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2022 Buyer’s Guide to 4×4 Satellite Navigation Systems – Dubai Car News

IIf your tires rarely leave bitumen, then there’s nothing better than Google Maps to guide you to your urban destination via Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. And most vehicles bought off the showroom floor come with some form of embedded satellite navigation system – varying levels of capability.

If chasing remote campsites and long-forgotten stretches of white sand, though, mapping downtown becomes pretty useless. This is where a purpose-built sat nav system for 4×4 use will be essential.

These units include topographical maps (a detailed and accurate two-dimensional representation of features on the Earth’s surface), accurate mapping of remote tracks and the ability to work off the grid – as well as a bunch of useful tools such as POIs (Points of Interest). -of-interest), the ability to sync waypoints and save favorite off-road routes.

Here, we’ve included three standard standalone GPS units, as well as a few handy phone apps. Bear in mind, however, that, unlike a dedicated standalone unit, a smartphone isn’t built solely for sat-nav duty. It will lack durability and will drain its battery life at a much faster rate. Also, many GPS phone apps only work when there is mobile reception.

So, if you’d prefer not to get lost in the scrub. Read on

Internal memory Display size Display resolution Warranty RRP
Hema HX-2 16 GB 7 inches 1024 x 600 IPS 12 months $799
Garmin Overlander 64 GB 7 inches 1024 x 600 IPS 12 months $999
VMS 3DX 32 GB 8 inches 1200 x 800 IPS 12 months $549

Stand-alone GPS units

Hema HX-2

Hema HX2


  • Internal memory: 16 GB
  • Display Size: 7 inches
  • Display resolution: 1024 x 600 IPS
  • Warranty: 12 months
  • RRP: $799

Things we like.

  • Verified POIs from Hema
  • Battery life (8 hours claimed)
  • Vector mapping system

Not so much

  • User interface takes time to learn.
  • Hema Explorer maps require Wi-Fi.
  • Quite expensive

An evolution of the outgoing HX-1 unit, the HX-2 is a lighter, faster, more intuitive and much better unit. A bigger battery and faster internal processor are the main updates.

It works like an on-road sat nav system, but escape the concrete jungle and the thing shines. Ditching the outdated raster map system, Hema now uses vector maps for better, more detailed mapping – the Hema Explorer option in the Off-Road Map section allows users to zoom in at 1:25-thou.

Since it’s a Hema unit, it comes with all the benefits of the brand’s travel experience: 40,000 verified points of interest (camping sites, campgrounds, caravan parks, hotels, motels, dump points, wineries, lookouts, rest areas, boat ramps, post offices, fuel stops etc.) and topographic mapping across Australia. The unit has a USB-C charging port.

Garmin Overlander

Garmin 1


  • Internal memory: 64 GB
  • Display Size: 7 inches
  • Display resolution: 1024 x 600 IPS
  • Warranty: 12 months
  • RRP: $999

Things we like.

  • Hema topographic maps
  • Plenty of storage space
  • Genius Magnetic Mount

Not so much

  • very expensive
  • Similar to the Hema unit, but more expensive

Despite its steep price at under $1000 a freckle, ‘you get what you pay for’ with this unit.

With 64GB of inbuilt storage capacity, the Overlander can store plenty of topographic maps for your adventures. It’s also made of tough stuff, conforming to USA Military Standard 810 for thermal and shock resistance – plus, its IP5X rating means it can withstand dust and extreme temperatures. And that magnetic mount is a touch of genius.

It uses HEMA technology and comes pre-loaded with HEMA 150K topo maps of Australia with over 36,000 points of interest.

It can also be paired with inReach Explorer+, inReach SE+ and inReach Mini satellite communicators.

VMS 3DX: Portable Off-Road GPS

Vms 2


  • Internal memory: 32 GB
  • Display Size: 8 inches
  • Display resolution: 1200 x 800 IPS
  • Warranty: 12 months
  • RRP: $549

Things we like.

  • Price
  • Screen resolution
  • Large size

Not so much

  • There is an additional cost for topo maps.
  • Relatively unknown in the industry

A bit of an unknown quantity in Australia, VMS is a Melbourne-based company, and its 3DX is a reasonably priced alternative.

Unlike the Hema and Garmin units, the VMS 3DX has a larger (eight-inch) screen and a higher display resolution of 1200 x 800 IPS. Its 32GB of internal memory is also nothing to sneeze at – as is its 4GB of RAM.

In place of Hema’s POIs, 3DX uses CAMPS 11 with Caravan Parks 6, which boasts only a fraction of the POIs compared to the Hema unit.

It uses 3D vector maps, but topographic maps incur additional costs that bring the total cost closer to HX-2 territory.

Phone apps

Hema camprics

The CAMPERX is a cheap smartphone alternative to the Hema, and it’ll cost you less than two bucks to get things started. It’s powered by Hema, so it includes more than 100,000 points of interest, detailed information and full offline capabilities for multi-scale topographic mapping. Known for a few gremlins in the user interface. Compatible with Apple and Android.

Hema 4×4 Explorer

The comprehensive 4×4 Explorer app allows users to access all the benefits of Hema through their smartphone or tablet. Features include Hema’s extensive range of topographic maps across Australia, offline capabilities, over 100,000 points of interest and Hema Cloud connectivity. Keep in mind, there may be additional costs, and the app may be small at times.

Gaia GPS

Gaia GPS is a subscription-based GPS system, where members can access a wide range of maps for not only 4WDing, but hiking, camping, sightseeing and any outdoor activity. Maps can be downloaded for offline use, and can also be printed to take with you as a backup. A free plan is available, but it only provides access to topo maps and cannot be downloaded for offline use. Cleverly, it features Apple CarPlay integration.

Explore Oz Traveler

The Australian-made ExplorOz Traveler app is compatible with both Apple and Android. The Traveler app includes e-automap maps, offline maps, active tracking, an extensive point-of-interest catalog and can be highly personalized. Free updates are available frequently. Additional features may incur additional costs.

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