Finding a Garmin GPS with the features and price you want requires a close evaluation of your GPS usage and the model's corresponding features.
1Application: Some Garmin GPS units are designed for general use. Models such as the Garmin Oregon 450 are hand-held devices that feature five different user profiles: automotive, marine, recreation, fitness or geocache. These profiles allow the device to be versatile and would allow you to carry the device from one use to another rather than buying multiple, specialized units. Some prefer the customized features of a unit designed for a specific use such as the Garmin GPSMAP 78sc GPS Receiver designed for a water sports enthusiast. This model comes preloaded with U.S. coastal charts and is waterproof.
2Screen: One determining factor in Garmin pricing is screen size. Garmin screens vary from as small as one inch in the Garmin GPS watch to as large as five inches available in several models. When moving quickly in a boat or vehicle, it enhances GPS convenience to not have to squint for directions but at a price. Some models boast a brighter screen, an invaluable feature when using the unit in bright sunlight.
3Batteries: All GPS units, whether portable or dash-mounted, utilize a battery to save information and to allow for use when the vehicle is off. Choose a GPS with a battery that meets your needs. For example, the inexpensive eTrex 10 GPS boasts more than 20 hours of battery life while the more advanced Garmin Rino 520HCx 2-Way Radio/GPS allows for 14 hours of use on a charge. Screen size and advanced features all factor into this battery capacity.
4Added-Value Features: Some Garmin GPS models include free lifetime map updates. Some models also include free lifetime traffic and lane assist information but cost more for the units that support these features. These features provides congestion and detour updates every 30 seconds. While this may not be worth the price of a more advanced unit for a casual driver, for a delivery driver it can prove invaluable. Bluetooth phone integration is available in some units to allow for hands-free calling with an enabled phone. While this feature adds to the price and reduces battery capacity, it can allow for peace of mind in challenging driving or boating conditions. Larger storage capacity is also useful for many users. With internal storage or added flash memory, you can store additional maps, save the route you are currently navigating and save music or pictures. Flash memory is inexpensive, but having a card slot and larger internal memory can add to the price