Android Tablet: Waterproof, glove-friendly, visible in daylight?

Discussion in 'Mapping & Navigation' started by NorskieRider, Jun 19, 2017.

  1. NorskieRider

    NorskieRider Been here awhile

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    My Zumo 550 is growing old. I don't think I want to drop $500+ on another Garmin. I'm very happy with the various Android GPS apps.

    But I have yet to find a tablet that works well on the bike. The main challenges:

    1. Glove-friendly. With my summer gloves I can sort of use the capacitative touch screens, but no way my winter gloves work. I've tried the paint-on and stick-on stuff, it hardly works. I'm not sewing metal threads through GoreTex. The 550 uses a pressure-touch screen and that works great.
    2. Waterproof. No way am I going to deal with stopping and putting things away when it looks like it might rain. Zumo is waterproof. Never had a problem with it.
    3. Visible in daylight, with sunglasses on. This is more than I can say for most tablets, even some GPS units I've used. My 550 does even better than the wife's 660. The only time it lets me down is when the sun's angle creates glare and I need to shade my eyes.
    4. Ok I'll 'rugged' to the list. It has to last more than a season.
    So what's out there?

    I know many of you use your phones and tablets for navigation. How do you surmount these challenges?
    #1
  2. PTJCAL

    PTJCAL Adventurer

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    Hi, @NorskieRider.

    I just passed through a phone change having this in mind. Here are my thoughts about it...

    http://advrider.com/index.php?posts/32527550

    My new phone... Sony Xperia XZ. Not rugged and not a tablet. But IP68 for water and dust resistance, with glove mode and 5.2" 608 nits bright screen (which I could see with my shades on an 40°C ride this last weekend.) I think that xperia XZ premium is bigger (5.5") but more expensive.

    If you can check kyocera phones (duraforce pro, for instance).

    I hope it helps.

    Regards.
    #2
  3. NorskieRider

    NorskieRider Been here awhile

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    Can you explain "glove mode" in more detail?

    Also, what about bloatware? I've been running the Nexus phones for a while to avoid the tmobile/samsung junk software. Does Sony bundle it's own junk that requires rooting to remove?
    #3
  4. PTJCAL

    PTJCAL Adventurer

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    I use three types of gloves... Winter (revit cyber gtx), fall-spring (BMW pro summer gtx, ) and summer (BMW gs pro) gloves. When I turn the glove mode on, I can manage the screen quite well with any of those gloves. My previous phone was a xperia z3 compact (2.5 years and 30K kms) and it did have the same screen glove mode. However touching a screen with gloves is never a nice time so the less touching, the best. I don't think it will be as good as a garmin zumo screen but it works for me.

    From Sony support page (Google)
    "Glove mode

    Using glove mode, you can wear gloves and still navigate the screen on your device. When you use glove mode, a cursor ring appears on the area of the screen where a touch is registered.
    ...
    The sensitivity depends on the size of the contact area between the screen and the gloved finger that you use to navigate the screen."

    Regarding bloatware, Sony's Android seems to me quite clean (I have disabled some preloaded apps) but it all depends on your specific needs. It's a long time since I don't have a Samsung but the last one I had, I had to root it and bloatware was one of the reasons. You might also check a different brand.

    It's only my personal experience and I'm happy with it.
    #4
  5. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    see the Kyocera xd thread, it covers your wants
    #5
  6. NorskieRider

    NorskieRider Been here awhile

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    Lots of great info there! Still reading ....
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  7. ThomasD

    ThomasD Adventurer

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    Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact - IP65/IP68:

    [​IMG]

    Glove mode works, but if you have a need for extact input / position marking, I use a cheap pin for smartphones:

    [​IMG]

    Just had a 3400 km ride through Poland with the ZT3C and I am very satisfied with this solution. Sunlight readability is good.

    And there is Android 7.12 on XDA.
    #7
  8. NorskieRider

    NorskieRider Been here awhile

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    That looks pretty nice - but at this point, I'm leaning towards the Duramax Pro.

    All of your answers have been very helpful!
    #8
  9. jgormley

    jgormley Long timer

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    What is the full model name?
    #9
  10. NorskieRider

    NorskieRider Been here awhile

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    Bah, "duramax" rolled off the tongue too easy (dad has one).

    The correct name is "Kyocera Duraforce Pro".
    #10
  11. DaMonk45

    DaMonk45 I B Da Monk

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    The Pro is the newer model. I have the XD which is a tank.
    #11
  12. EastRoad

    EastRoad Road Viking

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    I currently use my Samsung Galaxy S5neo in a basic Otterbox Commuter case.
    Works like a treat.
    it's a 5.something-inch smartphone... rugged? with the case, yes... water-resistant? check, IP68
    No Silly port-Covers eithers... the actual ports are water resistant too.
    IF readability is an issue (in my experience it's more about placement & angle) you can get an anti-reflective matte type screen protector.

    As for glove friendly: not really.
    Capacitive displays aren't great at that... sure you can these days buy GORETEX Gloves WITH touch-friendly tips... (I think Rev'It, Rukka, Held and a few others have some... at least if you do a search on revzilla).
    I've solved the issue with this:
    [​IMG]
    Digital Stylus on a retractable tether and industrial "velcro"... works charmingly well. cheap too... and works with every glove and smartphone ;)



    Tablet? not really... Samsung has the "Active" series of Tablets... which are rugged by design.
    there are also "Industrial Tablets"... highly rugged, beefy, heavy and fucking expensive... I guess that would be absolute overkill.

    But frankly, I think anything beyond 7" is simply too big on a bike - I'd consider it a distraction. Sure for specific purposes (maybe a rallye type app...) it can be helpful I guess... but aside from that, I fail to see the practicality. a 5-5.7" phone in my opinion is better suited for the task,

    Also there's a number of good rugged - even submersible case solutions for most phones out there - so you might even be able to ruggedise your current phone by simply buying a case (like lifeproof)
    #12
  13. Ogre_fl

    Ogre_fl Long timer

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    There is not really an "Active" series of tablets with Samsung, there is (was) just one, the Galaxy Tab Active.
    I got a wifi only one super cheap around christmas time, but it looks like they have discontinued it now.
    In spite of its "Active" name it is really more of an industrial tablet than a recreational one.

    It does have a couple of nice features for a moto GPS beyond being ruggedized, water & dust proof rated.
    1) POGO pin powering vs USB
    2) C-Pen stylus built in for gloved use
    3) Hard buttons vs soft keys for gloved use

    For "follow the route line" use I tend to agree it's size is overkill, but it does make an amazing moving map for on the fly exploring.
    #13
  14. EastRoad

    EastRoad Road Viking

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    Hmm... there were about three iterations of the "active" model if I'm not mistaken... the latest being the T365, even offering 4G ... at least the samsung page still has it listed, and unlike the T360 (that is discontinued), the T365 still seems to be available. (http://www.samsung.com/uk/business/business-products/tablets/tablets/SM-T365NNGABTU)

    And yes, you are correct - they are industrial focused devices... but that makes no difference.


    But be warned, software wise, at least stock, it's dated... still running "kitKat" (android 4.4).
    Whilst KitKat is "solid" with the updates, it is quite "outdated" feature wise compared to the latest versions (6/7(/8beta))
    #14
  15. NorskieRider

    NorskieRider Been here awhile

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    About five years ago I tried the otterbox, and the phone overheated and it was barely useable, even without gloves or with a stylus, so I won't be trying that again.
    #15
  16. EastRoad

    EastRoad Road Viking

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    may I ask what type of phone you used?

    I used to have an iPhone 4 - that thing was extremely prone to overheat, case or no case... the 5 was a tad better but still had it's issues.

    haven't used the iPhones since.... as I had switched to android back then.
    The Samsung S5neo I have can sit in an otterbox case, mid summer on the bike all day long and will not overheat.

    Essentially devices can overheat - yes.... albeit I have come to the conclusion that some are far more prone to do so than others.

    Also for example if you have some of the latest Quad-HD top-end android phones and run them at maximum power and brightest screens, not only will you struggle to keep them charged when running intensive apps such as tomtom with full 3D building shit, but they are far more likely to overheat.
    at least most better devices have CPU overheat protection built in - they shut down before they are fried.
    however, tuning down the performance settings and dialling the screen brightness down a notch or two (they're still very much bright enough even on a sunny day, especially the newer generation displays) - you should not run into heat issues.
    That being said, I once did manage to get my old montana 600 to display an overheat warning.... but that day nearly killed me (literally, not joking... it was rather bad).

    If you have an iphone - by far the best rugged cases I've had (I did use one on my old iPhone 5) were the "Lifeproof Nüüd" cases... they are submersible, drop proof etc.. but do NOT cover the screen - you still can install a basic screen protector (sticky type) if you want to. These cases are probably the least bulky of the rugged lot and yet one of the best, protectively.
    #16
  17. NorskieRider

    NorskieRider Been here awhile

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    It was a Samsung S3. I used it for music and so the wife could track me (i.e. gps track updates). When it was in the sun and charging it overheated, despite having rooted it and adjusted the cpu mhz down. The otterbox made it worse, I think it was magnifying the sun's rays.
    #17
  18. EastRoad

    EastRoad Road Viking

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    I would say, that since the S3 tech has seen its fair share of improvement.
    Power management has become better... screens less "power hungry"...
    again, I can only say, that with the phones I've tried after the iPhone 5, it worked charmingly well.
    #18
  19. Albie

    Albie Kool Aid poisoner

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    Hmm, my iPhone 5 spent it's whole life in an Otterbox Defender and never once overheated. My current 6S Plus has been in an Otterbox Commuter from day one and has never overheated.
    #19
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  20. EastRoad

    EastRoad Road Viking

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    goes to show not all devices are equal ;)...
    Especially with the phones, there's a number of sub-models released (you can find out with the serial / prod. id)... my iPhone 4 was really bad at overheating - the 5, as mentioned, less so... but still prone to do it.
    my 5 was one of the first models released - I guess they might have resolved some minor issues with the subsequent releases. ...
    #20