So Garmin, Tom Tom started marketing their won GPS Navigation devices in India and we have home grown gadgets like MapmyIndia and SatGuide navigation devices. Let us have a brief look at various options.
We have the following Navigation Gadgets. Each one has its own plus and minuses.
- Standalone portable GPS Devices
- In Dash Navigation devices
- Navigation Apps running in Smart Phone
- Navigation Apps running in Tablets
Standalone portable GPS Navigation Device
I have tested this only in Bangalore but as per their website it supports turn by turn navigation for 4000 cities in India. The package comes with a USB charger, separate car charger and a mounting unit for ZX250, it has a 12.7cm screen with a resolution of 480X272 which is equivalent to most of the similar 5” screen GPS device available across brands. It provides a provision for connecting a camera (need to buy separately) to aid reversing the car and the display automatically switch within 3 seconds you engage the reverse gear. It has a built in Bluetooth support to pair your phone and an FM transmitter to connect the sound to the car stereo speakers. It supports 8GB micro SD card which can store and play multimedia files in the 5” screen the sound can be redirected to the car stereo using the FM transmitter. Using the AV input you can connect external video or audio too. It can be used to see the photos you have shot while travelling.
Over all it is not a great experience when you know that you need to spent Rs15500/-.
Z250 teaches you that large screen does not offer better display, smaller screens are better.
TomTom Via 125TomTom has entered into Indian market around 6 months back and offers many models.
Via 125 is a 5” screen with almost all the features of ZX250. Unlike ZX250 the mounting for Via 125 is integrated with the device itself. So it is very easy to mount and remove it. Maps support 5000 cities but there is no 3D support. It has 4GB internal memory but no SD slot, no FM transmit or reverse camera support.
It cost you around Rs. 15900/-
Navigation using a Smart PhoneNavigation maps are available for all the smart phones with GPS support but the capability differs. The free ones generally use Google Maps and are not available offline. So it needs 3G connections as well as the manual intervention for moving the Google maps depending on your current position. In other words the map will not move as you drive, your co-passenger has to move the map in the smart phone. But there are other apps which automatically move the map as you drive.
Car Speed for iPadCar speed is an iPad application which replaces your car dashboard. It has odometer, trip meter, Speedo meter with speed limit warning, compass and Navigation. For navigation it uses Google map and the dashboard indicators are stylish with a chrome finish. You can do lots of customization, whether you want the compass to point true north or magnetic north. You can also switch between an analog and digital speedometer. The app’s trip meter and odometer can be reset as well. It works in the background to calculate how far you’ve traveled.
You can set the speed limit to give a warning. While driving it zooms on to the current location and the map moves automatically without any intervention from your side. It looks great too and costs $2.99/- Remember that it uses online Google maps so you need a 3G connection to work. I put on the personal hot spot in my iPhone which allows the iPad to access the internet using its Wi-Fi. Over all it is a good application but you need to mount the iPad in your Dashboard for easy access.
Sygic Maps for Smart PhonesSygic Maps are available for iOS and Android and employs 3D offline maps which are same map available in MapmyIndia’s ZX250 but it looks much better in iPhone or iPad due to its awesome display screen though Apps does not support any great resolution currently. Navigation is similar to ZX250 and it provides a door to door navigation. For example I can set it my home as the starting point (it is marked already by Sygic!) and Gate no 6 of Infosys.
MapmyIndia Application for iPhone.MapmyIndia introduces door to door search navigation maps for 36 Indian cities for $5 for iPhone. These are 2D maps found in their GPS devices and gives voice commands and similar controls of their devices. But it supports only few cities and may be a good starting point to familiarize with navigation maps in iPhone.
In Dash Navigation DevicesMapMyIndia introduced latest gadgets for navigation recently. In Dash devices for most of the popular cars in India starting from Chevy Beat, Volkswagen Polo, Hyundai Verna, Ford Fiesta, Honda City, Honda Civic, Honda Accord, Toyota Fortuner , Chevy Captiva, Mitsubishi outlander etc..
MapmyIndia have 2DIN navigation device which can be fitted to any car and enjoy navigation as well as DVD playback for Rs 26000/- or you can look Carpod Android tablets running Sygic maps which is sold at Rs 22000/-.