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Garmin vs Phone

Which one sucks less?


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    59

DSquared

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The poll question certainly is baiting but I would like to start the discussion. I have a Garmin GPSMAP 64s that has been great in everything but extreme temps (90+ or 0-). I am young so the small screen doesn't bother me and I can pretty much navigate the buttons without looking at it.

I put Locus Maps, Avenza, Garmin Explore, Google Maps and Waze on my phone. Locus behaves most like the more powerful Garmin devices and I do like it. When my Garmin is ready for the great e-waste pile in the sky, I might go with a weather resistant smartphone and Locus. Locus (and the newer Garmin devices) can also update maps and tracks without a PC which is probably my biggest gripe right now.

Avenza has many free maps but most of them I find I get what I pay for unless they are MVUM published by the governments

Garmin Explore is like an ETREX model

Maps and Waze are good for on-road but nearly useless off road.
 

woods

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Phone. All day long. Nothing compares.

I have a paid account for Kurviger that I plan out all my routes. The phone app isn't bad either. But I usually upload the gpx to OSMand which is also the paid version.

With the phone I get access to any apps I want- I carry a full repair manual for the DR on it. Nevermind time killers, using my dumbphone as a hot spot for it, Spotify is priceless for those ten hour rides, and taking pictures.
 

flamingm0e

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I have a Carpe Iter tab on my 790, as well as a Garmin Zumo XT. I hate the Zumo, but it allows me to control my music, phone calls, etc and keep my real phone tucked away in my pocket or my tank bag. For the dirt bike I have a SONIM XP8, and it's a beast of a phone.

For long distance planning, I use MyRoute-App. For following a track, I use DriveMode Dashboard 2 or Locus. For A to B, I use TomTom Go. For scoping out the terrain and areas and planning the "after lunch" ride, I use Gaia or Caltopo.

I find the Android world so much better for navigation purposes.
 

JustAnotherSquid

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So which phone that can be purchased new or leftover or whatever would be good for this, without having to activate it?
 

flamingm0e

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So which phone that can be purchased new or leftover or whatever would be good for this, without having to activate it?
Any phone can be used without activation. Look for rugged Android devices (Kyocera, SONIM, Ulefone, Oukitel, Doogee, Blackview, etc). You want a bright screen, with glove mode preferably, and you will want to look at screen size as well.

If you have an old iPhone you can test out a few apps, but I have found the better apps to be on Android.

You merely connect to wifi to download the apps you want (and for updates/gpx file transfers).

GPS works without cell service at all.
 

flamingm0e

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Yes, but don't the good apps tempt you into subscriptions?
I have tons of subscriptions, but a few are worth it. I find Gaia and Caltopo to be worthy of subscription, as I can use the same account on any device (iOS or Android), and use their web interface on my computer to plan things.

A subscription is not REQUIRED, but is beneficial to some applications.
 

woods

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Yes, but don't the good apps tempt you into subscriptions?
None that I have. OSMand is $40 I think, but every other month they do a half off thing. That's a one time purchase. Kurviger was $10 or $20. That was a one time deal too, I think. I mean, I don't mind it. I've logged about 30,000 miles on OSMand. Even $100 is a steal.
 

philipbarrett

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Both!

Really...phone with Google Maps for 1st mile, last mile, get me to gas, around this traffic or coffee type navigation. GPS (276cx on the GS, Montana on the Husky) for the routes using Rever or G-Maps for planning because Basecamp is a POS.

The 2 biggest issues with the phone are overheating and the difficulty in seeing the screen in direct sunlight. Maybe you Nor-easteners & Nor-westerners don't care as much about that but in the Southwest both are a big problem. Believe me, I've wanted this to work, looked at the Duraforce & similar but for what I do it's just not as good.
 

woods

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The 2 biggest issues with the phone are overheating and the difficulty in seeing the screen in direct sunlight. Maybe you Nor-easteners & Nor-westerners don't care as much about that but in the Southwest both are a big problem. Believe me, I've wanted this to work, looked at the Duraforce & similar but for what I do it's just not as good.
Never had an issue with overheating. You got me with the screen in the sunlight. That can sometimes be a pain.
 

philipbarrett

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Never had an issue with overheating. You got me with the screen in the sunlight. That can sometimes be a pain.
Running a nav app 100% of the time with the screen brightness at max is already taxing the phone, add in a good Texas afternoon & that red warning comes up pretty quickly, especially if the phone is in a good protective case.

Some experimentation & a 3D printer could probably devise a shade to help shade the screen though?
 

woods

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Running a nav app 100% of the time with the screen brightness at max is already taxing the phone, add in a good Texas afternoon & that red warning comes up pretty quickly, especially if the phone is in a good protective case.

Some experimentation & a 3D printer could probably devise a shade to help shade the screen though?
yea, I have screen brightness maxed out, Spotify running and OSMand tracking. It doesn't get hot because its on the bars and the moving air cools it. Inside the tank bag it wouldn't last five minutes. I can't speak for extreme heat though. after 80º I take the truck. too damned hot. I'll ride in 40º though.
 

flamingm0e

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Running a nav app 100% of the time with the screen brightness at max is already taxing the phone, add in a good Texas afternoon & that red warning comes up pretty quickly, especially if the phone is in a good protective case.

Some experimentation & a 3D printer could probably devise a shade to help shade the screen though?
I'm north of you in OK. I don't run rugged Android devices in cases and don't have overheating issues. I've also only had an issue with seeing the screen on occasion, when the sun is just right...I did the entire NMBDR and several other rides using nothing more than a phone and never had any problems with heat (during summer months) or visibility.

It all depends on where it's mounted, and how it's angled. The more vertical, the less sunlight issues. If there is any airflow going across the device while you are riding, it shouldn't overheat. Now, when I stop, I always cover the device with either my helmet, or a neck buff to keep the sun from beating down on it. I have had them overheat while eating lunch and had to get moving again to get them to come back on.

These are valid concerns, but some people don't have an issue and others do.
 

87warrior

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I run an Android phone. In fact, it is my primary/everyday Google Pixel 4 XL in a Quadlock case. I keep the phone mounted close to the bars to reduce the chance of damage if (*ahem, when) I go down. It is paired with the Quadlock wireless charger and the charger does a good job keeping the battery topped off. Charing wirelessly does add heat and I have seen slow to no charging in the late afternoon sun due to heat, but when that happens the battery is usually topped off so I just turn off the charger for awhile. I've not had any visibility issues using a phone or a total shutdown.

My app of choice varies. I typically use Backcountry Navigator XE but have started to use Drive Mode Dashboard 2 (DMD2) a lot. As a bonus, when using DMD2 the phone seems to generate less heat :dunno Avenza Maps and OSMand+ are also other apps I use. A phone is also great since you can easily take it off the bike and into a restaurant to review the next portion of the track.

That said, I also run a Garmin 650 Montana along side the phone. The old Garmin is loaded with new OSM maps and I drop in a GPX to follow. I also have an old Garmin Nuvi with new OSM maps as well as a Garmin Monterra, which is technically just a really old android phone, I carry as backup on occasion.
 
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