Why do you still use a stand alone GPS?

Discussion in 'Mapping & Navigation' started by Kyle E, Mar 19, 2019.

  1. Kyle E

    Kyle E Adventurer

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    I get it for the serious back country off the pavement crew.

    With the zillions of map apps for phone/offline google maps etc is there still a reason? I travel mostly in areas without cell signal (central NV) and use the phone offline mode without problem. Yet seems like every post I see of someones rig, it has a unit on it.

    For those who mostly pavement and hit a fire road to the camp site, why do you still use a dedicated unit?
    I assume some have them from pre phone days, but would you buy one again today?
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  2. radmann10

    radmann10 Derf Supporter

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    A Garmin employee explained it to me this way; You will have cell coverage for 95% of the population, but less than 50% of the geography in the U.S. will have cell service. Thus if you spend your time with the masses, cell phone apps are great. Get off the beaten path and you will need GPS coverage!
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  3. scootertrog

    scootertrog Jedi Fart Master

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    Oh gosh damn, not this again....... It is utterly amazing, after 15 trillion pages of smart phone navigation without cell service you would think this is a dead subject.
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  4. Wichser

    Wichser Been here awhile

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    Duplication of something as important as mapping seems like a good idea.
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  5. 9Realms

    9Realms Drawn in by the complex plot

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    I use a simple, small Garmin GPS 80% of the time, and use the smart phone for more detailed things and use LOCUS.
    I don't like the distraction of the phone on the handlebars-- especially if I have to drive some freeway to get between points of interest. I don't want anyone or law enforcement seeing me fiddling with my phone while riding so I pretty well use it for just chasing slow gravel road routes I am after, and pull the phone off the bracket and stow it away and run the Garmin the rest of the time. Local laws involving the use of phones are getting more serious, as they should be to protect us as riders.

    I don't want to be that guy that is riding a motorcycle and ticketed for fiddling with a phone.

    Not me. Ride safe.

    locus map pro.jpg
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  6. RJ44

    RJ44 Been here awhile

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    Personal Preference? I picked up a Zumo 395 last year and love it. Does it do anything that my phone can't? Probably not, but I still make sure to have it with me.

    Rob
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  7. Hill Climber

    Hill Climber Been here awhile

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    My old but trusty Garmin 60CSx is indestructible... and, has a robust electrical connector on the back. Vibration doesn't seem to bother it too.
    To clarify, I only use it on my dirt bike.
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  8. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    Why do you care? I get the impression your mind is made up and nothing any dedicated gps user says is going to change it.

    But to answer your question I use a Montana because it works well for what I want. I don't own and probably never will own a working smart cell phone.
    I bought a Kyocera (no SIM card) and tried it. I didn't like it, but really didn't try very hard to overcome every problem I had with it.
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  9. HarveyM

    HarveyM Been here awhile

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    Both my Zumos predate my smart phone usage. They're rugged, already wired in & rainproof while powered. Their interface is familiar, I can plan my routes on a full sized monitor, which means I can see the entire route (& alternates) in decent detail; and save them at home with the rest of the trip planning. I can use either Garmin (lifetime updates) or Open Street Maps depending on my needs.
    My cell phone is rugged (Kyocera), I had it mounted (unpowered) but now mainly leave it in my pocket. I primarily use it for the TPMS on the bike.

    I wouldn't buy a new GPS today, but a used one? Probably.
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  10. NorskieRider

    NorskieRider Long timer

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    Because they "just work". I can always see them in full daylight, they charge properly, are waterproof and work with all my gloves.

    Phone navigation is sort of like a VFR800: It can do everything pretty good, but doesn't really excel at anything, except being a jack of all trades.

    But I phone navigation because I wanted to consolidate. I miss some things about the 550, but I found myself using both the phone and the 550, and found the tradeoff of not having a dedicated GPS unit worth it.
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  11. Kyle E

    Kyle E Adventurer

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    True that. I actually make sure to copy any unfamiliar areas I am going to, along with hand written turn by turn in my pocket. Old habit from Jeeping.

    Literally saw a guy watching youtube while riding on the freeway yesterday...

    Quite the opposite. I'm wondering why people still use them. What I might be missing. In fact Norskie points out the view angle that has me thinking about how much I hate the glare on the phone.

    Good points.
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  12. brgsprint

    brgsprint Long timer Supporter

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    I have a GPS designed for a motorcycle.

    It's waterproof.
    It's wired to my motorcycle battery.
    I can see it in sunlight.
    I can use it with any gloves on.
    It doesn't require cell service.

    I don't have a smart phone.
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  13. HarveyM

    HarveyM Been here awhile

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    Smart phones don't require cell service for the GPS function.
    Lots of inmates here buy locked Kyoceras cheap to use as GPS without sim cards.
    The rest of your reasons I like :)
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  14. Abrahamster

    Abrahamster Been here awhile

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    I use basecamp to plan routes that I import to my Nav V. I find this so much easier and flexible than any phone app. I also use Rever sometimes, but planning rides on basecamp is much easier. Plus, the Nav V integrates with my GS so I get all sorts of other metrics. It is an invaluable tool. And the screen is bigger, I can use it with gloves on, etc.
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  15. brgsprint

    brgsprint Long timer Supporter

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    My mistake. As I don't have one I didn't know that. My wife prefers her phone because of the live traffic function. I thought it needed cell service for that.
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  16. worwig

    worwig Long timer

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    If you want live traffic, on a phone or a GPS, you will need a live data feed. If you just want a map and location, you don't need a live data connection on the phone or GPS.

    BTW, years back my waterproof Garmin filled with water in the rain. Never had that happen to my phones. And the power connector fried in the rain on another waterproof Garmin.
    Smartphones are built to be tossed around and sat on all day long for a few years. Do that with a Garmin and the screen would be broken pretty quickly.
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  17. scootertrog

    scootertrog Jedi Fart Master

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    It depends on the app, for instance WAZE does require you to have a data plan or attached to WI-Fi, if you want the interactive traffic feature. For just map features and navigation, no cell or WI-FI is needed.
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  18. NorskieRider

    NorskieRider Long timer

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    Funny you mention this because when I sold the 550 I was happy to not need basecamp any more. Rever is interesting but had a number of useability issues. Furkot and Kurviger work very well; I especially like the Kurviger Pro navigation app.
    #18
  19. Marcham

    Marcham Been here awhile

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    Sunlight readable,
    Waterproof,
    Doesn't overheat in the sun,
    Works without the internet,
    Dual Bluetooth radios (connects to headset and phone)
    Secure mounting,
    Long duration on battery,
    Glove compatible touchscreen,
    Etc...
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  20. Abrahamster

    Abrahamster Been here awhile

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    I hear you. It took me some time to get used to Basecamp. I have been using it for years and years now, so it is second nature to me. Probably just too lazy to learn something new!
    #20