Dedicated gps vs phone

Discussion in 'Mapping & Navigation' started by sajor, Aug 11, 2018.

  1. sajor

    sajor Been here awhile

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    #1
  2. dhally

    dhally Hammerhead

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  3. wonderings

    wonderings Long timer

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    Not sure about that model, but I do prefer a dedicated GPS (specifically Garmin) over a phone GPS. Both work and both have actual GPS so most phones will not need a cell signal in order for the GPS to work. Personally I love BaseCamp and do all my plotting there. Not sure why some people have issues with it, seems dead simple to me... then again I can't stand Furkot and cannot make heads or tales out of that. I like a dedicated waterproof GPS powered by the bike with a screen that handles sunlight well and is glove touch. Some people swear by the phone GPS, there certainly are a lot of different options for mapping software and other cool things, still prefer having offline maps on BaseCamp, no internet required.
    #3
  4. Menhir

    Menhir Adventurer

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    Although I've become somewhat disenchanted with Garmin lately, randomly directing me off the highways for little unnecessary side trips through some suburb, having me take an exit ramp only to take me right back into the highway, and it's slow, clunky, and often unrewarding POI searches, I still prefer a dedicated GPS.

    They're tougher.
    I don't have to remove my gloves to operate it.
    I don't have to stick it in a baggie when it rains.

    I can program a route if I want (although I wish I could get back all those hours I wasted learning Basecamp, which I find to be the most irritatingly arcane, annoying program I have ever come across...and I used to use Basic Assembly Language.) Luckily, there are other more user-friendly alternatives out there.

    But my phone, using CoPilot GPS app (No cellular service needed...the maps are installed on the phone) is getting to be a close option except for the reasons I mentioned above.

    But I still would recommend a dedicated motorcycle GPS.
    You can get reconditioned ones that work just fine at a reduced price.
    (Be forewarned that the Zumo 660, which I have, has an unforgivably dim display...get another model)
    #4
  5. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    Product Description
    • 2.6" sunlight-readable color screen (phones are 5" , higher resolution)

    • High-sensitivity GLOSNASS receiver and quad helix antenna (phones are +/- 3-5 meters everywhere)

    • Three-axis compass for accurate headings (phones have compass, yup)

    • Barometric altimeter tracks changes in pressure (phones have barometers also)

    • One-year subscription to BirdsEye satellite imagery (phones can download from a long list of "satellite" image servers, for free, and store a LOT more than 8gb worth of maps)

    • Expanded 8GB internal memory (sdcard of around 32/64gb is nice to have though)
    Sleek and rugged, the Garmin GPSMAP 64st is the next level of high-performance handhelds.
    (if the next level was around 2005, yes, but phones have evolved much faster)

    Packing a wealth of Garmin's best features, this model boasts a high-sensitivity GLOSNASS receiver and quad helix antenna for increased reception.
    (phones commonly see +/-3 or 5 meters accuracy, don't take ten minutes to acquire location fixes, and can benefit from A-GPS for faster starts after moving long distances)

    2.6" 65K Color TFT 160x240-pixel sunlight-readable color screen displays
    (that's tiny, but it's listed as a feature, ok)

    Three-axis compass for accurate headings
    (neato, yes phones have compass)

    and a barometric altimeter track changes in pressure to pinpoint your precise altitude and monitor weather conditions.
    (yup, phones do this too, but also can actually download weather radar images, alerts, warnings, in real time)

    The 64st boasts an expanded 8GB internal memory,
    (32gb/64gb is the norm though)

    250,000 pre-loaded geocaches,
    (which are way out of date, and can't be logged until plugged into a computer)

    5,000 waypoints
    (only 5000 ? just the ethanol free gas kmz is 13,500, how do you keep anything with such low limits?)

    and a one-year subscription to BirdsEye™ satellite imagery with support for Topo U.S. maps.
    (phones and tablets benefit from being able to download images from any where there is cellular or WiFi connectivity, and store them forever, from multiple sources, which is free -no cords needed-)

    High-speed USB interface allows quick transfers and charging of a NiMH battery pack (not included).
    (USB? yes, that's ok, but it's pretty slow compared to ad-hoc WiFi at 10-50mb/s, and not having to find a cord... or Bluetooth at about the same speed as old USB cords, super convenient)


    The dual battery system can run up to 20 hours on two AA batteries (not included).
    (yes, we can change batteries too, or use external charging points, if we need to ride more than 8 hours)

    Wirelessly share routes, tracks, waypoints and geocaches between compatible units.
    (what they mean to say there is ONLY BETWEEN SAME GENRE GARMIN UNITS, NOTHING ELSE CAN SHARE WIRELESSLY TO THIS UNIT but it's kind of insinuating that you can just dump maps and tracks to it via WiFi... which you can't... but yes of course phones can share everything including maps, to other WiFi devices like phones/tablets/computers/cars/servers/TV's/sans/routers/speakers/hubs/machinery/etc)

    Load optional mapping using the micro-SD-card slot.
    (of course phones can, but it's annoying to pull sdcards just to move files, that's why we have WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC, Android Beam, and stuff like that!)

    Waterproof design.
    (yup, about 50% of phones are waterproof, quarter that again and you'll find some that are rugged and don't need cases either, which is really sweet)

    6.3"H x 2.4"W x 1.4"D.
    Wt: 9.2 oz.


    I routinely plot routes and edit tracks while in the woods with no cellular service. of course I could do the same with s stand alone, but only if I brought a laptop, USB cables, and power supplies for both. this is the main reason I don't see the legitimacy of stand alones, because of the support hardware and software needed to do things.

    when it comes to spaghetti bowls of tracks, I really want to have a screen big enough, with a high enough resolution to actually make out which track I'm traveling:
    Screenshot_2018-08-14-19-23-40.png Screenshot_2018-08-14-19-23-52.png


    but when comes to MASSIVE amounts of track/waypoint data points, I really don't know how else to do it than a smartphone. this is 15,000 points, about 16,000 miles of tracks, and heavy descriptions for each point:
    Screenshot_2018-08-14-19-21-29.png


    then comes the database.... good lord, with that many points and tracks it would be easy to imagine it being impossible to find anything.... but no, it's simple:
    Screenshot_2018-08-14-19-29-04.png

    just name your track something memorable, drop it in an appropriate directory in the database, and keep building from there. if nothing is close to a descriptor, create a new entry. it's soooo ready to keep up when things are this fast to recognize.

    yes, it all works offline
    yes it's waterproof
    yes it has REAL WiFi/Bluetooth/nfc, forf ALL file types not a watered down proprietary format that only works with similarly priced units from the same product line.

    the stand alone has it's place, but it's so outdated, outclassed, and outdone, it should be around $50 , like the phones it can't compete with.
    #5
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  6. CapeMan

    CapeMan Dirt Duffer

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    Ya know, ya can buy 'em books and more books and even more books ... but then they just chew on the covers!
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  7. worwig

    worwig Long timer

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    If I had put my Garmin in a baggie, I might still be OK with them. But when my Garmin power connector failed in the rain. Then on another trip my Garmin stopped working in the rain, because it had FILLED with water, I switched to using a phone. Slipping a thin phone in a baggie is a much more reasonable option. And my phones for the last two years have been waterproof anyway. I accidentally dropped my Samsung S7 on a rock, and it then slide into the water, while I was taking a photo. Zero damage. The Garmin would NEVER have tolerated that.
    The gloves thing is an issue, but there are numerous ways to fix that.
    #7
  8. lkraus

    lkraus Been here awhile

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    Was this an automotive Garmin? Garmin models intended to be used in exposed conditions are pretty much waterproof.
    #8
  9. worwig

    worwig Long timer

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    Weatherproof 276C.

    The power connector puddled full of water and the connector fried. The front screen was not sealed well and the unit filled with water during a different rainy ride. Probably have over 100,000 miles using a phone and the only damage is the cable when left out in the rain. I now slip the connector in a waterproof cover when not used and no more issues.
    #9
  10. pckopp

    pckopp Aged Adventurer

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    So what is your phone of choice these days?
    Do you keep it in a case, or naked?
    USB power, or something else?

    Thanks!
    #10
  11. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    Kyocera XD
    no case, no external power
    I usually only ride 2-6 hours at a time, normally off-road, and recharge at lunch or supper if it needs it.

    the "ultra rugged smartphone" thread had great info.
    #11
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  12. Menhir

    Menhir Adventurer

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    I've never had a waterproof outdoor Garmin leak, and they've been exposed to some really nasty weather and numerous rain storms,
    But I have had the power supply become undependable on my Nuvi550. The receptacle on the back of the device seems to be a weak point. Unable to get it repaired, I sidelined it instead and bought my Zumo.
    I still prefer the Nuvi550, but I can't get it fixed and they don't make them anymore. Too bad.

    I know there are several options out there to modify gloves so they can use a phone touch screen, but reading the reviews, they don't seem very reliable.
    #12
  13. JR356

    JR356 Long timer

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    Did you try PalmDr for repair.
    http://www.palmdr.com/cart/repair-services-c-31.html?zenid=53e38c5c4cffd48865a18606116e7283

    They seem to be the go to folks out there for older Garmin repair.

    JR356
    #13
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  14. kiwi_outdoors

    kiwi_outdoors Been here awhile

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    with support for Topo U.S. maps.
    as in - you got to buy maps for $$$ ??

    I lost my Garmin eTrex and don't miss it at all, iPhone and iPad are better tools for day trips of any kind and motor driven trips.
    #14
  15. Menhir

    Menhir Adventurer

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    #15