The best car sat navs

More than a digital map

The best sat navs

by William Lobley |

Why choose a sat nav in the age of smartphones? The best of android and iPhone all have in-built GPS systems and mapping software. Why bother picking up an extra gadget? Well, because they’re fantastic, and when you take a look at the best sat navs around, you’ll certainly agree.

With large, clear screens with detailed maps unmatched by smartphone apps, and continuous route optimisation and traffic scanning, dedicated in-car sat navs are now more than digital maps – they’re centralised, journey-streamlining hub, guiding you from A-to-B with ease and finesse.

The extra features offered by many sat navs are also worth getting excited about. Bluetooth connectivity ensures that the convenience afforded by smartphones is not lost, with phone calls and messages being displayed on the sat nav itself. Along with the connectivity come voice control, and in some cases smart home integration, allowing thermostats and lights to be automatically activated when the car is within a certain radius. Automated ETA texts to specific contacts are a godsend, especially if you tend to forget to let people know that you’ve arrived somewhere safely. Some sat navs even extended this function, providing friends and family with regular updates on journey progress.

They’ve also progressed from the days of manual updates, which saw users regularly having to plug in their device to a PC to download the latest map change. Many sat nav devices now automatically update the systems map database four times a year, providing you with the most up-to-date road layouts possible. This is now considered a free service by manufacturers, along with traffic and speed camera updates. Long gone are the days of additional subscriptions for many service providers.

On top of all this, a dedicated sat nav won’t churn through a phone's battery life or data.

There’s a lot of choice out there for anyone looking to wisely invest in a sat nav. The market is dominated by TomTom and Garmin, but still, the range of products is vast with often only small variations between models. However, these small changes can make a big difference when it comes down to it, so we’ve headed out and selected only the very best sat nav models available. No matter your need or price range, there’s something for you.

Here are our picks of the best sat navs:

Next to a great sat nav, a reliable dash cam is an essential car accessory in 2020. Be sure to read our rundown of the best and most affordable dash cams around.

William Lobley is a Content Writer and reviewer for WhatsTheBest, specialising in technology, gaming and outdoors. He also writes for Empire Online.

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