Designated GPS unit vs. Smart Phone

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by NJDirtRiders, Nov 24, 2013.

  1. NJDirtRiders

    NJDirtRiders Been here awhile

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    What is the benefit of using a designated GPS unit

    I use my iPhone with a Garmin app and seems to work great,
    Im new to the GPS world and before I spend the money on a new Garmin Monterra I just want to understand why Im doing it?
    With smart phones capable of doing just about anything these days I was just curious

    Thanks
    Craig T

    I searched before I posted and didn't come up with anything comparing the two , Sorry if its been talked about already
    #1
  2. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS

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    If what you have meets your requirements why would you even consider something else?

    If you want to better understand what the Monterra is capable of you could read my Monterra Review. The "Basic Criteria" section may give you further insight -- at least from my perspective -- in to what an Adventure & Dual Sport GPS should provide.
    #2
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  3. NJDirtRiders

    NJDirtRiders Been here awhile

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    The way the iPhone multi tasks Music,Phone,GPS and all works with any blue tooth head set makes me wonder why you would use anything else? But there has to be some big stand out reasons most people go stand alone GPS
    #3
  4. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS

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    Most folks need most of these features:

    Basic GPS Criteria for Adventure & Dual Sport Riding

    • Supports Pre-ride Planning
    • Finds Stuff for You
    • Import and navigate Tracks and Routes
    • Record a Ride
    • Archive a Ride
    • Share a Ride
    • Portable, Ruggedized and Waterproof/Dustproof
    • Glove friendly
    • Power by Battery and 12vdc
    • Import and Create Waypoints and Display Their Properties
    • Reduct Stress and Encourage Exploration
    • Optional World Wide Maps and Map Types
    • Software is User Upgradable

    Your smartphone/Navigation Software doesn't meet half of these.

    But, like I said, if YOU don't need these features just continue to use your phone.
    #4
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  5. NJDirtRiders

    NJDirtRiders Been here awhile

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    Thank you for your reply, Just curious how may of the options you listed are available through Garmin via smart phone app
    #5
  6. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS

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    You cannot import Route/Track data to the Garmin smartphone Apps.

    You cannot share (export) data from Garmin smartphone Apps

    You cannot do Pre-ride Planning (import preplanned Routes/Tracks)

    You cannot easily add maps to Garmin smartphone Apps

    The Garmin Apps do not auto-Archive your Ride (Track Log).
    #6
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  7. NJDirtRiders

    NJDirtRiders Been here awhile

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    Got it! Thanks haha :clap
    #7
  8. mpatch

    mpatch Long timer

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    Why would Garmin offer an app that would compete with their other units? They could easily make a "Monterra" app that could do almost everything that the Monterra can do.

    You need to look elsewhere for navigation apps. Look into MotionX (both GPS and Drive versions), Avenza PDF, dual sport maps.
    #8
  9. steveWFL

    steveWFL Long timer

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    About the only time I use my GPS over my smartphone is in a downpour [​IMG]
    #9
  10. webmonstro

    webmonstro A Aventura Continua....

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    [*]Supports Pre-ride Planning --Smartfone also does this

    [*]Finds Stuff for You --Smartfone also does this, and better

    [*]Import and navigate Tracks and Routes --Smartfone also does this

    [*]Record a Ride --Smartfone also does this

    [*]Archive a Ride --Smartfone also does this

    [*]Share a Ride --Smartfone also does this

    [*]Portable, Ruggedized and Waterproof/Dustproof --SOME Smartfone also are

    [*]Glove friendly -- ok , but the new monterra seams to NOT be

    [*]Power by Battery and 12vdc --Smartfone also does this with USB adapter - but not batteries

    [*]Import and Create Waypoints and Display Their Properties --Smartfone also does this

    [*]Reduct Stress and Encourage Exploration --Smartfone also does this

    [*]Optional World Wide Maps and Map Types --Smartfone also does this

    [*]Software is User Upgradable --Smartfone also does this


    It's all in the Software, the dedicated GPS is just like a smartfone , it's a small computer runing linux-like OS or a wince like OS, it's the software that makes it all

    Most people already have a smartfone of some sort so why not just test it ? spend a couple of bucks on a holder and a USB converter plus a app and find out how it works ,if you still don't like it or find it is limitied you now have the knowledge to use the phone as a backup in a pinch
    #10
  11. NJDirtRiders

    NJDirtRiders Been here awhile

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    I've been using my iPhone 5 with the quad lock and waterproof cover and usb charger with no problems at all so far.. I bought the Garmin application which was not cheap but works exactly the way the Garmin in my wifes car works. But that's just using basic navigation maps.. I have yet to use it for anything off Road or to plan a trip.. Planning my first three-day trip on the bike and just wanted to get as much info as I can before the trip I have a few months.

    Thanks again everybody
    #11
  12. BKMLWR

    BKMLWR Wondering around...

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    be sure you understand the terms "route" and "track" and how they differ and how and where each is used.
    If you plan on riding roads seen on google earth but not shown on a map as a road then you need to able to work with a "track" which basicly is adding a temporary 'road' to the display on your device.
    #12
  13. NJDirtRiders

    NJDirtRiders Been here awhile

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    I've got a lot to learn but I'll have fun doing it, I won't be going to far off the beaten track to the point where messing up with my GPS can cause me harm this trip is just a test run
    #13
  14. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS

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    Your comments are all true -- but finding them in a single App loaded on a single smart-device that actually does meet ALL of the criteria is not true. I cover most of this in my Monterra Review.

    Most smartphones fall short in two areas: (1) If they are truly Rugged and meet a minimum of IP67, when you connect power you compromise the IP. USB ports are not rugged and will fail over time and (2) I have yet to find a smartphone that has a truly sunlight readable display while mounted on your bike.

    But, as I suggested to the OP, not everyone needs/wants these features. He simply asked why folks use a dedicated GPS device.
    #14
  15. oldxr

    oldxr Long timer

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    Does the smart phone need a cell signal for the gps to work?Alot of places on the west side of the usa have no cell service-like nevada.
    #15
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  16. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS

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    It depends upon the Manufacturer. Some do, some don't.
    #16
  17. NJDirtRiders

    NJDirtRiders Been here awhile

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    Good question
    #17
  18. NJDirtRiders

    NJDirtRiders Been here awhile

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    Verizon ? IPhone 5,
    #18
  19. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS

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    The iPhone5 has Assisted-GPS (more accurate when Cell Tower is available) and GLONASS (Russian constellation).
    #19
  20. NJDirtRiders

    NJDirtRiders Been here awhile

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    Think I'm going to go designated GPS and keep the iPhone for a back up
    Again thanks everyone!
    #20
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