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Swick_Downs

phone app vrs gps device

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I'm very new to geocaching with 42 finds and 9 hides. I have the geocaching app on my phone and I LOVE it. It's so user friendly and the graphics are clear and simple. However I found that some of my hides were not showing up accurate as I was also using my phone to mark my coordinated with google map. So I went out and picked up a little Garmin etrex 10. WELL... I was very disappointed in this little rig. So hard to set up, difficult to figure out and crappy graphics. I thought "why the heck do people even use gps when the phone app is so great". Am I missing something here? When I watch the youtube videos of people hiding or finding caches they all seem to have GPSs, why? What am I missing? Why would I use a GPS over the app (except to mark my coordinates when hiding).

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I love finding caches with my phone, but I I always use a real gps to hide caches. I don't necessarily trust the phone for hide coordinates, but love the satellite view for finding them.

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I'm very new to geocaching with 42 finds and 9 hides. I have the geocaching app on my phone and I LOVE it. It's so user friendly and the graphics are clear and simple. However I found that some of my hides were not showing up accurate as I was also using my phone to mark my coordinated with google map. So I went out and picked up a little Garmin etrex 10. WELL... I was very disappointed in this little rig. So hard to set up, difficult to figure out and crappy graphics. I thought "why the heck do people even use gps when the phone app is so great". Am I missing something here? When I watch the youtube videos of people hiding or finding caches they all seem to have GPSs, why? What am I missing? Why would I use a GPS over the app (except to mark my coordinates when hiding).

I don't have a smartphone data subscription. Every time I check out subscriptions, I'm shocked at the cost. I just keep my old flip-phone and its inexpensive voice-only prepaid plan (with short email/text capability). So an "App" isn't for me, at least where live data would be involved. The Android tablet screen is dim outdoors, the battery doesn't last long using "GPS", and I don't want it to get wet or dirty, out in the wilds. It's in no way waterproof. I can drop my handheld GPSr (yeah, and I have, a lot :laughing:), no problem. Also, I have an electronics background, so I'm inclined to always use a phone as a phone. If my GPSr burns out or whatever, at least I have a phone. Two separate devices. It's just a thing I do. B)

 

AND with the Garmin I can go anywhere and find a cache. My phone signal may be long gone. I don't need the live data. I've pre-loaded everything for whatever place I'm going to hunt today.

 

Anyway, that's why I use a GPSr over an App. I have Locus Pro with tons of stuff loaded for off-line viewing, in case I need info I haven't loaded into the GPSr. But I still use the GPSr for the actual cache hunt, for the reasons stated. If you can't figure out why you'd want a handheld GPSr, don't worry about it. :anicute:

Edited by kunarion

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I can't tell how many times I have been in no bars country and caching along without a care in the world with my eTrex 30. Unless you load gpx files your phone is a paperweight. I've dropped my etrex in water, not to worry, got all the dirt off it. How does your phone do? Dropped it on hard surfaces. It bounces nice. How about your phone? Some times I start early in the morning and after 12 hours the etrex is still trucking along on the same batteries. How about your phone? Graphics? besides the arrow what else do you need? Oh, one other thing, my etrex doesn't need a data plan, of course it is a bitch to send a text or answer a phone call.

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I do most of my geocaching using a phone app (CacheSense on my Android phone). And the last time I listed a cache, the coordinates I got with my eXplorist were virtually the same as the coordinates I got with my phone app (but both sets of coordinates were averaged, after the device had been running long enough to get a good fix).

 

But with that said, I use my eXplorist when I need better durability, battery life, and/or GPS reception than my phone provides. In those situations, I'm willing to give up the convenience of the phone app.

 

I could improve the durability of my phone by buying a protective case, or by buying one of the rugged phone models that are available now.

 

I recently bought a USB charger for my phone, so the phone's battery life may be less of an issue in the future.

 

And GPS reception matters mainly in situations with poor GPS signal, like narrow canyons or heavy redwood tree cover. In open spaces with a clear view of the sky in all directions, the phone is fine.

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I'm very new to geocaching with 42 finds and 9 hides. I have the geocaching app on my phone and I LOVE it. It's so user friendly and the graphics are clear and simple. However I found that some of my hides were not showing up accurate as I was also using my phone to mark my coordinated with google map. So I went out and picked up a little Garmin etrex 10. WELL... I was very disappointed in this little rig. So hard to set up, difficult to figure out and crappy graphics. I thought "why the heck do people even use gps when the phone app is so great". Am I missing something here? When I watch the youtube videos of people hiding or finding caches they all seem to have GPSs, why? What am I missing? Why would I use a GPS over the app (except to mark my coordinates when hiding).

Okay, please excuse me, but I don't get it...

 

Maybe a mid/high end GPSr to your smartphone would have been a bit more realistic in your comparison (and dismissal of a hand-held GPSr).

Comparing an etrex 10, close to bare bones you can get today, to a modern smartphone is just odd (to me). :)

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Well, with the classic app, I saved everything to offline lists, no cell coverage needed out in the field. You can sort of do it with the new app, but not with nearly the ease of the old one. I still use the old classic app.

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Well, with the classic app, I saved everything to offline lists, no cell coverage needed out in the field. You can sort of do it with the new app, but not with nearly the ease of the old one. I still use the old classic app.

 

I found it fairly easy to do with the new app as well. I used offline lists to find caches in Mexico and Cuba (where you can't bring a handheld GPS).

 

 

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The eTrex 10 is a very minimal GPSr, so don't let that unit's performance influence your judgment of GPSr vs smartphone. If you can return the 10 and get another GPSr, then you may begin to see why some cachers prefer GPSr's.

 

When I was researching different GPSr's, I read about the eTrex 10 and realized that it was very bare bones. I ended up buying an eTrex 20 myself. There was a refurb model on sale for a good price. I think the most popular GPSr's are the Garmin eTrex 20/30 and the Garmin 62/64 series. The latter is a bit more costly and they are also larger units.

 

I have used my smartphone occasionally, but I prefer using my GPSr for navigating. My smartphone may not be the best, but it does work pretty well when I use it for multi's and Wherigo's. My GPSr is better for durability, screen contrast, coord accuracy, and battery life. It's much easier for me to switch out a couple AA batteries in my GPSr then to hold my smartphone while it's connected to the external battery charger.

 

Plenty of cachers have their own preferences though, so whatever works best for you.

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My phone was nearly $1000 new. I don't want to risk destroying my phone by dropping it on rocks or in a swamp. I don't want to carry weird charger things for my phone and I don't want my phone encased in a ridiculous plastic contraption that I will have to remove or explain to people in polite company. I don't want to use my phone's touchscreen in the rain. The phone is fine for urban caches here and there but I can't see myself using it for the bulk of my caching. But I think given the choice between my first GPS, an eXplorist 100, and my current phone, the phone might win more often.

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I've tried using the app a few times, but I find it very inaccurate. It changes its mind constantly once you get anywhere near the cache, jumping about like a Mexican bean. Maybe I just don't know who to use it properly, but I'll take a real gps any day.

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I generally prefer to use a third-party smartphone app because:

 

1) It'e easier to use.

2) Access to satellite maps (with data service).

3) It's still capable for complete offline caching including topo maps like handheld GPSrs, but with better screen size.

 

But I still prefer to use a handheld GPS when:

 

1) I hike and I'm within 30 feet from the ground zero -- It takes time for GPS reception to settle regardless of the device type, and while it's easy to always have my handheld GPSr turned on, it's hard to do the same with my smartphone unless I don't care to have it always connected to my external charger. I still use the smartphone app for cache information (description, rating, hint, logs, etc.) and overall map even when I hike.

 

2) I hide -- I need waypoint averaging, and the app I use for geocaching doesn't have that feature. I'm almost sure that there are other apps that help, but I have not bothered to research.

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I've tried using the app a few times, but I find it very inaccurate. It changes its mind constantly once you get anywhere near the cache, jumping about like a Mexican bean. Maybe I just don't know who to use it properly, but I'll take a real gps any day.

Ditto! I've tried my phone, with the gc.com paid app, a few times. It will work in a pinch but it's not worth a hoot when doing more than a couple of caches. I'm sure part of it is that my phone is going on 5 years old. I figure a newer one would work better but i'm not willing to go pay for one at this time.

 

As others have stated, the gpsr is more rugged, more water resistant, and runs longer on a set of batteries than most smart phones.

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The phone is nice for convenience, but the real gps receiver is more rugged, can sustain drops and bumps better, is water proof, and just geared toward outdoor use. You can't say any of that about your phone.

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The phone is nice for convenience, but the real gps receiver is more rugged, can sustain drops and bumps better, is water proof, and just geared toward outdoor use. You can't say any of that about your phone.

 

I can say that about mine (a Samsung S5 Active) but I still prefer using my handheld GPS most of the time.

 

 

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The phone is nice for convenience, but the real gps receiver is more rugged, can sustain drops and bumps better, is water proof, and just geared toward outdoor use. You can't say any of that about your phone.

 

2 months ago I dropped my iphone while running out of a dense brush of bushes and trees (no trail) while being pelted by hail. Got to the car and realized my phone wasn't with me. At this point the hail had stopped and there was a burst of heavy rain. I went back for my phone. Found it near the cache. It was thankfully in good shape. No problems with function. That's because I have the iphone in a LifeProof case. I've dropped it numerous times (sidewalks, garage cement floor, indoors on ceramic and linoleum).

 

If people decide to use their phone as their primary geocaching tool I recommend a good case.

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I've been using Garmins since 2001. My current Garmin is a 62s. But my primary geocaching device is my iPhone.

 

I like the convenience of the iPhone (GC app, camera, access to the GC website).

But I feel I need both. (This is an expensive hobby for me).

My Garmin is my backup. I use it when I can't find the cache. Most of the time it verifies that I'm in the right spot but sometimes I get the cache with the Garmin, while it's out by a few meters with the iPhone.

I also prefer using the GPS for multis, I don't find the app intuitive when it comes to adding waypoints, and sometimes it doesn't work.

I also download a PQ of traditional caches, D/T 3 or under, size small to regular. I download that file to my GPS as my primary set of caches to search for. Then I will sometimes use the phone in the field to see what's nearby that I might like to find. Occasionally I'll see something via phone that didn't make it in to my GPS file (although it should have).

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My cell phone is the second most important piece of equipment to my small business next to my truck. I can't afford to take the chance of dropping it on rocks/concrete or in water. I find that when I was using the app, the satellite signal jumped around quite a bit, but not so much that I couldn't find a cache. The app definitely was more convenient, but for MY needs a dedicated GPSr is the best choice.

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I've been using Garmins since 2001. My current Garmin is a 62s. But my primary geocaching device is my iPhone.

 

I like the convenience of the iPhone (GC app, camera, access to the GC website).

But I feel I need both. (This is an expensive hobby for me).

My Garmin is my backup. I use it when I can't find the cache. Most of the time it verifies that I'm in the right spot but sometimes I get the cache with the Garmin, while it's out by a few meters with the iPhone.

I also prefer using the GPS for multis, I don't find the app intuitive when it comes to adding waypoints, and sometimes it doesn't work.

I also download a PQ of traditional caches, D/T 3 or under, size small to regular. I download that file to my GPS as my primary set of caches to search for. Then I will sometimes use the phone in the field to see what's nearby that I might like to find. Occasionally I'll see something via phone that didn't make it in to my GPS file (although it should have).

I am a carbon copy when it comes to equipment -- iPhone 6 and a Garmin 62S. But I still prefer the actual finding of caches at ground zero with the GPS, all the time, and usually for turn-by-turn navigation from cache to cache. The phone is better for aerial photo views, spoiler pictures and for viewing cache information.

 

I might be persuaded to switch over to the Geocaching® app once it has the features currently available on the Geocaching Classic app. Until then, I don't see the balance of power tilting away from my Garmin. I guess I'm old school.

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Well this was my whole question. What am I missing? I don't know the difference between all the GPS's so all I can compare is this little one I picked up. I didn't want to go out and pick up a high end devise only to find out that doesn't do much more then my little one. But if people highly recommend one then maybe I would. Regardless of the devise though it sounds like I would always have to preload the caches so that leaves out spontaneous geocaching. I've read that there are ones that have preloaded caches but can you update this for new finds? I now totally get the advantages of a gps in general when it comes to battery, hiding and reception thanks to all these replies. But I'm not sold on spending a lot of money on another devise if it doesn't offer much more then I already have. And I will still use my phone app in most cases.

Edited by Swick_Downs

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I can load 4000 caches in my GPS complete with hints, description, recent logs and additional waypoints. That is adequate to cover my home area for spontaneous caching for everything short of a weekend getaway. For a caching expedition more than 25 miles from home, then I load up to 4000 waypoints for that area and perhaps caches along the driving route from home to caching destination.

 

When the caches loaded on my GPS get "stale" then I delete them and replace the old file with an updated file from my GSAK database -- typically weekly. I maintain GSAK databases for my entire home state and all the neighboring states. I can wake up on a Saturday, decide to take a road trip to West Virginia, and load plenty of caches before heading out the door. I wouldn't dream of relying just on a cellphone in West Virginia.

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You haven't mentioned it, but what phone are you using?

 

The eTrex 10 is the most basic GPS you can get from Garmin, but it does have GPS and GLONASS capabilities.

 

I see you are from Quebec, so having GLONASS enabled would be useful especially when caching/hiding caches in the woods.

 

I don't have my eTrex 20 handy at the moment, so I'm just going by memory here.

Press the menu button on the side of the device and then navigate to the Setup icon.

From there you should see something named System. Click that and see if GPS or GPS + GLONASS are active.

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I can't tell how many times I have been in no bars country and caching along without a care in the world with my eTrex 30. Unless you load gpx files your phone is a paperweight. I've dropped my etrex in water, not to worry, got all the dirt off it. How does your phone do? Dropped it on hard surfaces. It bounces nice. How about your phone? Some times I start early in the morning and after 12 hours the etrex is still trucking along on the same batteries. How about your phone? Graphics? besides the arrow what else do you need? Oh, one other thing, my etrex doesn't need a data plan, of course it is a bitch to send a text or answer a phone call.

 

Can a smartphone resist water? Yes, better than an Etrex: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIf9GdCzY_Y

Can a smartphone resist drops and stone? Yes, better than an Etrex:

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Well, with the classic app, I saved everything to offline lists, no cell coverage needed out in the field. You can sort of do it with the new app, but not with nearly the ease of the old one. I still use the old classic app.

 

I wondered how that worked? I will try that. Thanks!

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The eTrex 10 is a very minimal GPSr, so don't let that unit's performance influence your judgment of GPSr vs smartphone. If you can return the 10 and get another GPSr, then you may begin to see why some cachers prefer GPSr's.

 

When I was researching different GPSr's, I read about the eTrex 10 and realized that it was very bare bones. I ended up buying an eTrex 20 myself. There was a refurb model on sale for a good price. I think the most popular GPSr's are the Garmin eTrex 20/30 and the Garmin 62/64 series. The latter is a bit more costly and they are also larger units.

 

I have used my smartphone occasionally, but I prefer using my GPSr for navigating. My smartphone may not be the best, but it does work pretty well when I use it for multi's and Wherigo's. My GPSr is better for durability, screen contrast, coord accuracy, and battery life. It's much easier for me to switch out a couple AA batteries in my GPSr then to hold my smartphone while it's connected to the external battery charger.

 

Plenty of cachers have their own preferences though, so whatever works best for you.

 

Thanks, this is good advise!

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I can't tell how many times I have been in no bars country and caching along without a care in the world with my eTrex 30. Unless you load gpx files your phone is a paperweight. I've dropped my etrex in water, not to worry, got all the dirt off it. How does your phone do? Dropped it on hard surfaces. It bounces nice. How about your phone? Some times I start early in the morning and after 12 hours the etrex is still trucking along on the same batteries. How about your phone? Graphics? besides the arrow what else do you need? Oh, one other thing, my etrex doesn't need a data plan, of course it is a bitch to send a text or answer a phone call.

 

Can a smartphone resist water? Yes, better than an Etrex: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIf9GdCzY_Y

Can a smartphone resist drops and stone? Yes, better than an Etrex:

I see no proof that the Xperia is better, only that it did work on the video. The question is, how much do you have to pay for the phone versus the gpsr? And again, there are phones that are water proof/resistant but i'm not sure just how many are able to take on much more than a few rain drops.

 

As far as ruggedness is concerned, that X1 phone looks like it would work fine out in the wild. How does it work as a smartphone though? The video made it made it sound as though its capabilities were pretty basic or average. On either of the phones, how bright is the display when viewed outdoors? How long does the battery last? How about gps accuracy? When caching on the fly, how much of a data plan do you need to geocache for 3, 4, or 8 hours?

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The question is, how much do you have to pay for the phone versus the gpsr?

If you already have a smartphone before geocaching like many people these days, there's virtually no additional cost, while not many people already own a handheld GPS.

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I've been caching 7 years, and only exclusively with the iPhone - from the 3GS, to the 4S, to the 5S, and now the 6S Plus. I've cached in the desert, used it over water, climbed, caved, urban cached, under heavy canopy and heavy rain, with and without cell reception (GPS doesn't require cell reception). It's always done its job. That said, It's all based on my own risk-analysis and what I was willing to put up with and/or spend to assuage any issues. I'll say this - out of the box, a handheld GPS is more capable for use in geocaching contexts (rugged, battery life, weatherable, etc). Any issues I've come across compared to a (recent) smartphonecan be assuaged by accessories. The only benefit I haven't found a workaround to is geocaching in cold weather. It seems that smartphones are much more susceptible to battery drain in the cold than GPSrs, but you have to hold them in your hand if you're going to actuall do the geocaching (else slip them into a warm inner pocket for a minutes on occasion); so unless there's a heated case.... :laughing:

 

Ultimately, as already mentioned, try out various devices, and check out various apps. Don't judge a device merely by a software app (when it comes to smartphones at least). And it's always good to mention smartphone brand names as well, since there's a much wider variance in quality and capability among "smartphones" (being jacks of all trades) than handheld GPSrs (being specialized for GPS-related tasks).

 

Also also, I agree that the interface is a big thing. And having used smartphones for my entire caching career, when I look at pretty much any handheld GPS user interface, I just cringe - whether it's the screen resolution, size, or button styles or menu and software layout... *shudder* But that's just me, spoiled by smartphones :P

 

My recommendation for best geocaching gear (barring costs) has always been to have a quality dedicated GPS device, as well as a decent smartphone (and these days most are more than sufficient for general geocaching). Have access to the best features all around available to be prepared for any situation.

Edited by thebruce0

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The phone is nice for convenience, but the real gps receiver is more rugged, can sustain drops and bumps better, is water proof, and just geared toward outdoor use. You can't say any of that about your phone.

 

The gps receiver is nice for convenience, but the real smartphone is more rugged, can sustain drops and bumps better, is water proof, and just geared toward outdoor use. You can't say any of that about your gps receiver.

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I find the GPS accuracy of my phone to be lacking. Disappointing, since it's a Galaxy S5 and should by this point be relatively accurate. I get much better accuracy, especially when hiding caches, with my Garmin Montana 600. edit to add: perhaps it's because my phone doesn't use WAAS? dunno.

 

When push comes to shove, and the phone is all I have, it works OK, but my DNF rate tends to go up considerably.

Edited by hzoi

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The phone is nice for convenience, but the real gps receiver is more rugged, can sustain drops and bumps better, is water proof, and just geared toward outdoor use. You can't say any of that about your phone.

 

The gps receiver is nice for convenience, but the real smartphone is more rugged, can sustain drops and bumps better, is water proof, and just geared toward outdoor use. You can't say any of that about your gps receiver.

 

My current GPS has withstood 6 years of rugged outdoor use and it still works like new.

 

I don't think I even had a smartphone 6 years ago. I think I'm on my third Galaxy, so they last two years at most and my previous phone had an annoying cracked screen for months while I waited out the time until I could upgrade.

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Everyone's experiences with devices can be quite different (even sometimes with the same brands). The problems in these discussions only arise when one person believes their experience is the only valid one and others' are wrong or they did something wrong. :P

 

It's good to get exposed to how other people cache and what devices they use and how. That lets us make our decision about the device(s) we use, based on the fact that only we know how we ourselves cache and find more important personally. And, we may learn something in the process to help make our experience with the same device(s) better. :)

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The question is, how much do you have to pay for the phone versus the gpsr?

If you already have a smartphone before geocaching like many people these days, there's virtually no additional cost, while not many people already own a handheld GPS.

 

Many people already have a smart phone but not necessarily a ruggedized, waterproof devices with long battery life. If you're going to compare a smartphone with a GPS then compare apples to apples. A smart phone *can* be ruggedized, waterproof, and have a long battery life but only if an additional purchase of a rugged, waterproof case, and perhaps extra external battery packs. At that point, you're no longer comparing apples to apples. If you're going to compare apples to apples then one should compare a handheld GPS that *is* waterproof, rugged, and has a long battery life (or at least replaceable AA batteries) with a smart phone that is rugged, waterproof, and has a long battery life (or replaceable batteries) out of the box. There are a limited number of smart phones with those features and they're typically at the high end of the product lines and expensive.

 

Up until fairly recently U.S. mobile companies would essentially give away smart phones at a fraction of the full price and would subsidize the cost of the phone with a 2 year contract. Now, that's not always the case. If you go to a well known mobile provider and want to buy a Samsung S6 Active (which has those ruggedized, water resistant features) it's going to cost around $540 retail and that doesn't include the monthly fees for a service and data plan.

 

A new Sony Experia Z3 is a relative bargain at around $340 (without a service/data plan). On the other hand, it runs the Windows O/S.

 

 

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The phone is nice for convenience, but the real gps receiver is more rugged, can sustain drops and bumps better, is water proof, and just geared toward outdoor use. You can't say any of that about your phone.

 

The gps receiver is nice for convenience, but the real smartphone is more rugged, can sustain drops and bumps better, is water proof, and just geared toward outdoor use. You can't say any of that about your gps receiver.

 

My current GPS has withstood 6 years of rugged outdoor use and it still works like new.

 

I don't think I even had a smartphone 6 years ago. I think I'm on my third Galaxy, so they last two years at most and my previous phone had an annoying cracked screen for months while I waited out the time until I could upgrade.

 

Some examples:

Can you do that with a gps?

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The phone is nice for convenience, but the real gps receiver is more rugged, can sustain drops and bumps better, is water proof, and just geared toward outdoor use. You can't say any of that about your phone.

 

The gps receiver is nice for convenience, but the real smartphone is more rugged, can sustain drops and bumps better, is water proof, and just geared toward outdoor use. You can't say any of that about your gps receiver.

 

My current GPS has withstood 6 years of rugged outdoor use and it still works like new.

 

I don't think I even had a smartphone 6 years ago. I think I'm on my third Galaxy, so they last two years at most and my previous phone had an annoying cracked screen for months while I waited out the time until I could upgrade.

 

Some examples:

Can you do that with a gps?

 

I don't follow external links from users I don't know. What are you asking about?

 

I know I can't drop my phone in a swamp or down a rock face.

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The phone is nice for convenience, but the real gps receiver is more rugged, can sustain drops and bumps better, is water proof, and just geared toward outdoor use. You can't say any of that about your phone.

 

The gps receiver is nice for convenience, but the real smartphone is more rugged, can sustain drops and bumps better, is water proof, and just geared toward outdoor use. You can't say any of that about your gps receiver.

 

My current GPS has withstood 6 years of rugged outdoor use and it still works like new.

 

I don't think I even had a smartphone 6 years ago. I think I'm on my third Galaxy, so they last two years at most and my previous phone had an annoying cracked screen for months while I waited out the time until I could upgrade.

 

Some examples:

Can you do that with a gps?

 

I don't follow external links from users I don't know. What are you asking about?

 

I know I can't drop my phone in a swamp or down a rock face.

 

Anyone considering this phone (No. 1 X1) might want to read Amazon reviews. It has an overall rating of 2.5 out of 5. One of them mentions that the screen cracked within a week, another one mentions that it restarts with with just a slight tap, and that it's a 3G phone, and that the customer service has been abysmal.

 

 

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The phone is nice for convenience, but the real gps receiver is more rugged, can sustain drops and bumps better, is water proof, and just geared toward outdoor use. You can't say any of that about your phone.

 

The gps receiver is nice for convenience, but the real smartphone is more rugged, can sustain drops and bumps better, is water proof, and just geared toward outdoor use. You can't say any of that about your gps receiver.

 

My current GPS has withstood 6 years of rugged outdoor use and it still works like new.

 

I don't think I even had a smartphone 6 years ago. I think I'm on my third Galaxy, so they last two years at most and my previous phone had an annoying cracked screen for months while I waited out the time until I could upgrade.

 

Some examples:

Can you do that with a gps?

TM, it's quite obvious that you have only one opinion about smartphone vs GPSr. I think we all get it now. No need to keep pushing the issue.

 

Personally, I like using a GPSr. It works better for me. It fits in my hand better and I can use it just fine with any gloves, not just the gloves with the touchscreen fingertips. My smartphone doesn't work well for me as a GPS device, but it works awesome as a phone. I do use my smartphone for caching occasionally, but it won't withstand water or drops and I'm not going to buy a different one just to cache with it.

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The question is, how much do you have to pay for the phone versus the gpsr?

If you already have a smartphone before geocaching like many people these days, there's virtually no additional cost, while not many people already own a handheld GPS.

Sure, many people have smartphones but a lot of them are barely water resistant and most are certainly not waterproof. The Xperia that was linked to is sold these days and is going on Amazon for $325. Read the reviews if you go to looking at this phone as there are some complaints about its quality. The video showed that phone as being able to be submerged but that was about all it had going for it. I'd bet money that battery life would be nowhere as good as most handheld gpsrs. Of course, a gpsr with bells and whistles isn't cheap either. However, i do feel that the pros outweigh the cons if one is to be used for hunting, fishing, hiking, and geocaching.

 

I will say this,,, i'd probably have a different opinion if i came into geocaching using only my phone. I wouldn't have anything to compare it to at that point and i might actually be on the other side of the fence. But i do have both, i've used both, so i have a good feeling for what works better.

Edited by Mudfrog

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The question is, how much do you have to pay for the phone versus the gpsr?

If you already have a smartphone before geocaching like many people these days, there's virtually no additional cost, while not many people already own a handheld GPS.

Sure, many people have smartphones but a lot of them are barely water resistant and most are certainly not waterproof. The Xperia that was linked to is sold these days and is going on Amazon for $325. Read the reviews if you go to looking at this phone as there are some complaints about its quality. The video showed that phone as being able to be submerged but that was about all it had going for it. I'd bet money that battery life would be nowhere as good as most handheld gpsrs. Of course, a gpsr with bells and whistles isn't cheap either. However, i do feel that the pros outweigh the cons if one is to be used for hunting, fishing, hiking, and geocaching.

 

I will say this,,, i'd probably have a different opinion if i came into geocaching using only my phone. I wouldn't have anything to compare it to at that point and i might actually be on the other side of the fence. But i do have both, i've used both, so i have a good feeling for what works better.

Thanks, but I'm just so happy with my Galaxy S5 Active, but I admit that I also use my eTrex 30 when I'd like to do so. I was just saying that, if you think of the OP's situation, comparing the cost of getting a new smartphone is not very useful.

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But i do have both, i've used both, so i have a good feeling for what works better.

I guess that's the difference between some people - a legitimate difference - some people want what works "better than the rest", and some people just want what works "best for them". These threads often get into arguments about the former based on opinions about the latter =/

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