Phone GPS put to the test against portable GPS units

October 11, 2009 12:47:27 PM PDT
Consumer Reports found the Phone apps convenient and easy to use. But none of the ones tested worked as well as a good portable GPS. In the last ten years, GPS devices have really revolutionized getting around.Then the capability moved to cell phones, and now Iphone users are able to get in on the act.

When it comes to driving directions, Stacy Nisenson cannot imagine getting around without a GPS.

Stacy Nisenson, GPS user said: "We were getting lost and I found MapQuest was a pain to use. You have to get on the computer, you have to log in. It's just easier to have it ready and accessible"

Besides her portable GPS, her blackberry also has GPS navigation.

Stacy Nisenson, GPS user said: "I don't use the phone. I don't find it easy to use."

Now, Iphone users can get navigation apps for their phones. They include the $100-dollar tomtom app, the $10-dollar-a-month ATT navigator, and gmap regional maps by XRoad, starting at $35 dollars.

Consumer Reports found these apps convenient and easy to use. But none of the ones tested worked as well as a good portable GPS.

Jeff Bartlett, Consumer Reports said: "The accuracy is not as precise, the sound not as crisp, and the volume not as high."

And some of the apps don't name the street where you need to turn, a very helpful feature that's common with portable GPS devices. Plus your directions are interrupted if you make or take a call. If you need more than occasional directions,

Consumer Reports recommends getting a portable GPS. The Garmin Nuvi 265t is a Consumer Reports best buy at $200 dollars. It comes with free traffic reports as well as Bluetooth connectivity.

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