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kdhusky

Handheld GPS unit VS Phone app

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Are there advantages to using a handheld unit over the iPhone app?  I’ve used the app exclusively to this point.  Thanks

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5 minutes ago, kdhusky said:

Are there advantages to using a handheld unit over the iPhone app?  I’ve used the app exclusively to this point.  Thanks

 

Yes!  The handheld unit is rugged, already has its "App", and I get to use my phone as a phone.

 

But each has advantages, as mentioned many times.  I use both, for their advantages.

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I’d saved my answer to this question from a previous post here or maybe in FB...

 

GPS accuracy (or at least, responsiveness) on the phones I first used for caching was an issue, but I don’t think that’s the case now.  As others have said, any GPS will struggle near tall buildings and under tree cover.  And you have to remember there’s no guarantee that the cache coordinates are 100% accurate.  The GPS will get you to the approximate location but then your cache-sense needs to kick in. :-)

 

There are some cachers who only ever use phones, and there are others who only ever use a GPSr, but like many, I use both.  I prefer the GPSr for the planned hike in the country, but the phone comes into its own for impromptu urban caching.  Even on those hikes, I will get my phone out at GZ to check logs, photos, satellite imagery, etc., and to write draft logs, but generally I like to keep it safely tucked away for emergencies.

 

For me, the main advantages of a GPSr are its robustness and battery life.  Tough phone covers and battery packs go some way to addressing these issues, but IMHO not quite far enough.  (Others will disagree.)

 

However, there is a learning curve.  We’re all familiar with the standard(ish) behaviour of phone apps these days, but learning how your new GPSr works may be more of a challenge!  And you do need to be better prepared and a little more tech-savvy, to get the correct maps and caches downloaded to the unit.

 

If you can get to a local event, I’m sure you’ll be able to get other cachers to ‘show and tell’.  Good luck.

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Out of the box, yes. Handhelds tend to more durable, have better battery life, higher accuracy, and work better in cold.

Out of the box.

Most of those have workarounds and accessories to be improved on smartphones (in my experience, save 'work better in cold' which is pretty much entirely up to the user habits), or vary greatly depending on which smartphone you have - and smartphones offer many additional features that handhelds don't have.

Generally speaking, both devices these days are more than sufficient for productive successful geocaching, and thus both have strengths and weaknesses. Pick what works best for you :)

Edited by thebruce0
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A modern phone is just as accurate as any handheld GPSr today.  Civilian GPS "accuracy" is the same for both, at around 10 feet.   :)

Not sure why another says tree cover is an issue,  when my long-discontinued GPSr gets reception in the basement. 

 - You get the same signal bounce sometimes from boulders and buildings on both though.

I cache with a GPSr, and only used a phone when I had to do simple 1.5 or less in towns.  

 - The other 2/3rds used her phone unless deep in the woods (that battery, protection thing...).

The only real benefits I have over the other 2/3rds who prefers her phone is batteries, and no need for additional protection.

 

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21 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

vary greatly depending on which smartphone you have

 

+1

 

Some phones are great, many aren't suitable for rugged Geocaching.  I have an iPhone 5s, which will get smokin' hot in a waterproof case, Geocaching or not.  When it goes dead, you can't charge it in the field, because then it gets hotter.  The iPhone 5s has a magnetic compass sensor, many phones don't.  Then there are the Apps, which fail to function on certain models.  On iPhone I can demonstrate today a strange 180-degree-out compass issue in The Official App, that is nonexistent in other Apps.  Those other Apps are one-time purchase, so they tend to become abandonware.

 

Some phones are great, and some Apps are, too. B)

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35 minutes ago, kunarion said:

Some phones are great, and some Apps are, too.

 

Yep.  And that's another one-up I think the handhelds have. The software and hardware are one. On smartphone, I can't count how many people have a bad experience, and blame the phone rather than the app they're using.  Then again, it could also be considered a drawback of handhelds; you're locked into the device. On a phone you can use a different app, choose on that's great for you, without having to get different device.

Another reason the smartphone vs gpsr debate will never. end.

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Both have their place in the game, the phone has the advantage of being much easier to do puzzles like A is this number, B is this number because you can switch from your app to notepad and back while a GPSr, you pretty much have to use another device or write down the information.  A phone also allows you to easily go through all the logs, photos, and to log instantly from the app. Just much larger size of the phone makes it easier on the eyes to read cache descriptions. And of course with a phone, most of the time you don't have to download geocaches, just grab the phone and go out. Spoken directions to your cache via maps, something even the highest end GPSr's don't have. No need to worry about pocket queries most of the time.  It's just an era where phones rule. 

 

GPSr though better if it is raining, or you need long battery life without hauling around a battery brick for your phone or a device that you don't cringe if dropped, and everyone drops their GPSr or phone, or like me, drop it all the time. I personally, prefer the GPSr, but more because I am old school geocacher.  That said, I will probably never buy another GPSr unit again. 

 

The accuracy of even a $50 un-activated phone GPS will get you to the spot where the geocache is so accuracy really isn't a factor anymore. 

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I didn't notice the main reason why we cache 90% GPSr: No Phone Service in areas 😁 A GPSr may give in to the 'Tree Dance', and all have issues near power lines, but they don't leave you high and dry (unless you've saved everything to the phone) when the bars drop. We do use both, but only to 'check' the GPSr as such. Very rarely do we 'go free-styling' on the phone although a lot of people do use it exclusively.

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This is a phone.  Battery lasts two full days of caching.  Built like a tank - It once got away from me on a 45° slope until a tree stopped it, no harm done.  I've loaded a caching app that couldn't care less if there's cell service.  Essentially a Garmin substitute.

 

e8ff40a6-67e7-4f20-9345-d661079297f8.jpg

 

Total price for phone + app: cheap, same ballpark as an entry-level Garmin.  Display: much better than a Garmin.  Bonus: it runs "apps" and even makes phone calls with an optional "SIM".  :P

 

22 minutes ago, Jimrky said:

No Phone Service in areas

 

Never an issue if you pre-load your phone like you have to do with a GPS unit.

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52 minutes ago, Viajero Perdido said:

This is a phone.  Battery lasts two full days of caching.  Built like a tank - It once got away from me on a 45° slope until a tree stopped it, no harm done.  I've loaded a caching app that couldn't care less if there's cell service.  Essentially a Garmin substitute.

 

e8ff40a6-67e7-4f20-9345-d661079297f8.jpg

 

Total price for phone + app: cheap, same ballpark as an entry-level Garmin.  Display: much better than a Garmin.  Bonus: it runs "apps" and even makes phone calls with an optional "SIM".  :P

 

 

Never an issue if you pre-load your phone like you have to do with a GPS unit.

 

Sweet!  Specifically which iPhone App does it run? B)

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I was trying to nudge the discussion away from the idea of using a fashion phone for everything, including caching. Those compromises have already been covered.  :P

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It's interesting, in these sorts of discussions, how a distinct advantage of using a smartphone ("you can often look stuff up in the field via the interweb with no prior preparation!") so often tends to mutate into a supposed disadvantage of using a smartphone ("you can ONLY look stuff up in the field via the interweb BECAUSE YOU'RE UNLIKELY TO DO prior preparation!"). :)

 

 

Edited by BendSinister
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10 minutes ago, BendSinister said:

a supposed disadvantage of using a smartphone ("you can ONLY look up stuff via an interweb connection BECAUSE YOU'RE UNLIKELY TO DO prior preparation!"). :)

 

That is how I use my phone. The phone, including the App, does a lot of things live, and that's what I use it for, and when the signal goes away, I put that thing away. I load what I expect to need, and then I end up in a dead zone where absolutely everything degrades or outright fails, including a whole lot of what I thought for sure was pre-loaded.  It was fun while it lasted.  So I tend to use the handheld GPS instead, because it doesn't stop showing me map tiles (for example) when I enter a remote area.  The phone is for live data.  I am unlikely to be prepared for the data to fail.

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52 minutes ago, Viajero Perdido said:

I was trying to nudge the discussion away from the idea of using a fashion phone for everything, including caching. Those compromises have already been covered.  :P

 

That's a pretty good idea. “A phone” can work, or even a low-end or very out-dated GPS, and you might get by just fine. People could research what they actually need, and then save up for it, and learn how to use it. You can't beat the best tool for the job.  Yet I still tend to be amazed by those "out-dated" handhelds when I cache with people.

 

I have “a phone”. And I bought a Blackview BV6000, with no SIM card installed, specifically for rugged offline Geocaching. I can even tether it to my phone for live data. I also have a Garmin Oregon 750, all set up and ready to hit the trail. Either of those might be overkill for plain old Geocaching, but there's room to grow. Plus they're pretty cool. :D

 

 

Edited by kunarion

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A question:  Do the new phones receive data from all the new GPS sat's?  I know the Garmin 66 series 'handles' US, Europe and (I believe) Russian (uses a different frequency than the US/Europe) systems.

 

ETA:  Do the phones receive the WAAS corrections?

As you might guess I don't use a smart phone.

Edited by The Jester

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My reason for preferring a GPS is that it is more user friendly. I wouldn't log on the phone even if I used one, as it's a lot easier to log on a computer and write nice logs. All those TFTC, etc logs are mainly because of phones and that it is tedious to log on them.

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On 12/2/2019 at 7:09 PM, cerberus1 said:

A modern phone is just as accurate as any handheld GPSr today.

 

Only when both units have the same type of antenna which is not the case. Only dedicated devices have sensitive antenna because it is too large for a phone.

 

You can get handheld accuracy to a phone by using Garmin GLO or similar products from other vendors.

 

If the user is using a smartphone anyway and the only problem is accuracy, this is the most profitable solution.

Edited by arisoft
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The gps has a relatively large internal antenna, the phone has a chip.  This does matter.  GPS will float, I don't know if any phones do. Having lost gps in water more than once, this matters to me.  May not matter much to others.

 

I'm in the habit of loading a gps from Pocket Query, and have learned to turn on the geocaching app  at the house, it will download any query that's ready for download as a list.

I try to remember to hit the 'download offline data" button so the phone is fully loaded and has some mapping.   

 

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7 hours ago, The Jester said:

A question:  Do the new phones receive data from all the new GPS sat's?  I know the Garmin 66 series 'handles' US, Europe and (I believe) Russian (uses a different frequency than the US/Europe) systems.

 

ETA:  Do the phones receive the WAAS corrections?

As you might guess I don't use a smart phone.

 

I don't think so.  Maybe phones in Russia use Russian satellites, so it's at best regional, and not a combination of systems.  But phones get position data differently than offline handhelds do.  Phones use ground-based signals from several sources as well as GPS, and some kind of voodoo to calculate location, and you sometimes never really know when GPS isn't part of the calculation (especially with iPhone).  My old iPad had no "GPS" at all, yet roughly knew its position, at least where stray wifi signals exist.  I had a Bluetooth GPS gadget and a lightling adapter GPS dongle for iPad, and such adapters would have more capabilities, and certain models might use more combinations of satellites.

 

 

Edited by kunarion

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I have/had a Garmin eTrex H (see my profile pic) that I'm not sure works anymore, but it was such a pain in the neck to program.  The only connection to a computer was a proprietary Garmin-to-serial connection and I don't have a computer with a serial port anymore; I tried a USB adapter for the serial port but it didn't work well for me.  I would always program it by hand, which involved using up, down, and enter buttons.  I enjoyed the receiver but not programming waypoints.  I don't want to buy a more modern GPS receiver because I don't want to spend the money on one when I can use the phone instead.

 

I think the phone is so convenient and easy for finding caches.  Anywhere I go I can just search for nearby caches.  Often times on a road trip I'll drop my wife and kids off at a rest stop bathroom while I get gas, but when they come out I'm gone because there's a cache on the other side of the parking lot.  :laughing:

 

For family vacations outside the country, I don't pay for roaming data.  I create a list of caches on geocaching.com that I might want to find, like every traditional below a certain terrain rating, plus every virtual and certain highly recommended caches, and download them onto my phone in Cachly.  During each trip I went on airplane mode the entire trip and had no issue finding caches with it; the phone still receives GPS signals on airplane mode.  At certain places I would connect via WiFi to do list updates or remove found caches from my list.  When I'm on a family vacation, being the only cacher in the family, I generally geocache in place, meaning I only find caches where we're going as a family that aren't going to interrupt the family trip (though they do accommodate detours I request for certain caches I really want to find).

 

My verdict is that I prefer the phone for finding geocaches.  The only thing I miss about the eTrex is the long battery life for long geocaching days, such as my six hour trip finding the 32 stage multi in Central Park.

 

I generally will use my eTrex for hiding geocaches, at least to double check the coordinates against the phone.  The last couple times I got out the eTrex and put batteries in, it said the batteries were dead, and I haven't investigated whether the batteries were at fault or the eTrex.

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12 hours ago, Jimrky said:

but they don't leave you high and dry (unless you've saved everything to the phone) when the bars drop.

 

9 hours ago, kunarion said:

That is how I use my phone. The phone, including the App, does a lot of things live, and that's what I use it for, and when the signal goes away, I put that thing away. I load what I expect to need, and then I end up in a dead zone where absolutely everything degrades or outright fails, including a whole lot of what I thought for sure was pre-loaded.  It was fun while it lasted.  So I tend to use the handheld GPS instead, because it doesn't stop showing me map tiles (for example) when I enter a remote area.  The phone is for live data.  I am unlikely to be prepared for the data to fail.

 

As mentioned, handheld gps is offline already, so apply the same habits to a phone, and having no mobile signal is a non-issue. You're prepped for offline. (unless of course you're like kunarion and intentionally save the phone for online-only use :) )

 

But this is another reason I LOVED Geosphere as a geocaching app. It began as an offline-based app (save for map imagery tiles which relied on os-level map caching). You load any cache data and it's saved offline, and you don't have to be online, or even test for being logged in, in order to use the data. I find that current mobile geocaching apps have certain elements that assume you have mobile signal. Or the data is locked to whoever is logged in, so if you log out, you no longer have access to the data until you - wait for it - log in, online. Which of course requires signal.  I hate that.

 

Anyway, point being, I'm always semi-prepared for unexpected signal loss, and if I know I'm going somewhere there's no signal, I prepared beforehand - and not just in geocaching.  I use google for navigation and the same happens - you can't get directions in Google Maps without signal. If I know I'm heading somewhere with no signal, I'll be prepared for directions beforehand - either pre-loading directions or having some other offline-friendly reference for navigation.

 

Using a smartphone means being prepared for no mobile signal!  It comes with the device, it's not just a geocaching thing. But handheld GPS devices are already 100% offline, so I can't really see that being a point against smartphones in geocaching, unless you're already explicitly and intentionally reserving smartphones for online-only use. Which seems self-defeating.

 

8 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

My reason for preferring a GPS is that it is more user friendly.

 

100% subjective :) Not only with opinions about the hardware, but the software too, and the software is highly variant. I know you did say "my reason", so I'm not knocking your opinion, buuuuut, if that's why you don't like smartphones, I wonder if you've played with one long enough to determine that is no possible manner of use that you find friendly. ;)

 

On the contrary, I find handhelds much less user friendly, and that's based on what I've seen of most every model I've seen. Tiny screen, much less info, a lot of work interface-wise to accomplish the same things I can do on my smartphone (based on the app(s) I use), etc. But that's my opinion ;)  I know the handheld interfaces (hardware and software) have improved greatly over the years, but where the smartphone lags behind the handheld, it's made up greatly by its other advantages. IMO.

 

 

1 hour ago, kunarion said:
9 hours ago, The Jester said:

A question:  Do the new phones receive data from all the new GPS sat's?  I know the Garmin 66 series 'handles' US, Europe and (I believe) Russian (uses a different frequency than the US/Europe) systems.

 

ETA:  Do the phones receive the WAAS corrections?

As you might guess I don't use a smart phone.

 

I don't think so.

 

IIRC, at least the latest iPhone does have support for GLONASS. I haven't checked how far back the support goes, but I remember the announcement of GLONASS and the rush to determine which upcoming phones would support it. I don't recall any smartphones not including support.

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48 minutes ago, GeoElmo6000 said:

I don't want to buy a more modern GPS receiver because I don't want to spend the money on one when I can use the phone instead.

 

Well, I thought the same up until recently, when someone pointed me to a fantastic GPS receiver. You should check it out, it's called The Geocaching Express 6000 GPS Receiver.

 

I ordered mine. Can't wait!

Edited by Tungstène
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16 minutes ago, Tungstène said:

 

Well, I thought the same up until recently, when someone pointed me to a fantastic GPS receiver. You should check it out, it's called The Geocaching Express 6000 GPS Receiver.

 

I ordered mine. Can't wait!

 

Great point!  Just $40!  Not sure if you know, but I slipped a puzzle cache into that film:

I hid a mystery cache location in my GIFF film

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48 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

Using a smartphone means being prepared for no mobile signal!  It comes with the device, it's not just a geocaching thing. But handheld GPS devices are already 100% offline, so I can't really see that being a point against smartphones in geocaching, unless you're already explicitly and intentionally reserving smartphones for online-only use. Which seems self-defeating.


This is of course true but ... in some places (e.g. where I live in SE of England) there really should be *nowhere* without a signal.  If you have a signal 99% of the time you get complacent ... and of course that 1% bites you!  Not a vote against smartphones just an observation.

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21 minutes ago, IceColdUK said:


This is of course true but ... in some places (e.g. where I live in SE of England) there really should be *nowhere* without a signal.  If you have a signal 99% of the time you get complacent ... and of course that 1% bites you!  Not a vote against smartphones just an observation.

 

That's what I get in town.  Downtown in the middle of the city, no signal.  And before that, there's a weak one bar, so it starts loading, fails, stutters, loads some, stops, it's OK now, wait, no it's not OK. :o

 

I ran my "phones" with no data for a few years.  I was in fact "prepared for no signal", by always used the phone without the signal.  My idea was that I could find a Hotspot easily enough, in case a new cache pops up or whatever.  Still, the whole idea was unacceptable.  That is, all the Apps fail without data.  A lot.  Plus, the phone assumes you're online all the time, so every other App that The App connects to, those also of course fail, by "trying to load" even if you click it by accident -- even if a Geocaching App functions "entirely offline".  The phone does not.  So you cannot "load everything in advance", you can load some caches in advance.  Now I have a waterproof, bulletproof offline "phone" all set up for offline caching, yet for a caching trip, I grab the Garmin instead.  Go figure. B)

 

Anyway, online is where the phone shines (yep, gotta remain reliably "online" for that).  Offline is perfect for the handheld GPS.  So I bit the bullet and bought the SIM card for the phone, and I pre-load the handheld GPS.

 

 

Edited by kunarion
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I use my Etrex 20 when searching but there have been occasions when a new cache is published while away from home. I know this because an email alert comes up on my phone. I will then put the new cache coordinates into the Etrex as I find navigation much easier with it than the phone.

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2 hours ago, kunarion said:
2 hours ago, IceColdUK said:

This is of course true but ... in some places (e.g. where I live in SE of England) there really should be *nowhere* without a signal.  If you have a signal 99% of the time you get complacent ... and of course that 1% bites you!  Not a vote against smartphones just an observation.

 

That's what I get in town.  Downtown in the middle of the city, no signal.  And before that, there's a weak one bar, so it starts loading, fails, stutters, loads some, stops, it's OK now, wait, no it's not OK.

 

Oh we've got dead zones in my town too. But the chance of that being so unbelievably awful and me being completely unprepared are basically nil. That's not the sort of issues I'm referring to. Again that's something that any smartphone owner will get used to for any use of their phone that requires online. And when I'm geocaching, again, I've already got enough info accessible without signal that the times I've been hit by a "oh come on this is ridiculous!" moment is... maybe once or twice since 2009.

 

2 hours ago, kunarion said:

That is, all the Apps fail without data.  A lot.

 

Well. That's not a problem with smartphones. That's a problem with the apps you use. Again when I started, I used Geosphere and accessing data while offline was a non-issue because that's how it was designed. It's a matter of either finding apps that work as you wish, or raising a stink with developers to get them to implement truly offline modes. :P

 

2 hours ago, kunarion said:

Plus, the phone assumes you're online all the time

 

No, it doesn't. App developers might. The phone does not.

 

2 hours ago, kunarion said:

even if a Geocaching App functions "entirely offline"

 

That was not true with Geosphere. But it has been true so far in some manner with all the other apps with an "offline mode" in my experience. And like I said, I hate that :) (but it's not the smartphone's fault)

 

2 hours ago, kunarion said:

Anyway, online is where the phone shines

 

Well, it has that ability, but that can still be ruined by a sub-par app. :P  Hardware, yes, the phone wins in that regards. But again the experience while using the hardware is 98% on the shoulders of the app developers.

 

2 hours ago, kunarion said:

Offline is perfect for the handheld GPS.

 

Or app that's built to be used offline as the foundation.

 

 

Also, I abhor compass navigation; I always use overhead. And I find many people who dislike smartphone geocaching are typically ones who start using the app (whichever one) in compass mode. That's an issue for me on principle - I wouldn't use that mode on a handheld either. Birds-eye is the way to go. The anchor point shouldn't be your position (which as we all know isn't anchored, it's calculated and estimated, no matter how fast/accurate your device is), it should be the cache's position, on which you can then hone in.  That's my preference by far.

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Another way to look at it: You can recreate a handheld GPSr user experience with a smartphone (a theoretical app that's 100% offline which you preload, interface, UI and graphics identical to that of a handheld). Then with that being on a level paying field, the only difference to compare is the hardware advantage of the handheld, and all the additional functions and features you've 'hidden' for this comparison on the smartphone. Those really are the prime strengths of either class of device.  Whichever you value more is the device you should use.

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20 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

As mentioned, handheld gps is offline already, so apply the same habits to a phone, and having no mobile signal is a non-issue. You're prepped for offline. (unless of course you're like kunarion and intentionally save the phone for online-only use :) )

 

 

This, to me, is one of the primary distinctions between using a phone vs. a GPS.   Since a phone can access geocache data in real time it's easy to get in the habit, and expecting that geocache data will always be available.   A dedicated GPS can never get data in real time, so users always make sure they have the data they need on their GPS before using it.   Getting in the habit of making sure that all the geocache data for an area one will be in on a phone, in the event that it won't have access to data in real time,  and one of the differences between a phone and a gps can be eliminated.  

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3 hours ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

This, to me, is one of the primary distinctions between using a phone vs. a GPS.   Since a phone can access geocache data in real time it's easy to get in the habit, and expecting that geocache data will always be available.   A dedicated GPS can never get data in real time, so users always make sure they have the data they need on their GPS before using it.   Getting in the habit of making sure that all the geocache data for an area one will be in on a phone, in the event that it won't have access to data in real time,  and one of the differences between a phone and a gps can be eliminated.  

 

This actually relates to one of my biggest annoyances with Groundspeak's app. You have to specifically save cache data for offline use before you can use it offline. Every other app I've used would automatically save cache data, so if I had viewed a cache listing in my app, the data would still be there when it was offline.

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4 hours ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

  A dedicated GPS can never get data in real time, so users always make sure they have the data they need on their GPS before using it. 

 

I thought that the 700 and 66 series Garmins were so popular because they can get data real-time.  That's not true ?

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4 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:
4 hours ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

  A dedicated GPS can never get data in real time, so users always make sure they have the data they need on their GPS before using it. 

 

I thought that the 700 and 66 series Garmins were so popular because they can get data real-time.  That's not true ?

 

Unless they have a SIM card, it may have wifi to access something else with a SIM card. That's pseudo-realtime. :P

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6 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

Unless they have a SIM card, it may have wifi to access something else with a SIM card. That's pseudo-realtime. :P

 

From the Garmin site (on the 66)...

  "Set it to automatically update with all the latest caches from Geocaching Live, including cache descriptions, logs and hints.

With a Wi-Fi® connection or through Garmin Connect™ on a compatible smartphone, you’ll avoid manually entering coordinates or printing out cache details on paper — and each find will automatically upload to your Geocaching.com profile."

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Yes, so, it doesn't connect itself, it needs a source for internet connectivity.  It's removed the wire update for wireless update.  "Auto" just means it runs the commands to connect directly to the API, if it has a data connection.  So, pseudo realtime.

Unless you weren't referring to connectivity itself, and just the reduced need to manually load caches. In which case, sure, realtime in that you can hit a button to do pull the data rather than pushing the data yourself. But I'm not seeing how that's relevant to the smartphone/gpsr "online" consideration.

 

This gpsr would be more like a smartphone without a sim card. Both would still have wireless capability. The handheld's software connects to the API, just as the smartphone user's app would connect to the API. But... drop a sim in the phone and now you have theoretical connectivity wherever there's a data signal.

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1 minute ago, thebruce0 said:

Unless you weren't referring to connectivity itself, and just the reduced need to manually load caches.

In which case, sure, realtime in that you can hit a button to do pull the data rather than pushing the data yourself.

But I'm not seeing how that's relevant to the smartphone/gpsr "online" consideration.

 

I simply responded to NYPaddleCacher's post that " A dedicated GPS can never get data in real time". 

No need for you to back-peddle, I think I answered it...   

 

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Okay, just saying, there's 2 kinds of 'real time'. I was reading your comment under the context of 'live access to data' (which is the smartphone strength), not merely having the ability to get data if the communication method is available. 

 

Like I said, some GPSrs need the data pushed to them (manual loading). Some have the ability to pull it if communication is available (your point). The latter is foundationally the same as a smartphone with no sim (an offline gps device with wifi). That's all I was saying. No backpedaling here.

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I use two (I own seven) GPSr's and one smartphone for geocaching, and use them in different situations. The smartphone is for ad hoc caching. When I have a planned trip, I usually pre-load one of the GPSr's (Oregon) with all of the caches on the route. I load the other (Montana) with the caches I am most interested in. I do not preload any geocaches on the phone, I use it for driving directions to my next targeted cache. If a nearby cache pops up on the Oregon, I can decide if my schedule allows me to detour to the cache or not.

 

When I arrive at my parking area, I pop both GPSr's out of their cradles, and go caching. Both of the GPSr's are much more readable in direct sunlight than my smartphone. They are also way more rugged than my smartphone. I've fallen on my Montana, it took no damage. The Oregon seems to be better in wooded areas, and includes GLONASS. However, it is a bit harder to read than the Montana, having a smaller screen. If I want to add notes (generally I don't), the Montana is easier to do data entry with. I rarely log in real-time, I do my logging when I get back home.

 

 

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One thing I wish people would do more in these handheld vs smartphone discussions/debates is disclose the brand and model of the smartphone (even handheld!). Far too often the critical comments about "smartphones" are (as I mention above) due to relatively contained issues related not to the class of device (smartphone) but either to a certain brand or model - old or bad - or the app or software being used. That's why these discussions (and there are so many threads) always have to be taken with a grain of salt. It's SO subjective, especially in the realm of geocaching, and quite often extremely vague and non-specific.

As usual, try different things, and use what works best for you. :)

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On 12/3/2019 at 11:04 PM, Viajero Perdido said:

Battery lasts two full days of caching. 

 

What smartphone can manage that?

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10 minutes ago, JL_HSTRE said:
On 12/3/2019 at 8:04 PM, Viajero Perdido said:

Battery lasts two full days of caching. 

 

What smartphone can manage that?

 

Presumably, this one...

 

On 12/3/2019 at 8:04 PM, Viajero Perdido said:

e8ff40a6-67e7-4f20-9345-d661079297f8.jpg

 

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50 minutes ago, niraD said:

 

Presumably, this one...

 

 


I turned my Blackview off for 9 months, and it was at 100% battery when I turned it back on.  No issue with excessive battery drain while caching, either.  Impressive battery!

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Newer Blackview phones have even bigger batteries, according to the mAh ratings.  I dunno how they do it; the newer models are thinner than my older model.

 

But hey, here's the end of a recent full day of caching, 44 minutes to sunset, and battery still at 70%!

(Personal batteries, maybe 40%, different power system. -_-)

72eee6d1-9706-471e-9250-0fc388006273_l.j

(Locus Map Pro in airplane mode, with pre-loaded everything including satellite imagery.)

 

Edited by Viajero Perdido
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On 12/5/2019 at 12:13 PM, cerberus1 said:

 

I thought that the 700 and 66 series Garmins were so popular because they can get data real-time.  That's not true ?

 

Did some reading.  The "Live Geocaching" feature on the 700 /66 requires either a wifi connection or pairing with a compatible smartphone.   It's true, but with a caveat.

 

"The Oregon 700 series offer a new live geocaching feature. When connected to a wi-fi network or paired with a compatible smartphone through the Garmin Connect Mobile app, geocaches can be downloaded directly to the device from geocaching.com."

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On 12/5/2019 at 7:44 PM, niraD said:

Presumably, this one...

 

[Photo of phone from the side]

 

Thanks for the Microsoft Answer: technically correct, but completely useless. 

 

How about for those of who can't identify phone model from photos?

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15 minutes ago, JL_HSTRE said:

How about for those of who can't identify phone model from photos?

 

It's a "Blackview" phone.  Not sure which one was pictured, but mine is a model BV6000.  It's heavy, thick, and sturdy.  I used it for a few weeks for offline caching.  Lately I just keep it on a shelf.

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I was trying to promote the idea of phone caching in general, not boost my particular choice, sorry.  Though it's a choice I'm happy with: Blackview BV6000s, same as kü's above but "s" suffix, cheaper and only half as many CPU cores (4 vs 8, how many do you really need?!?)

 

Going strong after 2.5 years, many caches, a few drops, one roll.

 

Edited by Viajero Perdido
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22 hours ago, Viajero Perdido said:

I was trying to promote the idea of phone caching in general, not boost my particular choice

Going strong after 2.5 years, many caches, a few drops, one roll.

 

Between us both, the other 2/3rds and I have used phones off n on since '07, her '05.

The "easiest" I used was Windows phone.  The most "accurate" (so far) is her iphone.

She was looking for a blackview or cat as an extra device with her phone, letting me have her long-discontinued 60cxs.

Both are "rugged" models, and after borrowing one (CAT), realized I wouldn't miss features, and it'd probably be good for me.   :)

 - I'm back to using my old rugby II as a regular phone, and she thinks it's ugly.  :D

 

 

 

 

 

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