When the first Bluetooth GPS receiver came out, honestly I thought that was something I didn't need. Actually, I'm not one of those drivers who spends a lot of time talking on the phone. Later when I upgraded my GPS to a unit that had Bluetooth, I loved being able to talk “hands-free" so much I would never consider buying a unit without that capability.
Buying a GPS is sometimes difficult because there are so many manufacturers and they have so many products to choose from. If you're focusing on a GPS that has Bluetooth, then you're narrowing the field down some, but still, you have a ton of possibilities.
In this article I'm going to make the choice of the right Bluetooth GPS a little (how about a lot?) easier for you. Once you finish reading this, you'll be ready to purchase the right unit for your needs and your budget.
One thing that helped me when I bought my unit was realizing there are three main manufacturers of GPS devices. Garmin is the industry leader with probably 70% of the market share. Tom Tom is fast catching up with great products and great prices. And Magellan certainly holds its own as one of the early pioneers with a lot of proprietary features.
I'm not going to tell you which unit I chose. I will tell you it was made by one of these three.
Let's talk about each of these companies and their GPS's that have Bluetooth capability.
Garmin has a huge range of products. They have several GPS devices that have Bluetooth integration. Personally, I like their newer, sleeker nuvi line. The nuvis are replacing the StreetPilot as Garmin's flagship line of GPS receivers.
There are several nuvis with Bluetooth. Their numbers are the 360, 370, 660, 670, 680, 760, 770, 780, and the recent arrivals the 880 and the 5000.
The 300s all have the smaller 3.5-inch screens. The main difference between the 300s and the 600s is the screen size. If you want a huge screen, try the 5000! It's screen is a huge 5.2-inches along the diagonal.
The 600s also have what's called FM transmission capability. That is, the sound from the GPS is routed through your car's stereo system.
What the 700s offer above the 300s and the 600s is multi-destination routing. In other words, if you want to drive from New York to Calgary to Vancouver to San Francisco, you can enter all that information in your GPS at one time and it will calculate the best route to get you to all three places. (Unfortunately, it can't make the drive shorter!)
Nuvis currently run from right around $200 for the 300s to $350 or so for the 700s. The 5000 is currently around $650, and the 880 runs about $1,000.
I absolutely adore Magellan's Maestro line! In that line, there are two GPS's that support Bluetooth, the 3250 and the 4250. They are the same, except the 4250 has the larger 4.3-inch screen.
These devices are comparable to the Garmin nuvis. Magellan does have a proprietary thing with AAA, where they offer their Tour Book actually on the device. (You have to be a AAA member to access it. )
At the moment, the 3250 will set you back about $200. Believe me, that's a lot of GPS for that amount of money. And the 4250 is about $250.
Tom Tom is the newer kid on the block. And they have been aggressively gaining market share with great products and very aggressive pricing. The Tom Tom Go line supports Bluetooth. The Go 510 runs slightly less than $200 and the Go 920 runs between $300 and $350.
Unfortunately, no six hundred word article can tell you all you need to know about these great devices, even if you narrow it down to just the ones with Bluetooth. What you need to do now, is to get on an informative website where you can actually look at specific models and check their current prices.
To learn more about how to choose the best Bluetooth GPS receiver check out my website.
Rick Cole is a true GPS enthusiast! Take a look at his website to find out more information about the best GPS navigation systems!