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Handheld GPS reviews

We test seven handheld units from top brands Garmin and Magellan, and one GPS watch.

Last updated: 17th February 2015

While many of us feel the need to get back to nature, some take it to the next level and really heed the call of the wild. And if you're heading into the great outdoors, whether for a spot of bush-bashing or some camping, you could probably use a handheld GPS.

A handheld GPS unit works by collecting information from a group of at up to 24 satellites that constantly orbit the earth. A fix on three satellites is all you need to get a 2D position, with a fourth needed to calculate height. So unless you're inside a building or at either the North or South Pole, most units will help you find your place in the world.

A handheld GPS can reveal your position if you're lost, or record every step you take so you can find your way back. Also, if you know the coordinates of a destination, anywhere in the world, it will show you how to get there on foot.

We've tested seven of these handy units, along with a GPS watch, to help you find which are:

  • the most accurate at locating your position
  • the easiest to use

Brands and models tested

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