Dedicated GPS Devices: Do we need them anymore?


I recently went on a hunt for a GPS instrument for my car.

Prior to this I have been using my mobile for GPS connection and thought of checking out the advantage of a dedicated machine. My obvious product choice to look at was MapMyIndia. Here was a product dedicated solely to Indian roads and Indian paths.

The two products I saw were in an honest opinion good. They provided good navigation and were quite useful in their own regard.

Unfortunately, they were not as feature rich in set as Google maps – the one I rely heavily on these days.

The biggest advantage dedicated GPS devices have over a phone is that they do not require a running internet connection like Google maps requires. Of course after the release of offline maps that need is gone as well.

GPS or Mobile-001

The two other advantages I could see of the GPS instrument were

  1. Bigger screen than most phones so better view.
  2. If a phone call comes you are stranded between getting lost and not talking though while driving a person should not drive so that negates itself I guess.

I could not think of any other advantage of using a dedicated GPS instrument but these were compelling reasons to own one according to me until I heard the price.

Both the devices I enquired were priced in the INR 15k vicinity.

One can get a good android phone in this price range which will double up as a GPS instrument and what not, maybe even make tea for you if you asked politely [See this ].

If the price was maybe around Rs. 5K, it might become a viable option. Still with the advent of under 10K tablets which can have GPS, I am unable to see it being used unless it’s a taxi service or one has money to splurge.

I know, I should not have been that shocked but seeing that there are cheaper phones with GPS service and owing to Google maps not a half bad mapping service, I feel mapping instruments will or rather should go down the road that is being traversed by PMPs, handheld gaming devices, watches, alarm clocks, cameras, etc.

Of course, this opinion is a thought based one. I did not get the instrument so cannot comment how useful they are practically.

If there is anyone who has used both Google Maps and dedicated GPS instrument please share your experience with us.

Is there anyone out there who still thinks that dedicated GPS devices are worth buying?

  1. Raja says

    I use Samsung Galaxy note with NavFree (Free android application, same is also available in iPhone/ iPad), found it very useful. I have also used waze in my phone, I am not really comfortable with waze. Navfree has offline maps, only to find the destination location it requires internet connection.

    NavFree has lot of stuffs which the paid application has. In my opinon having the phone with GPS is good enough, no need of dedicated GPS system.

  2. Kunal Prakash says

    I have never used a Blackberry or Tom Tom so cannot comment on its GPS but I can definitely say that the screen size is not an issue with Androids and even the new range of Blackberry that will be launched next year (With BB OS10) will have no such issue.

    So, I think that in a current scenario buying a Rs. 15,000 phone is a better choice than buying a dedicated device at the same price.

  3. Vehicle Locator says

    I have a Tom Tom and a Blackberry Curve. The GPS on the phone is much slower and combined with the smaller screen it’s more suited as an emergency backup.
    I think dedicated GPS devices are still the best choice.

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