Phone or GPS Unit?

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by kderacing, Mar 2, 2019.

  1. flamingm0e

    flamingm0e Long timer

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    You can still use Basecamp, or you can even use Google maps on your desktop and maps to gpx to export. https://mapstogpx.com/
    #21
  2. Eatmore Mudd

    Eatmore Mudd Mischief on wheels.

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    Add MIL-STD 805G, IP-68 water proof submersible for swimming, gyro stabilized 1080p 13mp action camera and exponentially more capabilities to the above at half the cost of a Zumo and you'd be describing the Duraforce Pro.
    #22
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  3. scootertrog

    scootertrog Jedi Fart Master

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    I was very anti-smartphone for navigation up until about 4 years ago. Yes - I was as hardcore about my Garmin as the average guy on this forum. Somewhere along the line, (I like to blame it on forum member ohgood, lol) I gave my phone a real, legitimate chance and played around with a few apps. To be honest - looking back, it really was just an unjustified bias and when I decided to try to make the switch, I started seeing the light. My ultimate goal was consolidation and simplification. My excuses (and I see these over and over with others):

    1. Smartphone needed cell service or data plan to navigate.......... not true unless you insist on using Google Maps or Waze, or some other data-required app.
    2. Smartphone would not be as accurate as my Garmin ........absolutely not true. I'll put my smartphone up against any Garmin, any day.
    3. Smartphone was not waterproof .......... a LifeProof case fixed that. And now, I use a "ruggedized" Kyocera Duraforce Pro, no case needed.
    4. Smartphone would be a pain to charge ....... my iPhone was good for about 6 hours of continuous GPS "on screen" running. The Kyocera is looking to be even better. Realistically - how many trips have you been on where it is raining more than 6 hours continuously? And if so ..... do you REALLY need the "on screen" display running ALL that time? You can easily adapt your charging periods around the rain events. These modern phones charge up very quickly!
    5. Smartphone is expensive ....... nope, you can get a mint-condition unit off the Swappa website for under $100.
    6. Smartphone is hard to use ....... yes, there might be more of a learning curve than with a Garmin Nuvi, but it really is not hard to use. This forum got me pointed in the right direction and folks here have been extremely helpful when needed. Best advice is to start small - start with an app like CoPilot before jumping into Locus. You'll soon get the feel of how these apps operate and it'll be easy.
    7. Smartphone isn't glove friendly ........ So far, the Kyocera seems to be just fine with gloves on. I don't use it with heavy winter gloves because I don't need it when it's that cold out. Even if I did, I'd just pull over and take off a glove, it only delays you a minute or two. Big deal.
    8. Smartphone screen is too small ........ Umm - there are several "ruggedized" smartphones with screens as large as, if not larger than any Garmin unit.
    9. Smartphone screen cant be seen in the sun ..... just tilt or rotate a little. Maybe your mounting system sucks.
    10. Smartphone is too hard to mount ..... There are several great options. I have had tremendous success with a SlipGrip cradle and RAM ball. And zero clusterfvck of a wiring harness to deal with, aka Garmin Zumo.
    11. Smartphone will overheat ...... If in a case out of direct airflow, maybe. If contained within a tankbag's clear plastic window, yes. I've been in plus-100° degree weather plenty of times and my LifeProof-encased iPhone 5s never overheated.

    The real eye-opener happend about 2 years ago on a trip with some friends. The leader had emailed me the GPX routes in advance. I downloaded those onto my smartphone. Others in the group had Garmins and TomToms. We happened into a good-sized town and their GPS units kept re-routing them in a concentric square, lol. All the while, I would keep trying to tell them that they were wrong and trust my phone (using the Galileo Pro app). Yet ........ they still refuse to convert to smartphone navigation even though they are far more tech-savvy than I am. I ask them why and they really can't give me an answer even though they get to see in person that the phone works extremely well.
    #23
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  4. Tripped1

    Tripped1 Smoove, Smoove like velvet.

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    Yeah basecamp, a number of us use furkot (there is a thread on them here) a lot of the time I just make routes on the fly if I am off ambling beyond the my normal daytripping range.

    Yeah a couple of my friends don't even attempt to out navigate me anymore, if we hit a road closure or something that needs to be routed around I get lead automagically.

    Because they know they are going to be stuck in a re-route loop and I just make a quickie side route and take off.
    #24
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  5. Herman Jelmet

    Herman Jelmet Adventurer

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    *BUMP* This thread has persuaded me to buy a big phone and give it a proper try. So thanks to all the contributors. I'm going to get an Asus Zenfone 6 and mount it up high, near the top of the screen. And some Bose QC20s. Mapping, calls and music on demand.
    #25
  6. Albie

    Albie Kool Aid poisoner

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    Curious to see how that phone works out for you. Looks interesting. The screen real estate looks good, but not OLED, and that battery is huge! Is it able to use Qi charging?
    #26
  7. Herman Jelmet

    Herman Jelmet Adventurer

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    I hadn't considered OLED. I chose the phone with bicycle touring in mind. The features which attracted me were the battery life and the storage and CPU. Also I got fed up with reading specs and reviews and just wanted to pick something, and this seems like a safe bet because it has big numbers in all departments and a programmable button which might save the day for some application I haven't yet thought of. It doesn't do wireless charging but I'd rather have fast charging, which it does.

    But now I'm worried I need OLED, so I'll have to revisit the whole conundrum.
    #27
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  8. worwig

    worwig Long timer

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    Interesting phone. Too bad there is no wireless charging.

    Don't worry about no OLED. Modern OLED is bright, but typically is not preferred for sunlight use.
    #28
  9. Albie

    Albie Kool Aid poisoner

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    Agreed on OLED not preferred for bright sunlight situations, so if he's using the phone JUST as a GPS, then not important. The DF Pro isn't OLED and it's fine for me as a standalone GPS. That being said, my iPhone IS OLED and I would not want an every day carry phone without it.
    #29
  10. Herman Jelmet

    Herman Jelmet Adventurer

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    I'm assuming the phone would need a glare shield anyway.

    How do you keep the screen on full brightness indefinitely? Do you have to rely on the phone settings, or does a powered mount do this job somehow?

    And why do people like wireless charging? It looks to me as if a wired charger would typically be lighter, smaller and faster at charging. Am I wrong about that?
    #30
  11. Bruincounselor

    Bruincounselor North Plains Drifter Supporter

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    You can usually change the screen settings.

    The new Juiced Squeeze mount is a 10 amp charger integrated into the perfect squeeze mount. Probably among the best solutions if you are willing spend the $. No plugs to fail.
    #31
  12. Herman Jelmet

    Herman Jelmet Adventurer

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    Sadly that doesn't seem to be sold where I am. (The UK).
    #32
  13. Albie

    Albie Kool Aid poisoner

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    I do keep mine on full brightness. I don't use a glare shield on it. Most phones batteries won't last the day without charging. Wireless makes it easy to keep the phone waterproof/dustproof (if your phone is so rated). Another down side to using the wired charging is the port/charger end can start to act wonky after a while due to the vibes.
    #33
  14. worwig

    worwig Long timer

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    Never used a glare shield. Tried to make one once. Threw it away.
    I always use auto brightness and have good luck. Full brightness 100% of the time would generate a lot of heat, and of course kill the battery without external power.
    Wireless charging can be made waterproof more easily. And it is convenient. But it is less efficient, so runs hotter.
    #34
  15. Tripped1

    Tripped1 Smoove, Smoove like velvet.

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    Just so happens YAY
    https://www.rammount.com/shop-all/phone-mounts/wireless-charging

    You don't I usually have whatever device set to dynamic and something like 25% full intensity. Glare is easy to deal with, keep the phone as close to vertical as possible, if you don't let the screen reflect the sun right back at you it doesn't have glare issues.

    People like wireless because Mini-USB is the Achilles heal of a lot of set ups and anything with a USB cable is going to be sensitive to weather to varying degrees, wireless bypasses both of these issues.
    #35
  16. Math202

    Math202 n00b

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    I prefer to use a GPS and have the phone as back-up and wait... map and compass as back-up to the back-up. Of course you need to know how to read a map and use a compass.
    #36
  17. flamingm0e

    flamingm0e Long timer

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    Yep. I use a GPS with a phone as a backup...only difference is that my GPS is a phone also, but it's not used as a phone.
    #37
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  18. Albie

    Albie Kool Aid poisoner

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    +1, and I don't bother with paper maps and a compass.
    #38
  19. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    you're going to confuse them ! phones can't do GPS stuff without aliens ! ;-)
    #39
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  20. Outjustout

    Outjustout My Compass is Pointless Supporter

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    Can we expand on this a bit. How many of you do other challenging non-moto activities like backpacking, kayaking, climbing and etc? Particularly where you'd like to have or carry an inreach or spot.

    I ask because I'm a phone gps and paper map explorer. I'd like to add an inreach to my kit and can get a good deal on a Garmin 66i. My thought is if I'm going to get an inreach device I might as well get one that is truly multi-functional as opposed to a mini which is pretty reliant on phone, be it my primary cell or a secondary gps phone. I mainly just use gps for spot checking my location in the backcountry.

    I figure with the 66i I can limit myself to 2 fully independent devices (my primary cell and the 66i) with the most rugged (66i) also being my emergency communicator. Also, the 66i in a charge cradle on the moto seems super convenient and the same having it on the backpack harness.

    What advantage would there be to an inreach mini and cell phone other than weight and possible battery life?
    #40