7 Reasons to Use a GPS Device vs. Smartphone in the Car | Garmin

Using a dedicated GPS for navigation over a smartphone can make the journey from point A to point B (and then on to points C, D, etc.) a whole lot smoother.

It’s a question we’ve heard time and time again: Why should I buy a GPS for my car when my phone also has maps on it? And it’s a fair ask — why spend your hard-earned money on a new device when one that you already have will work just as well? But here’s the thing: Your smartphone doesn’t work just as well as a Garmin GPS for your car. Here are just a few reasons to add that Garmin car GPS system to your cart.

1. Battery life

Modern-day smartphones, for all their advantages, aren’t known for their ability to last impressive amounts of time between charges. But with a GPS device that connects to your vehicle with a power cable, your navigation will always be ready when your car is.

2. More coverage

Can you hear me now? This infamous advertising campaign points out the obvious — cell phone service isn’t reliable everywhere. Particularly if you’re embarking on a long road trip, the chances are high that you’re going to drive through a spot or two where your phone can’t even get the connection it needs to send a text message, let alone gather all the necessary data to direct you from point A to point B. Having a GPS device with preloaded map coverage means that you don’t have to rely on cell signal, so you’re ready to roll in even the most remote areas.

3. Fewer distractions

Ding. Your aunt tagged you in a meme on Facebook. Ding. Someone just liked your post on Instagram. Ding ding ding ding. You’ve been added to yet another group text. See where we’re going with this? Every time your phone gets a notification, your drive is interrupted. With a GPS product like the Garmin DriveSmart™ series, you can focus on what really matters, which is safely arriving at your destination. (Unless, of course, you are really, really set on all those notifications — in which case you can enable and customize which smart notifications are received on your Garmin GPS navigator when with a paired compatible smartphone running the Garmin Drive™ app.)

4. Easier to read

With display sizes that go up to 8” with the Garmin DriveSmart 86, a bright, high-resolution edge-to-edge touchscreen and graphics that are designed with arm’s-length viewing in mind, it’s a no-brainer that you don’t want to have to squint at your phone to see where you’re supposed to be going. 

5. Designed for your car’s dash

There’s something to be said for having dedicated devices for dedicated tasks. A GPS device can be a seamless extension of your car’s dashboard, which means it’s always in its spot and ready to go. No fumbling around to balance your phone in a cupholder, no worrying about whether you left your charger at the office — everything you need is right where it’s supposed to be at all times. Garmin car GPS devices come with everything needed to mount your GPS on your dashboard — no extra purchases necessary.

6. Cost effective

In 2020 the average monthly cell phone bill in the U.S. was $127.37. If your data isn’t unlimited, using your smartphone to navigate a road trip can be a costly mistake. On the other hand, with the one-time purchase of a GPS device, all your navigational needs will be met. Garmin navigators also include map updates with no extra hidden fees. Roads change, new businesses open and close — and drivers need the latest map data available. Garmin GPS devices will prompt drivers when a new update is available so the device can easily be updated with the latest maps.

7. Data privacy

Garmin doesn’t sell your personal data. Period. That means your location data and travel history belongs to you and only you.

Ready to hit the road with a more purpose-built navigation system? Click here to explore Garmin automotive products, which add new levels of freedom, convenience and peace of mind to your time on the road.