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Connectivity allows you to share moments on the road, and with a GPS with a backup camera, you can capture your entire trip—front to back—and save it to show friends and family later. We’ve assembled an informative buying guide on the best GPS with backup camera systems, so you can get where you’re going while keeping an eye on your backside.
Garmin Drive GPS Navigator System
Garmin Drive 52 & Traffic
BOSS Audio Systems Car GPS with Rear Camera
Benefits of GPS with Backup Cameras
- Know where you’re going. GPS units with backup cameras typically have both front and rear cameras, so you can see where you’re going as well as what’s behind you. The GPS will get you where you need to go, and the backup camera will guide you if you need to turn around.
- Use one unit for two applications. Most people have a GPS unit they install in their vehicle and then purchase a backup camera as an afterthought. With both systems integrated you only have to worry about installing them once.
- Upgrade your current system. While some older luxury models came with GPS as standard equipment, technology has come a long way in just a few years. Install a GPS with the backup camera in your vehicle to enjoy the latest versions of both.
- Increase your vehicle’s value. It’s a lot easier to drive a vehicle with navigation and camera capabilities. If you invest in your vehicle by purchasing and installing a GPS unit with a backup camera, it will make it more appealing to a potential buyer.
- Add to your vehicle’s safety features. Safety features oftentimes set one model apart from another. Increase the number of safety features in your car by installing a GPS unit and a backup camera. The GPS will get you home, while your backup camera keeps an eye on the road behind you.
Types of GPS with Backup Cameras
Mirror Dash Cam
GPS units with a built-in backup camera typically come in the form of a mirror dash camera, which mounts over your existing rearview mirror. Attached via straps or another mounting method, these dash cams often have a built-in front camera. Many are wider than standard rearview mirrors to offer a wider view for a fuller picture. These mirror dash cams can also display maps when in GPS mode.
Rather than mounting to your rearview mirror, regular dash cameras sit on top of your dash to guide you. They come in various screen sizes and typically are solidly made with a steady base. These dash-mounted cameras resemble what you find in a built-in unit on higher-end vehicles that include GPS and a (pop-up) screen. Dashcam GPS with backup camera units can be mounted anywhere on the dash.
There are GPS with backup camera units that fit within the space of your car’s original stereo. Most older cars will have this feature as the GPS units oftentimes include radio and/or auxiliary connectivity as well. Car Stereo GPS units can be single or double DIN, depending on the size of your vehicle’s center dash cluster.
Founded in 1989 and headquartered in Kansas, Garmin is a household name when it comes to GPS units. If you’re not a fan of the products above and are less concerned about having a backup camera, check out the Garmin Drive 50 USA Navigator System. It’s a great gift for the adventurer in your life.
Based out of California, Magellan was founded in 1986. The company provides numerous GPS devices and accessories, including the Magellan TR5 Street and GPS Navigator. If you’re someone who frequently hikes, camps, or spends time off the beaten path, this GPS could save your life.
GPS with Backup Camera Pricing
- $50-$190: Purchasing and enjoying a decent GPS unit with a backup camera doesn’t have to cost you more than $200. If it’s something that you’ll use a lot, it’s not a bad investment. In this price range, the units tend to have smaller screens and hazier resolutions than those priced just over $200.
- $200 and up: For a little bit more money, you’ll get a lot of extra features on GPS units with backup cameras. Touchscreen capabilities are more or less standard, along with bigger screens, better resolution, and other features.
Technology is only worth the investment when it improves your daily life. If you can’t use your GPS unit with a backup camera, what good is it? The best GPS units with backup cameras integrate seamlessly with your vehicle, from the wiring and connectivity side of things to the placement of the unit within your car. You should be able to use your GPS and backup camera without having to do anything special during operation.
Much like watching TV or surfing the internet, a larger screen helps improve the experience. In navigation, a bigger viewing area will aid you in knowing where you are and where you need to go. The best GPS with backup camera units have a large screen that shows a wide view. Most screens you’ll see cap out around 10 inches or so.
Similar to screen size, a crisp resolution comes in handy. Identifying the roads ahead can be easy, but sometimes reading the names of those streets can be difficult unless you have a large, clear screen. One of the highest resolutions out there is 1080p, which denotes the vertical count of pixels on the screen.
Most GPS units with backup cameras included shouldn’t be too hard to install. Mirror dash cameras mount to your existing rearview mirror, dash cams sit atop the dash, and stereo units fit into space where your radio formerly inhabited. Installation of these units shouldn’t take more than a few minutes, even for the novice user.
Dashcams, whether they mount on the dash directly or on the rearview mirror, can be touchscreen capable. This function allows you to navigate through the map screens with greater ease. It can even make it easier to see what’s around the area you’re driving through so you can get your bearings and head towards your destination with greater confidence.
- Front Camera: A front camera can come in handy. With this feature, you can record what’s happening on the road in front of you, which can be good for a lot of things. If you’re looking to purchase a GPS unit with a backup camera, consider investing in a product that has a front camera as well.
- Night Vision: Driving at night is more difficult because you’re not able to see as clearly as you do during the day, so having the ability to capture the road ahead of you through night vision can be invaluable. Consider buying a GPS with backup camera and night vision to get the most out of the entire system.
- Style: You might be one of those drivers who care about how technology flows with the rest of your vehicle’s style. If that’s the case, consider how the GPS unit you’re interested in would look among the rest of your equipment. Most products are black, so it’s really only a minor detail unless you’re very particular.
Best GPS with Backup Camera Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- While it’s a good idea to get in the habit of using your backup camera, make sure you physically check your blind spots as you back up. Turn around and glance in either direction before pulling out of a parking space.
- If you’re not sure how to install your backup camera or GPS unit, go online. You can easily search for the product and find helpful tips, hints, and tricks for installing it correctly.
- If you drive in inclement weather, make sure to clean off your backup camera. Remove any snow that’s built up so you have a better view as you back up. Rinse the lens off with a bit of water if you’re traveling in muddy terrain.
- Backup parking guide lines vary by product. If you’re unsure which type of lines are most helpful, research which products use what types of lines. Ask friends and family if you can practice backing up with their cameras to see what each type looks and feels like.
- Front cameras—and even backup cameras—can be useful if there’s an accident. You should be able to retrieve the footage and establish what went wrong.
- Some backup cameras include an audible sound to let drivers know how close they are to the object(s) behind them. If you have trouble backing up, invest in a system that will alert you audibly, so you can develop safer reverse habits while avoiding potential collisions.
Q: Are there wireless backup cameras available?
A: Yes, there are wireless backup cameras like Pyle's Wireless Rear View Backup Camera that you can buy. While most of the wireless cameras may not have a GPS unit built in like the products in our review, installing one can still improve the overall safety of your vehicle.
Q: Do I need a Wi-Fi connection to use my GPS with a backup camera?
A: No, not necessarily. For example, most GPS units use satellite connectivity in order to connect to a network of available maps. A Wi-Fi connection may be necessary for other applications on your GPS system, but you’ll have to check each individual product for more details.
Q: Will a GPS navigator show the speed limit?
A: Some products will display the speed limit. Some vehicles that are even a few years old will have this function built into the system already, but it’s a feature you can get through aftermarket GPS units as well.
Q: How often are GPS system maps updated?
A: Updates vary according to the GPS unit’s manufacturer. Map updates can come every so often or every day; it really depends on the navigation system you choose. Many systems rely on Google Maps, so they’ll only be updated as Google schedules its updates.
Q: Will most GPS navigation systems pair with my smartphone?
A: The majority of GPS units on the market today will connect to a smartphone, whether you own an Android or an iPhone. The smartphone link is achieved via Bluetooth in most cases, and if your unit is so equipped you can enjoy features such as turn-by-turn directions, voice commands, and more.
Q: What other brands offer a GPS navigator system?
A: Pyle and TomTom are just a few of the other brands that produce GPS systems. Some will come with a backup camera kit, while others do not. Check with each individual manufacturer and corresponding products to find the match you’re looking for.
The Garmin Drive GPS Navigator System won our top pick for the best GPS with a backup camera. It comes preloaded with maps and is easy to use.
Our value pick is the Garmin Drive 52 & Traffic because it comes with several nice-to-have features at an affordable price.
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