Here are 6 reasonably priced satellite navigation devices with UK and European maps for you to consider.
The TomTom Go 510 has a 5 inch capacitive screen in a widescreen format that is very similar to that used in mobile phones like iphones .
[The main difference between the various models in the TomTom Go range are that the lowest models like the TomTom Go 50 have old resistive (pressure sensitive) screens and Bluetooth. The and the middle of the range like the Go 510 have the capacitive screens and lifetime speed camers, while the top range like G0 5100 have the same, but also include a sim card to get traffic updates automatically for no additional costs.]
As well as the standard route planning and the TomTom Go 510 also has advanced lane planning to advise you which lane you need to be driving in where applicable. Using your smartphone you can have access to the latest traffic updates and you will also have free map updates for the lifetime of the device using Lifetime TomTom services.
The maps provided for this device are the UK & Ireland and TomTom's World maps. However, the TomTom G0 510, does not have enough memory to be able to download the large maps like the USA maps. So to be able to carry more of these maps with you, you will need to purchase an additional Micro SD card (approx 32GB).
The unit has the dimensions of 2.2 x 14.5 x 9.1 cm and it attaches to the car via a mounting point that is integral to the device via the magnetic Click and GO Mount that you are given along with a charger cable, and instruction manual. However, there is no case provided with unit.
The unit also is Bluetooth enabled so that it can receive updates from your smartphone once it has been set up to give you access to real time traffic updates which would effect your planned route arrival times. You also have the choice to select an another route if you are not satisfied with the initial route that it offers. You can set your smartphone up with the TomTom MyDrive app where you will be able choice a destination or select a map destination which can then update your device before you are even in the car! However, it looks like this app is only available on Apple iOS and android devices at present.
The TomTom Go 510 also features voice activation so you can tell it simple requests like "take me home". The display can be set to automatically adjust for night time settings and the speaker and screen display are clear and crisp.
The main screen doesn't show the current time, you have to go to one of the 'back' screens to see it. Another issue is that the battery life on this unit doesn't seem to be the best especially with all the features running, but it is a great buy if you don't mind leaving it on the charging lead all the time.
The TomTom Go 60 comes with a resistive 6 inch touchscreen display. The mounting point on this device is fitted to the unit itself. The software has speed camera alerts, road lane guidance and it says the street names while guiding you around. You get free lifetime map updates for Western Europe including the UK and traffic updates.
The unit's dimensions are 10.5 x 2.2 x 17 cm and also comes with a EasyPort mount, a USB lead, a car charger, instructions and 3 months free access to TomTom Speed Cameras. You will get the fastest route available because of the up to date street maps combined with the updated traffic. The traffic updates are obtained via your Bluetooth enabled smartphone.
You can use TomTom's MyDrive application for iOS and Android phones to set routes, check out the real time traffic situation on your phone or tablet, set your destination from your phone. Other options are Speak & Go where the SatNav is controlled by your voice and or Tap & Go where you can just tap the map to get your favourite destination and it will calculate your route.
The TomTom Go 60 has a resistive display is crisp and easy to read with bright colours. You get a "route bar" to show you how much of your journey has been completed and how much is left. Lane guidance is also provided to help you move to the correct part of the road in plenty of time.
Realistic 3D maps with landmark buildings are shown to help you easily recognise your location at a glance, and the road names spoken to you during your route. There is also a parking assist option to help you to find parking spaces near you. You can also enter a route with multiple stops and the TomTom will set a route for you. If they are not in the correct order then it is possible to reset the order so that you don't end up going backwards when visiting all of your stop offs.
As with all of this range the software is basically the same and the lack of the clock and battery power meter on screen all the time for the sake of a clean minimalist screen is a negative point for this range, as there is no notification when the unit isn't charging.
The TomTom Go 60 is one of the more expensive options out there as you are paying for the larger screen with less features. The slightly smaller G0 510 looks to be a better buy.
The TomTom Start 25 has a 5 inch resistive screen in the widescreen format. It comes with speed camera alerts, lifetime map updates and also has lane guidance while you drive. The mounting point is a internal flip screen design.
The software on the TomTom Start 25 is the 'older TomTom' software, but don't discount it just because of that. In fact a lot of users still prefer this layout compared to the software now used in the "Go" range.
Other features include TomTom's Advanced Lane Guidance with realistic 3D images and instructions to ensure that you are in the correct part of the road for your next junction. There are also fixed speed camera alerts when you near any locations with them and with parking assist it can help you find the nearest car park to your current location. The TomTom Start 25 also has a feature called IQ Routes which uses the worlds largest database of real journey times and so is able to provide you with precise journey times and estimated arrival times.
The screen display is crisp and clear and the battery life is good and can last a couple of hours. The size of the TomTom Start 25 is 2 x 13.4 x 9.5 cm and it comes with a USB car charger, a USB cable and instructions. You have access to lifetime map updates from the map share community at TomTom and can update your maps upto 4 times a year.
There are no live online data services on the TomTom Start 25 like traffic updates as there is no Bluetooth connectivity. The power button for this unit is at the back which can make it a little tricky to switch on/off when it is in place on the dashboard/window. However this is a great piece of kit considering the price and well worth a look at.
The Garmin DriveSmart 50LMT-D is one of Garmin's advanced range. Whilst browsing you have the ability to 'pinch' the 5 inch capacitive screen to be able to zoom into the display. The clear sharp display can also be either portrait or landscape format and will rotate automatically to match it's orientation.
It comes with detailed UK, ROI and western europe maps that can be updated 4 times a year for the lifetime of the device.The unit also has a micro SD slot to add additional storage for extra maps.
It has Bluetooth connectivity to enable you to pair up your smartphone to the Garmin DriveSmart 50LMT-D and be able to display notifications like texts and calls recieved. You will also be able to use handsfree calling once your phone has been paired.
The Garmin 50LMT-D also has the ability to have the navigation set by voice commands which sets it apart from most other SatNavs, so that you can keep your hands on the wheel while setting or changing destinations.
The 50LMT-D receives it's traffic updates direct to it's DriveAssist function via DAB as soon as it is powered on and covers motorways and A roads. It is updated every 60 seconds and can activated by voice to give you details of any incidents and any possible alternative routes.
The size of the Garmin DriveSmart 50LMT-D is 8.4 x 1.8 x 14 cm and it comes with a vehicle suction cup mount, a lifetime traffic antenna/vehicle power cable, a USB cable and documentation. The device can be unclipped from the mount to remove it.
Garmin's Drivesmart gives various warnings to try to encourage safer driving like crossings, school zones, speed cameras and speed changes ahead.
With the PhotoReal display and bird's eye view of junctions combined with the Lane Assist function the Garmin works hard to make navigation as easy and stress free as possible.
You are also given access to local points of interest that might be of interest in your journey or required like a petrol station. These and many others can be navigated to using direct access to simplify addresses like airports.
This is at the high end of the budget SatNavs, but with it's additional features is still a very reasonable purchase.
The Garmin nuvi 57LM comes with maps of UK, Ireland and Western Europe. A total of 24 different countries all preloaded with free lifetime map updates which you can update up to 4 times a year.
The size of the nuvi 57LM is 13.9 x 8.6 x 2 cm and the bright 5 inch touchscreen can be rotated to either portrait or the more standard landscape format. With this you also get a quick start manual, a USB cable, a power cable for the vehicle and a suction cup mount.
The Garmin nuvi 57LM has a innovative navigation system and shows relevant information to your journey on screen like the time it calculates you will arrive, your current speed and the local speed limit and even if you are entering a school zone.
The Lane Assist and Junction view has been designed to assist with junctions so that you can pass through them safely and quickly. To help with this you can use the realistic images of the junctions and interchanges as well as the local landscape. To aid your safe driving the Garmin nuvi 57LM has been preloaded with speed camera alerts to ensure that you can check that you are driving safely. Whilst driving the Up Ahead feature will help you to find useful locations like the nearest petrol station or cashpoint.
Also within the navigation menu you can access the Foursquare data which adds millions of points of interest whilst using noticeable landmarks and traffic lights to guide you.
There is Bluetooth technology on this that enables a wireless ability for hands-free calling. You can also get the Smartphone Link app3 for your iPhone or Android device to get access to real-time services like the weather. Using Garmin Express you will be able to keep your Garmin nüvi SatNav bang up-to-date.
This is a very good option as Garmin's are now a very good alternative to TomToms.
This model is very similar in spec to the Garmin DriveSmart 50LMT-D, except that this model does not have the voice control capabilities. It has a bright 5 inch capacitive screen which has the ability to zoom when you 'pinch' it. The unit can also be used in either orientation.
You have free lifetime map updates for the UK, ROI and Western Europe maps that come with the 2569LMT-D.The unit also has a micro SD slot to add additional storage for the maps.
The navigation system gives directional instructions using landmarks that you can see and by using road names. Using the Lane Guidance will guide you to the correct position on the roads during your journey to make sure that you are in the prime position to complete the next instruction with ease and the nüvi 2569LMT-D makes sure that the map is on screen constantly as well as your other relevant information.
The size of the nüvi 2569LMT-D is 1.8 x 13.8 x 8.4 cm and with it you will get a vehicle suction cup mount, a lifetime traffic antenna/vehicle power cable, a USB cable and a quick start manual.
With Foursquare® there are millions of Points Of Interest that you can search for and navigate to and using the Smartphone Link app you can access more detailed info about the POI. You are also given access to Lifetime traffic data that updates every 60 seconds and is totally free and usable straight out of the box and covers motorways, A-roads and secondary roads.
Using the Direct Access feature you can navigate inside large locations like after reaching a shopping centre, it will tell you how to get to your chosen shop. You will also benefit from the speed camera notifications that will help to ensure that you are driving safely.
Bluetooth connectivity enables it to be connected to your smartphone, so that you can get notifications of texts and calls and you can even use it as a hands free device to make calls as well. If you are using a iOS or Andriod phone then you can load the app "Smartphone Link" which when paired can access and share information like parking and speed cameras.
If you can't afford the more expensive DriveSmart 50LMT-D then this is a very good alternative.
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