers the Garmin a premium look, and we appreciated the magnetic mount, which makes the machine simple to put in. The touchscreen is extraordinarily responsive and we discovered its menu format the perfect on take a look at. Garmin’s site visitors alerts have been correct because it acquired us round some heavy congestion and the map format was simple to know, though it missed some jams the TomTom discovered. The stay climate alert was additionally a useful addition. The DriveLuxe’s glorious voice steerage was the perfect right here.

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TomTom Go Uncover

  • Value: £279.99  
  • Display dimension: 7 inches
  • Ranking: 3.5 stars

Should you haven’t used a TomTom machine shortly, the options on this new Go Uncover unit will appear unbelievable. It would connect with your telephone through Bluetooth or WiFi to make sure it has the newest updates on new roads, site visitors circumstances and even gas costs. 

A vertical strip alongside the right-hand aspect of the display exhibits a linear illustration of your journey, together with icons for junctions, gas stations (or charging factors for electrical automobile drivers) and velocity cameras. Should you occur to be in an average-speed zone, the bar switches to point out you if you’ll exceed the restrict over the gap, supplying you with an opportunity to decelerate and forestall a rushing ticket.

As soon as the unit is directing you it really works brilliantly, however it may be hit-and-miss getting into an handle, whether or not by voice recognition or the touchscreen. We additionally had points with the Bluetooth complicated our automobile’s hands-free telephone activation.

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Garmin Drive 52 & Reside Site visitors

  • Value: £119.99
  • Ranking: 3.5 stars

Garmin’s five-inch unit will get most of the options discovered within the pricier 65. The 52 has site visitors alerts, though the TomTom was extra correct, with higher different routes. Voice directions have been clear and the map simple to comply with, even on the smaller display, whereas useful hazard zone warnings included the likes of faculties and velocity cameras.

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Garmin DriveSmart 51 LMT-S

  • Value: Round £190
  • Ranking: 3.5 stars

The DriveSmart does with out pre-installed site visitors updates, requiring customers to pair their telephone with the machine to obtain these. The menu interface was nonetheless simple to make use of and we appreciated that it additionally got here with the easy-to-understand Actual Instructions directions. TomTom’s VIA 53 nonetheless has a greater map format, although, plus it’s barely cheaper.

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Mio Spirit 8670 LM

  • Value: Round £160
  • Protection/updates: Europe/free
  • Ranking: 3 stars

The 8670 LM is sat-nav and dash-cam specialist Mio’s flagship. This 6.2-inch unit has lifetime maps and site visitors updates, however feels slower than rivals. Route selection was good, aside from sticking to important roads throughout busy intervals and lacking key roadworks. Voice directions have been respectable, however once more barely behind the opposite models on take a look at.

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Non-live sat-nav critiques

Garmin Drive 51 LMT-S

  • Value: Round £120
  • Protection/updates: UK & Eire/free
  • Ranking: 5 stars

With its Actual Instructions voice steerage, the funds non-live Garmin impressed. Its turn-by-turn directions use landmarks, site visitors lights and buildings as cues for instructions. It additionally reiterated the highway names simply earlier than turning, guaranteeing we’d make no mistake. Plus, the Garmin alerted us properly forward of velocity cameras and areas with hazards like animal crossings. And when you join your telephone to the Drive 51, you’ll be able to set up site visitors alerts on the machine.

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TomTom Begin 52

  • Value: Round £120
  • Protection/updates: UK & Eire/free
  • Ranking: 4 stars

The nice mount on this non-live sat-nav made set up simple. The menu interface is equivalent throughout the TomTom vary, which means settings are simple to navigate, plus a responsive touchscreen means typing addresses is fast. It was on the transfer the TomTom Begin 52 impressed most, although – its instructions have been correct and the map format was simple to learn. A aspect bar on the best confirmed us the size of time to our vacation spot, plus gas stations on the journey.

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Mio Spirit 5400 LM

  • Value: Round £100
  • Protection/updates: Europe/free
  • Ranking: 2 stars

As the most affordable sat-nav right here, Mio’s Spirit 5400 LM does with out most of the pricier fashions’ bells and whistles. Just like the 8760 LM, we discovered the 4.3-inch display much less intuitive and slower to reply than the TomTom and Garmin. It was lower-res, too, and we had probably the most quantity of glare.

Once more, the 5400 LM opted to make use of busier important roads, usually main us into jams at peak instances. Just like the TomTom, the Mio comes with a aspect bar on the best of the display, displaying the estimated time of arrival and distance to the vacation spot. Nonetheless, right here it wasn’t so intuitive. Mio’s velocity digicam alerts have been good, however not sufficient to offer it an edge.

Finest bike sat-navs

Many drivers have grabbed the keys to their motorbike within the scorching climate. Had they’d the newest sat-navs, they may have loved a good higher journey due to tech that helps select scenic roads. TomTom and Garmin have launched new bike navs that double as automobile models, and now we have put them to the take a look at.

Clear steerage and mapping have been key in our take a look at. Factors got for traffic-beating options, whereas features corresponding to ‘scenic roads’ have been judged. Value was the ultimate issue. In lots of respects the Garmin Zumo is all riders want; it has most of the similar options because the TomTom, is cheaper and works properly. However for the perfect within the enterprise, the TomTom Rider 550 Premium Pack takes the win.

Bike sat-nav critiques

TomTom Rider 550 Premium Pack

  • Value: Round £500
  • Ranking: 5 stars

The Rider 550 begins out at £399.99, however for an additional £100 you get the Premium Pack that comes with a automobile mount, plus an anti-theft equipment for the bike model. It options Lifetime World maps from TomTom and built-in WiFi means over-the-air updates. We discovered the map format the higher of the 2; it’s typical TomTom with clear, easy-to-follow directions and a sidebar that exhibits all the things from site visitors hold-ups to hurry cameras. The TomTom additionally comes with a sturdy outer casing, reassuring if you’re uncovered to the weather.

As with the Garmin, the TomTom is full of options to make your drive or journey eventful, corresponding to hilly or significantly winding routes. Route decisions on the Rider 550 have been nice and the roads it chosen have been enjoyable.

Garmin Zumo 396 LMT-S

  • Value: Round £350
  • Ranking: 4 stars

The cheaper Garmin has a number of of the identical options discovered within the TomTom. Instantly spectacular is the depth of route decisions when taking part in with the ‘Adventurous Routing’ characteristic. We may choose between curvy and hilly routes, plus their severity, with the choice of roads altering as we moved from one stage to the following.

Constructed-in WiFi means updates are fast and straightforward. You could pair your telephone with the unit to obtain site visitors updates, and whereas correct, TomTom’s have been higher. The identical goes for the mapping. At a look on a motorcycle, the Rider 550 was slightly bit simpler to learn and comply with. As with the TomTom, the Zumo can be utilized to reply telephone calls on the go.



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