What is the best navigation app? And which one has the best value for money? NU.nl and the Consumers' Association provide answers.

The advantage of a navigation app is that you always have it with you on your smartphone. That is why you can use them in several cars. You are more easily distracted by messages that also arrive on your phone. There are paid and free navigation apps. In addition, there are often different versions for the operating systems Android and iOS.

The Consumers' Association tests navigation systems for aspects such as navigation quality, ease of use and versatility. A total of 87 navigation systems have been tested and are readily available.

Within the navigation apps category, a paid TomTom app comes out as Best in the Test. Google Maps is also doing well and is free. This makes the Google app the Best Buy.

Best in the Test: TomTom GO Mobile (Android) and TomTom GO Navigation (iOS)

  • Android target price: 20 euros per year
  • Target price iOS: 13 euros per year
  • Android test rating: 7.8
  • Test rating iOS: 7.7
  • Included map: World
  • Lifetime Map updates: Yes
  • View the specifications (Android)
  • View the specifications (iOS)
  • View all tested navigation apps
  • Choose the best navigation system for you

TomTom has a navigation app for both Android and iOS. These apps are similar but are not exactly the same. The two versions are updated separately and the time of updating differs. This may mean that one app already has a certain functionality and the other does not yet.

The subscriptions also differ per version. With the Android version you can navigate 75 kilometers for free every month, after that you need a subscription. This costs 20 euros per year or 6 euros per month. Incidentally, TomTom will soon release an update for the Android version, including the subscription model will change. With the iOS version you get a short free trial period. Then you pay 2 euros for a month, 5 euros for three months, 9 euros for six months or 13 euros for a year.

Both versions allow you to install maps from all over the world, eliminating the need for a data connection to navigate. Navigating the apps of TomTom do very well and the timing of spoken instructions is good.

You can operate the menu quickly and easily and the route is calculated quickly. Standard current traffic information is included, although you do need a data connection on your smartphone.

A disadvantage is that the sound volume does not automatically adjust to your driving speed. In the iOS version, the speech recognition is mediocre.

Best Buy: Google Maps (Android and iOS)

  • Target price: Free
  • Android test rating: 7.3
  • Test rating iOS: 7.2
  • Included map: World
  • Lifetime Map updates: Yes
  • View the specifications (Android)
  • View the specifications (iOS)
  • View all tested navigation apps
  • Choose the best navigation system for you

Just like TomTom, Google Maps also has versions for both Android and iOS. These are also not exactly the same and are updated at different times.

A big advantage is that this app is free. However, the performance is a bit less than that of the TomTom, but navigation also does Google Maps very well.

The system starts up quickly and the app finds your position quickly. The menu works easily and smoothly and the route is also calculated quickly.

A disadvantage is that Google Maps requires a data connection as standard. You can also download maps separately, after which you can navigate without a data connection. Another drawback is that even with Google Maps the volume is not automatically adjusted to the driving speed.

Accountability

In this section we write weekly about household and technological appliances that have been tested by the Consumers' Association. This is a collaboration between the independent editors of NU.nl and the Consumers' Association.

The Consumers' Association tests thousands of products every year, together with qualified technicians in specialized laboratories at home and abroad. The products that are tested are bought in the store, so that they are not pre-manipulated by manufacturers.

New models are tested as soon as possible after introduction. How fast that is varies by product. The Best in the Test is always the product with the best test rating. This can also be a somewhat older model, because a newer model is not always better. The Best Buy is the product with the best value for money.