Engineers and innovators are constantly hard at work developing new systems and infrastructure that simplify day to day activities. With new roads being constructed daily accompanied by the destruction of the old ones, many drivers find themselves lost in a maze of unfamiliar routes everywhere from major cities to countryside back roads.

If you’ve been driving for a while now, there’s no doubt that you’ve made a wrong turn somewhere down the line and got lost in the middle of nowhere. Nobody likes to waste time, fuel and resources, so how can you ensure that you arrive at your destination safely and on time?

The answer is  simple; GPS navigation! Thanks to some high-tech innovations, navigation systems are now readily accessible to virtually everyone. Whether it’s an in-dash navigation system in your car, a handheld GPS or your trusty mobile phone, getting from point A to point B is now easier than ever. The question now becomes should I use my phone or get an in-dash navigation system? I will address both sides of the argument and discuss the pros and cons and the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Smartphone Navigation

The Smartphone; arguably one of the most important innovations of the 21st century. It is literally a one-stop shop for pretty much everything under the sun. I find it incredible that one small device can handle most daily needs and activities in such a compact and convenient way. Whether it’s communication, scheduling, research, banking, video recording, mapping or even information sharing, smartphones have seamlessly replaced a number of items. It should be no shocker that items such as maps, cameras, calendars, newspaper, clocks etc. have been made obsolete with the emergence of the modern smartphone.

Even getting around is much easier, just look at Google maps. Like most, you probably refer to your smartphone whenever you need directions. Drivers now have the convenience to choose from dozens of different mobile apps dedicated to providing quick and efficient navigation in the palm of your hand. What could be better than a free navigation app accessible right through your  phone? After all, it’s convenient, cheap and the most readily available navigation system right? Well, all that may be true, but wait just one minute… Isn’t using a phone while driving ILLEGAL in most states? The answer is YES!

Using a cell phone while driving is dangerous. It can result in a traffic citation or worse… a horrendous highway pile-up because your eyes were on your phone instead of the road. Forget drunk driving, did you know that a larger percentage of road accidents involve distractions brought about by phone usage? Saving a few dollars on a navigation system is not worth endangering your life as well as the lives of everyone else on the road. As such, it is not advisable to use your phone while driving due to the potential dangers involved. If you get lost and your phone is the only means of navigation, pullover and research the route but do not drive and operate your phone at the same time. It is not worth risking your life. So now you may be interested in that navigation system right? The question is which in-dash navigation system is right for me?

In-Dash Navigation Systems

Let’s start with the fact that in-dash systems are completely LEGAL in all states. Unlike smartphones, these systems are purposefully made for use while driving. They allow drivers to keep both hands firmly on the wheel and eyes sharply on the road, thus making driving safer and easier to navigate. In-dash navigation systems and stereos fill in the gaps and eliminate all distractions by seamlessly integrating with your normal driving habits. An in-dash navigation system is perfect for road warriors and casual drivers alike due to the broad range of versatile uses. It can be used for navigation, entertainment, and even communication. Thanks to the reliability of in dash GPS guidance drivers can easily navigate through areas with even the spottiest cell coverage.

Why Should You Get In-Dash Navigation?

Huge screen size and better resolution!  Arguably the most appealing aspect of getting an in-dash navigation system is the screen size. The typical in dash system measures between 6 to 9 inches. The bigger screen allows drivers superior, at-a-glance visibility with higher resolutions that display a sharp, crystal-clear picture. This makes it incredibly easy to map out and interpret information. In addition, since most of these receivers can play DVD videos, you can bet the picture quality is top notch and easier to view than your small smartphone screen.

 Real-Time Up to Date Traffic Data

Some top of the line in-dash navigation systems have the ability to receive real-time traffic alerts such as road construction, traffic jams as well as the average speed of traffic on your indicated route. These features come in cutting travel time and if you wish to avoid congested routes however features such as these in some cases may require a subscription fee.

Map Updates

Thanks to a built-in memory, modern in-dash navigation systems allow drivers to download the most up to date maps and navigation data. Such updates are released on a periodic basis and usually reflect the latest information available. While it is recommended that you keep your maps up to date, drivers are not required to run updates frequently. In most cases, an update once or twice a year should be enough.

Points of Interest

For many, these points of interest are among the most useful features found in an in-dash navigation system. This feature allows drivers to pinpoint important landmarks, gas stations, restaurants and buildings allowing drivers to navigate in unfamiliar territories. Since you have the ability to customize and program points of interest on your drive, this feature is perfect for comparing nearby businesses and landmarks that you may wish to stop at.

Apple Carplay and Android Auto

Most in-dash navigation systems offer users numerous ways to operate their smartphones through the receiver. Apple Carplay is a smarter and safer way to use your iPhone while driving. By mirroring your iPhone on your dash screen, you can easily make and receive calls and messages while simultaneously listening to music. Android Auto is essentially the same feature for Androids that allows drivers the ability to use and control their favorite Android apps while driving. With Android Auto, drivers can now access their Android phones through the in-dash navigation without the worry of receiving a citation.

Best In-Dash Navigation Head Units 

At Sonic Electronix we believe in convenience, practicality and most of all, the driver’s safety. This is why we provide the latest, state of the art navigation technology that will guarantee you get to your destination quickly and possibly even have some fun along the way. We carry a wide variety of products with features to suit every customer’s individual needs. Here is a quick catalog of our most popular In-dash car stereos with GPS navigation capabilities.

1. Clarion NZ503

The 7″ single-din flip out touchscreen receiver boasts some pretty impressive features which include:

  • Built-in Navigation with over 15 million points of interest and turn-by-turn directions
  • Text to speech for street announcements
  • 15 million points of interest
  • Traffic information and previews of selected routes
  • Built-in Bluetooth for hands-free calling music streaming from your phone to the car speakers
  • Pandora Link integrated into the unit for complete control over the app
  • Responsive 7” LCD Screen with motorized flip out monitor
  • CEA Compliant with three sets of 4 Volt outputs (preamp)

2.Pioneer AVIC-8200NEX

This head unit might be a bit expensive but it offers the most advanced features and navigation system on the planet.

  • 7” WVGA capacitive touchscreen display
  • DVD/DVD-R/RW CD/CD-R/RW , MP3/WMA/AAC Playback
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Built in RDS-TMC traffic tuner that that provides real-time data and updates
  • 7.9 million points of interests
  • Navigation coverage for all 50 US States, Canada and Puerto Rico
  • 13-band graphic equalizer
  • Built in HD radio
  • Compatible with Apple iPhone 6+ and iOS 8 software

3.Jensen VX7020

The 6.2″ LCD Touchscreen Double DIN receiver with Bluetooth and GPS Navigation comes equipped with:

  • Pandora Link for total control over the app
  • iGO Primo Nav Software
  • Lane Guidance and Junction Views
  • 3D Graphics for Landmarks and Buildings
  • Detailed maps of the US, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands
  • Naviextras Web Support for map updates
  • 10-band parametric equalizer with 8 preset tone curves

4.Soundstream VRN-64HB

This receiver is the most economical of the bunch yet still offers some impressive features including

  • Full color 6.2” LCD Touchscreen Display
  • CD/DVD/MP3/MP4 playback
  • Built-in GPS Navigation for USA, Mexico and Canada
  • Convenient and hands-free Bluetooth capabilities
  • Over 12 Million POIs