GPS Basics

We make it easy to find the right GPS for your needs.

Whether you have questions about GPS screen size and functionality, or what it means to have lifetime map and traffic updates, or how Bluetooth connectivity works, get your answers here.

Screen Basics
GPS Screen Sizes

Portable GPS screen sizes commonly range from 4" up to 7". The larger the screen, the easier it can be to view map information and GPS menus. Keep in mind, larger screen sizes may be more appropriate for larger vehicles since the GPS might be mounted farther away from you.

GPS Touch Screen

Nearly all portable GPS feature a touch screen. They are available in two common types:

  • Capacitive – Features a bright, sharp image with multi-touch function, like the pinch and zoom feature on your smartphone's screen
  • Resistive – Offers lower sensitivity to contact with skin (so you can use with gloves), plus a higher resistance to dust and water
GPS Maps
Maps Basics

Portable GPS with lifetime maps include annual updates without additional costs. Just connect to a computer with Internet access to receive map updates. Lifetime maps allow for the most up-to-date information regarding roads and points of interest.

Enhanced 3D maps are available for many major metropolitan areas and allow for better visibility of nearby landmarks and buildings.

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Traffic Basics

Portable GPS with lifetime traffic updates receive traffic information in real time and can recommend the best route based on your destination. To receive traffic updates, the GPS must constantly be connected to a power source. Regardless of which technology powers your traffic updates, most GPS with lifetime traffic do not require an additional subscription.

Traffic updates for GPS use two different types of technologies:

  • HD Traffic – updates traffic information as often as every 30 seconds and provides additional detail, like "Stalled car in left lane"
  • Non-HD Traffic – Data refreshes every 2-5 minutes and offers more basic updates, such as "Accident ahead" or "Construction ahead"

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Traffic updates are not available in all areas.
Traffic Photo
Driver changing lanes
View and Lane Assist Basics

This is a feature that displays the most optimal lane for an active route. Junction View is not available in all areas but is especially helpful while driving in metropolitan areas.

Lane assist guides you to the best possible lane for upcoming turns or exits, an especially helpful feature when traveling in unfamiliar areas.

Connectivity Basics

Bluetooth enables you to pair your GPS with other compatible Bluetooth devices for hands-free calling, traffic and weather updates, and other services. This technology can even help you keep track of where you parked. Bluetooth features vary by device, and not all GPS devices share the same Bluetooth functionality. See the product details for further details.

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Bluetooth Logo
Car Driving