Best GPS Device?

I am shopping around for my first GPS and was wondering if anyone else had experience with some of the lesser known models besides Garmin and TomTom such as some of the fancier no-names with 7 inch screens that come with every bell and whistle you could imagine like MP3 and e-readers and are half the price of a name brand but are bundled without any maps at all, and instead require you to download free maps from the web?

I would think these models might have less reliable maps and signal problems, but since a lot of people seem to be buying them I thought I would inquire on the old SDMB and see if anyone has had positive experiences using free maps downloaded online.

Or would it be better to get the popular brands like Garmin that come with lifetime updates? What is your preferred GPS device? I’m looking for one that has voice and is reliable for directions and other than that don’t really care too much. Just wanna get something at a good price and get the most bang for my buck!

Here are two examples of the kind of no-name devices with everything that I’m referring to:

Any advice would be appreciated! GPS units are a dime a dozen these days so I think it’s time I stopped getting lost and got myself a good one!


Updates are crucial. Roads get changed all the time and the maps have to keep up. When I drove a truck (before satnavs) I used to buy a new map book every year - the same goes for a satnav.

If you have a smartphone, it is worth looking at an app. Otherwise, my advice is that you get what you pay for.

Reported for forum change.

Advice threads are best in IMHO rather than General Questions. Moved.

samclem, moderator

I prefer my android phone over any others I’ve tried. I bought a little mount for my windshield and it works great. I can even stream MP3s to my speakers while it works as a GPS and it can be interrupted by phone calls but never loses its place.

If you don’t want to get an android phone, take a look at the Samsung Galaxy media players, before they are discontinued (happening soon). They have a built in honest-to-goodness GPS, and you can download a number of different map apps. I’m currently trying out the free version of one app, that allows me to pick which states/countries I want to download the maps for.

Best part? It’s not just GPS. It’s a smartphone/tablet minus the phone and the phone bill.