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Smart Phone vs. Dedicated GPS

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I am a very new Geocacher. In fact, it's been one month today. Up until now; my wife and I have been using the NeonGeo app on our Samsung Galaxy S3's. We've had only minimal issues. Mostly when near lots of trees and power lines and low battery life.

We've found 33 out of 34 caches we have gone after. Yet, I keep reading on here and other sites that a dedicated GPS unit can not be beat. So, I decided to give one a try. I got an entry level unit. Garmin Etrex 10. So far I am really not impressed. It seems convoluted to get cache lists onto the unit and the Geocaching section of it just doesn't seem real user friendly.

I am now finding that I really like using my phone for Caching over the GPS unit. The phone apps just have so much more going for them in my opinion. I can download using Live Maps or change to Managed Maps and import my own queries. I can get a map view or a satellite view. I can log finds and TB's from the app itsself and also can add pictures to the logs as well.

So, I guess that my real question is, other than better coverage under heavy cover and a much longer battery life; how much, if any, are we gimping ourselves by returning the GPS and carrying on with our phones.

 

Brian

DizzKneePunks

 

P.S. I am so glad I discovered this game!

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The first time you drop your phone in a creek, or on a sharp rock...you will have the answer.

Ha! I can definitely see that as an issue. But with my Otterbox and lanyard; I don't see that as being a reason to keep the Garmin.

Maybe I'm missing something.

 

Brian

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So far you're also not saying much about the types of hides you're going after, but I'm guessing it's not exactly up in the mountains on a hike sort of finds. The second you're dealing with spotty reception (or a trip out of the country) your phone won't work really well at all!

 

I mean hey I logged my first ~70 caches w my iPhone, and still use it often. But the second you get into an area where signals are bouncing around I'm glad to have my Garmin.

 

Also btw, don't forget that not all GPS units are created equal and just because you don't like a particular one doesn't mean they're all awful. My Garmin can import my queries just fine as well for example, and I find it very easy to use.

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So far you're also not saying much about the types of hides you're going after, but I'm guessing it's not exactly up in the mountains on a hike sort of finds.

I guess it might help to know what sort of Geocaching I'm doing, huh? Sorry.

Most of the hides I am looking for, and intend on finding in the near future, are all well in cell range.

Also, I don't fly, so I won't be going out of the country; nor any farther than a day or two drive from my home.

 

not all GPS units are created equal.

Maybe I should return the Etrex10 and wait a bit until I can afford something in the higher end with a touch screen. I have become entirely too accustomed to touch screens, I guess.

 

Brian

DizzKneeGeeks

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Went caching this weekend and used both my phone and Garmin 62s. Phone was used for a quick one today that was close to a road. The Garmin was used while I was trekking through a park that had tall pine trees and 16" of snow. Thankfully my friends had a pair of snowshoes for the second day. The park was in town and in an area where cell signal just wouldn't work well as the signal was interfered with by the pine sap. Glad I threw my GPSr in the car before heading out just for that reason. Was able to grab the oldest cache in Otsego county Michigan because I had the additional hardware with me.

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So far you're also not saying much about the types of hides you're going after, but I'm guessing it's not exactly up in the mountains on a hike sort of finds.

I guess it might help to know what sort of Geocaching I'm doing, huh? Sorry.

Most of the hides I am looking for, and intend on finding in the near future, are all well in cell range.

Also, I don't fly, so I won't be going out of the country; nor any farther than a day or two drive from my home.

 

not all GPS units are created equal.

Maybe I should return the Etrex10 and wait a bit until I can afford something in the higher end with a touch screen. I have become entirely too accustomed to touch screens, I guess.

 

Brian

DizzKneeGeeks

 

I think you have answered your own question! Return the unit, see if you are going to stick with caching long term, and if so, try (with the option of returning) the higher end units. There is still a learning curve. See if you can go out with cachers who have the touchscreen units also.

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I use my ANDROID phone for most of my caching.

When I go into the mountains it goes along, but just for the 'paperless caching' capabilities. Mostly it stays in it's pouch. Then I bring the old Magellan Meridian Platinum I first started caching with back in 2002. No touch screen, but it works fine. I have plenty of practice loading caches into it. :D

 

I am pretty careful with the phone, but there is always that chance of a slip...

Mostly, battery life is the biggest issue, which is why I have three. ;)

 

How does that touchscreen work from inside the otterbox? :lol:

 

Personally, I'd recommend keeping the dedicated unit, and learning how to use it.

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You're not missing anything. You're just a bit short-sighted is all.

 

It's mostly personal opinion... and maybe a few other things.

 

We (the team) prefer to use a GPSr. Maybe it's 'cuz we're old and grey; maybe it's that we have no data coverage where we live; maybe it's we prefer to plan ahead; maybe it's... well, you can see where this is going...

 

Planning ahead... yeah, don't buy something simply because it's the cheapest. You are rarely happy with it.

 

See, we too are short-sighted.... just in the other direction!

 

Truth of the matter is that using both devices could be beneficial, supplementing one another.

:) :) :) :) B)

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But with my Otterbox and lanyard; I don't see that as being a reason to keep the Garmin.

 

I don't know what an Otterbox is, but you might be overestimating the lanyard. I always kept one around my neck for the Garmin, but one day on the trail I fell into a brook, and all I've got to say is you never know what your arms are going to do when you fall. I managed to rip the GPS unit off of the lanyard, breaking it (the unit) in the process, flipping it right into the brook. Stuff happens.

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How does that touchscreen work from inside the otterbox?

The touchscreen works just like it did before the Otterbox. The cell and GPS reception are the exact same as well. I even told the gal that sold the Otterbox to me that if it changed my receptions for the worse; I'd be bringing it back.

 

I think the route I am going to is to keep the Garmin and bring it along as well. As an alternative if something wonky happens with the phones.

 

Thanks for all of your advice. Can't wait for tomorrow. Vacation starts and I have a full week of caching planned with my five year old daughter who is absolutely hooked on Geocaching already(except for micros). She sends daddy out for those. She wants to trade swag!

 

Brian

DizzKneePunks

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The app is great in urban environments and for quick finds. The arial photo is better for locating landmarks and figuring out hiding spots, as well as providing cover to muggles for what you are doing. However the battery drains very quickly and the accuracy is terrible with not many landmarks to see on the map when you are deep in the woods, not to mention lack of cell coverage in remote areas. Use the GPS when you do some actual hiking. :P

Edited by 4wheelin_fool

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I am moving this thread from the Geocaching Topics forum to the GPS and Technology forum.

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How does that touchscreen work from inside the otterbox?

The touchscreen works just like it did before the Otterbox.

 

The point was, you will need to OPEN the box to use the touchscreen, thus creating a chance for the phone to get fumbled. I have used phone and PDA cases with hinged covers, and it always makes the unit more difficult to handle with dexterity.

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How does that touchscreen work from inside the otterbox?

The touchscreen works just like it did before the Otterbox.

 

The point was, you will need to OPEN the box to use the touchscreen, thus creating a chance for the phone to get fumbled. I have used phone and PDA cases with hinged covers, and it always makes the unit more difficult to handle with dexterity.

 

What? You don't have to open anything to use the Otterbox. It's a case that encloses the phone, and has a clear plastic window where the phone's screen is. LOL.

 

Otterbox_Defender_iPhone_4_610x610.jpg

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Looks like someone beat me to it. I was going to post that I definitely do not have to open the box to use the phone. The built in cover works just like the actual screen.

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DON'T GIVE UP ON THE ETREX 10! We had one as our first GPS and for about 2 months we were ready to chuck it in the nearest river! However in the South of England there is much woodland and the mobile phone just kept loosing its signal so we persevered and it served us very well. But the online manual are useless, the best way to learn how to use it properly is to take it on a few caching trips and play around with the buttons.

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I took my Etrex10 and my Samsung GS3/NeonGeo to five of the closest caches to my house that I have already found. I wanted to test both units out in an environment that I am usually caching in.

I set both on, or as near to the actual cache as I could. And let them sit for a good five minutes.

 

1. Out in the open. No cover. No interference. Phone said 12ft. Etrex said 24ft.

2. Light tree cover. Phone said 4ft. Etrex said 13ft.

3. No trees. Lots of electronics. Phone said 26ft Etrex said 9ft.

4. Heavy tree cover. Phone said 7ft. Etrex said 11ft.

5. Out in the open. Both said 9ft.

 

So, for my caching style; it seems we have essentially a tie. I will continue to just use a combination of both. Because learning something new(the Etrex) is always fun for me.

Thank you all for your help and opinions!

 

Brian

DizzKneeGeeks

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I saw this post an had to reply.

My $.02:

I have an iPhone 4S with the Lifeproof case (very much like the otter box). I also have the Garmin 60csx. When I started geocaching I didn't use either. I used google maps, read the caches descriptions and the logs and went for it! I found my first 50 that way. Then I got my Garmin and life was good. Then I got my iPhone... Life couldn't get easier! That is only for areas with good reception and in urban areas. When I go hiking or anywhere outside the urban area, I use my Garmin. Sometimes, I like to go back to my old school ways and just use google maps!

Advice: the smart phone is good for beginning your geocaching adventure, but you'll get to a point that you will need to go outside your general community/ city because you've found all the ones around you that you want to find. That is when you'll probally need a dedicated GPS. Because going to the mountains, desert, and those crazy tunnel caches will seem more intriguing, too! And, if you are going to that next level of geocaching, get a GPS worth getting. Not saying that the one you have isn't good, but there are better ones.

So, keep what you have. Use you smartphone for now because it works! And maybe later when you find that reception is a problem, use the GPS that you have. And when you find that you want to upgrade, get a better GPS!

 

To a certain degree, I think that geocaching is like raising kids and golf. There are just SO MANY toys and tech you can get because its the new now next thing and you can spent hundreds if not thousands of dollars on that next thing, but one thing I've learned, don't get it unless you really need it.

Just my $.02...

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I used my magellan sportrak GPS for years (it was made in 2002). When I got my iphone there was no geocaching app for it (blackberry only), but eventually the app came out. It was very limited and slow, but it worked. The app works a lot better on the iphone 4 (and the ability to do field logs on the phone is awesome). It all depends on the kind of caching you do, but for ME a real standalone GPS cant be beat. My old GPS finally bit the dust, and I upgraded to a delorme pn-60. Now - I'm not just using it for geocaching, I go hiking too, and the pn-60 is an excellent hiker's GPS, with some good geocaching features. I even went back to being a premium member. Advantages of a standalone GPS:

 

Battery life. Try caching all day with your phone only. Good luck. Okay, maybe you can plug it into the car adapter as you drive place to place, but say you are doing some urban caches where you walk for a while and dont have car access. My magellan could run eight hours or more on a set. The delorme seems to be even better with it's auto sleep mode.

 

Sensitivity. Newer GPS units with the high sensitivity chips are more sensitive than phones. Of course, if the cache hider placed the cache with an old gps or a phone... then your accuracy is only as good as his. But try caching under tree cover or away from somewhere with a celluar signal at all, and suddenly the newer models are much better than your phone.

 

Information. Sure - you can download stuff to the app ahead of time, make a saved list and all that. I think you can do pocket queries with them too, but I never tried. Then there are the maps. On your phone you need the internet to update google maps and show your location. If you have a signal, and you are using up data along the way... My delorme has 1:24,000 topo and road maps for the whole southeast on it's card. No worries about data or connections or information. The topo maps 10 software interfaces with geocaching. I can run a pocket query, wait a few minutes, and hit "update" on the software, and let it load the query and all the area caches, hints, and descriptions, right to my GPS. In the field, I can log my finds in the GPS, and they will be uploaded when I get home. Sure, I could do this on the phone, but again, I need the internet. I'm planning a hike in the spring, there are twenty caches along the route. There is also no cellular service at ALL for the whole trip...

 

So if you are doing easier in-town caches where your phone works fine, use your phone. My GPS cost me $220, and that was WITH all the maps. If I drop my phone in the water or on a rock or lose it, I have a while before a free upgrade, so it could easily run me $300 and up to replace it.

 

Plus, the GPS is just fun...

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Advice: the smart phone is good for beginning your geocaching adventure, but you'll get to a point that you will need to go outside your general community/ city because you've found all the ones around you that you want to find. That is when you'll probably need a dedicated GPS. Because going to the mountains, desert, and those crazy tunnel caches will seem more intriguing, too!

Au contraire. I've cached with the 3GS and upgraded to the 4S, and have only used that since I began in 2009. The 4S is plenty capable in forest cover, rural areas with little or no cell coverage (cell coverage is not required for GPS use), and out in the desert (and that was first hand with my 3GS - my group of 4, 3 non-cachers and myself, were relying solely on my device..in the desert).

I tend to voice up in these threads because the thought tends to be one person's experience means it's one or the other. Ultimately, use what you're comfortable with (balanced with tech capability), because as much of a 'negative reputation' smartphones have, they are capable of providing a successful and fun and solid caching experience.

 

Use what you're comfortable with, because while "smartphones" on average may be less accurate or capable than GPSrs, high end smartphones are certainly far more capable, and it's the app that more defines what your experience will be like.

 

The best caching combination, as most anyone will agree, is a combination of both smartphone and dedicated GPSr. Generally, the GPSr will be faster and may be more accurate than a smartphone. But by no means is caching with a smartphone only good for 'beginners' or limiting technologically. If you know how to use the smartphone and optimize its use while caching (for battery life, pre-preparation for rural trips, and data organization and communication), then a GPSr may never be needed.

 

In short, a GPSr may guarantee you a smoother caching experience. A smartphone can provide (as a device) far more than just a solid caching experience, thus it can be more expensive. Both classes of device provide specialized capabilities that can improve your caching experience. Therefore the best option, if money isn't as much of an issue, is both. And please, if caching with a smartphone, only cache with a mid- to high-end smartphone with quality GPS support. =P

 

Also please, ignore people that say caching with only a smartphone is, generally speaking, a bad idea. Context and detail matter :) "smartphone" is far too broad a term by which to classify a gps device.

Perhaps try a forum search, for there have been many a raging debate regarding smartphone vs dedicated gps... :lol:

Edited by thebruce0

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Advice: the smart phone is good for beginning your geocaching adventure, but you'll get to a point that you will need to go outside your general community/ city because you've found all the ones around you that you want to find. That is when you'll probably need a dedicated GPS. Because going to the mountains, desert, and those crazy tunnel caches will seem more intriguing, too!

Au contraire. I've cached with the 3GS and upgraded to the 4S, and have only used that since I began in 2009. The 4S is plenty capable in forest cover, rural areas with little or no cell coverage (cell coverage is not required for GPS use), and out in the desert (and that was first hand with my 3GS - my group of 4, 3 non-cachers and myself, were relying solely on my device..in the desert).

I tend to voice up in these threads because the thought tends to be one person's experience means it's one or the other. Ultimately, use what you're comfortable with (balanced with tech capability), because as much of a 'negative reputation' smartphones have, they are capable of providing a successful and fun and solid caching experience.

 

Use what you're comfortable with, because while "smartphones" on average may be less accurate or capable than GPSrs, high end smartphones are certainly far more capable, and it's the app that more defines what your experience will be like.

 

The best caching combination, as most anyone will agree, is a combination of both smartphone and dedicated GPSr. Generally, the GPSr will be faster and may be more accurate than a smartphone. But by no means is caching with a smartphone only good for 'beginners' or limiting technologically. If you know how to use the smartphone and optimize its use while caching (for battery life, pre-preparation for rural trips, and data organization and communication), then a GPSr may never be needed.

 

In short, a GPSr may guarantee you a smoother caching experience. A smartphone can provide (as a device) far more than just a solid caching experience, thus it can be more expensive. Both classes of device provide specialized capabilities that can improve your caching experience. Therefore the best option, if money isn't as much of an issue, is both. And please, if caching with a smartphone, only cache with a mid- to high-end smartphone with quality GPS support. =P

 

Also please, ignore people that say caching with only a smartphone is, generally speaking, a bad idea. Context and detail matter :) "smartphone" is far too broad a term by which to classify a gps device.

Perhaps try a forum search, for there have been many a raging debate regarding smartphone vs dedicated gps... :lol:

 

You are extremely correct! I'm not saying that smartphones are 'bad' in Geocaching. I'm not being as clear as I should. The caveat that I should have made more clear in my post is that it is my opinion and my experiences. Everyone has different desires and experiences. The combination of both is the best way to go! But, if the debate is either or... I'd go with the GPS over the smartphone.... But, that is my humble opinion...

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Everyone has different desires and experiences. The combination of both is the best way to go! But, if the debate is either or... I'd go with the GPS over the smartphone.... But, that is my humble opinion...

Indeed :) And the more reports of experiences the better for people to decide. It's like movie reviews... just because one person hated or loved a movie doesn't mean everyone will; just gotta find the reviewer who's as close to yourself in preference, then maybe grow to trust their reports; otherwise, go see it and decide for yourself ;) Heck, I've loved movies that have flopped, both in general reviewer scores and in theatres (sometimes in both). The only movie review I trust is my own, heh. In the same way I value reports on content over opinions of enjoyment, I'd value finding out technical specs and capabilities with real-world experience to help determine if it's applicable to my own caching style...

 

I've considered a GPSr myself, but with other factors like money, other device uses, and practicality, I personally haven't been able to justify getting one (yet?). I've stuck with the 4S, and from own experience in relatively extreme, and urban, and distant places, that's been sufficient for me. But I haven't climbed a mountain yet (actually, I did visit the top of Sulphur mountain in Banff, but that's all touristy =P), nor have I scuba cached, or gone for the APE cache in Brazil (someday soon hopefully! :D) Then again, I also have a battery container that holds 10 AA's, and an external pack that uses 4 AAs to keep my phone charged on extended trips, and I've got a lot of experience with my app which is now like 2nd nature in my mind when caching :). (actually beta testing the next major release of Geosphere now, which will be a big jump over the current)

 

But anyway, I digress...

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Your cell phone uses local cell towers to plot your position. They work great when you are in a cell tower rich environment since you are generally within line of sight for several towers.

 

GPS uses satellites to plot your position. Therefore, you are not as bound by terrestrial obstacles to achieve the line of sight needed to plot location.

 

I live in SE Arizona. There are some really great caches in box canyons, wooded mountains and other locations where cell phone coverage is spotty or non-existent. When I want to use my cell phone I go to high ground. If I can’t get a fix with my GPS, then in all likelihood, neither could a cache owner.

 

When I am in Tucson I use my iPhone 4S with great results. I don’t have to preload my GPS. There is no way I would use my iPhone in the Huachuca, Mule, Dragoon… Mountains. ( I have a Delorme PN40 and Triton 400.)

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Your cell phone uses local cell towers to plot your position. They work great when you are in a cell tower rich environment since you are generally within line of sight for several towers.

Smartphones with GPS use satellites. Older smartphones used cell tower positioning. Newer smartphones use that to enhance the GPS position reporting. GPS-enabled smartphones do indeed use satellites. (at least, most of the recent ones; the original iPhone for example had no satellite reception, using only cell tower positioning, while later models use both satellites and towers - aGPS).

 

I live in SE Arizona. There are some really great caches in box canyons, wooded mountains and other locations where cell phone coverage is spotty or non-existent. When I want to use my cell phone I go to high ground. If I can't get a fix with my GPS, then in all likelihood, neither could a cache owner.

Are you using a "cell phone"? Or a more recent smartphone? There would be a difference, as older phones without GPS may use cell towers to emulate gps positioning, thus yes with no nearby coverage they'd be useless. Don't go caching with a cell phone :P

 

The 4S certainly has GPS ability with no cell tower coverage. As mentioned above, I even used the 3GS in the desert, east of San Diego, with zero cell coverage, and pre-cached any maps I'd need. Worked like a charm. (note that without caching maps in the app while still having data coverage, the gps will still work, but you'd be reduced to essentially a distance and bearing to the target, with no satellite or map imagery for support).

 

eta: smartphone gps support can be seen in this table (aGPS is better than just GPS, btw)

Edited by thebruce0

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I used google maps, read the caches descriptions and the logs and went for it!

I have done this a few times. Quite fun, in and of itself.

 

Your cell phone uses local cell towers to plot your position.

Not all phones. I just powered both units off and then repowered them at the same time.

My Samsung GS3 is locked on 17 of 20 satellites as I type this and my Garmin is still 'Acquiring Satellites.'

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Many posting here do not know how good is the GPS receiver in the new Samsungs. My son and father have the S3 phone, and I have the Galaxy Tab which appears to have the same GPS. I just turned it on in my house, and in 5 seconds, I get a position with 18 satellites (GPS and Glonass.) Very sensitive and fast, and appears to be accurate. You do not need a cell signal for position or for maps if you cache them, or if you get a map app.

 

The GPS in these Samsungs is much better than the one in my Droid X, and more sensitive than most GPSr units. I have not tested the Samsung at a Super-Accurate benchmark, but it compares to my Garmin 20. So, Dizz has a very good geocache finding tool.

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I've heard the GPS in the newer Samsungs is far better than in my HTC. The Glonass support must help a bit but I think it's just a better GPS chip and aerial setup. My only issue with the S3 is the lack of ruggedness on the case. But with a decent protective case I guess that isn't much of an issue.

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Just a point to realise with Smartphone caching. A lot of new smartphones have no removable battery and with GPS active battery life can be as short as 3 hours. You need a fairly big external power cell to keep these smartphones running for a whole day. If there is any real advantage to proper GPSr units it's potentially 20 hours or more run time.

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A lot of new smartphones have no removable battery and with GPS active battery life can be as short as 3 hours

Luckily the GS3 has a removable battery. And you called it on the battery life in the field.

For the past three days; I have been taking the S3 and the handheld with me. The S3 has consistently put me closer to the actual finds than the handheld.

Today was 100% cloudy and I was in medium tree cover and the S3 was locked on 17-18 of 20 satellites all day.

The handheld was about the same but the accuracy in feet just wasn't there.

I am still going to carry on using both for a bit to make the sample range bigger.

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The first time you drop your phone in a creek, or on a sharp rock...you will have the answer.

 

There is a share of "tough" smartphones with fair reputation for toughness and water resistance. Xperia active is one of them.

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This is obviously biased and not very scientific. But it gets the point across that today's cell phones are getting tougher and tougher as time goes on. Because if I did these tests to my HTC Inspire 4G; it would have shattered into a million pieces. :P

 

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One more observation on battery life....not only will the handheld GPS generally last several times longer than the charge on your phone, but if it does die in the middle of a caching outing you can just pop in a couple of fresh AA's and be back in business in seconds. Unless you've invested in some sort of external battery pack you will have to take time out to charge the phone. Kinda puts a damper on the day.

 

Having said that, I use both, depending on the situation. Lately I've been using the iPhone a lot because I've mostly been doing just " targets of opportunity", 1-2 at a time as I happen to be in the area. The iPhone is great for that. If I'm planning a day-long outing I'll load up my Oregon 550

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One more observation on battery life....not only will the handheld GPS generally last several times longer than the charge on your phone, but if it does die in the middle of a caching outing you can just pop in a couple of fresh AA's and be back in business in seconds. Unless you've invested in some sort of external battery pack you will have to take time out to charge the phone. Kinda puts a damper on the day.

 

Having said that, I use both, depending on the situation. Lately I've been using the iPhone a lot because I've mostly been doing just " targets of opportunity", 1-2 at a time as I happen to be in the area. The iPhone is great for that. If I'm planning a day-long outing I'll load up my Oregon 550

 

Experience with 4S battery life: Don't keep the GPS running the entire time you're caching. For one, there's no need. Secondly, if you have overhead satellite or maps, you can use that to get near the cache (or navigate trails, if gps isn't desired), then turn on the GPS. The app I use, Geosphere, has a quick option to turn GPS on or off, and that greatly increases battery life in the field. Thirdly, I use this beauty of an accessory ($20) which uses 4 AA's and provides a full charge (or, you could even make your own); using AA's means the batteries are easily and quickly swappable if necessary, and sharable with other devices you may have that need AA's (flashlight, GPSr, etc).

 

So, again, if you're willing to put the one time effort into making battery life a non-issue, it's most definitely worth it.

Next? :)

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Just a thought how about return the etrex 10 spend a little extra & get the 20 instead, the colour maps make all the difference over monochome

Dan

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One more observation on battery life....not only will the handheld GPS generally last several times longer than the charge on your phone, but if it does die in the middle of a caching outing you can just pop in a couple of fresh AA's and be back in business in seconds. Unless you've invested in some sort of external battery pack you will have to take time out to charge the phone. Kinda puts a damper on the day.

 

Having said that, I use both, depending on the situation. Lately I've been using the iPhone a lot because I've mostly been doing just " targets of opportunity", 1-2 at a time as I happen to be in the area. The iPhone is great for that. If I'm planning a day-long outing I'll load up my Oregon 550

Edited by Mart9012

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I think the Smartphone GPS navigation has quickly grown into a robust product category with lots of options for the consumers. One need to understand that whether Should he invest in a smartphone navigation package, or go for a dedicated GPS device from a leading manufacturer. I really admire the smartphones when it comes to elect one of the two. That's all I know about it.

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I have an eTrex 20 but it lives as with the iPhone (Pelican dry case) in the day pack. The unit that lives in my hand is the original eTrex H..

 

SnipImage-61F49955-0B45-4C20-BE71-FC97CB727136.png

 

Just luv it for it's simplicity, accuracy and it's lack of all the GUI guff that the new eTrex 10/20/30 series is. And the screen is bigger, lol!

 

Not saying phones are any less capable but way too expensive to take repeated dips... I can buy 14 x eTrex H's for the cost of one iPhone and the GPS performance difference is negligible. So I use a dedicated device for geocaching confident that if the elements go bad it won't hit my hip pocket nerve at all!

 

Besides the eTrex H lives in the car glove box next to the Suunto compass when off duty..

 

;)

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......So I use a dedicated device for geocaching....

 

Your profile says you've never logged a cache....?

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......So I use a dedicated device for geocaching....

 

Your profile says you've never logged a cache....?

 

...and it never will, my geocaching activities are private and not for public analysis!

 

:rolleyes:

Edited by PigSti

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Anwyays, I got this pop up on my phone for this topic. I replied to this post awhile ago. And it seems like this topic is getting revived again. Well, in my previous post I saw that I recommended the GPSr more that the phone. I want to retract that now....

 

Back then, I didn't realize the different phone companies and their ranges. I have AT&T... I don' t like it, but I signed up for this deal if I got this long a** agreement... had I known then what I know now, I would have gone Verizon!

 

Well, I've found that I use my smartphone a lot more than my GPSr. The reason why, convenience. And, I find myself caching for maybe two of three at a time. And, I only cache once in a while. But, when I go for the power days, usually once every few months, I'll use my Garmin. The reason, 1. the battery, 2. I find the accuracy still a better (but not by that much), and 3. Because I'm used to how the Garmin works, it's a lot easier for me to manipulate (going from geocache to geocache) on a long day.

 

I do carry both and use both, but again, for a long day of caching... My iPhone 4s doesn't last too long. I do have an external battery that I use, but the the AT&T factor comes in and I can't get that great of a reception in all places. Unlike my friends that have Verizon that I cache with.

 

So, my new response is... use what works for you! And, how does one find out what works for them... trial and error!

 

MY $.02

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^^ agree and remember it costs a lot less to lose/break/swim a Garmin than a smart phone..

 

:)

 

 

 

 

.

Edited by PigSti

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^^ agree and remember it costs a lot less to lose/break/swim a Garmin than a smart phone..

 

:)

 

 

 

 

.

Again, not true.

 

If I lose my Garmin, it's lost and I must replace it. Not so with my iPhone.

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^^ agree and remember it costs a lot less to lose/break/swim a Garmin than a smart phone..

 

:)

Again, not true.

 

If I lose my Garmin, it's lost and I must replace it. Not so with my iPhone.

 

Not true! Then please explain how it is my $150 Garmin is a more expensive replacement than my $900 iPhone?

 

:blink:

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My iPhone was free to replace :rolleyes:

 

If only that were true for everyone :'( Or, well, at least for me. *sigh*

 

Even so, the argument that a more expensive device will cost more to replace than a less expensive device.. is, well, a non-argument. Of course it will be. A more expensive GPSr will cost more to replace than a cheaper one. Point? We cache with what we choose to cache with, and we apply as much caution and diligence in using that device - whatever it is - as we deem reasonable. If we use our more expensive and far more capable multi-use smartphone device for geocaching, then we knowingly accept the risk and hopefully tread much more carefully. It's a choice. Not a drawback. If we didn't want to take on that risk, then we wouldn't cache with it :P simple.

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