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5 Stellar GPS Units Under $150

Goodyear GY135

Goodyear has broken into the GPS navigation device market with its own line of plug-and-go units aimed at making quality navigation an affordable affair.  The GY135, which is available for about $140, is still relatively new to the market and is available only at select online electronics retailers and supermarkets. (H-E-B and Giant Eagle are two grocers scheduled to carry it in time for the holidays.)   

The Goodyear GY 135 comes with a manual, car mount, USB cable, and car charger.  It also includes a sturdy hard-shelled carrying case, which is unique for units in this price range.  Since GPS device screens have a tendency to be victim to abuse, the neat little zip-pouch ensures that the unit stays protected when not in use.

Setup:  4 

While documentation for this unit is minimal, just 10 pages of user tips are enough to get going right away

with this beginner-friendly unit.  The quick-start guide gives details on hot to install and use the vehicle mount. We sadly had a few setbacks in keeping the mount and unit in place with only two hands; but after the physical set up was finally complete, the unit was essentially ready to go. 

Functionality: 4 

True out-of-the-box functionality had the GY135 receiving satellite signals within 30 seconds of powering up, and we were able to get our current location on the unit in less than a minute.  Setting up a destination took little-to-no guesswork, as the “Enter New Dest” prompt was obvious.  What made entering our destination even more efficient was the predictive text entry feature--as we entered the text of a location, any inapplicable letters were immediately grayed out, making the chances of mis-keying a city or street name nearly nonexistent. 

The GY135 offers several viewpoints for navigation:  “Overview” shows your entire route overlaid on a map, “Road List” shows your route’s itinerary, and “2D/3D” lets you toggle between different map perspectives.  We found the route settings to be very detailed, allowing us to input our vehicle type (car, pedestrian, or bicycle), route type (short, q

uick, or most economical by both), and to choose between avoiding or using tolls.  

While this particular unit is supposed to provide text-to-speech turn-by-turn speech directions that speak street names and locations, my review unit was lacking this feature. However, this unit was at least fairly descriptive in its distinction between highways and interstate ramps.  The audio is clear and adjustable.  Street names are displayed at all times, although it is often difficult to read longer street names that can get choppy and informal abbreviations in order to fit the screen.  Separate day and night display designs makes it easy to view at any time, with little affect from glare or dim lighting.