Which GPS device should you buy for your automobile? Garmin? TomTom? Magellan? Inside are their top products in a head-to-head comparison.
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We have gathered a list of the best GPS navigators for automobiles on the market and put them in a head-to-head test to find the best one available.
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Garmin StreetPilot 7200
The Garmin StreetPilot 7200 is Garmin’s highest priced car navigation system. The unit has a 7" wide screen differing from other products at first sight. The unit is compatible with XM Satellite Services and TMC traffic alerts, but both require optional receivers and XM Services require a separate subscription. StreetPilot’s memory can be expanded with SD cards and it can play mp3 files and audio books. The lack of Bluetooth is the major shortcoming of this product.
The price is not displayed, but is shown as USD 375.63 when you add the item to your shopping cart.
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Garmin Nuvi 885T
Garmin prices the Nuvi 885T lower than the StreetPilot 720 on its website, but the 885T packs more features than the StreetPilot 720. The product has a 4.3" wide screen which is enough for daily use and makes it portable. You can take the navigator with you after you park your car. Garmin 885T’s storage can be expanded with microSD card slots, and with these cards you can listen to your mp3 files and audio books. The Nuvi 885T is compatible with MSN Direct (receiver included) and is compatible with FM traffic. You can also download Panoramio photos from Google to your device.
The Garmin Nuvi 855 is a stripped-down version of the 885T. The missing features are the MSN Direct receiver and Bluetooth; the remaining product features are the same.
The price is not displayed at Amazon.com, but shown as USD 316.47 after you add it to your shopping cart.
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Garmin Nuvi 785T
The Garmin Nuvi 785T has a 4.3" wide screen which is adequate for both in-car and on-foot use. The remarkable features of the 785T are Bluetooth with A2DP technology, and the built-in MSN Direct receiver. With the A2DP feature, you can receive stereo sound from your Bluetooth headphones. But the device is not compatible with XM Navtraffic and Radio for U.S.; it is compatible with FM traffic. You can download Panoramio images from Google using Garmin Connect Photos.
The price is not displayed at Amazon.com, but it reads as USD 522.63 when you add the item to your shopping cart.
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Magellan Maestro 4370
The Magellan Maestro 4370 packs a 4.3" wide screen and 6 million Points of Interest like its competitor products from Garmin. The Maestro 4370 also supports Bluetooth connectivity which lets you pair your mobile phone with the navigator. Before getting excited with this function, however, we must state that not all phones are supported. It will be wise to take a look at the phones compatible with Magellan Maestro 4370 and 4350 before making your purchase. The Magellan Maestro 4370 differentiates itself in the competition by its ability to display landmarks in 3D to give the driver visual cues.
There are just two features that make the Magellan RoadMate 1470 a product to consider: a 4.7" wide screen and the AAA TourBook. There is no Bluetooth connection, no 3D building views and no other feature to make the product stand out from other GPS products. The Magellan RoadMate, even with these features, cannot hope to be more than an average GPS Navigator.
The price is not displayed, but it is shown as USD 197.49 when you add it to your card.
Continue on to the next page for the rest of our top 10 automobile GPS device comparison.
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We continue our quest to find the best GPS for auto navigation. We go on to compare the auto GPS products of Garmin, TomTom and Magellan and conclude our article with recommendations for the best GPS product for auto navigation.
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Magellan Maestro 5310
The MagellanMaestro 5310 is Maestro 4370 minus Bluetooth connectivity in a 5" screen. The base product features are the same, but 5310 has “bird’s eye view" instead of 3D navigation, which are more or less the same. The AAA Tourbook feature is also included, but to use this feature you have to subscribe.
TomTom answers Garmin’s MSN Direct services with its own LIVE service in TomTom Go 740 LIVE. The LIVE service offers traffic information, fuel prices and local search powered by Google. However, the subscription is not offered as lifetime, but rather for USD 9.95 per month. The good news is that, users do not need to purchase a separate receiver; the wireless cellular modem is already in the device. For hands free talking, the product has built-in Bluetooth module.
The price is not displayed at Amazon.com, but it is shown as USD 337.59 when you add it to your shopping cart.
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TomTom Go 930T
The TomTom Go 930T packs all the features that the 740 LIVE has, minus the connectivity. The connection to traffic alerts is made through the optional TomTom traffic receiver. Do not get confused by the FM transmitter that is in the device, it is just for streaming your device’s sounds to your car’s FM radio. It has nothing to do with FM traffic announcements.
One of the features that make the product stand out is the voice command system, which you can use to input addresses to the navigator by speaking. Plus it has Bluetooth for hands-free calling.
The price is not displayed but when you add it to your shopping card, it is shown as USD 362.07.
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TomTom Go 730
The TomTom Go 730 has all the features of 930T except the Enhanced Positioning Technology. This technology assists the driver when the GPS Device cannot receive signals from the satellites, such as when the car is in a tunnel. Other than that feature, the Go 730 is also iPod ready, meaning that you can plug your iPod to the Go 730 and stream your music to your car’s audio system without any effort. This feature may come in handy when you are in a long trip with your car.
Again, the price is not displayed at Amazon.com but when you add it to your shopping cart, you will see it as USD 261.34.
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Among all the devices, Garmin products come at the highest line, followed by TomTom and then Magellan. Garmin is innovative, follows the needs of its users and implements innovative features. TomTom tries to answer Garmin’s ability to download addresses from Google Maps and Panoramio photos but Garmin already established this feature as standard for almost all of their products. In your purchasing decision, I would suggest starting your search with Garmin products.