Which navigator is better: reviews. Tourist navigator. Programs for navigators
The Russian electronics market is traditionally characterized by a high level of penetration of various types of communication equipment. No exception - GPS-navigators. They are actively bought by car enthusiasts, travelers, lovers of walks in big and not very big cities. How to choose the best navigator? What brands are present in the Russian market today? Can we say that the domestic navigator Navitel and other Russian brands are in no way inferior to products of global market leaders at the level of Garmin?
Is software more important than hardware?
Many IT market experts agree that the software component, the navigator firmware, is at least as important as the hardware hardware. The latter may be arbitrarily heaped up, but without high-quality software support will be useless.Software embedded in the navigator - mainly thanks to it, the convenience of using the capabilities of the device is created. This software, experts believe, is legitimate to consider one of the key competitive advantages of navigation systems. It does not matter - in our hands the Pioneer navigator or, for example, Prology - the brand does not matter, the main thing is software.
Soft: key criteria
Based on what criteria we can determine the quality of the software installed in the navigator? Experts identify the following set of them.
The most important parameter is the total area of card coverage, as well as the possibility of its increase. For Russian users, as a rule, it is enough that the objects on the territory of the Russian Federation are displayed on the screen. However, you may need an expanded set of maps - for example, for neighboring countries, Europe. Ideally, the software navigator should contain as much coverage as possible, or offer the user the opportunity to free and quickly expand the corresponding functionality of the device. Another important criterion is the level of map detail. The higher it is, the more objects, among which there may be a very necessary user, can be displayed on the screen.However, it is worth noting that modern devices, as a rule, have sufficiently detailed maps. At the same time, the adjacent parameter can also be important - the number of memorized points on the route. The more of them - the better.
The next parameter is integration with traffic warning systems. This is an extremely important criterion for a user living in a more or less large city - if we are talking about the capital of a subject of the federation, then for sure. It is desirable that the appropriate integration is carried out through several channels (in case some of the services fail).
The software should support updating the navigator in the mode when the participation of the owner of the device (who most likely will not have a high level of technical training) is minimized. Also, program interfaces associated with downloading new cards or exchanging data with a PC should be as user-friendly as possible.
Programs for navigators should, however, be convenient in terms of the location of visual elements, comfortable in terms of font size, color design, and design.Some experts distinguish the number of maps supported by the navigator in a separate parameter related to the software aspect. Of course, this indicator, if we consider modern models of devices, is quite large. Maps for the navigator in the devices present on the market can be downloaded in the amount of tens or even hundreds of pieces. However, certain categories of users may require a larger resource.
Criteria for "iron"
Having considered the features of the software component, we can proceed to the consideration of criteria reflecting the hardware of the navigation systems. What is there to pay attention to?
Among the important parameters is the screen resolution. The higher it is, the more comfortable it will be to view the maps. The minimum acceptable values here are 320 by 240 pixels with a small (about 4-5 inches) display, 800 by 480 pixels with larger (7 inches and more) devices. If the resolution is lower, there may be some difficulties in the perception of information.
Like a computer processor, a GPS navigator has a chip clock frequency. As with the PC,when for the chips installed in it there are recommended values of the corresponding parameter, the desired values exist for the devices in question. For example, a frequency of 500-700 MHz is an acceptable indicator, 300 is the minimum acceptable for a navigation system. It also matters the amount of RAM in the device. The GPS navigator, which has 128 MB of RAM, has every chance of being productive.
We will also touch upon the aspect reflecting the communication capabilities of the devices. It is desirable that it could be connected to other devices, and in different ways. For example, via Bluetooth, 3G, Wi-Fi or via wire. Well, if the device includes all of these interfaces at the same time. Many of the experts, expressing their opinion about which navigator is better, the reviews left on the profile online portals, consider the communication capabilities of the devices a very valuable criterion.
The most important parameter in the aspect of the hardware characteristics of navigators is the battery life, as well as the resources for extending it. The key component affecting the corresponding indicator is, of course, the battery, but it is not the only one.The balance of software and hardware in terms of battery consumption is important: it can happen that one navigator with a less capacious battery but a more energy-efficient chipset will work offline longer than the other with a more powerful battery but a demanding hardware. It is also important that the device can work effectively not only from the battery, but also from conventional batteries or from a constant power source.
Classification of navigators
If the key source for us in answering the question of which navigator is better is expert reviews, then it may make sense to use the device classification criteria offered by industry experts as a starting point in finding a device that works best for us. Accordingly, selecting the device in the desired segment, you can go to other characteristics.
In the most traditionally widespread class, experts distinguish navigators for cars. They are characterized primarily by the large size of the display. In turn, such criteria as weight and dimensions are secondary. It is also very important that the car navigator has a good antenna.Tourist navigator, in turn, should, as well as the one that is adapted for cars, good at catching the signal. However, it is not bad if it is as light and dimensional as possible - there is not much space in the backpack of a traveler. Especially, if a person travels on a comfortable tourist bike - like TREK, Nordway, "Stealth". Navigator in this case should not interfere with the enjoyment of travel. In turn, the requirements for a “pedestrian” type device may not be so high. If, for example, there is no external antenna in it - an insufficient signal level can always be compensated by connecting to the mobile Internet.
At the same time, according to many market experts, as well as the users themselves, the border between the segments in question is rather conditional. There is an opinion that it is legitimate to classify navigators not only on the basis of the intended purpose of their use, but primarily on the basis of the price factor. That is, as in many other segments of electronics, it makes sense to divide the types of devices into categories that reflect the value of the goods. Consider this aspect in more detail.What are the price segments for navigators experts?
How to choose a navigator - tourist, car or "pedestrian", based on the cost of the device? Given that the price range for this type of device is very wide? Experts classify navigators within several price segments, consider them.
These include devices in the price range of 150-200 dollars, if we talk about average global indicators. This type of device is very simple in terms of functions and not the most productive in terms of hardware. At the same time, it is quite possible to find those that will perfectly cope with the tasks assigned to them in the spectrum of models of devices presented on the market in this segment. It is almost always possible to update maps for a navigator of this level, to use most of the options that are in demand today — laying routes, interacting with traffic measurement services, etc.
Devices of a class that is higher than the budget, but which are difficult to rank in the premium segment, include devices in the price range of 250-300 dollars.At the same time, experts believe that the increased price of such devices is largely due not so much to superiority over budget functions in terms of basic functions - for most of them, relative parity is observed, and the fact that in this type of device there are various additional options . Such as, for example, an altimeter or a compass. Of course, in some cases, such navigators can be indispensable for travel enthusiasts, climbers. However, when using the device in urban environments, the overpayment for additional options is not always obvious.
The lower bar prices here, according to popular estimates among experts - $ 500 and above. This kind of device is best adapted for motorists. Navigators of this class are equipped with a sufficiently sensitive antenna, excellent software, support for a large number of maps, and are characterized by high performance.
Thus, the first question that it is probably advisable to ask when choosing a device is with respect to which price segment to orient, and only after that it is determined which navigator is better.Reviews and opinions of market experts, as well as users, can certainly contribute to the optimal solution. For all groups of questions.
Having understood what type of device is best suited for our tasks, which navigator is better (expert reviews can play an important role for us in this regard), we can explore the aspect of acquiring the necessary accessories for the device. Yes, the device is in its pure form, especially when it comes to devices of automobile or tourist orientation, in some cases it is difficult to use in the whole breadth of its functions without using auxiliary technical tools. Which for example? How much do they cost approximately?
First of all, it is a cable for connecting to a PC (usually via a USB interface). Despite the fact that the work of the navigator assumes to be generally autonomous from a computer and other digital equipment, the need for appropriate communications (for example, for the purpose of loading maps) may be present. The cable in question costs about 10 dollars.
The next useful accessory for the navigator is a power supply that can work from a cigarette lighter.This technical component is extremely useful for motorists. If the owner of the navigator has such a device, then the problem of the autonomy of the device is actually reduced to nothing. This adapter costs about $ 20.
If we talk about the car profile of using devices - in many cases it is not enough to install the navigator in the car. It is also necessary to provide the device with a powerful outdoor antenna. This is done mainly in order to minimize the need for organizing additional transmission channels to the device of geographical coordinates - such as, for example, the mobile Internet - while traveling, access to this resource may be limited. And then only a high-quality antenna will help out. It will cost about 40-50 dollars.
The above accessories provide mainly the basic technological functionality of the navigator. At the same time, the device owner may need devices that make using the device simply more convenient. In particular, it may be useful car mount for the navigator - it will allow you to fix the device in a convenient position for the user.The cost of this accessory is about 30 dollars. It may also be useful cover (about 10 dollars). To download maps for the navigator, you will need additional amounts of memory. The corresponding flash module of good capacity will cost 70-80 dollars.
What brands of manufacturers navigators today lead the world and Russian market? Experts prefer to refer to those of the following firms.
According to many market experts, as well as users, the Garmin Navigator is the optimal combination of quality, price and functionality. The position of this brand in the global world and Russian market testifies to the success of the company's marketing strategies and the development of the production and technological base.
This brand produces the most different types of digital technology, in contrast to the company Garmin, for which navigators - the product, clearly, the flagship. Instruments from Explay won the sympathies of the Russians in terms of ease of device control, reliability. The price of devices from this brand is also quite competitive.
As well as Explay, this brand produces far not only navigators, but also laptops, monitors and other equipment. The company managed to gain a foothold in a new market.The brand delivers navigators at an optimal price, with excellent functionality and high build quality.
This American brand (judging by the jurisdiction of the main beneficiary - some experts believe that the brand is de facto originated from Eastern Europe, perhaps from Russia) - among the most recognizable in the Russian market. Prology Navigator is a product demanded by all categories of navigator lovers - motorists, travelers, city walks enthusiasts. That's because the brand produces devices in the widest range of applications with the appropriate quality and reasonable price.
Foreign (assuming that Prology is of American origin) brands, as we see, are present in the Russian market in a fairly large number. Is there an "asymmetrical answer" from our equipment suppliers? Of course have. Among the most remarkable brands of navigators can be called Lexand and Texet.
Like Prestigio, this company is relatively recently present on the market in the segment of navigators. Russian users are attracted to the device from this brand primarily by low prices.The equipment is assembled mainly in factories in Southeast Asia under the strictest control in terms of compliance with the necessary process steps.
Close quality control of the electronics assembly is the leitmotif of another Russian brand, Texet. This company produces electronics in the widest range. Brand Texet - recognizable and respected among Russian users and experts. Initially, the company specialized in the release of mainly budget models of navigators. But gradually moved into more expensive segments.
Speaking of Russian brands, you can not ignore the wonderful company Navitel. It is known as a brand manufacturer of devices and a supplier of quality software at the same time. Navitel Navigator, according to many market experts, as well as device users, is one of the best in the aspect of map detailing, based on Russian topography features. In this sense, he, analysts believe, may be even more competitive in the Russian Federation than the world's leading manufacturers.