Ultra rugged Kyocera phones,GPS smartphones ..my guide

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by PDX Alamo, Feb 19, 2017.

  1. jcw64

    jcw64 Been here awhile

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    You know Kyocera is pretty rare here in the UK - not to mention a Verizon KDP! You never see them for sale in the UK. Germany is the nearest source for secondhand Kyocera phones, but everything from Germany on eBay and Amazon is way too expensive. After paying tax and shipping from the States my phone still only cost me around $70 USD.
    For the bike I want to keep it simple, although I might look into wireless charging just because it's a feature I haven't used before. There are loads of OEM wireless chargers on eBay, so I might browse for one. Thanks for the tips. Safe riding.
    9Realms likes this.
  2. pixilated

    pixilated Been here awhile

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    I have an iPhone XR that I usually only put in my mount during road commutes, but has found its way in the mount while heading down a dirt road. I have now had 2 cameras replaced in the last year, due to the camera getting weird and not being able to focus. The tech told me during my most recent visit that handlebar mounts and iPhones aren’t a good combo... he also rides.

    Get a dedicated beater and put the iPhone in your pocket for when you need to make/receive calls. They simply aren’t up to the task of taking the vibration.
    DCrider, jcw64 and johnwesley like this.
  3. Don Coyote

    Don Coyote Long timer

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    Or maybe upgrade to the $5000 iPhone to get one with quality parts?
    ohgood likes this.
  4. crustyone

    crustyone Adventurer

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    I'm slowly working my way thru 275 pages of this great thread. I'm sure this has been discussed and maybe one of you nice people can point me to where. I want to buy a DuraForce Pro for GPS. Don't care about the camera. I will keep my iPhone for other tasks. I see the newer Pro 2 uses a touchscreen. I prefer buttons when I'm riding. Should I just buy the older DuraForce Pro? I see them new on Ebay for $108. It would be very boring to buy one used a bit cheaper and only have to replace the worn out battery. I like the idea of the sapphire screen. So I guess I'll buy the Verizon one. Does it matter if it's locked or unlocked? I'll never buy a cellular plan for it. I'll only use it with wifi. I hate my expensive Garmin Zumo. iPhone as GPS works great but I don't want to destroy my only phone with water crossings and too much heat. Thank you for suffering my ignorance.
  5. pixilated

    pixilated Been here awhile

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    I’m currently debating models as well... upgrading from a galaxy s4! Looking at stats and prices can send you down a rabbit hole, but I’m thinking the dura force pro is still up to task. My s4 runs OSmAnd with no problem ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Going to the Pro2 price range starts bringing Cat phones and Galaxy S8 Active into the arena.
  6. Swiftdriver

    Swiftdriver Adventurer

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    The Kyocera DFP gets a good wrap in these pages but its a little too small for me. I'd prefer a screen size closer to 7" but with all of the other good features of a rugged Android phone (IP67, big battery, shock resistant, high temperature capability). I'm only interested in using the device for navigation having another phone.
    The Blackview BV6100 is my favorite but I haven't yet got one. WP7 looks good too. Still sitting on the fence.
  7. ssason

    ssason Been here awhile

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    I recently bought a Doogee S96pro. https://www.doogee.cc/detail/ip68-rugged-smartphone_s96pro/176

    Can't complain much. Position of the fingerprint sensor is a bit anyoing due to many accidential unlocking when grabbing the phone. The rest is fine. Wireless charge, big battery, good camera, incl funny night vision.
    And the price was also good, paid 202€ at ali in November....
    Cyclepath and Swiftdriver like this.
  8. gpsdualsport

    gpsdualsport former mid life crisis motorcycle owner

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    I hear you @crustyone. If you go the old DFPro be sure you get one with the Android operating system upgraded to version 7. There are some very good navigation apps that don't support Android version 6 anymore. I'm talking about Drive Mode Dashboard 2 right now. My guess other Nav apps will follow this trend in the near future.
    The issue with used phones is the battery of course. The other high wear item is the USB port. I have two of the old school DFPro phones. Both of them have USB charging issues. Unless the USB cable is just right the phone won't charge.
    Replacement parts appear to be available if you're willing to gamble on questionable used parts from Amazon. I have not found a source for new replacement USB ports in the US.
  9. crustyone

    crustyone Adventurer

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    I've never owned a non iPhone. If I buy a locked Verizon phone and never sign up to a Verizon plan (use it on wifi only), do you know if I can upgrade the Android Operating system? All of the phones I see on Ebay say "android" but do not specify which number.
  10. flamingm0e

    flamingm0e Long timer Supporter

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    I've updated a Verizon DFP before without having a Verizon service.
    crustyone and gpsdualsport like this.
  11. gpsdualsport

    gpsdualsport former mid life crisis motorcycle owner

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    Verizon supports Android upgrade on their branded DFPro phone up to ver. 7 according to some inmates on this message board. None of my DFPro phones are Verizon so I can't confirm if this is true.
    As for the folks on FleaBay and Amazon selling used devices you will have to contact them to confirm what version the operating system is. If the seller is not willing to provide that information look elsewhere to spend your money.
    My last two device purchases has been on Swappa. The prices have been generally lower than FleaBay and my purchase experience has been good. Your mileage may vary, The check is in the mail, ect.
    crustyone likes this.
  12. motomike14

    motomike14 Thumper Crusader Supporter

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    Kudos to those that have contributed on here. I had been resistant to adding a GPS to my ATwin, but my SO and I have wanted to get out more and start finding more random places to ride. After reading probably 100+ pages, I found a kyocera duraforce pro for sale from a local ebay retailer, paid $40 and had it shipped in a day. Installed a few apps, incredibly easy to use and for the most part, actually like the feel typing and using the phone to search and input things.

    I messed around and uploaded a 90% 300+ mile road track to follow and it worked flawlessly this past weekend. Couldn't be happier for the price and info you all shared on here. This might be the best thread going on ADV to help those with limited GPS knowledge get in the game at a cost and technologically efficient way.
    TL98, scootertrog, Vacillator and 6 others like this.
  13. MarkH67

    MarkH67 Been here awhile

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    I am using a Garmin Zumo on my Africa Twin, I also bought a Kyocera Duraforce Pro from Ebay that I have been trying. I'm currently at the start of a 3.5 week trip and I'm using both the Zumo and the DFP to see how they compare. I'm trying different off-line nav apps, using Mapfactor Navigator, Here WeGo and Maps.me. I have updated the maps on these apps and started my journey on Mapfactor Navigator. Day 2 and 3 I used Here WeGo, but it failed to correctly navigate me to the campground I am at now - I would have wasted 20km of riding if I trusted it over the Garmin. I'll run Maps.me for the next couple of days to see how that compares.

    Overall I do like the Garmin, but it is a lot more expensive and only runs one navigation app. The Garmin can't access live data because the smartphone app that would enable that is so horrible I won't put it back on my phone.

    The Kyocera only cost me $120 US (brand new phone, AT&T) and has already survived a crash (riding an electric unicycle with the phone mounted on my arm). With a phone there are many apps available, both paid and free - so far I'm just trying out free apps. Even though Here WeGo got the location wrong for this campground (wrong Beach road, a suburb over), Maps.me and Mapfactor Navigator both show it correctly and I can always use Google Maps or Waze if I want to switch to live data. I don't have a SIM card in the Kyocera, but I can easily create a WiFi hotspot from the phone in my pocket. I have stuck a Quad Lock universal mount on to back of the Kyocera and attach that to the vibration reduction mount on my bike or to the Quad Lock armband when riding my e-unicycle. I also have my Samsung Note 10+ in a Quad Lock case, which means that I have a backup, just in case. The Kyocera does well on its battery, able to run for several hours without power connected - this could be good in bad weather if I don't want to risk water getting in the charge port. I have multiple QC 3.0 USB charge ports hard wired on the bike, so I can charge the phone while navigating as well as a power bank or 2 in my tank bag.

    Another option is to use Google Maps after caching the required maps, this enables it to run off-line for riding where the cell signal is bad or where you don't want to use up your data and can cache the maps from WiFi. Google Maps also has the correct location of the campground that I'm at.

    My advice at this point would be to go with a rugged phone rather than a dedicated GPS. Phones are cheaper and there are lots of different nav apps you could try.
    crustyone likes this.
  14. gpsdualsport

    gpsdualsport former mid life crisis motorcycle owner

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    @MarkH67 just a quick word of warning. The back cover of the DFPro just snaps on. You run the risk of the phone disconnecting from the back cover with big hits. Your vibration reduction mount, Quad lock and back cover will hold up just fine. The weak link is the snap on back cover.
    One of my riding buddies lost a phone this way. He noticed that the display was dark and stopped to check what was wrong. He was staring at the inside of the back cover. The phone was gone.
    DragonJoe, ohgood, MarkH67 and 3 others like this.
  15. johnwesley

    johnwesley wanta be

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    I have really been enjoying g the Osmand app and the routing is very simular to the garmin. Like you, I am still running both to see how it all works out. I did a 900 mile trip over the weekend and enjoyed the Tab A much more that the zumo, just the ability to see more of the route with details is worth it to me. I often use the GPS as a rolling map and the Tab A does an awesome job at that with the Osmand app. I have now switched the Tab A to my main mount and the zumo to the handle bar mount.
  16. MarkH67

    MarkH67 Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the warning. I'll keep checking the back cover to make sure it is on firmly. If I decide to ditch the Garmin, I'll possibly look into a rugged phone with a larger and brighter screen, then I'll get a suitable cover and attach the Quad Lock to that.

    If I do lose the DFP, that would be a good excuse to buy a new one.
    gpsdualsport likes this.
  17. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    rigid mounts are bad

    flexible mounts are good
  18. DCrider

    DCrider Live from THE Hill

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    GMaps offline is what I use if not needing to follow tracks. It's just plain simple, works great and is familiar, and I am not good at sorting out all these different apps. So far my DFP has performed great over 2+yrs.
  19. MarkH67

    MarkH67 Been here awhile

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    I might give that one a try.

    Maps.me works well with good routing but the UI leaves a lot to be desired. I have used Mapfactor Navigator for 4 years and find it quite good for a free app (and you can pay for TomTom maps instead of free OSM), but it doesn't hurt to try out other options. I have plenty of free WiFi data available at the current campground, so I'll put GMaps on the phone.
  20. pixilated

    pixilated Been here awhile

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    Wondering if anyone has had a brush with the Umidigi Bison(?). It’s a Chinese rugged phone they are selling on eBay for about $160. Specs sound great and reviews seem to be solid. 128g storage, 6” HD screen, 6g ram, GPS, Glonass, Galileo, and a 5000mah battery. I may take the plunge on this as my next handlebar toy.
    MAXVERT likes this.