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Can a Smartphone Replace a Dedicated GPS?

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If you intend to cache "off road" you will be much happier with a dedicated GPSr and using your cell phone as a back-up.

No I won't.

 

You might be, which is fine.

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If you intend to cache "off road" you will be much happier with a dedicated GPSr and using your cell phone as a back-up. I find the smart phone apps very useful for reading the cache pages and reviewing maps on the larger size screen but they aren't as accurate or rugged. If you mostly cache curbside, all you need is a cellphone.

edexter

Yeah see this is the type of comment that tends to get backlash, since many would disagree about what tools they find happiness in using. More helpful to people curious about which to use and less argumentative might be:

 

"When I cache "off road" I'm much happier with a dedicated GPSr and using my cell phone as a back-up. I find the smart phone apps I use very useful for reading the cache pages and reviewing maps on the larger size screen but in my experience my smartphone (model) hasn't been as accurate or rugged. When I'm caching curbside though, I'm fine with just my cellphone."

 

And then, if someone has a different experience, there is no implication that either you or they are "wrong" ;)

Edited by thebruce0

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If you intend to cache "off road" you will be much happier with a dedicated GPSr and using your cell phone as a back-up. I find the smart phone apps very useful for reading the cache pages and reviewing maps on the larger size screen but they aren't as accurate or rugged. If you mostly cache curbside, all you need is a cellphone.

edexter

Yeah see this is the type of comment that tends to get backlash, since many would disagree about what tools they find happiness in using. More helpful to people curious about which to use and less argumentative might be:

 

"When I cache "off road" I'm much happier with a dedicated GPSr and using my cell phone as a back-up. I find the smart phone apps I use very useful for reading the cache pages and reviewing maps on the larger size screen but in my experience my smartphone (model) hasn't been as accurate or rugged. When I'm caching curbside though, I'm fine with just my cellphone."

 

And then, if someone has a different experience, there is no implication that either you or they are "wrong" ;)

 

Even with your suggested wording the comment would get weird backlash and demands for the commenter to quantify his/her personal tastes and preferences. You can't know what you like unless you have personally tried everything.

 

Now abandon your preferred device and buy my preferred device!

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I've bumped into trees at thirty mph, and the phones don't care. Run over by a sxs in a mud puddle, phone didn't care. Crashed in a creek, dropped from a bridge onto rocks (not a rugged device) , washed in the sink with dishes, and thousands of miles of tracks in between. It's just a tool, not something I worry about breaking.

 

Yes, I've use stand alone devices. Oregon , Montana, Monterra (very briefly) , Tom Tom rider, Tom Tom one/one xl, Garmin Zuno, Garmin phone, and a couple others.

As stated before, until now I've used my smartphones (from Galaxy S plus till now Galaxy S5) for all, next to TomTom for long roadtrips.

It's due my personal experience I feld the need for a hand-held GPS device. And up till now, it beats the smartphone for what I use it.

And then we don't even mention the topo-maps. Yes you can have the same on a smartphone, but you'll need lot's of storage if you want to have western europe with you in topo at 1:25000

 

If you don't have the need for that, and your smarphone does the trick for you, good for you, but you won't sell it to me again ;)

 

The part you didn't quote asks:

I'm only trying to find the negatives people have towards smartphones and rugged versions in particular. ... I'm looking for first hand experiences, so I can understand why done people don't like rugged phones. :-)

[/Quote]

 

It's basically a question of why the preference.

 

So in your opinion is storage of maps the key issue? Is that why they "won't sell it to you again"?

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The OP's question was, can a smartphone replace a dedicated GPS? For me, because I have gone geocaching with just my smartphone, the answer would be yes.

 

But, what do I prefer? That would depend...

 

There are a lot of factors. The first being, did I bring my GPSr units, or is the smartphone all I have. I will always prefer my GPSr units over the smartphone for one simple reason. I can view the screen in any condition. My smartphone screen cannot be seen in direct sunlight.

 

Usually, I carry four GPS capable devices with me. The smartphone (Galaxy S4), a Montana, an Oregon 650, and a TomTom. Each have their good points and bad points. I have geocached with them all, and I routinely use them all while geocaching.

 

The TomTom is good at getting me to the area. All of the units can do turn-by-turn directions, but the TomTom is the only one setup to speak to me with a volume that I can hear. If the cache is a park-n-grab, sometimes all I need is the TomTom. I load all the geocaches, including parking and trail-head waypoints, as points-of-interest on the unit.

 

The Montana is great. The battery life is good, 10-12 hours. The unit has external contacts, and can be recharged when in its cradle. I have the power portion of the cradle wired up, so recharging the unit in the car is simply a matter of putting the unit in the cradle. No USB cables to fiddle with and plug in. No USB cables to get wrapped around the stick shift. The screen is large, and easy to read. Coupled with a GizmoVest, it is very durable. This is usually my go-to device.

 

The Oregon has two features that my Montana does not. A camera, and it seems to work better in some strange cases. I have had three occasions where the Oregon and the Montana have differed by over 50 feet when initially setting out. The Oregon was quicker to settle down, and give me an accurate position. It took several minutes before the Montana figured things out. To me, the downside is it will drain batteries in no time at all. I'm lucky if I can get 6-7 hours out of the unit, before the batteries are dead. I use removable, rechargeable AA batteries, and carry several spares. I replaced the original batteries after 6 months. If the Montana seems to be having trouble, or I want pictures, I'll break out the Oregon. Also, this unit is my loaner unit, it is easier for my wife or the grand-kids to carry than the Montana. With a GizmoVest for it, I don't worry about loaning it to them.

 

The smartphone has access to the Internet. The GPSr units can only carry copies of the cache listings. I don't download geocaches to my smartphone for off-line caching, so for me, it is only beneficial where I have cel phone coverage. With the smartphone, I can (usually) get on the Internet, and look at the current listing. I have had cases where the cache was moved, and the GPSr had the old coordinates. I do have a case, but as pointed out earlier, it is more for ease of gripping than it is for shock protection.

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BTW, some routers are smart enough to take elevation gain into account, or safety (from traffic) when bike-routing. This one for example, where you can experiment with the example being discussed above:

http://brouter.de/brouter-web/

I see it avoided that hill unless it was really a shortcut.

 

That's just the web client; BRouter also works in the phone, integrated with Locus and others. So I can get a bike-safe route across town (avoiding freeways etc.), with turn-by-turn spoken directions on the trail right up to the cache. (Some day all caching apps will do this.)

 

EDIT: Here's a better link directly to that hill:

http://brouter.de/br...&format=geojson

Those options are also available when using basecamp to plan your trip. I'm not sure my gpsmap 64ST does it. I can calculate pedestrian, off-road, bicycle or on-road routes

 

The annoying thing (for me) is, you got a track to follow, but hardly any reference on the map. And in that case it's even more important to check the screen regular.

I had this in the past during our off-road trips, I'm glad I got full detail now.

 

An other important argument for me to get a dedicated gps with detailed cards, is that I want to create new tracks without the use of pc and/or internet.

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On my iPhone, I could load offline Pocket Earth maps for the entire US in 2.4 GB,

 

At what scale/height/detail level would that be then? That size is way to small to be a good detailed map.

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If you intend to cache "off road" you will be much happier with a dedicated GPSr and using your cell phone as a back-up. I find the smart phone apps very useful for reading the cache pages and reviewing maps on the larger size screen but they aren't as accurate or rugged. If you mostly cache curbside, all you need is a cellphone.

edexter

Yeah see this is the type of comment that tends to get backlash, since many would disagree about what tools they find happiness in using. More helpful to people curious about which to use and less argumentative might be:

 

"When I cache "off road" I'm much happier with a dedicated GPSr and using my cell phone as a back-up. I find the smart phone apps I use very useful for reading the cache pages and reviewing maps on the larger size screen but in my experience my smartphone (model) hasn't been as accurate or rugged. When I'm caching curbside though, I'm fine with just my cellphone."

 

And then, if someone has a different experience, there is no implication that either you or they are "wrong" ;)

 

Well said. I'm always amazed that people 1/2-way across the world who have never met me know what will make me happier. That's some magical powers. :P

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BTW, some routers are smart enough to take elevation gain into account, or safety (from traffic) when bike-routing. This one for example, where you can experiment with the example being discussed above:

http://brouter.de/brouter-web/

I see it avoided that hill unless it was really a shortcut.

 

That's just the web client; BRouter also works in the phone, integrated with Locus and others. So I can get a bike-safe route across town (avoiding freeways etc.), with turn-by-turn spoken directions on the trail right up to the cache. (Some day all caching apps will do this.)

 

EDIT: Here's a better link directly to that hill:

http://brouter.de/br...&format=geojson

Those options are also available when using basecamp to plan your trip. I'm not sure my gpsmap 64ST does it. I can calculate pedestrian, off-road, bicycle or on-road routes

 

The annoying thing (for me) is, you got a track to follow, but hardly any reference on the map. And in that case it's even more important to check the screen regular.

I had this in the past during our off-road trips, I'm glad I got full detail now.

 

An other important argument for me to get a dedicated gps with detailed cards, is that I want to create new tracks without the use of pc and/or internet.

 

a lot of people are not aware that offlime routing is available for/in smartphome apps. if you look a few posts up , brouter and graphhopper do the heavy lifting for apps that dont have routing built in, but osmamd does.

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i womder if any of the previous posters would like to address the earlier question, about what they do not like about rugged phomes ?

 

:-)

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i womder if any of the previous posters would like to address the earlier question, about what they do not like about rugged phomes ?

 

:-)

 

You only want comments from people who have bought the phone, used it, and didn't like it. It doesn't make sense to buy a phone that doesn't appeal to me in the first place.

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An other important argument for me to get a dedicated gps with detailed cards, is that I want to create new tracks without the use of pc and/or internet.

 

a lot of people are not aware that offlime routing is available for/in smartphome apps. if you look a few posts up , brouter and graphhopper do the heavy lifting for apps that dont have routing built in, but osmamd does.

 

True, they do it off-line, and I used osmand alot for it, but you miss a lot of tracks if you don't have a more detailed cards other than osm based.

And if then you have to do it on bitmap based maps, you need to have add a lot a waypoints to get the route you want, as they can't calculate a route four you.

Now in all honesty, I have my portable with basecamp with me in our vehicle, as it's still a lot easier to plan/change a route.

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If you intend to cache "off road" you will be much happier with a dedicated GPSr and using your cell phone as a back-up. I find the smart phone apps very useful for reading the cache pages and reviewing maps on the larger size screen but they aren't as accurate or rugged. If you mostly cache curbside, all you need is a cellphone.

edexter

 

While being on the road you will be much happier driving a black car than a red car.

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i womder if any of the previous posters would like to address the earlier question, about what they do not like about rugged phomes ?

 

:-)

 

You only want comments from people who have bought the phone, used it, and didn't like it. It doesn't make sense to buy a phone that doesn't appeal to me in the first place.

 

Pretty much this. I will not buy something unless I have completely researched it and know it's the best unit for me.

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i womder if any of the previous posters would like to address the earlier question, about what they do not like about rugged phomes ?

 

:-)

 

You only want comments from people who have bought the phone, used it, and didn't like it. It doesn't make sense to buy a phone that doesn't appeal to me in the first place.

 

Pretty much this. I will not buy something unless I have completely researched it and know it's the best unit for me.

 

And then still you'll encounter some "da.mn, if I knew..." moments :D

Edited by Penguin_be

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i womder if any of the previous posters would like to address the earlier question, about what they do not like about rugged phomes ?

 

:-)

 

1 You only want comments from people who have bought the phone, used it, and didn't like it.

2 It doesn't make sense to buy a phone that doesn't appeal to me in the first place.

 

1 now you're getting it!

2 it's not about you then.

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i womder if any of the previous posters would like to address the earlier question, about what they do not like about rugged phomes ?

 

:-)

 

You only want comments from people who have bought the phone, used it, and didn't like it. It doesn't make sense to buy a phone that doesn't appeal to me in the first place.

 

Pretty much this. I will not buy something unless I have completely researched it and know it's the best unit for me.

 

Exactly. I am sure that when someone raves about a wonderful $15 phone that they can tape to their labradoodle on a canoe trip, they mean it, and the phone is great for them. That person with that need should absolutely have that phone.

 

But that's not relevant to my phone use, so I am not going to buy that phone when I strongly prefer an entirely different model for other reasons. I don't need a rugged phone so there is no need for me to sacrifice other features for a feature that isn't useful to me.

 

Everyone has different needs and tastes. It's weird that some people are so intent on challenging the validity of subjective personal preferences.

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Everyone has different needs and tastes. It's weird that some people are so intent on challenging the validity of subjective personal preferences.

 

BINGO!

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I don't the majority of responses are challenge subjective personal preferences.

I think the majority of responses are challenging subjective personal preferences stated as objective universal facts. :laughing:

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Everyone has different needs and tastes. It's weird that some people are so intent on challenging the validity of subjective personal preferences.

hiker a:

"i never hiked that trail, don't want to either"

 

vs

 

hiker b:

"when i hiked that trail in July, it was very hot and we were not prepared for the black flies or slippery terrain. next time, if ever, will use rope and better boots"

 

 

it has nothing to do with convincing hiker ( a ) to buy things or try things, I'm only pointing out that hiker ( b ) has more information to offer, from first hand experience, instead of listing preferences.

Edited by ohgood

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This is like Ford vs. Chevy all over again...

 

Ah, Rob Ford vs Chevy Chase, an unlikely duo...

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Everyone has different needs and tastes. It's weird that some people are so intent on challenging the validity of subjective personal preferences.

hiker a:

"i never hiked that trail, don't want to either"

 

vs

 

hiker b:

"when i hiked that trail in July, it was very hot and we were not prepared for the black flies or slippery terrain. next time, if ever, will use rope and better boots"

 

 

it has nothing to do with convincing hiker ( a ) to buy things or try things, I'm only pointing out that hiker ( b ) has more information to offer, from first hand experience, instead of listing preferences.

 

One thing that is not clear in your scenario is the breadth of experience for each hiker. How many different types of trails have hiker a and hiker b hiked? Hiker A may not have hiked a specific trail but may have hiked enough trails like that trail to form a reasonable conclusion.

 

Out of curiosity, do use a different account for logging caches (or not log finds online) because based on the user id you're using here it looks like you've only found caches in one state in the U.S. First hand experience may be helpful, but first hand experience in a wide range of locations is even more helpful.

 

 

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Everyone has different needs and tastes. It's weird that some people are so intent on challenging the validity of subjective personal preferences.

hiker a:

"i never hiked that trail, don't want to either"

 

vs

 

hiker b:

"when i hiked that trail in July, it was very hot and we were not prepared for the black flies or slippery terrain. next time, if ever, will use rope and better boots"

 

 

it has nothing to do with convincing hiker ( a ) to buy things or try things, I'm only pointing out that hiker ( b ) has more information to offer, from first hand experience, instead of listing preferences.

 

One thing that is not clear in your scenario is the breadth of experience for each hiker. How many different types of trails have hiker a and hiker b hiked? Hiker A may not have hiked a specific trail but may have hiked enough trails like that trail to form a reasonable conclusion.

 

Out of curiosity, do use a different account for logging caches (or not log finds online) because based on the user id you're using here it looks like you've only found caches in one state in the U.S. First hand experience may be helpful, but first hand experience in a wide range of locations is even more helpful.

 

all we know is what hikers A and B offered, as experience on the trail in question, but B might actually be lying, or a unicorn, or even the same person as A. we just don't know other than the info given by both A and B.

 

to answer your last question, I'll probably never have >75 found caches on the website, i don't keep up really. I'm not hiker A or B though. ;-)

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I recently purchased a new Oregon 600t and now have two data cables. So, I've started loading both my Oregon and my Nuvi with my cache targets of the day.

Since, my wife can't read a map, the Nuvi is great to give me turn by turn to get me to a parking spot. Once parked, I use my Oregon and my wife uses her iphone.

If I log the find instead of my wife I use my iphone. Since I started this process, the fights have gone way down. :)

Edited by Albritton105

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If you intend to cache "off road" you will be much happier with a dedicated GPSr and using your cell phone as a back-up. I find the smart phone apps very useful for reading the cache pages and reviewing maps on the larger size screen but they aren't as accurate or rugged. If you mostly cache curbside, all you need is a cellphone.

edexter

Yeah see this is the type of comment that tends to get backlash, since many would disagree about what tools they find happiness in using. More helpful to people curious about which to use and less argumentative might be:

 

"When I cache "off road" I'm much happier with a dedicated GPSr and using my cell phone as a back-up. I find the smart phone apps I use very useful for reading the cache pages and reviewing maps on the larger size screen but in my experience my smartphone (model) hasn't been as accurate or rugged. When I'm caching curbside though, I'm fine with just my cellphone."

 

And then, if someone has a different experience, there is no implication that either you or they are "wrong" ;)

 

Well said. I'm always amazed that people 1/2-way across the world who have never met me know what will make me happier. That's some magical powers. :P

 

And what about this?

 

Maybe it's just me, but I've never owned a GPS that displayed attributes.

 

Would people - *especially* off-road - like to know attributes? That could have a huge impact on happiness by helping seek the good and avoiding the problems like lack of equipment, right?

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Solution to question: Use both GPs to find cache. Smartphone as backup and web access.

Just like when I go deer hunting. I carry rifle and have pistol on hip. Why? Backup.

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Solution to question: Use both GPs to find cache. Smartphone as backup and web access.

Just like when I go deer hunting. I carry rifle and have pistol on hip. Why? Backup.

 

Of course that's an option. Not necessary, but an option. As a smartphone-exclusive cacher, I've always said the best caching strategy is both devices - if only because they both have their technical strengths; a dedicated GPS will (on average) be better at GPS than a smartphone (on average), and the smartphone is a jack of all trades. Of course, one can cache just dandy with only a GPSr, just as with only a smartphone.

So, whichever combination you use is entirely up to you. FInd one that works for you, and run with it. If you want the best technical capability, get a GPSr that is faster and more accurate than whatever smartphone you get (not all are). But whatever you choose, just realize that your preference may well be different than another's, and whether you have a good or bad experience doesn't mean everyone else will have the same experience :)

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Solution to question: Use both GPs to find cache. Smartphone as backup and web access.

Just like when I go deer hunting. I carry rifle and have pistol on hip. Why? Backup.

 

Of course that's an option. Not necessary, but an option. As a smartphone-exclusive cacher, I've always said the best caching strategy is both devices - if only because they both have their technical strengths; a dedicated GPS will (on average) be better at GPS than a smartphone (on average), and the smartphone is a jack of all trades. Of course, one can cache just dandy with only a GPSr, just as with only a smartphone.

So, whichever combination you use is entirely up to you. FInd one that works for you, and run with it. If you want the best technical capability, get a GPSr that is faster and more accurate than whatever smartphone you get (not all are). But whatever you choose, just realize that your preference may well be different than another's, and whether you have a good or bad experience doesn't mean everyone else will have the same experience :)

 

what specific functions have you seen a stand alone GPS better at, than a smartphone?

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Solution to question: Use both GPs to find cache. Smartphone as backup and web access.

Just like when I go deer hunting. I carry rifle and have pistol on hip. Why? Backup.

 

Of course that's an option. Not necessary, but an option. As a smartphone-exclusive cacher, I've always said the best caching strategy is both devices - if only because they both have their technical strengths; a dedicated GPS will (on average) be better at GPS than a smartphone (on average), and the smartphone is a jack of all trades. Of course, one can cache just dandy with only a GPSr, just as with only a smartphone.

So, whichever combination you use is entirely up to you. FInd one that works for you, and run with it. If you want the best technical capability, get a GPSr that is faster and more accurate than whatever smartphone you get (not all are). But whatever you choose, just realize that your preference may well be different than another's, and whether you have a good or bad experience doesn't mean everyone else will have the same experience :)

 

what specific functions have you seen a stand alone GPS better at, than a smartphone?

 

Ease of use while geocaching in 23 countries without a data connection.

Edited by NYPaddleCacher

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Maybe it's just me, but I've never owned a GPS that displayed attributes.

 

Would people - *especially* off-road - like to know attributes? That could have a huge impact on happiness by helping seek the good and avoiding the problems like lack of equipment, right?

 

I've had attributes on my GPS (Colorado300 and Oregon600) for years. GSAK + macro's does that for me ;)

It also shows FPs, TBs,...

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Solution to question: Use both GPs to find cache. Smartphone as backup and web access.

Just like when I go deer hunting. I carry rifle and have pistol on hip. Why? Backup.

 

Of course that's an option. Not necessary, but an option. As a smartphone-exclusive cacher, I've always said the best caching strategy is both devices - if only because they both have their technical strengths; a dedicated GPS will (on average) be better at GPS than a smartphone (on average), and the smartphone is a jack of all trades. Of course, one can cache just dandy with only a GPSr, just as with only a smartphone.

So, whichever combination you use is entirely up to you. FInd one that works for you, and run with it. If you want the best technical capability, get a GPSr that is faster and more accurate than whatever smartphone you get (not all are). But whatever you choose, just realize that your preference may well be different than another's, and whether you have a good or bad experience doesn't mean everyone else will have the same experience :)

 

what specific functions have you seen a stand alone GPS better at, than a smartphone?

 

Ease of use while geocaching in 23 countries without a data connection.

 

"ease of use" is pretty vague

"x number counties" should have been a higher number to make it sound cooler

"data connection" well, since everyone knows data isn't needed for caching....

 

try again? :-)

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Solution to question: Use both GPs to find cache. Smartphone as backup and web access.

Just like when I go deer hunting. I carry rifle and have pistol on hip. Why? Backup.

 

Of course that's an option. Not necessary, but an option. As a smartphone-exclusive cacher, I've always said the best caching strategy is both devices - if only because they both have their technical strengths; a dedicated GPS will (on average) be better at GPS than a smartphone (on average), and the smartphone is a jack of all trades. Of course, one can cache just dandy with only a GPSr, just as with only a smartphone.

So, whichever combination you use is entirely up to you. FInd one that works for you, and run with it. If you want the best technical capability, get a GPSr that is faster and more accurate than whatever smartphone you get (not all are). But whatever you choose, just realize that your preference may well be different than another's, and whether you have a good or bad experience doesn't mean everyone else will have the same experience :)

 

what specific functions have you seen a stand alone GPS better at, than a smartphone?

 

Ease of use while geocaching in 23 countries without a data connection.

 

"ease of use" is pretty vague

"x number counties" should have been a higher number to make it sound cooler

"data connection" well, since everyone knows data isn't needed for caching....

 

try again? :-)

 

Is there a reason why you're seemingly trying to prove phones are better for caching?

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what specific functions have you seen a stand alone GPS better at, than a smartphone?

 

Umm... I think it's legitimate to expect that the best dedicated GPS device will fare better in GPS use overall than the best smartphone with GPS capability. Otherwise, dedicated GPS devices are obsolete. Anyone can understand that (and this from a smartphone evangelist :P). Well, any realist can understand that :)

(not I qualified "best" - not just any standalone gps vs any smartphone)

 

I'll requote what you replied to, with emphasis:

As a smartphone-exclusive cacher, I've always said the best caching strategy is both devices - if only because they both have their technical strengths; a dedicated GPS will (on average) be better at GPS than a smartphone (on average), and the smartphone['s strength] is a jack of all trades. Of course, one can cache just dandy with only a GPSr, just as with only a smartphone.

So, whichever combination you use is entirely up to you. Find one that works for you, and run with it. If you want the best technical capability, get a GPSr that is faster and more accurate than whatever smartphone you get (not all are). But whatever you choose, just realize that your preference may well be different than another's, and whether you have a good or bad experience doesn't mean everyone else will have the same experience :)

Edited by thebruce0

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Solution to question: Use both GPs to find cache. Smartphone as backup and web access.

Just like when I go deer hunting. I carry rifle and have pistol on hip. Why? Backup.

 

Of course that's an option. Not necessary, but an option. As a smartphone-exclusive cacher, I've always said the best caching strategy is both devices - if only because they both have their technical strengths; a dedicated GPS will (on average) be better at GPS than a smartphone (on average), and the smartphone is a jack of all trades. Of course, one can cache just dandy with only a GPSr, just as with only a smartphone.

So, whichever combination you use is entirely up to you. FInd one that works for you, and run with it. If you want the best technical capability, get a GPSr that is faster and more accurate than whatever smartphone you get (not all are). But whatever you choose, just realize that your preference may well be different than another's, and whether you have a good or bad experience doesn't mean everyone else will have the same experience :)

 

what specific functions have you seen a stand alone GPS better at, than a smartphone?

 

Ease of use while geocaching in 23 countries without a data connection.

 

"ease of use" is pretty vague

"x number counties" should have been a higher number to make it sound cooler

"data connection" well, since everyone knows data isn't needed for caching....

 

try again? :-)

 

"ease of use" is not vague. I find a handlheld GPS easier to use when preparing for and geocaching in other countries. The process for adding a list of cache (using Pocket Queries) and adding basemaps to the GPS is just simpler than it is with a smart phone. I also find it easier to manage battery life with a handheld GPS. It's quick and easy to swap out a set of AA batteries rather than bring along an external charger and remember to keep it changed for when it's needed.

 

I didn't list the number of countries to be cool. I listed the number of countries to demonstrate real world experience in a variety of locations. Describing ones experience using a handheld GPS and/or smartphone in many locations carries a heavier weight of evidence than describing real world experience in 1-2 locations.

 

Whether or not a data connection is "needed" for caching is irrelevant. It's entirely possible to cache without a GPS or Smartphone at all. You asked what special functions make a handheld GPS "better". For me, I find it much easier to prepare for and use a handheld GPS when caching in places when I don't have a data connection.

 

 

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"ease of use" is pretty vague

"x number counties" should have been a higher number to make it sound cooler

"data connection" well, since everyone knows data isn't needed for caching....

 

try again? :-)

 

Is there a reason why you're seemingly trying to prove phones are better for caching?

 

People tent to persuade themselves they are using THE only and right/best tool or object. Admitting or giving in to something different is seen as a failure ;)

 

I know I was a convinced smartphone user for outdoor navigation/caching, now I know better.

 

If one has not used both in a lot of different situations, you can't tell what works best for you. (You never can say what works best for another, only give advise ;) )

Said that, up to now there is not 1 tool that works for all I do out there.

 

In car and on motorbike I prefer smartphone, on foot or bicycle I prefer the gps device. I know for myself pretty well why :)

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Solution to question: Use both GPs to find cache. Smartphone as backup and web access.

Just like when I go deer hunting. I carry rifle and have pistol on hip. Why? Backup.

 

Of course that's an option. Not necessary, but an option. As a smartphone-exclusive cacher, I've always said the best caching strategy is both devices - if only because they both have their technical strengths; a dedicated GPS will (on average) be better at GPS than a smartphone (on average), and the smartphone is a jack of all trades. Of course, one can cache just dandy with only a GPSr, just as with only a smartphone.

So, whichever combination you use is entirely up to you. FInd one that works for you, and run with it. If you want the best technical capability, get a GPSr that is faster and more accurate than whatever smartphone you get (not all are). But whatever you choose, just realize that your preference may well be different than another's, and whether you have a good or bad experience doesn't mean everyone else will have the same experience :)

 

what specific functions have you seen a stand alone GPS better at, than a smartphone?

 

Ease of use while geocaching in 23 countries without a data connection.

 

"ease of use" is pretty vague

"x number counties" should have been a higher number to make it sound cooler

"data connection" well, since everyone knows data isn't needed for caching....

 

try again? :-)

 

Is there a reason why you're seemingly trying to prove phones are better for caching?

 

the title of the thread asks a question, I'm just looking for real usage scenarios instead of market speak and generalizations. i don't have a product to sell, either in hardware or software.

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what specific functions have you seen a stand alone GPS better at, than a smartphone?

 

Umm... I think it's legitimate to expect that the best dedicated GPS device will fare better in GPS use overall than the best smartphone with GPS capability. Otherwise, dedicated GPS devices are obsolete. Anyone can understand that (and this from a smartphone evangelist :P). Well, any realist can understand that :)

(not I qualified "best" - not just any standalone gps vs any smartphone)

 

I'll requote what you replied to, with emphasis:

As a smartphone-exclusive cacher, I've always said the best caching strategy is both devices - if only because they both have their technical strengths; a dedicated GPS will (on average) be better at GPS than a smartphone (on average), and the smartphone['s strength] is a jack of all trades. Of course, one can cache just dandy with only a GPSr, just as with only a smartphone.

So, whichever combination you use is entirely up to you. Find one that works for you, and run with it. If you want the best technical capability, get a GPSr that is faster and more accurate than whatever smartphone you get (not all are). But whatever you choose, just realize that your preference may well be different than another's, and whether you have a good or bad experience doesn't mean everyone else will have the same experience :)

 

I'm sorry , buy the only point that was any where near specific was "faster" and "better", but neither was quantified beyond that. the very vague generalities agree what I'm trying to refine into real reasons/uses.

 

:-)

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Solution to question: Use both GPs to find cache. Smartphone as backup and web access.

Just like when I go deer hunting. I carry rifle and have pistol on hip. Why? Backup.

 

Of course that's an option. Not necessary, but an option. As a smartphone-exclusive cacher, I've always said the best caching strategy is both devices - if only because they both have their technical strengths; a dedicated GPS will (on average) be better at GPS than a smartphone (on average), and the smartphone is a jack of all trades. Of course, one can cache just dandy with only a GPSr, just as with only a smartphone.

So, whichever combination you use is entirely up to you. FInd one that works for you, and run with it. If you want the best technical capability, get a GPSr that is faster and more accurate than whatever smartphone you get (not all are). But whatever you choose, just realize that your preference may well be different than another's, and whether you have a good or bad experience doesn't mean everyone else will have the same experience :)

 

what specific functions have you seen a stand alone GPS better at, than a smartphone?

 

Ease of use while geocaching in 23 countries without a data connection.

 

"ease of use" is pretty vague

"x number counties" should have been a higher number to make it sound cooler

"data connection" well, since everyone knows data isn't needed for caching....

 

try again? :-)

 

"ease of use" is not vague. I find a handlheld GPS easier to use when preparing for and geocaching in other countries.

1 The process for adding a list of cache (using Pocket Queries) and adding basemaps to the GPS is just simpler than it is with a smart phone. 2 I also find it easier to manage battery life with a handheld GPS.

3 It's quick and easy to swap out a set of AA batteries rather than bring along an external charger and remember to keep it changed for when it's needed.

 

I didn't list the number of countries to be cool. I listed the number of countries to demonstrate real world experience in a variety of locations.

4 Describing ones experience using a handheld GPS and/or smartphone in many locations carries a heavier weight of evidence than describing real world experience in 1-2 locations.

 

Whether or not a data connection is "needed" for caching is irrelevant. It's entirely possible to cache without a GPS or Smartphone at all. You asked what special functions make a handheld GPS "better".

5 For me, I find it much easier to prepare for and use a handheld GPS when caching in places when I don't have a data connection.

 

that's much more specific! good deal! i can address those points:

 

1 it's a file transfer if you use the website to find caches. not difficult, but if you prefer the GPS for this that's cool.

 

2 you mean changing batteries?

 

3 changing batteries is changing batteries... assuming the gps and smartphone are both capable of battery swaps. ... moot....

 

4 do gps satellites care that you're in another country? maybe i missed the point here?

 

5 so, pocket queries are the preference, and data isn't really what you meant to mention earlier? that's cool.

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"ease of use" is not vague.

Not vague, but subjective.

 

I find a handlheld GPS easier to use when preparing for and geocaching in other countries. The process for adding a list of cache (using Pocket Queries) and adding basemaps to the GPS is just simpler than it is with a smart phone.

I'd say that depends on the app. Couldn't be easier with Geosphere - run pocket query, load into my db. Done. (or, load into its own custom group so I can view only those caches; done. or, view the system group that shows new caches not already loaded into the database if I want to scan over the ones I may not yet have seen; done.)

Quite subjective.

 

I also find it easier to manage battery life with a handheld GPS. It's quick and easy to swap out a set of AA batteries rather than bring along an external charger and remember to keep it changed for when it's needed.

I hate charged external packs too. But I have the AA pack for the phone so I can just swap'em out too, and holding it isn't a concern for me. Again, quite subjective :)

 

Whether or not a data connection is "needed" for caching is irrelevant. It's entirely possible to cache without a GPS or Smartphone at all. You asked what special functions make a handheld GPS "better". For me, I find it much easier to prepare for and use a handheld GPS when caching in places when I don't have a data connection.

Agreed.

 

Though a smartphone without data connection is technically as capable as a hendheld gpsr. Neither have data connections, both must be preloaded in preparation for (offline) usage. Both can do so. Ease of use will vary depending on personal habits, desires, and for the phone side the apps being used.

So it's more like there's a lesser range of experiences to be had with the handheld, than the large swath of hard-to-easy experiences based on factors with the smartphone. In that sense, handheld is a more reliable experience than smartphone (a safer bet for GPS use), until you narrow down and specify things like models and brands and software, at which point direct comparisons become more useful knowledge.

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"ease of use" is pretty vague

"x number counties" should have been a higher number to make it sound cooler

"data connection" well, since everyone knows data isn't needed for caching....

 

try again? :-)

 

Is there a reason why you're seemingly trying to prove phones are better for caching?

 

People tent to persuade themselves they are using THE only and right/best tool or object. Admitting or giving in to something different is seen as a failure ;)

 

I know I was a convinced smartphone user for outdoor navigation/caching, now I know better.

 

If one has not used both in a lot of different situations, you can't tell what works best for you. (You never can say what works best for another, only give advise ;) )

Said that, up to now there is not 1 tool that works for all I do out there.

 

In car and on motorbike I prefer smartphone, on foot or bicycle I prefer the gps device. I know for myself pretty well why :)

 

I'm searching for reasons/uses that the smartphone cannot do, since the thread title asks that question. there is a lot of usage from both types of devices here in gs. if people listed things like you have instead of just vaguely saying "it's a real gps" it would be a better comparison. :-)

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I'm sorry , buy the only point that was any where near specific was "faster" and "better", but neither was quantified beyond that. the very vague generalities agree what I'm trying to refine into real reasons/uses.

 

:-)

 

In short: The dedicated GPS class of device, when taking all brands and models into consideration, will on average fair better at GPS than the smartphone, when taking all brands and models into consideration. That's all I meant. Of course there are some handhelds that are worse at GPS than some smartphones, and vice versa. And that's why I always encourage people to cite what model(s) of device they are explaining their experience with, because otherwise the information is useless.

But, if you want the best technical experience of both classes of devices, the best dedicated GPS device should always fair better at gps than the best smartphone. And the best smartphone should (well, will) fair better than the best dedicated GPS device at being a jack of all trades.

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Replying to the question in the thread title, the answer is obviously yes.

 

(With the unstated caveats, that we are talking about handheld GPSr's and applying them to geocaching.)

 

what specific functions have you seen a stand alone GPS better at, than a smartphone?

 

1)"GPS navigation devices vary in sensitivity, speed, vulnerability to multipath propagation, and other performance parameters." Although the gap is narrowing the stand alone GPSr generally outperforms the smartphone in these areas. Thus in high multi-path (urban and heavy tree covered areas) my 7 year old GPSr still outperforms my smartphone in my own empirical observations. In open areas the difference is much less noticeable, but they both get me close enough to ground zero eventually. Again, my own empirical observations from finding various benchmarks; indicate that the dedicated GPSr is more "accurate" in a side by side comparison. (The quoted article in the OP basically confirms those findings.)

 

2)Power usage/Battery performance. Notwithstanding, all the tip, tricks, and (low cost) hacks people suggest to keep their phones powered, GPSr's are more power efficient. There is something comforting about having a couple of widely available, easily transportable, AA batteries available.

 

3)From a purely personal perspective I spend less time "messing" with the GPSr; select cache or enter waypoint... get searching. While the apps on the smart phone are too busy updating nearest caches, scrolling through lists, selecting the search technique, and doing other things in the background (social media logs) that time is wasted while it continually sorts itself out. I will say having access to the cache page/hints/logs/pics is nice if your up against a tough cache, but I could get that info through the browser vice the app anyway...

 

For me I have no problem using the smartphone for the easy or opportunity caches (or even harder ones), however anytime we are going off the beaten path we bring the GPSr.

 

So to summarize for ohgood: handheld GPSr; improved sensitivity, improved multi-path rejection, improved ionosphere modeling, improved accuracy, improved battery life and power management, ease of use... YMMV

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I'm searching for reasons/uses that the smartphone cannot do, since the thread title asks that question.

 

To what end? You say you've used both while caching, so why ask? You know what works best for you. People like what they like, so why the need to have people justify their opinions?

 

For someone who allegedly has no dog in the fight, you really seem determined to prove cell phones are the best caching devices.

Edited by Arthur & Trillian

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Replying to the question in the thread title, the answer is obviously yes.

 

(With the unstated caveats, that we are talking about handheld GPSr's and applying them to geocaching.)

 

what specific functions have you seen a stand alone GPS better at, than a smartphone?

 

1)"GPS navigation devices vary in sensitivity, speed, vulnerability to multipath propagation, and other performance parameters." Although the gap is narrowing the stand alone GPSr generally outperforms the smartphone in these areas. Thus in high multi-path (urban and heavy tree covered areas) my 7 year old GPSr still outperforms my smartphone in my own empirical observations. In open areas the difference is much less noticeable, but they both get me close enough to ground zero eventually. Again, my own empirical observations from finding various benchmarks; indicate that the dedicated GPSr is more "accurate" in a side by side comparison. (The quoted article in the OP basically confirms those findings.)

 

2)Power usage/Battery performance. Notwithstanding, all the tip, tricks, and (low cost) hacks people suggest to keep their phones powered, GPSr's are more power efficient. There is something comforting about having a couple of widely available, easily transportable, AA batteries available.

 

3)From a purely personal perspective I spend less time "messing" with the GPSr; select cache or enter waypoint... get searching. While the apps on the smart phone are too busy updating nearest caches, scrolling through lists, selecting the search technique, and doing other things in the background (social media logs) that time is wasted while it continually sorts itself out. I will say having access to the cache page/hints/logs/pics is nice if your up against a tough cache, but I could get that info through the browser vice the app anyway...

 

For me I have no problem using the smartphone for the easy or opportunity caches (or even harder ones), however anytime we are going off the beaten path we bring the GPSr.

 

So to summarize for ohgood: handheld GPSr; improved sensitivity, improved multi-path rejection, improved ionosphere modeling, improved accuracy, improved battery life and power management, ease of use... YMMV

 

Very well said.

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I'm searching for reasons/uses that the smartphone cannot do, since the thread title asks that question.

 

To what end? You say you've used both while caching, so why ask? You know what works best for you. People like what they like, so why the need to have people justify their opinions?

 

For someone who allegedly has no dog in the fight, you really seem determined to prove cell phones are the best caching devices.

 

It's strange because this geocacher wants particular details about people's tests of different devices, but rejects result from actual scientific testing of devices. Starting to smell like an agenda to me.

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I'm searching for reasons/uses that the smartphone cannot do, since the thread title asks that question.

 

To what end? You say you've used both while caching, so why ask? You know what works best for you. People like what they like, so why the need to have people justify their opinions?

 

For someone who allegedly has no dog in the fight, you really seem determined to prove cell phones are the best caching devices.

 

It's strange because this geocacher wants particular details about people's tests of different devices, but rejects result from actual scientific testing of devices. Starting to smell like an agenda to me.

 

Precisely.

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"ease of use" is not vague.

Not vague, but subjective.

 

I find a handlheld GPS easier to use when preparing for and geocaching in other countries. The process for adding a list of cache (using Pocket Queries) and adding basemaps to the GPS is just simpler than it is with a smart phone.

I'd say that depends on the app. Couldn't be easier with Geosphere - run pocket query, load into my db. Done. (or, load into its own custom group so I can view only those caches; done. or, view the system group that shows new caches not already loaded into the database if I want to scan over the ones I may not yet have seen; done.)

Quite subjective.

 

I also find it easier to manage battery life with a handheld GPS. It's quick and easy to swap out a set of AA batteries rather than bring along an external charger and remember to keep it changed for when it's needed.

I hate charged external packs too. But I have the AA pack for the phone so I can just swap'em out too, and holding it isn't a concern for me. Again, quite subjective :)

 

Whether or not a data connection is "needed" for caching is irrelevant. It's entirely possible to cache without a GPS or Smartphone at all. You asked what special functions make a handheld GPS "better". For me, I find it much easier to prepare for and use a handheld GPS when caching in places when I don't have a data connection.

Agreed.

 

Though a smartphone without data connection is technically as capable as a hendheld gpsr. Neither have data connections, both must be preloaded in preparation for (offline) usage. Both can do so. Ease of use will vary depending on personal habits, desires, and for the phone side the apps being used.

So it's more like there's a lesser range of experiences to be had with the handheld, than the large swath of hard-to-easy experiences based on factors with the smartphone. In that sense, handheld is a more reliable experience than smartphone (a safer bet for GPS use), until you narrow down and specify things like models and brands and software, at which point direct comparisons become more useful knowledge.

 

excellent , thank you.

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I'm searching for reasons/uses that the smartphone cannot do, since the thread title asks that question.

 

To what end? You say you've used both while caching, so why ask? You know what works best for you.

 

1 People like what they like, so why the need to have people justify their opinions?

 

For someone who allegedly has no dog in the fight,

 

2 you really seem determined to prove cell phones are the best caching devices.

 

1 "i like eggs but not bacon" doesn't give much usable information for people that may search for it here.

 

2 best is subjective /preferential. i don't think that could be stamped on any one device, but I'm sure someone could disprove that.

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