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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. 

  • I have used this unit, honestly I hate it. I was entering an address and everytime I would press a key (for example, T) a different character would get selected across the screen. ??? I calibrated the screen 2 times, still did it. The mount it comes with is VERY slimsy and is not strong by any means. Everytime you press a button it moves the entire unit and it shakes. The unit also took about 20 minutes to acquire a satellite, while my Nuvi took 20 seconds. Save your money and buy a Garmin, or comparable TomTom. I don't like TomTom either, but would rather have one ANY day over the Goodyear.

    Lastly, if you really want a deal look at the Nokia 500. Amazing features for the price. Mapping for all over the world, text to speech, etc.
    Reply
  • hellwig
    I own a Mio DigiWalker 300x (or something like it) and was very impressed with the interface and functionality (even if I never used the MP3 player). Good to hear the cheaper Mio's offer the same quality.

    As for the Garmin and Mio getting lost, this is most likely an issue with the age of the Maps included. I know that Mio releases new map upgrades almost yearly, and they aren't too expensive if you can find them in stores. This would have been another interesting thing to point out, how old were the maps (sometimes they tell you or you can find out), and what are the options for upgrading the maps in the future. Even $150 is too much if you have to throw the thing away once the maps are outdated, or have to pay $75 to upgrade the map (as with Magellan).
    Reply
  • One key thing to note with the performance of these units, is what version of maps are installed on the device. This Nuvi I highly doubt was updated with the lastest 2009 maps (which is free 60 after its first use) which obviously correct the garmin's performance issues.
    Reply
  • Tomsguiderachel
    undefinedUnknownThank you, that's something to consider. Each unit was tested with the maps provided from the manufacturer (in this case, Garmin). It is up to the manufacturer to provide the most up to date software for review units.

    --Rachel Rosmarin, Editor of Tom's Guide
    Reply
  • LinseyK
    It was recently brought to my attention, and after the article was published, that the Goodyear135 does in fact come standard with text-to-speech for street names. The unit I tested did not perform this function during the testing, and I have to conclude that it was a faulty unit. The article will be noted to reflect this new information.

    Thank you.

    Linsey Knerl
    Reply
  • Dear Friend
    Good days, i am sorry for disturb you. this is Mr.AKE from SWEETHILL INTERNATIONAL GROUP CO.,LIMITED . we are the leading car dvd player and GPS navigation manufacture.i writing to you hope we can built business relationship.

    I know now you should have a good supplier.but i believe if we can cooperation that we should be your best supplier.

    now i send some price list for your reference,please checking it. tks

    I wait for your reply, even good news or bad news.

    best regards

    sincerely

    Mr.AKE


    Telephone NO. : 86-755-27932240
    FAX NO. : 86-755-29979960

    SKYPE: weizhenke11
    MSN: weizhenke21@163.com
    website: www.sweethill.com.cn
    Adress : 4- Building,hongxiang industrial park,xixiang town,baoan district,shenzhen,guangdong province,CHINA.
    Reply
  • Dear Friend
    Good days, i am sorry for disturb you. this is Mr.AKE from SWEETHILL INTERNATIONAL GROUP CO.,LIMITED . we are the leading car dvd player and GPS navigation manufacture.i writing to you hope we can built business relationship.

    I know now you should have a good supplier.but i believe if we can cooperation that we should be your best supplier.

    now i send some price list for your reference,please checking it. tks

    I wait for your reply, even good news or bad news.

    best regards

    sincerely

    Mr.AKE


    Telephone NO. : 86-755-27932240
    FAX NO. : 86-755-29979960
    SKYPE: weizhenke11
    MSN: weizhenke21@163.com
    website: www.sweethill.com.cn
    Adress : 4- Building,hongxiang industrial park,xixiang town,baoan district,shenzhen,guangdong province,CHINA.
    Reply