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Which Is Better? Mobile Or Built-in Navigation System? Reviewed


More and more car manufacturers are relying on having a navigation system already installed. This has some advantages, but how does it compare to a mobile navigation system? Because these are also developing further and further and are superior to the mobile phone in many ways. In terms of cost, the mobile devices are definitely higher than the other variants, but is it worth it?

The built-in navigation system under the magnifying glass

The display is usually completely identical for both. Be it the size or the touch screen. So in this area the fixed installation cannot score. In terms of design, however, it adapts perfectly to the surface in the car and gives the interior a great look.

If the display is also correct, it also raises the feel-good factor by a great deal. However, it is fixed in position and can no longer be moved in the car.

The situation is completely different with the cabling. Because here the cabling runs inside and there can be no cable tangle. In addition, there is no danger that the bracket will come loose and the navigation system will fall to the ground. In the worst case the display can break! Not pleasant if you have spent several hundred euros on it.

But what about the actual task, the navigation? One big plus point for the built-in navigation system is that it is already connected to the car’s speakers. This has the effect that the radio automatically becomes quieter as soon as an announcement is made. It works similarly with Smarthome devices.

The biggest shortcoming we noticed are the map updates. These cannot be done daily or quarterly, but are only done during service (and even then not always). Therefore it can happen very quickly that the maps are outdated and do not show the best route.

The comparison: The mobile Navi

Now the only question is, what is the situation with a mobile solution? From the position it is completely unbound and can be attached to the pane or fitting. However, you should make sure that the bracket is mounted correctly. Otherwise it could fall off. Also from the cables, there is already the possibility to buy a navigation device with battery, which does not need a fixed cable anymore.

A huge advantage is that you can choose the manufacturer yourself. So you can pay attention to all the things that are important to you. For example, TomTom offers the possibility of daily map updates. At Garmin it depends on the product, but several times a year. Also the route guidance is much better with mobile navigation systems.


In summary, everyone must decide for themselves which variant they prefer. But in short, in comparison, a mobile version has brought us many more advantages. And especially for the actual task, namely navigation, the built-in version failed completely. No optics in the world can make up for this disadvantage.

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