Ihpone 5c/5s vs samsung s4/ s4 active

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by Small's, Nov 10, 2013.

  1. Small's

    Small's Been here awhile

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    Is there any advantage to either phones for importing/exporting files and using as a gps. Oh and downloading map sections. I currently have a 3gs and im looking to upgrade to one of these phones here soon. I currently take gpx files and convert them and make them a trail on everytrail then get it on the everytrail map on the phone. That works until out of service. My 3gs is locking up quiet a bit and im afraid if i try to update it to ios 6 it might crash for good. Anyway any suggestions or preferences on which phone to get?
    #1
  2. macintosh

    macintosh Adventurer

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    S4 active will work with gloves, iPhone does not. You will gett bigger screen with Android as well.
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  3. rwamf

    rwamf Follow me

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    #3
  4. sanluissound

    sanluissound Adventurer

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    I've no experience with the Samsung/Android variants so can't compare. With that noted -

    I took three week long, off road trips this year in various parts of CO, UT and WY (in addition to a handful of day trips in CO). The conditions were hot to cold, rain, snow, mud and dust. As I said - "Off road", lot's of bouncing, dumping, jumping, numerous water crossings, etc. with the bike.

    My iPhone 5 was for the most part in an Otter Box Defender case on a handlebar Ram mount. I wired up my own charging system (rear fender rack/hard case) to charge multiple batteries and provide a 12V USB line up to the iPhone.

    - Scenic Map is an app that provides the entire map (three sections for the US) on your phone, no streaming/wireless needed. That app and set up has saved my ass numerous times. The track and waypoint functionality is limited but it's still a great way to work in the field.

    - GPS Motion X is another great app that from a functionality standpoint makes Garmin look silly. Numerous track and waypoint options and multiple map options. It is looking to stream as you go (so wifi/cel for a connect) but you can download map tiles for sections that you think may be without connection (I'v done this and while the size limits can be a bummer it works and has also saved my butt).

    - GPS Drive Motion X is the routable variant of the above. I'm just getting used to it in the car but feel it's a contender for road riding.

    - When things got really wet the iPhone/Defender case combo got a little glitchy from an input standpoint. I also had a Zagg Invisible Shield screen protector in place (great product unto itself) so the input issues may have been made worse by two screen protectors - essentially moisture was building up under the Defender screen and input from my fingers seemed to be erratic.

    - My set up was NOT responsive to glove input - THAT SUCKED - I just wanted to scroll around the map at a tap or at very least come to a stop and quickly get what I needed - having to take a glove off - IN THE COLD RAIN - was a frustration. To add to this was a "cel connectivity lost" type of error that would have to be cleared before I could view the screen again (not yet sure if this was an app, the phone or my service so can't yet point a finger). Surprisingly the phone never died from an electrical/H2O interaction and through some seriously rough terrain it and the Ram mount stayed in place.

    I have recently purchased a Garmin Montana for it's waterproof/ruggedized housing and the fact that it does not need a cel/wifi connection - it feels and looks like a toy compared to my phone. I guess the iPhone/Android types may have a way to go with regards to durability but I'm sure they (and/or the right case) are only a couple of steps away from being a very viable option for motorcycle GPS.

    Since the Samsung/Android phones take glove input and have bigger screens they might be the way to go as far as a phone/GPS option but Scenic Map (I think it's Apple only) is pretty fantastic for what is does.

    File management with the iPhone/Itunes and the afore mentioned apps is pretty straight forward and in addition the GPS X apps allow for some pretty easy email options as well.

    I wish I didn't have to purchase the Montana but felt it was the right step after using the iPhone for a seasons riding - we'll have to see where the smart phones go…


    Hope this helps!
    #4
  5. worwig

    worwig Long timer

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    I've gone the opposite direction. I've had Garmin products for a very long time. I still have a 276C sitting on the shelf. I've also used smartphones for a long time as a GPS. I haven't touched my Garmin in over a year. I use my S4 on a finger grip RAM mount. I have an aLOKSAK handy of the weather gets nasty. The S4 is sensitive enough that the touch screen continues to work even with gloves on. I can't think of any reason to get the Garmin back out.
    #5
  6. Small's

    Small's Been here awhile

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    Well I went with the s4 active. It has a brighter screen than the s4 and both pairs of glove I have work on the phone. I think it will work out fine as long as the charger can keep up
    #6
  7. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams

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    What apps are you using?
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  8. Small's

    Small's Been here awhile

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    None yet. Will probably use dual sport maps when it comes back up.
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  9. riverflow

    riverflow Project P̶r̶o̶c̶r̶a̶s̶t̶i̶n̶a̶t̶o̶r̶ Finisher

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    Honestly, I could never use an iphone after having an android based phone. That said, I have never owned either the 5 or s4, so I can't comment on the phones individually, but Android has won me a thousand times over iphone or windows mobile. It also has the best app experience, and the features on new androids blow iphones away. Just my 2c, but hopefully something is useful for anyone looking back through this.
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  10. Small's

    Small's Been here awhile

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    How do I open/ transfer a gdb file on android. A friend sent me a ride file in gdb instead of gpx and my phone says it doesnt have an application to open it. "Unable to find application to perform this action" I tried going to gps visualizer and opening it with no luck. I saved it on the phone. I tried a gpx file on gpsvisualizer and it worked fine. Am I missing something?
    #10
  11. worwig

    worwig Long timer

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    Try using "ITN Converter" to convert the gdb to something more generic like a gpx.
    I use OSMand+ on my android to view gpx files.
    #11
  12. kave

    kave Gravel rules

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    I have tried using a Garmin Monterra and a Samsung S4 for some time.
    I found the Android system has these main disadvantages to iOS:
    1. It's very unresponsive. Even the S4 is not "snappy" at all. It's like my old iPhone 3G.
    2. I can't start the camera from the lock screen? It takes many clicks to take a picture quickly.
    3. There is no way of making a complete backup?!?! How can this be possible 2013? Even my old Ericsson phones before 2000 allowed me to make a backup.
    #12
  13. worwig

    worwig Long timer

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    ???
    1. Don't know what you mean. I just turned mine on and opened the camera from the lock screen in like a second.
    2. I start the camera from the lock screen on my S4 all the time. See #1.
    3. I have backups of everything on my S4 in multiple places using at least 2, sort of 4, methods.
    #13