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Cheap-o Knockoff Android "Waterproof" GPS's

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by RomansFiveEight, Jun 29, 2017.

  1. RomansFiveEight

    RomansFiveEight Adventurer

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    Hey folks!

    I ride a big fat heavy cruiser with a fairing and a stereo and ABS that doesn't turn off. But those guys on those forums wrap their wiring in crushed beer cans and duct tape. I'm afraid to ask them questions unless it's one of those threads where someone brags about going several thousand miles in one year. Or about motorcycle storage. They know a LOT about motorcycle storage.

    So I've come over here, this is the land of "Why do you only have 5 GPS's? What if they all fail? You have room for at least two more! You can still see the dash!" to beseech your wisdom. So I hope you can accept me even as someone who rides a motorcycle that doesn't do well on roads that have been driven by cars that had once been driven on gravel roads.

    I love to travel and camp. So far, I've made it as far north as Montreal, as far south as Progreso, MX, and various places in between (even exotic lands like Paris, Texas). My "I'm too cheap for a motorcycle GPS" method has been the old fashioned way. Look at a map, figure out where I'm going, ride until lost, re-check map. Or, check no map, ride until lost, pitch tent.

    I also have one of those fancy bluetooth headsets so I can listen to my phone bark orders at me through my helmet.

    Every time I get ready for a long trip (this time I'm riding the entirety of the Blue Ridge Parkway, then up Skyline Drive near D.C. and then back home to Missouri), I do this SAME ritual. I search for motorcycle GPS's. Because I remember that time I couldn't find the restaurant I wanted, or couldn't find the entrance to the campground, and spent as much time on the shoulder re-checking my phone as I did on the road. And then I realize that they are STILL $700 for a 486 powered machine with a 12 pixel by 12 pixel 4 color display and pre-loaded with the maps from Meriwether Lewis himself.

    So I have decided, firmly, that it just isn't worth the expense for one of those fancy motorcycle GPS's, that would only be used in earnest a couple of times a year.

    What I am wondering about now, is one of those cheap, e-bay $150 GPS units that require you to download open source maps of questionable-reliability to them. They claim to be waterproof. Does anyone have any experience with these? To make this clear; I am NOT asking if this will be a replacement for one of the solid gold Garmin's hand-delivered by Taylor Swift's butler. What I'm asking is, are these things at least worth the $150 you pay for them? Do they work reasonably well most of the time, and add the convenience of having a screen I could see that would survive some rain; and if they work, I'll just go back to what I was doing before? The bar is low people; I just don't want to be disappointed even with my low expectations. I'm a reasonably tech savvy person, I've broken all kinds of stuff, so I think I can handle the technical aspects.

    Oh, and before anyone asks about mounting my phone; I've tried that. I can't see it, it overheats and shuts off; it's just a nightmare. My current, preferred method is to have my phone safely nestled in the glovebox of my coast-guard approved two wheeled land yacht and just listen to whatever the nice lady tells me to do; with offline mapping applications that permit the import of .GPX files from someplace I pay money to every month for my one trip a year or whatever.

    Thanks in advance! And thanks for permitting me to exist amongst you; oh great people of "I bet I can make my bike look uglier than yours!"

    -John
    #1
  2. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    best post ever. I just wanna read more of this stuff you're hammering out!

    all displays are not created equal. I use IPS displays, they're good in the sun. yes, you can slap a $160 Garmin on the dash and get places. I prefer a big 5" screen and CURRENT INFORMATION from Google searches instead of last year's points of interest.... I'm using a $45 phone from Walmart this week. it's bright. it's fast. it's waterproof. it's $45, so if it gets smashed one day I'll just pop the Sim card and memory card info the next one and not cry about it at all. beats those gold plated Taylor Swift crab infested doo hickeys any day.

    (I tried man, but you're a master at this)
    #2
    RomansFiveEight likes this.
  3. RomansFiveEight

    RomansFiveEight Adventurer

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    Thanks man!

    Do you have a link to that phone? Dumb question; but any reason it wouldn't work without a SIM card? I'm assuming it's an android phone; if so, then that would work just fine with any of the offline navigation apps out there. Probably has a microSD card slot too so no issue storing the maps. I prefer offline navigation apps anyway so I don't have to worry about losing a signal.

    Is it, by any chance, one of the "Samsung Galaxy Express" phones?
    #3
  4. ShineySideUp

    ShineySideUp Long timer

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    #4
  5. RomansFiveEight

    RomansFiveEight Adventurer

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    Thanks!

    So help me out here.

    In my long and sarcastic OP I said that I was already using a smartphone; but wanted to use a dedicated GPS. But, it was only worth it to use a dedicated GPS if it was affordable.

    The link you gave appears to be a thread about whether or not I should use a dedicated GPS, or a smartphone. Which, was the previous step of this diabolical master plan and not the one I'm currently on. Unless I'm mistaken? I've only skimmed the first couple of 128 pages thus far; is there a specific post that talks about knockoff dedicated GPS units?

    In the meantime, I'll keep browsing that massive thread. Thanks for the suggestion!
    #5
  6. DaMonk45

    DaMonk45 I B Da Monk

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    Pictures of Taylor Swifts butler?

    Check flea bay. find last years model phone used for $100 or so.
    Get it Load some stuff on it. Locus, OSMAND, Here, Waze
    Load your favorite tunes.

    No service needed use wifi.

    let us know when it dies.
    #6
  7. RomansFiveEight

    RomansFiveEight Adventurer

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    Yeah, so, like I said in the OP I really kind of didn't want to use a phone. I can't see the screen in bright sunlight, among other things. I have a drawer full of old iPhones and Android phones I could use and have tried to use. Same problem.

    Supposedly, these Android powered cheap eBay GPS's have much brighter screens, which is the sort of thing I ultimately came here to look for; if anyone used them and found them to, you know, not suck.
    #7
  8. DaMonk45

    DaMonk45 I B Da Monk

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    ok. Good Luck
    #8
  9. advNZer?

    advNZer? Long timer

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    get a garmin nuvi (for a car) off ebay or whatever.You can download open street maps onto it if you dont want to update the maps.You may even find a new(older) unit with free lifetime updates for $150
    #9
  10. RomansFiveEight

    RomansFiveEight Adventurer

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    But those aren't waterproof, right?
    #10
  11. robxxx

    robxxx Been here awhile

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    Can you post a link to one of these super bright, daylight readable GPS's please?
    #11
  12. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    #12
  13. advNZer?

    advNZer? Long timer

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    correct ,though with a big fairing you should find a spot thts fairly dry
    #13
  14. greer

    greer Long timer Supporter

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    Tuned in. We just drowned a Nuvi 44LM so there went a hundred bucks. I don't know that we've got the smarts to use a smart phone, we're still using old pocket-sized flip phones.

    Sarah
    #14
  15. advNZer?

    advNZer? Long timer

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  16. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    you will hate smartphones, keep your flip. go with another like what you're used to or step up to a waterproof smartphone but don't use it for phone stuff.... yes really
    #16
  17. ctfz1

    ctfz1 been there

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    There is a thread on using used Kyocera "tuff" phones that are waterproof. $50/100 used models.
    If the $38 ATT Walmart phone is bright enough there are waterproof cases. Expensive though.

    My $30 smart phone runs the apts (except compass) but screen is useless in bright sunlight.
    Learning to use Marshmellow was only occasionally frustrating.
    #17
  18. pepetops

    pepetops Adventurer

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    I see it cheap or expensive depends on many factors. I started buying a Chinese Android GPS that cost me 140 € and I use it now with paperweights because it is worse than the bad ones. Then I picked up a blackview bv7000 which is protected from dust and water and is a beast with 4 gb of ram and 64 of space. It goes like silk. It cost me 200 €, something less than half of a 400 rider and it goes very well ... This is my experience, sometimes, the cheap goes expensive

    Enviado desde mi ASUS_Z012D mediante Tapatalk
    #18
  19. Grinnin

    Grinnin Forever N00b Supporter

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    A friend has a WorldNav GPS. He used it to ride back and forth across the country and it now lives on his touring motorcycle. It took a little downloading to get it working, but it's still reliable and functioning 6 or 7 years later. It's definitely been rained on.
    #19
  20. greer

    greer Long timer Supporter

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    Yes, that's just what we were considering, a smart phone for GPS only. We're clueless, though. We've gotten along well with our Nuvi 550's, but at the last update we were disappointed to learn they can no longer hold a full set of maps. That was a year ago though, and so our feeble minds completely forgot about it. Then we headed off to Nova Scotia last month only to realize we had maps for Quebec, but not the Atlantic Provinces. The back-up 44LM had it all, but we found it is not the least rain friendly. So here we are.

    Sarah
    #20