Which is a Better GPS: the Garmin Montana or a Smartphone?

Discussion in 'Mapping & Navigation' started by Emmbeedee, Sep 21, 2017.

  1. BigFatAl

    BigFatAl Been here awhile

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  2. wheatfield

    wheatfield Adventurer

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    Which one or two apps do you recommend for someone who rides mostly off-road on a big bike. Would like to download tracks.
    #22
  3. HBSURFDAD

    HBSURFDAD Oops, Sorry

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    On my iPhone I really like Pocket earth pro, that with Waze is what I use on my bike adv bike. If big bike only I would only use my phone.

    On my desert bike I prefer my Montana, but then again if anybody has read the whole thread they would know that. Different tools for different jobs. I relied on just my phone on my XR for 5 months and the Montana was worth it to add FOR ME, ymmv.
    #23
  4. Myway

    Myway Long timer

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    Saying in outback, it is always wise to take a backup device with you.

    or

    Two screens, two zoomlevels to watch.
    #24
  5. Maniaxe

    Maniaxe Adventurer

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    The Montana is great for pre-made tracks and I use to use it all the time for wandering out, getting lost, coming home. Recently I have found it gives routes from point A to B that are just wayyyy off from what my phone gives. And I do meant just different I mean going all over the map N then S then E then N as apposed to a general straight line. I've been having to look on my phone and constantly navigate via points on the Montana just to keep it in line. And when I remap like this it shaves sometimes hours off my Montana ETA. Lost my trust in the Montana and looking at a rugged cell phone set up at this point. I'll keep the Montana for tracks I do ahead of time and want to follow but for the on the road change of plans "I think I'll just take this road instead" phone is more reliable.
    #25
  6. DaMonk45

    DaMonk45 I B Da Monk

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    Depending on which app you are using, the maps likely uptodate as well.
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  7. CavReconSGT

    CavReconSGT Just the right amount of evil.

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    Check your settings for "avoidance" in mapping I think it is. You may have things set like don't use highways or other options that make your trips longer or look unwieldy. Generally speaking, the Montana makes very good routes with the options that are chosen.

    KR
    #27
  8. Maniaxe

    Maniaxe Adventurer

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    I typically set avoidance to "Interstate highways" and that is when it gets wonky on the back roads or even state highways. Google/Waze sets up a clear precise route, Montana sets it up going 50 miles north to then go 50 miles south... It's been a recent issue and I am sure I am just missing something of late. I agree though that in the past the Montana was my go to for routing, just recently it's starting going a little rogue to the point I question it's competence.
    #28
  9. Grinnin

    Grinnin Forever N00b

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    I've had similar, rarely with Garmin maps (CN or 24k topo) but more often with OSM. A gap of an inch can mean the road segments don't connect and the GPS has to route around. You don't mention what maps or apps you use.
    #29
  10. 71tr

    71tr Been here awhile

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    Like others I was a Garmin fan for years, but always hated the unruly interface, using basecamp to create and download maps and paying exorbitant prices for what were essentially copies of open street maps. My Garmin Montana successfully navigated across Australia and around Namibia, but I still gave it up. I switched to a ruggedized Kyocera Torque smartphone running Osmand+. One downside of the smartphone is the touchscreen is not glove friendly and the small icons floating around the screen make it tough to utilize while riding. I then discovered an app called "Big Buttons" or similar. Designed for aged population with poor eyesight it converts your screen into a well organized set of buttons that can be programmed as desired. I can quickly access Osmand, GPS, Screen Brightness etc.. with an easy tap on the screen while riding. As mentioned the ability to create routes on your laptop, desktop or a tablet then email them to the smartphone is an easy workflow. Using the smartphone's wifi antenna you can update your maps, send email, photos or update facebook while on the road from any wifi location (assuming the phone has no cell plan). My setup is two identical Kyocera Torque smartphones loaded with all of the above. During rides one unit is on the handlebars pulling duty while the twin is in the tank bag getting fully charged and ready for the next day. This combo has taken me successfully around Mongolia and thru Patagonia without fail.
    #30
  11. BigFatAl

    BigFatAl Been here awhile

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    I do the same thing,my Kyocera is on the bike ( no service plan) and my iPhone 7 with all the same routes/tracks in my tank bag.
    I load all the info that I need while on the road to my Kyocera via free WiFi at McDonald’s/Starbucks and a handful of other places.
    [​IMG]


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    #31
  12. estebandf

    estebandf n00b

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    Mobile apps are just brilliant nowadays, however there are a couple of things to consider:

    1. How good is your mobile GPS when outside of network coverage ? Some models totaly sucks... you have to make sure your doesn't :)
    2. How does the cellphone behave on very hot days / direct sunlight ? I've got my Galaxy S4 shutting down due to extreme heat for being under direct sunlight inside my car... Haven't tested my new OP 5 yet. :)

    If you still want to use a mobile device, but you know your GPS reception sucks, you can opt for pairing it to an external BT device, like the Garmin GLO or similar... Other than the previous points, cellphones are waaaay better than any garmin or tomtom device IMHO...

    Cheers.
    #32
  13. BigFatAl

    BigFatAl Been here awhile

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    My dedicated smartphone with no service plan has worked everywhere I’ve tried to use it,my iPhone 7 with a plan works great also as my backup


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    #33
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  14. BigFatAl

    BigFatAl Been here awhile

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    My ONLY issue with a real stand alone GPS is that you need to transfer from a PC to the unit.
    I’m not good with computers and I only own iPhones and iPads.
    The smartphone route is very easy for me...
    Now if there was a big screen gps that Got files/tracks/routes etc directly from the internet and was under $100 I might try it !!
    Oh ya I already I that !!
    Hehe


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    #34
  15. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    I hear this complaint pretty frequently and I find it puzzling. Just to be clear. Legally, spiritually, ethically and morally, it is perfectly OK to own more than one device. In the picture below, the device on the left is my $400 Motorola Moto-Z smartphone that resides in my pocket. I purchased it from Verizon and I have a complete Voice & Data service plan to go with it. On the right is my $150 ruggedized Kyocera Duraforce XD that resides on my handlebars. I bought it on eBay and it has no voice or data plan. It is a dedicated GPS with six different nav apps and many gigs of downloaded maps on board.

    P1020651.JPG


    There's a whole list of valid reasons not to use YOUR smartphone as your GPS. But not to use A smartphone as your GPS, not so much.
    #35
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  16. Got_Carbs?

    Got_Carbs? Been here awhile

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    Is the Kyocera Duraforce XD screen that much brighter than the Moto Z?
    #36
  17. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    No, they're about the same, and both are plenty bright. I didn't post that photo to compare the displays though, I posted it to make it more obvious that it's OK to have a 2nd phone to use as your GPS. Hell, my Duraforce, and all my nav apps, and all my maps, including topo maps for all of North America, and free maps available for the entire planet, cost me LESS than just TWO regional (West and North Central) 24K Garmin topo maps for my Montana.
    #37
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  18. BigFatAl

    BigFatAl Been here awhile

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    EXACTLY !!
    My $600 iPhone 7s with my full voice/data plan is in my pocket or tank bag.
    My $75 Kyocera Hydro air with NO SERVICE PLAN with all my maps/tracks on it is on my RAM mount on the bike.
    One thing I did also do was put all my maps/tracks that I have on my Kyocera on my iPhone as a back up.


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    #38
  19. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    I have no idea what you're talking about here. There are some kinds of GPS's that needs to be connected to some kind of network in Australia? Can you tell us the names of some of these GPS's that require a network? Because I've never heard of such a thing. If this is the case, then one more reason to use a smartphone and not one of these weird "network" GPS's. Smartphones work everywhere, as do GPS's from Garmin, Delorme, and Magellan as well as other brands. No network needed.
    #39
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  20. BigFatAl

    BigFatAl Been here awhile

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    I’m still amazed at how many people still think you have to have a data plan to use the GPS that comes on every smart phone that I know of !!.


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    #40
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