Which is a Better GPS: the Garmin Montana or a Smartphone?

Discussion in 'Mapping & Navigation' started by Emmbeedee, Sep 21, 2017.

  1. 919nick

    919nick Been here awhile

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    Didn’t realize you needed to active it. I suppose that will limit the options. Not sure Walmart is carrying now, but I think all the Hydro series are about the same. Looks like AT&T has the Duraforce series.


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  2. HardWorkingDog

    HardWorkingDog Harvey Mushman

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    Reading my quoted post, it's not quite "just like the live google maps"--the routes created don't have traffic info, alternate routes, or lane guidance and there are no transit, bicycling, or walking directions. You also can't modify routes like avoiding tolls or ferries.
  3. markbvt

    markbvt Long timer

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    Update: I used the most recent version of Scenic on the drive down to Virginia and back to visit the parents for Christmas, and I take back what I said before. They've done a great job with it. I think it's overall the most mature of the various iOS GPS options -- it works really well for route creation, navigation, information display, and even track-recording. If I were in charge of it I'd make a few interface tweaks, and I'm hoping that they'll add a few features in the future (especially ability to display different types of maps and a weather radar overlay), but it's already a very good option as is. Worked very nicely on my iPad mini (with Garmin GLO Bluetooth GPS module), allowing me to be zoomed out enough to see plenty of the map around me without overshooting turns due to lack of detail.

    --mark
  4. JR356

    JR356 Long timer

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    If doing the TAT or any off road,this would be a wise investment to make sure your phone stays with the bike.
    http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/perfect-squeeze-off-road-phone-mount.1144781/

    JR356
  5. Addapost

    Addapost Adventurer

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    Thanks for that^
  6. Hicountryrider

    Hicountryrider Been here awhile

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    I like the smartphone as a GPS but want to keep my iPhone 7 in my pocket out of the dust, etc. Have a Perfect squeeze already on the bike ready to go. I am not familiar with Kyocera or other phones. If I were to get one for less than $100 bucks (used) to use as a dedicated GPS for the bike (no cell service) what model should I look for and will I need a lifeproof case to protect it? And is there a certain model that I need to be able to use the latest apps for Avenza, Viewranger, OsmAndmaps, etc?

    Thx,
  7. HardWorkingDog

    HardWorkingDog Harvey Mushman

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    That would work I imagine, but I'd just use the iPhone! Get a lifeproof case and you're good to go. Why makes things even more complicated...:ricky
  8. Hicountryrider

    Hicountryrider Been here awhile

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    Because I use my iPhone for a camera and it's too much hassle to take photos when it's mounted on the bike and I'm using in Navigation (screen locked on) mode.
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  9. 919nick

    919nick Been here awhile

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    The Hydro and Duraforce series are popular options. I bought a Hydro series with a bad ESN for $20 shipped. No issues running TomTom, Osmand, or Locus. Had an issue with an Amazon Music and my version of Android, but that's about it. Still having hard time deciding if I'm going to use the dedicated phone or the "good" one for navigation. It's nice to only have one device to keep up with, but I fear breaking the expensive one.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
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  10. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

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    I bought an older model Kyocera (a Duraforce) on Amazon last summer for $72 new. It runs all the popular apps and purportedly doesn't need water protection.

    I bought it as a backup to my Montana and have not used it much, just enough to determine that once I really got used to it, it would get the job done.

    I do not use it as a cell phone, just navigation and internet access sometimes.
  11. Shawnee Bill

    Shawnee Bill Long timer

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    Several threads of many of us that have "dedicated" phones for use as GPS. Many good rugged, waterproof phones can be found for about $100 and less.They generally make good cameras also. Several different secure mounts are available also.

    Personally I use a BMW branded Garmin on my BMW because it is so tied into the bike.
    For other bikes I use a NomuS10 that I bought for about $125 including shipping and a memory chip. It is actually better than the Garmin for "off road" use, following tracks I have downloaded from other riders. There are tradeoffs with both of course but both are very good for what I need them for and more.

    Just scan this forum for threads about cell phones as GPS, more info than you will ever want or need at your fingertips.
  12. Bobcycles

    Bobcycles Been here awhile

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    Short answer emmbeedee's question is BOTH GPS and iPhone for me.
    I bought the Montana for the bike but find it's far better for hiking (take spare batteries). I find I'm using the GPS less and less for navigating on the bike and using the iPhones more and more for precise navigation in larger cities (translation: wife reading turn by turn directions off her iPhone into my headset so I don't make her nervous looking at the Montana).
    I like the power cradle and weather resistance of the Montana plus I can save and upload each day's ride or hike. I'll need to move the power cradle off the handlebars and onto a softer location like the top of the tank bag soon as the Montana has taken a bit of a (vibration induced) beating on rougher dirt roads and it's konked out a few times as a result.
    Not sure what I'll do when the Montana packed it in but I'll have to research some of the suggestions above regarding 'dedicated' devices... provided they are reasonably wether resistant and have sturdy USB connections so I can power them off the bike.