How do I choose the right car navigation?
Type of vehicle
Navigation systems are suitable for a specific types of vehicles. For example, a system for caravans, campers, or trucks has an extra function that indicates how big your vehicle is exactly. As a result, the system won't lead you along small, winding roads, or tunnels that your vehicle doesn't fit through. These systems do often have an extra option that lets you use them in passenger cars.
Er bestaan verschillende maten auto navigatie. Op een groter toestel van 6 of 7 inch zie je details op het scherm beter, maar bij een kleiner toestel van 4.3 of 5 inch kijk je gemakkelijker om het systeem heen door je voorruit. Heb je een kleine auto? Dan past een 4.3 of 5 inch navigatiesysteem goed. Rijd je in een grote auto, camper of vrachtwagen? Dan is camper navigatie met een 6 of 7 inch beeldscherm gebruikelijk. Bepaalde navigatiesystemen hebben een anti-reflecterende laag op het scherm, een stand voor in het donker of een zoomfunctie. Daarmee ga je dag en nacht voorbereid op weg.
Map coverage and map updates
Before you purchase anything, it's good to think about what you'll use the navigation system for. There are different maps available for car navigation systems. Usually, these are maps of Western Europe or Europe in its entirety. Are you traveling outside of Europe? Make sure you choose a navigation system with a worldwide map coverage, or a system with expandable maps. Sometimes, you need an extra SD card to expand maps. Also keep in mind the map updates, since the road network changes all the time. Sometimes these updates are free, sometimes you need a subscription to update your maps.
Connecting with smartphone and hands-free calls
There are navigation systems you can connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth. These display incoming calls, messages, and notifications from your smartphone on the navigation screen. That means you can keep your hands on the wheel. Getting a call? You can answer via the screen of your navigation system and call hands-free. Handy if you want to make business calls on the go. Do you really want to go all-out? Choose a navigation system with voice controls. This way, you can state your destination while driving and the navigation system will react.
Points of interest and uploading routes
Some systems show points of interest, like gas stations, restaurants, or parking spots. Sometimes, you can even see the TripAdvisor reviews. There is also a function that lets you upload a route beforehand. You can set up waypoints on your PC and upload the route to your device. This way, you'll know in advance exactly what route you'll take.
Integrated dash cam
An integrated dash cam is a fairly unique function. You'll only find this function on the more luxurious navigation systems. A dash cam records what happens during the car ride. Are you unexpectedly involved in a traffic accident? The dash cam records the event, so you can watch back what happened afterwards.
Receiving traffic information
Many navigation systems provide traffic information, so you don't unexpectedly get caught in a traffic jam or get redirected. There are 4 different ways to receive traffic information. These are via digital radio (DAB+-TMC), via radio (RDS-TMC), via a built-in SIM card (GPRS), and via your smartphone (GPRS). You can learn all about the pros and cons of each receiver in the following article.