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Group test: 8 satnavs and GPS smartphones reviewed

The 8 best satnavs and GPS-enabled mobile phones

Whether you want a faster, less stressful way of getting from place to place or some guidance while expanding your horizons, you're spoilt for choice on the navigation front. PC Advisor tests eight GPS devices.

Satnavs: no substitute for common sense

There's been more than a little backlash against satnavs, too. While reports of lorries getting stuck down narrow, unmetalled roads are no longer common, navigational mistakes still happen - whether because the driver blithely followed directions against their common sense or because the mapping information was at fault.

Look for a ‘lorry' or ‘biker' mode as a way to cut down on these sorts of mistakes. And remember satnavs aren't infallible. Sometimes they lose their way if they can't get a decent satellite fix; other times what looks like a through road actually goes through a field.

Handsets such as the Nokia N95, BlackBerry and iPhone have large screens that lend themselves to presenting maps. But they're not primed with all the mapping detail required for any given journey. Some smartphones need to pull this info from the web - a slower process than retrieving it from onboard memory or an SD Card.

Mobile phones have portability and convenience on their side - you'll probably have one with you in any case, so you're not adding to the amount you need to carry if you use Google, Nokia or BlackBerry Maps to help you get about. More sophisticated maps can also be added to smartphones.

We look at options from CoPilot and the AA in this round-up, along with specialist smartphone-based software for walkers and cyclists. PNDs often come with walking options, so don't discount being able to use yours for exploring unknown cities as well as driving.

Over the following pages, we look at what does and doesn't work with the latest PNDs and GPS-enabled smartphones. Just don't give up on your map-reading skills entirely.

NEXT PAGE: personal navigation device reviews

Index:

  1. The 8 best satnavs and GPS-enabled mobile phones
  2. Satnavs: no substitute for common sense
  3. Group test: personal navigation device reviews
  4. Group test: GPS-enabled smartphone reviews
  5. BlackBerry navigation app
  6. Desktop navigation app
  7. Navigating with your iPhone

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