Where should I start with Handheld GPS?
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- Product Rating : Outdoor Leisurewear - 4.5
- Handheld GPS is often not cheap, ranging from 100 to anything over and above 500. Therefore it is essential that you realise which factors are most important to you when you are.. More
Handheld GPS is often not cheap, ranging from 100 to anything over and above 500. Therefore it is essential that you realise which factors are most important to you when you are buying your particular handheld GPS. Have a look at the list below and consider which criteria are most important you. This will give you a good basis on which to buy your handheld GPS, the right one for you.
1. Your Budget
Of course the main thing to consider when you are looking into handheld GPS is your budget. Within the world of handheld GPS you can spend anything from 100 up to 500 and over for the most high-tech devices around. What will 100 get you in the world of handheld GPS? Well, there are some pretty solid entry-level GPS devices available within this price bracket but the features will be basic. They would be fine for checking your positional coordinates and there may be a plan of your route and surroundings rather than a map on the screen. To get something relatively decent you’d need to spend something more like 200, for this you will get some solid navigational tools and good quality mapping on a decent screen. For the big spenders willing to go over 300 you can get really top of the range handheld GPS which will have all the modern technology available.
2. How will you use it?
This is the next question to ask yourself, for what purpose will you be using your handheld GPS? Are you looking for something simple, just getting your coordinates which you can then use with the paper map, or perhaps just something simple in order to do some geocaching where you only require a positional fix? Or is it something a little bit more complex and important such as using it as your sole navigator when you are out and about in the mountains? For this you will need good quality navigational tools, possibly an altimeter and decent colour mapping so that you know where you are at all times. Some people are looking for the full works, a handheld GPS which also has the ability to double as a car sat nav and on-water navigator. In this case you’d have to spend a little more.
3. What maps?
The quality and availability of the mapping you will use in conjunction with your handheld GPS is a vital consideration. When you are browsing through the different models do make sure you check what kind of mapping is available. Devices like the Satmap Active 10 run off SD cards which are simply plugged into the side, and are easily purchased separately. Memory Map devices such as the Adventurer series similarly run off SD cards but you can also get downloads from the relevant website. And then of course you have Garmin, which has a massive availability of high quality varied mapping available for download to your handheld GPS.
4. Which Brand and Model?
How much of a brand follower are you? There are three or four companies which dominate the handheld GPS market today and all of them have pretty good names, but of course there is one dominant player, Garmin. Some people will consider Garmin synonymous with GPS and therefore would not consider getting anything else. However, companies like Satmap and Memory Map have also made popular and award-winning GPS handhelds. Before jumping to conclusions make sure you examine the reviews and get the model which is right for you.