Many drivers still swear by a dedicated portable GPS navigators, and with good reason. A portable GPS or portable navigators (PND) frees your phone for other uses. Portable GPS doesn’t exhaust the phone data plan because the maps are stored in the device and there are no nasty surprises when trying to create a trip to an area with no cellular service.
Each of these five models tested offers accurate on-screen and voice directions, as well as free lifetime map updates. Built-in batteries keep it running in case the power cord becomes disconnected. The best are more helpful and easier to use. Some model variants of these five might offer – at different prices – different screen sizes, map locations, traffic information, Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or a rear camera connection. We have selected the best combinations of features and price.
Garmin DriveSmart 66: Best overall
Garmin Drive 52: Best value for money
TomTom GO Discover 7 : Optimal for navigating overseas
TomTom GO Supreme 5 : Best value for overseas navigation
Garmin RV 890: Best for RVs
Garmin Drive Smart 66 GPS Navigators
Garmin offers the best visual and audio turn-by-turn directions in its entire product line, as well as many handy navigation extras. And the DriveSmart 66 boasts a gorgeous, high-resolution 6.0-inch display, driver-friendly voice controls, and several other handy extras, including the Amazon Alexa feature. It can also be connected to Garmin’s rear camera.
Garmin Drive 52 GPS Navigator
The Garmin Drive 52 offers the same great navigation as the DriveSmart 66 without the extras. If you just want to save some money, this is a good choice. And if you want traffic alerts, Drive 52 & Traffic costs about $40 more.
TomTom GO Discover 7 GPS Navigators
Available with a sharp 7.0-inch display, TomTom’s top-of-the-line model offers many of the same features as Garmin’s DriveSmart models. And it saves you money on new charts when navigating overseas. But overall it’s not the DriveSmart 66’s fault.
TomTom GO Supreme 5 Navigator
The 5.0″ version of the GO Supreme offers the same extensive “world” map coverage and most of the features of the 7″ GO Discover, but in a smaller, more affordable package. A 6.0-inch version is available for $50 more.
Garmin RV890 Navigator Device
This 8.0 inch GPS navigator is great for larger dashboards and can be mounted either horizontally or vertically. Best of all, the directions are tailored specifically for your RV or pull-behind trailer based on the vehicle’s specific size and weight, so there aren’t any nasty route-guidance surprises. The RV 890 gives you all of the usual Garmin navigating extras, as well as a directory of RV parks and services and information from other RV-related sources.