A pocket-sized satnav
by Siri Schubert
With an outdoor navigation device you always know where to go. No matter if you are hiking, climbing, golfing or geocaching. By receiving signals (radio codes), outdoor navigation systems can determine your exact position and that of your destination. Most navigation devices use the American "Global Positioning System", or GPS for short. Functions based on this, such as automatic route guidance, waypoint marking or "geocaching", also known as GPS scavenger hunt, make your outdoor activities even more exciting.
A handheld GPS device has a variety of functions and features. These ultimately make the difference between a cheap and a high-priced device. Below is a list of the most important functions and features you should look for when buying your outdoor handheld.
Touchscreen: Thanks to the touchscreen function, outdoor navigation devices can often be operated even when wet.
Barometric altimeter: If the outdoor navigator has a barometric altimeter, then the altitude is no longer calculated by GPS, but by pressure cell. The barometric altimeter is especially recommended in the mountains.
Display: On larger displays, the route is better visible and often has a higher resolution. More expensive models are often equipped with a transreflective display. This means that the display is still easy to read even during the midday sun.
Pre-installed maps: The outdoor navigation device may already be equipped with pre-installed maps. Alternatively, you can buy the maps and load them onto the device. Entry-level models often only have basic maps, which are somewhat less accurate.
Wireless connectivity: The data from your GPS device can be transferred to your smartphone via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and ANT+.
Special features: Features like 3D map view, POI display or an integrated camera are usually only included in slightly more expensive navigation models.