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kdhusky

Handheld GPS unit VS Phone app

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I use both - the GPSr is always navigating, no switching between apps, waiting for GPS to relock, worrying it will go flat. The phone is loaded with offline data in Cachly, and is used as a backup, for checking photos, a second opinion on coords, messaging through the official app, taking photos, maybe even making a phonecall..... If I could only have one, I'd say the phone, but would need a USB powerbank for a days caching.

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I regularly pack up for the field with a set of USGS maps for the area of caching, a transit and chain set, compass, dividers, straight rule, pencil(s), (of course) my trusty octant and a solar-powered calculator with a solar-powered flashlight backup - and a Cyalume in case everything fails. I tried GPSr's, phones, ET's with galactic level navigation capabilities - they all let me down in one way or another. Of course my present set of gear limits me to one or two caches a day - max about 6 sun up to down, but that's OK. I never cache in cities because people look at me as if I'm strange carrying all this gear.

 

Here's a few thoughts: what other "features" of a smartphone work - that are germane to Geocaching -  when the signal is down? Also - what good is a GPSr when the batteries go low? Cache with whatever you like- I've had my octant for many-a-year and the API has never outstripped it!

 

If you believe this, then I have Operators Standing By (!) to take your $40 for a Geocaching Express GPS6000 !!

 

Happy Holidays!

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Posted (edited)

I tend to be rather passionate about this topic :)

 

Handheld GPS all the way for me, no question about it. I absolutely hate using a smartphone as a GPS... I know I'm in the minority regarding this, but I have used handheld units for 20 years now and you just can't beat them for reliability, durability, and longevity. They are also just more fun to use than a smartphone, and provide a much needed disconnect from everyday life where we use smartphones all the time. I like being able to just put it away and focus on the outdoors.

 

Here are some big advantages to handheld GPSrs that I feel make this a no brainer decision:

 

- Reliability... they just work! No app crashes, no weird compass issues, they just do what they are designed to do, each and every time.

- Durability.. they are built to be in rugged outdoor environments and can handle dust, dirt, water and shocks. Phones are simply not built to these standards, I don't care what fancy case you put on it.

- Redundancy... A big deal if you plan to venture into more remote areas. If you happen to drop the GPS and it breaks, you still have your phone to use as a backup and/or call for help. If you only go with a phone and it breaks, you're SOL.

- Longevity... this is a big one for me. Smartphones these days tend to be built as disposable products, with non-replaceable batteries, designed to be replaced every 2-3 years. Handheld GPSrs can last decades. Pop in a fresh set of AA batteries and you're good to go. No battery degradation, no constant OS updates that end up making your device unusable after a few years (such is the case with smartphones).

- Battery flexibility... With most GPSrs you can use AA alkaline, AA rechargeables, AA lithiums, or battery packs. Pick and choose whichever battery setup works best for you, and change it whenever you want. With smartphone, you've got one non-replaceable lithium battery that is constantly degrading from the day it was made. Should your battery get depleted while you are out, your only option is to use an external battery pack to charge it, and you better hope that battery pack works, and there are no connector problems (this has happened to me before).

- Immersiveness... last but not least, a handheld allows you to separate your daily life routine from being outdoors and connecting with nature. I find I enjoy my hikes/geocaches much more when I can put my smartphone away.

 

I could go on....

 

Buy a handheld and you won't regret it. B)

Edited by Tahoe Skier5000
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2 hours ago, Tahoe Skier5000 said:

I tend to be rather passionate about this topic :)

Yes, even to the point of reviving a 6-month-dormant thread for another opportunity to comment on it again.

 

2 hours ago, Tahoe Skier5000 said:

- Immersiveness... last but not least, a handheld allows you to separate your daily life routine from being outdoors and connecting with nature. I find I enjoy my hikes/geocaches much more when I can put my smartphone away.

I've never really understood what you've meant by "immersiveness" in your previous comments. This clarifies it some, but I still don't think I really get it.

But before I had a smartphone, I used to take my Palm PDA camping, so I'd have access to various data (e.g., campfire skits, activity plans) on the camping trip. And in remote areas, I put my smartphone in airplane mode to conserve battery, which also disconnects me from the "daily life routine" part of my smartphone.

 

The other stuff makes sense to me, because I use my handheld GPS in situations where those factors outweigh the convenience of my smartphone.

Edited by niraD
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12 hours ago, Tahoe Skier5000 said:

Reliability... they just work! No app crashes, no weird compass issues, they just do what they are designed to do, each and every time.

 

I still get the occasional random shut down on my Montana and I still get random occasional glitches when routing (I have routable maps - 24K) from cache to cache.  Just two weekends ago, when out paddling and caching, my GPS shut down on me twice while I was out on the lake.  I got it when it was a brand new product and had to consistently update the OS as bugs were worked out and fixed.  It's far less buggy than when it initially came out but it still has bugs.

 

12 hours ago, Tahoe Skier5000 said:

Durability.. they are built to be in rugged outdoor environments and can handle dust, dirt, water and shocks. Phones are simply not built to these standards, I don't care what fancy case you put on it.

 

I've dropped my phone on multiple types of surfaces from multiple heights and the case has protected it each and every time.  I placed it on the hood of my SUV, drove off without realizing it, heard something bounce around but thought it might be something else, realized about 1/2 mile down the road that I didn't have my phone and realized it was that that was making the noise.  Returned to the parking log and found it face down in the gravel parking lot.  Picked it up and it was just fine.  I've dropped it from a tree, dropped it in a puddle, dropped it on paved walking trails, dirt walking trails, grass walking trails, my driveway, my garage, and in my house and each and every time it's been just fine.  If I didn't have the case then it would have been destroyed multiple times.  The only thing I haven't done is had my phone submersed in water for an extended period of time.  My GPS has been dumped in a lake and creek multiple times and works just fine.  However, I do have a case for it as well, which is why I still have it when it's fallen into the lake.  The case makes it float rather than sink.  My case also has a tether and a clip to secure it to my kayak.  I'm not taking any chances with either my phone or my GPS unit.

 

12 hours ago, Tahoe Skier5000 said:

Longevity... this is a big one for me. Smartphones these days tend to be built as disposable products, with non-replaceable batteries, designed to be replaced every 2-3 years. Handheld GPSrs can last decades. Pop in a fresh set of AA batteries and you're good to go. No battery degradation, no constant OS updates that end up making your device unusable after a few years (such is the case with smartphones).

 

I typically keep my phones for close to 4 years but agree that the GPS unit is more durable.  However, the more recent GPS units use 2 satellite systems now instead of just one.  The only way you can use this "new" development is via a new purchase.  Who's to say that another system or form of location won't be developed in the next few years rendering those newer devices as old tech and that a new one will need to be purchased to make use of any new developments?  Yes, they certainly last longer than phones but the phone is a by-product of technological innovation that progresses at a fantastic rate while the GPS unit makes technological advancements at a snail's pace.  That's why phones typically last only a few years before they are considered obsolete.  Think about your rotary phone (if you had one).  How often did you need to "upgrade" that device that did one thing really well?

 

12 hours ago, Tahoe Skier5000 said:

Battery flexibility... With most GPSrs you can use AA alkaline, AA rechargeables, AA lithiums, or battery packs. Pick and choose whichever battery setup works best for you, and change it whenever you want. With smartphone, you've got one non-replaceable lithium battery that is constantly degrading from the day it was made. Should your battery get depleted while you are out, your only option is to use an external battery pack to charge it, and you better hope that battery pack works, and there are no connector problems (this has happened to me before).

 

You make this seem like a major issue but it's really not.  While the batteries of a GPS unit certainly last longer, just like a phone they will eventually run out so you'll need to replace them as well.  I have a portable charger that can recharge my phone up to 8 times in one outing, if fully charged.  If I shut down most of my phone's operations in an area that I know will consume a lot of battery power (area with little to no service), then I can make my phone last even longer before needing to charge it.  If you're going out without checking to make sure that your connectivity is OK (and that the charge actually charges), then you're not really prepared to go out.  That would be like going out with your GPS unit without checking to make sure you have spare batteries.

 

12 hours ago, Tahoe Skier5000 said:

Buy a handheld and you won't regret it

 

While I agree with you, I don't agree that it's the only way to go and isn't quite the no brainer you believe it to be.  Why should someone spend a hundred or more dollars on something that does 1 thing when most families are already spending money on a phone (or phones, depending on the family) that can do this one thing AND lots of other things?  As smartphones have progressed, so has their ability to do a variety of things, including using it as a GPS (even if you're not geocaching). The GPS unit hasn't really evolved anywhere close.  It still does one thing really well but that's about it.  

 

I'll continue to use my GPS unit for advanced planned outings (especially when out paddling, caching or not) but the effort needed to get it ready to go showcases how woefully inept it is at spur of the moment caching, unless you're willing to just use it to enter coordinates, which you will most likely be copying from your phone to begin with.  I've found it to be a great investment but by no means do I think it's far superior to a phone, especially now.  It was when they first came out but that gap has narrowed significantly, to the point that the gap is virtually gone with some nominal exceptions that the GPS does better.  There are LOTS of other things the phone does better, but they're unrelated to geocaching.

 

You seem to think that the GPS unit is a way to get back to nature while the phone is not.  If you're out caching in a local park, then it doesn't matter which unit you use.  You're still going to look at either one in order to get you to the posted coordinates, negating the argument that a GPS allows you to enjoy nature more.  You're still using a handheld; the only difference is that one can't make calls.  Neither one is helping you focus more on nature if you continue to look at them as you hike, paddle, or cache.  Put them both away and enjoy nature without either of them.  

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36 minutes ago, coachstahly said:

I still get the occasional random shut down on my Montana and I still get random occasional glitches when routing (I have routable maps - 24K) from cache to cache.  Just two weekends ago, when out paddling and caching, my GPS shut down on me twice while I was out on the lake.  I got it when it was a brand new product and had to consistently update the OS as bugs were worked out and fixed.  It's far less buggy than when it initially came out but it still has bugs.

 

I've cached and hiked with handhelds for 20 years, using many different models, and never once has one crashed on me or failed to do anything I wanted it to. I've had phones do all sorts of wonky behavior, including shutting down, apps crashing for no apparent reason, compass pointing in the wrong direction with no easy way of calibrating it, or charging ports all of a sudden not working. No thanks to smartphones for outdoor/hiking use!

 

36 minutes ago, coachstahly said:

I've dropped my phone on multiple types of surfaces from multiple heights and the case has protected it each and every time.  I placed it on the hood of my SUV, drove off without realizing it, heard something bounce around but thought it might be something else, realized about 1/2 mile down the road that I didn't have my phone and realized it was that that was making the noise.  Returned to the parking log and found it face down in the gravel parking lot.  Picked it up and it was just fine.  I've dropped it from a tree, dropped it in a puddle, dropped it on paved walking trails, dirt walking trails, grass walking trails, my driveway, my garage, and in my house and each and every time it's been just fine.  If I didn't have the case then it would have been destroyed multiple times.  The only thing I haven't done is had my phone submersed in water for an extended period of time.  My GPS has been dumped in a lake and creek multiple times and works just fine.  However, I do have a case for it as well, which is why I still have it when it's fallen into the lake.  The case makes it float rather than sink.  My case also has a tether and a clip to secure it to my kayak.  I'm not taking any chances with either my phone or my GPS unit.

 

I will agree that phones have gotten a bit tougher over the years, but they are not built from the ground up to be used in rugged outdoor environments. They are built with a little bit of this, and a little bit of that.. they are built to try and satisfy a broad audience and as a result they are not particular great at anything. Handheld GPS units are designed to be used outdoors, handle drops, be used with gloves, etc. Pairing a phone with a case does help somewhat, but it doesn't change the fact that the internals of the phone are still weaker and less durable. 

 

36 minutes ago, coachstahly said:

I typically keep my phones for close to 4 years but agree that the GPS unit is more durable.  However, the more recent GPS units use 2 satellite systems now instead of just one.  The only way you can use this "new" development is via a new purchase.  Who's to say that another system or form of location won't be developed in the next few years rendering those newer devices as old tech and that a new one will need to be purchased to make use of any new developments?  Yes, they certainly last longer than phones but the phone is a by-product of technological innovation that progresses at a fantastic rate while the GPS unit makes technological advancements at a snail's pace.  That's why phones typically last only a few years before they are considered obsolete.  Think about your rotary phone (if you had one).  How often did you need to "upgrade" that device that did one thing really well?

 

That's one of the beautiful, and refreshing things about GPS... the technology is extremely consistent. I still have a Garmin etrex legend I bought in 2003. If I put new batteries in it, it will start right up and work like the day I bought it. That's a great value if you ask me. On the other hand, If I purchased a smartphone in 2003... oh wait. More to the point, I don't find myself needing or wanting constant innovation with GPS. I use them for a few purposes, and that's it. This isn't the type of device where constant "progress" is really warranted or necessary. That's a subjective viewpoint, obviously, but I would say there is a sizeable GPS user base that feels the same way as I do.

 

36 minutes ago, coachstahly said:

You make this seem like a major issue but it's really not.  While the batteries of a GPS unit certainly last longer, just like a phone they will eventually run out so you'll need to replace them as well.  I have a portable charger that can recharge my phone up to 8 times in one outing, if fully charged.  If I shut down most of my phone's operations in an area that I know will consume a lot of battery power (area with little to no service), then I can make my phone last even longer before needing to charge it.  If you're going out without checking to make sure that your connectivity is OK (and that the charge actually charges), then you're not really prepared to go out.  That would be like going out with your GPS unit without checking to make sure you have spare batteries.

 

Speak for yourself. This is a huge issue in my book, if not one of the things I dislike most about phones vs. handheld GPSrs. Sealed, non replaceable batteries do not benefit the consumer in any way shape or form. They are sealed in their for profitability. Replaceable batteries offer many benefits, and the ability to swap them out, at any time, with ones you can find at any convenience store, or rechargeables, or even battery packs sold by the manufacturer is incredibly powerful. There is no way you are going to change my mind on that, sorry.

 

36 minutes ago, coachstahly said:

You seem to think that the GPS unit is a way to get back to nature while the phone is not.  If you're out caching in a local park, then it doesn't matter which unit you use.  You're still going to look at either one in order to get you to the posted coordinates, negating the argument that a GPS allows you to enjoy nature more.  You're still using a handheld; the only difference is that one can't make calls.  Neither one is helping you focus more on nature if you continue to look at them as you hike, paddle, or cache.  Put them both away and enjoy nature without either of them.  

 

See I disagree, based on my own experience, but to each their own. I find the constantly connected nature of phones to be distracting outdoors, and it pulls me out of what I came out to enjoy in the first place. I never have that feeling with a handheld. I'll just leave it at that. :grin:

Edited by Tahoe Skier5000
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34 minutes ago, Tahoe Skier5000 said:

I've cached and hiked with handhelds for 20 years, using many different models, and never once has one crashed on me or failed to do anything I wanted it to.

 - snip - 

 I still have a Garmin etrex legend I bought in 2003. If I put new batteries in it, it will start right up and work like the day I bought it.

 

That's a great value if you ask me. On the other hand, If I purchased a smartphone in 2003... oh wait.

 

More to the point, I don't find myself needing or wanting constant innovation with GPS. I use them for a few purposes, and that's it.

This isn't the type of device where constant "progress" is really warranted or necessary.

 

That's odd, we both had blue legends in '04. They were supposed to be top-o-the-line.

On woods trails, the slightest tree cover we would lose signal.   Both.    Each time.   

We'd spend a good bit of the day looking for clearings just to get signal again. 

Less than a year later,  we picked up two 60csx for the antennas.

I still have my old blue legend, and it does still work like the day I bought it....

 

The other 2/3rds had a blacberry in '03.  A smartphone...

In '0she even had a caching app for it, Trimble outdoors. 

 

I agree though about function.  I still load caches manually after "updating" to a 60csx.  They work.

But todays phones are superior to any of those old models.  

 

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7 minutes ago, Tahoe Skier5000 said:

I've cached and hiked with handhelds for 20 years, using many different models, and never once has one crashed on me or failed to do anything I wanted it to. I've had phones do all sorts of wonky behavior, including shutting down, apps crashing for no apparent reason, compass pointing in the wrong direction with no easy way of calibrating it, or charging ports all of a sudden not working. No thanks to smartphones for outdoor/hiking use!

 

I've used a 60csx, a Montana, a Monterra, and an eTrex (and borrowed one of the newer Oregon 600 series for a day of caching) and have had issues with every unit.  Random shutdowns are the most common.   They don't happen frequently but they happen.  It just required me to start them back up.  However, to say they're glitch free is a a stretch.  One only needs look at the GPS sub-forum to see that issues exist.

 

11 minutes ago, Tahoe Skier5000 said:

but it doesn't change the fact that the internals of the phone are still weaker and less durable. 

 

That wasn't the point you raised.  It's a no brainer that the interior components are weaker and less durable.  Even the external components aren't geared toward "surviving" unprotected.  You stated that it didn't matter what case was put on to help protect it to make it more durable. You've moved the goalposts here, from a case being ineffective at protecting a phone to one stating that the internals of the phone are still weaker and less durable.

 

17 minutes ago, Tahoe Skier5000 said:

the technology is extremely consistent.

 

Of course it is because there have been very few advancements in technology.  Before phones became portable, the technology for those was extremely consistent as well.  It's a niche market with not much room for growth and advancement, either technological or in sales.  For the most part, it's a contracting market, not an expanding one.  It does one thing well and for that reason, it will stick around, but it's not going to change much.  There's only so much that can be developed which is why you see this consistency.  Phones are evolving at rates exponentially faster than GPS will evolve, which is why you see consistent changes in phone technology.

 

24 minutes ago, Tahoe Skier5000 said:

Speak for yourself. Sealed, non replaceable batteries do not benefit the consumer in any way shape or form. They are sealed in their for profitability.

 

I am speaking for myself.  I completely agree with you about sealed batteries (same goes for sealed microSD cards that don't allow for expandable memory) but again, that's not the point you raised that I was addressing.  You've moved the goalposts again.  "Should your battery get depleted while you are out, your only option is to use an external battery pack to charge it, and you better hope that battery pack works, and there are no connector problems (this has happened to me before)."  My point was that you went out without checking the connectivity of your phone to your battery pack recharger to ensure that it worked.  That's the same as going out without checking to make sure you have replacement batteries for your GPS.  An external rechargeable battery pack is just as effective at charging the phone as replacing the batteries in a GPS unit is, as long as you verify before going out that A - it actually connects and B - it actually is charged and charges when connected.  The same applies to the replacement batteries you should bring with you for the GPS - A - they're compatible (AA or AAA, not D, C, or 9-volt) and B - they're charged.  There's no difference, other than one is internal and one is external. They both do the exact same thing, which is charge the item they are supposed to charge.

 

40 minutes ago, Tahoe Skier5000 said:

I find the constantly connected nature of phones to be distracting outdoors, and it pulls me out of what I came out to enjoy in the first place.

 

So disconnect it.  You can use your phone unconnected to a service provider so it won't be connected and distracting.  I'll say it again - If you're going geocaching outdoors in an area where you feel like you want to connect with nature, you're going to either be looking at your phone (if you use it) or your GPS (if you use it) to determine your distance from GZ or if you're looking at topographical maps (both types have the ability to have access to them) to determine the best/easiest/safest route to get to GZ.  You can't debate the fact that in both situations, you're looking at something to help get you to the cache.  If you're looking at the compass and the arrow pointing the direction you need to go, it doesn't matter if it's on a phone or on the GPS unit.  They're telling you the same information.  The only difference is that one is a dedicated GPS unit and one is a phone. If your aversion to smart phone use when geocaching is that you use it all the time elsewhere and you just want something different, then that's fine.  However, that's a different point that's being made and has nothing to do with being connected.  You want variation and an escape from being on your phone, if you're on your phone all the time.  Being connected, in that situation then, is a by-product of what a phone is, does, and what you use it for.

 

I really enjoy my GPS units, particularly my Montana, but I realize that they, like phones, have their own issues and limitations.  At their very essence, a phone and a GPS, when used for geocaching, do the exact same thing.  A GPS unit will do some things better and a phone will do some things better.  There used to be a noticeable difference between them but that has narrowed so much that most of the differences are now related to hardware rather than software, which means that personal preference dictates what each cacher tends to prefer.  I'll continue to use both in situations where it will play to the strength of each and not their weaknesses.

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13 hours ago, niraD said:

I've never really understood what you've meant by "immersiveness" in your previous comments. 

 

Me either.  I thought "immersive" was augmented, mixed, or virtual realities, amplifying life through technology.

Maybe similar to this pokémon  thing kids play, were an augmented reality meets the real world.

A GPSr doesn't do any of those things though, and nature doesn't need any enhancements anyway.   :)

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7 hours ago, Tahoe Skier5000 said:

Replaceable batteries offer many benefits,

But how much money have you had to spend on them?

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17 minutes ago, TmdAndGG said:

But how much money have you had to spend on them?

 

Far less than having to buy entirely new devices every 3-5 years, that's for dang sure. I use AA rechargeables... $6 investment that lasts me about 2-3 years. I can also swap them out at any time with AA alkalines, or AA lithiums, or AA battery packs if want to charge the batteries in the device. So many options.

 

There is nothing good about sealed, non replaceable batteries for consumers. The only reason they exist is because having people buy all new devices every few years is highly profitable.

Edited by Tahoe Skier5000

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@Tahoe Skier5000, it seems like you don't like smartphones in general!:)

 

6 minutes ago, Tahoe Skier5000 said:

I use AA rechargeables... $6 investment that lasts me about 2-3 years.

 

Ok, that's not bad a all! There are some people we know that don't use rechargeable AAs...

 

 

Edited by TmdAndGG

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8 hours ago, Tahoe Skier5000 said:

 I still have a Garmin etrex legend I bought in 2003. If I put new batteries in it, it will start right up and work like the day I bought it. That's a great value if you ask me.

Sure that's nice, but besides the point. Imagine how outdated the technology would be on it. Also way less memory than the GPSs made today. 

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22 minutes ago, TmdAndGG said:

Sure that's nice, but besides the point. Imagine how outdated the technology would be on it. Also way less memory than the GPSs made today. 

 

I still use my old legend from time to time. It works just fine. The memory is indeed tiny, but for quick local caches and hikes, there's nothing more I need it to do. If I'm going further out, or using it on a vacation/road trip, I'll bring my 64ST with much more memory and geocaching support. 

 

It is really cool though to be able to fire up your old GPSrs and be able to use them, almost 20 years after purchase. You can't really do that with a lot of electronics today.

Edited by Tahoe Skier5000
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7 hours ago, Tahoe Skier5000 said:

I use AA rechargeables... $6 investment that lasts me about 2-3 years. I can also swap them out at any time with AA alkalines, or AA lithiums, or AA battery packs if want to charge the batteries in the device. So many options.

 

There is nothing good about sealed, non replaceable batteries for consumers. The only reason they exist is because having people buy all new devices every few years is highly profitable.

 

Well then it's a good thing smartphones can be recharged with AA's then.

I specifically bought a 4xAA charger so I wouldn't have to worry about 'topping up' special proprietary juicepacks, and those AA batteries can be shared by any and all AA devices I may have on hand (like flashlights, or you know, other handheld GPSrs).  Smartphones can use AAs too - but it seems their benefit (looking at it from the other direction) is having a built-in, onboard battery! hmm.

 

You don't have to like smartphones, but your understanding of their capabilities seems to be pretty biased.  Use what you like, use what you prefer!  But know that smartphones are more than capable GPS devices these days, with many of the old hurdles overcome relatively easily, understanding that a smartphone is also a much bigger investment than a dedicated GPS device. :) 

Edited by thebruce0
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1 hour ago, thebruce0 said:

a smartphone is also a much bigger investment than a dedicated GPS device

 

Doesn't have to be. My tank of a phone (pictured on previous page) was around US$150 delivered. Compares nicely to bargain Garmins that can't match the specs of even a low-end phone. :P

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8 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

 

Well then it's a good thing smartphones can be recharged with AA's then.

I specifically bought a 4xAA charger so I wouldn't have to worry about 'topping up' special proprietary juicepacks, and those AA batteries can be shared by any and all AA devices I may have on hand (like flashlights, or you know, other handheld GPSrs).  Smartphones can use AAs too - but it seems their benefit (looking at it from the other direction) is having a built-in, onboard battery! hmm.

 

You missed my point with this comment. The point is, I don't want to be charging my device in the field, carrying around extra cables, and relying on all of that junk to work right. Having a device that allows me to change the batteries out whenever I want, with a variety of different options, gives me the most freedom to use it how I wish, and that's important. 

 

8 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

You don't have to like smartphones, but your understanding of their capabilities seems to be pretty biased.  Use what you like, use what you prefer!  But know that smartphones are more than capable GPS devices these days, with many of the old hurdles overcome relatively easily, understanding that a smartphone is also a much bigger investment than a dedicated GPS device. :) 

 

I completely understand the capabilities of a smartphone as I own one and have used it for caching and hiking before. I have experience with both a phone and a handheld, but greatly prefer the handheld for many reasons. You can call me biased, whatever, but I am just as free to share my advice to other cachers as anyone else here. I'm not exactly the first person in history to prefer a handheld over a smartphone either  :laughing:

Edited by Tahoe Skier5000

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On 6/17/2020 at 12:59 AM, Viajero Perdido said:
On 6/17/2020 at 12:31 AM, thebruce0 said:

a smartphone is also a much bigger investment than a dedicated GPS device

 

Doesn't have to be. My tank of a phone (pictured on previous page) was around US$150 delivered. Compares nicely to bargain Garmins that can't match the specs of even a low-end phone. :P

 

Not just monetary investment. It's a very powerful tool and chances are if you're buying one it's for many, many of its functions. Its "value" is tied to how much you use it, not just how much you paid for it. ; )

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Posted (edited)

 

On 6/16/2020 at 9:59 PM, Viajero Perdido said:

 

Doesn't have to be. My tank of a phone (pictured on previous page) was around US$150 delivered. Compares nicely to bargain Garmins that can't match the specs of even a low-end phone. :P

 

But those Garmins will also last many, many more years than a smartphone and the specs are plenty adequate. If you're talking about value, a Garmin/handheld will blow the socks off any smartphone. :D

 

Edited by Tahoe Skier5000
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1 hour ago, Tahoe Skier5000 said:

But those Garmins will also last many, many more years than a smartphone and the specs are plenty adequate. If you're talking about value, a Garmin/handheld will blow the socks off any smartphone. :D

Sure, if the only reason you're getting a smartphone is for geocaching. But the people I know who use smartphones for geocaching already have a smartphone and use it for other things. If you're already using (and replacing as necessary) a smartphone, then this argument doesn't really matter.

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Posted (edited)
33 minutes ago, niraD said:

Sure, if the only reason you're getting a smartphone is for geocaching. But the people I know who use smartphones for geocaching already have a smartphone and use it for other things. If you're already using (and replacing as necessary) a smartphone, then this argument doesn't really matter.

 

True.

Edited by Tahoe Skier5000

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