There are so many smartphone models available in stores that it might seem as a difficult choice to choose a good one at the right price.
Nevertheless, if you are looking at the right features you’ll get a smartphone that is perfect for GPS navigation.
Must have GPS and A-GPS for faster localization
This features let’s a smartphone use satellite connection combined with Wi-Fi or 4G mobile data to speed up the process of getting a good gps positioning. A smartphone with these features will show exact Gps position in seconds and will recalculate routes faster.
Using internal chips, a smartphone will connect to one or more satellite networks. There are four major satellite networks: GPS (Sua), Glonass (Russia), Galileo (Europe) and Beidou (China). Most smartphones use the GPS network and others can use GPS and also Glonass.
If the smartphone is Glonass compatible (depending on the smartphone chip), it will connect to a larger number of satellites which will results in a fast and accurate positioning.
Glonass is available (besides GPS) on several Samsung, Apple or LG smartphones but also on other brands. That’s why these smartphones seems to connect faster to satellites. So, you need to check smartphone’s GPS features to choose the right model. Ask or read in product’s description everything you can about GPS connectivity on the desired smartphone.
For example, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 supports GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou and Galileo. This chip is found in smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. Another high-end chip – Exynos 7880 – supports GPS, GLONASS and BeiDou. This chip is found on the Galaxy A5 2017 for example.
Newer smartphones are also compatible with most satellite networks but you must make sure of that. Don’t go for cheapest smartphones as they will often disconnect from satellites and you’ll get a poor navigation experience.
Choose a smartphone with a large size and very bright display
It is very important, because we need to use the on-screen controls and the information shown on map must be very visible.
GPS navigation software (such as iGO Primo or Google Maps) displays a lot of information in the navigation screen. A small screen smartphone is hard to use as a GPS navigator, so opt for a screen with a minimum of 5 inch diagonal or bigger.
Also check that the screen is bright enough and anti-reflective. Many smartphones do not have a good enough screen for outside light and would be useless as a GPS navigator.
Some of the best smartphone screens are: Super Amoled and IPS. Newer AMOLED displays are not so bright but are used by high-end smartphones like iPhone X. Try not to choose an Amoled display – go for IPS instead. Test the brightness in bright enviroment.
RAM, storage, and battery life are important for GPS
To run a navigation app quickly, your smartphone needs a good amount of RAM. Minimum 2 Gb RAM or even 3 Gb RAM. Don’t choose a smartphone with lower Ram because serious GPS apps will not run so smoothly if they don’t have enough memory.
Storage is important ass well. You need to store maps and other data needed by every gps app. In general, a smartphone with at least 32 Gb of internal memory is preferable. Of course, you can run navigation apps using a memory card, but you need a very fast one to match internal’s memory speed.
Battery autonomy is also important because GPS and mobile Internet activation are the biggest consumers of a smartphone.
When using your smarphone as a GPS device, it can consume your battery in 2-4 hours. Before buying a smartphone, check for battery life tests on that smartphone and make a decision.
These are the most important things to consider if you want to purchase a good smartphone with GPS.