Designated GPS unit Vs Smart Phone

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

  1. worwig

    worwig Long timer

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    No.
    Virtually all smartphones have built in GPS hardware. Most now even have Glonass hardware.
    If you use online maps, then you would be out of luck. But I have a number of mapping apps on my phone. Two of them have the maps stored on the phone, so they work everywhere.
    #21
  2. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    single application that does all of the above: (all of these are android, most free) oruxmaps, dualsportmaps, sygic, osmand/osmand+, backcountrynavigator, motionx (iphone, ipad only)



    1) some (few, but it's coming) have wireless charging. mine does, but i did it myself. there is no comprimising or stress on the device with inductive/wireless charging.
    2) put a shade on it ? i see a LOT of gps standalones that have shades wrapped around em.








    i really dig these "but smartphones can't _____" threads. they're usually well intended, but wrong.
    #22
  3. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    no, there is no cellular signal needed for triangulation, just like standalone gps's.

    yes, the phones/standalones need to have maps loaded for an area prior to going 'offline'.

    i have the entire USofA in about 700Mb of vector based maps, on my phones sdcard. if the phone is killed, i swap out the sdcard to a new phone, load up my app, and continue. tracks/routes are saved and waypoints saved at x intervals, to the sdcard.

    i also have topo, hillshading, and 5x5 coordinate sections (about 200mb total) for completely offline route/track planning, AND completely offline NAVigation.

    the huge benefit of the smartphone is: wireless connectivity to SHARE MAPS, routes, tracks, waypoints, and every piece of information on the phone, via bluetooth, wifi, or cellular data, with other people. i can dump the entire route, MAPs, and waypoints to another phone in a few minutes, including sharing the actual application with them.





    the standalones are fantastic in their ruggedness, but are lacking in flexibility and pricing.

    we all have opinions though ;-)
    #23
  4. snoman002

    snoman002 Been here awhile

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    I use a smartphone, or my tablet usually, for everything.

    BUT, they are not prefect, and if you have the money to burn a standalone can be more convienent. If your short on funds a smartphone can do all the above, and so much more, that its the easy choice. But if you can justify the expense you will probably be better served by a standalone.

    My biggest complaint is the combination of cases, mounts and charging. Having your phone on the bike means you need to take it on and off frequently, but finding a mount and case combination that also allows easy operation and easy removal is difficult. Typically there are mounts, but not usually ones that work with a case. The ones that do are typically generic holders and their ability to hold a phone in rough terrain is questionable. RAM mounts are nice, but make operating the phone more difficult and also make it hard to see and harder to remove. Plus all the fiddling with the charging cable, and the case, and then getting it Mount d again is a headache.

    There are apps out there that do everything a standalone can do, and more, but you have to find them. The nice thing is they are much cheaper (imagine that standalone you bought doesn't do that one thing you MUST have) so buying a new app is a lot cheaper. Plus, there is no reason you can't have two, or three, or more, apps for when you need them. With a standalone its you get what you pay for, or buy another and run two. Its nice that a new feature is simply a click or two away.
    #24
  5. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS

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    I'm not sure one way or the other if dissecting my comments is of much help to the OP. In my Review you would have noticed I mentioned much of this. The key for most users in not that "it can be done by a tech savvy user" but rather is it available in a single package. As for using a shade on devices, that's a great measure of it lack of sunlight readability - which, as you noted, a lot of older GPS receivers have a problem with as well.
    #25
  6. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS

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    Nice summary, and the reason that Garmin created the Monterra. It has all of the "standalone" features that most riders want and if there is some capability that isn't covered, you can add whatever Android Apps you wish.
    #26
  7. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    Hmm, tech savvy isn't needed for basecamp usage? Just a joke, keep reading:)


    Read your review, but it's the wrong title of what you did there. By today's standards"review" means spouting about what someone thinks isor might be possible, you did much better town just a review.

    That's one of the most thorough (and properly critical) exams of a device I've read recently. Great job!
    #27
  8. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS

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    Thanks, much appreciated.
    #28
  9. LewisNClark

    LewisNClark Long timer

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    Add "Microsoft Streets and Trips" and "EasyGPS" and an Otterbox to my iPhone and I'd take that over any GPS, any day. Bluetooth, Internet,etc are more reasons for a smart phone. A Smart Phone is a programmable device that is far smarter than any GPS...its a matter of time before Garmins are a thing of the past.

    #29
  10. NJDirtRiders

    NJDirtRiders Been here awhile

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    I use this ( http://www.quadlockcase.com ) mount and case combo and its easy to take your phone on and off in seconds .. I use it on my GS and on my YZ250 woods bike its the most rugged simple holder available and it comes with a rain/mud cover.
    Iv crash tested it in the woods a bunch of times and your phone won't budge .
    The lock mount fits tubes sizes from 25 - 40mm. you can use O-rings or zip ties to mount it depending if you use it on more then one bike.. I used zip ties and bought a second for my other bike .. Also have the car mount hahaha
    For the price it cant be beat

    And as far as power I hard wired a iPhone 5 charger just for it but first reinforced the connector end with heat shrink because they like to break there, then ran it threw soft weaved wire loom to keep it from chafing and to make it look sweet :evil

    I will be remounting it up by the speedo once i make a cross bar

    Mount


    [​IMG]

    Charger

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    With rain cover

    [​IMG]
    #30
  11. MostlyLurking

    MostlyLurking n00b

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    I'm still in the process of deciding how to go, as I have a malfunctioning Garmin Oregon 300 and an iPhone 5s.

    I'm exclusively a road rider, so my criteria may be different to yours. But I am looking at the following:

    1. Can it cope in sub-zero temperatures? The iPhone may struggle, but it is hard to quantify, because although it is not supposed to operate under zero celsius, it would always be in a waterproof (insulating) mount, and it generates heat while running satnav software. I found Co-pilot to be good. So unless I ride in say -5c I should be OK. Then I am worried about higher temperatures in the summer.

    2. Ease of operation. I don't really need to operate it with gloves, but I'd prefer not to have to take it out of the case.

    3. Ease of mounting. Can I just take it off, or do I have to unzip it from a case, or remove the normal case to mount it in a shockproof case?

    4. Will it get stolen? I have left my satnav on the bike a few times by mistake. It would have been expensive if it had been stolen, but not half as disruptive as if my iPhone had been left on the bike and stolen. I think a thief might leave the satnav, but take an iPhone, so much as the iPhone can do most of what I want (albeit with smallish display readout), I can't risk leaving it on the bike. It's a cost/inconvenience/security thing.

    Bottom line: I would prefer a dedicated waterproof satnav that can operate in -10c. Despite the problems some people have had, I am considering the Garmin 350LM because it is starting to get heavily discounted.
    #31
  12. rlmankins

    rlmankins Adventurer

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    I use my samsung s3 most of the time with sygic. Amazing the level of detail and the dirt trails on it. Easy to use and have a 64 gig mini sd card so have complete maps downloaded for all of North America so works when no cell phone signal.
    I do carry my iPad, and a nuvi with me also. iPad is great for planning my route, which seems to change daily depending on conditions and local information. The nuvi is the easiest to work with just limited in flexibility, but it is cheap and rugged.
    Smartphone beats everything on road. With 4 mapping programs installed, poi finders, pandora, mpegs, Internet, and you tube and anything else you may need for info in a small waterproof package it is hard to beat. I forgot to add, with a 10 mpg camera takes pretty good video.
    Still find that a combination of a map (topo for off road and street for on road) in the tank bag and gps is impossible to beat.

    So my solution which is complicated works well for me. I always do as much research and route planning before I leave home as I can but it never is enough.

    Just my 2 cents worth
    #32
  13. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams

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    Are you able to plan your route on your ipad, then transfer to your S3?
    #33
  14. rlmankins

    rlmankins Adventurer

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    I am kind of old fashioned. I use my Ipad with google maps for my initial plan. then go to satellite view to look at the track ( if I have signal ) then mark it out on the paper map to put in the tank bag.
    If I am not familiar with an area I just do not trust the off road gps tracks enough to blindly go where it tells me. Mostly use the gps for situational awareness. On road I am perfectly ok with following its directions, then Sygis or my nuvi both have perfectly adequate route planning, but I still look at my paper map.
    So far Sygis has had every back road I have been on, even some that have not been travelled in years, very surprising.
    I have got to do some unforgettable exploring while following some of Garmins routes. Learned the hard way to always have a paper map.

    That said I have been playing with some offroad route planning for transfer to my phone, but I will still have my paper maps
    #34
  15. UKbri

    UKbri Just a Rider

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    The Sygic looks really good. Would I be able to get it on my Sony Ericsson Xperia for free and where from ?
    #35
  16. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    Android market
    #36
  17. UKbri

    UKbri Just a Rider

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    It's telling me it's about $60. My phone is about 3/4 years old. I don't think it's man enough to handle all that data.
    #37
  18. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    Sorry, it was free once, or I got a special price or something... thus is another reason why having root and titanium backup are good things.... my apps follow me from phone to phone, just like they were yesterday.

    Try osmand or oruxmaps, they run on older phones fine
    #38
  19. MrMac

    MrMac Long timer

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    For on-road, try CoPilot. There is a free version, but to get all the bells & whistles, the paid version only runs maybe $20-30. You have the option of downloading just the states/regions you need so you can save on space.
    #39
  20. VStromNC

    VStromNC DNS/DNF

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    I have Sygic running along with DSM on my Galaxy S4. Sygic is more of a road GPS than anything else. It has all the bells and whistles and similar to a Garmin road gps unit such as a Nuvi. I use it when I need a offline GPS in a pinch and don't want to incur data by using the built in Verizon GPS on my phone.

    Sygic is running a special for anyone interested in this app. It works OK for a road GPS. I have not figured out how to plan routes on this app. Tracks are not possible.

    http://www.sygic.com/en/android:buy-now


    Jon
    #40