Somewhat of a Prick wrote: oldschoolczar wrote:
bob863 wrote:would it help to know that even if you have a strong GPS signal, you may not have reliable mapping info unless you have a strong signal to your carrier who can provide you with the mapping data??? If you know in advance where you will be heading, you can probably download mapping data into your device which
might help your GPS-capable device figure out where it is....
bob863 wrote:what would you bet your life on??? Technology that only lasts as long as your battery & carrier signal or proven map & compass???
That's why most people who use a GPS device recommend a dedicated unit and not a smartphone. But you should always carry a map/compass and know how to use it!
GPS doesn't use carrier signal, it uses satellites just as your standalone unit does.
Again, keep phone in airplane mode and only flip on GPS when you need it.
GPS smartphone apps that I've seen do use cell signal to download the topo maps/background... so yeah if you haven't downloaded maps prior to your trip or you move into a new area... you could potentially need a signal. Smartphones don't have WAAS or GLONASS (the old Soviet equivalent of GPS) capabilities or 3D compasses or barometers (yet?) so they aren’t quite as accurate as dedicated GPS units that have these capabilities. My GPS also can be dropped off a cliff or into a creek and still work flawlessly. It's way easier to carry and access and I'm also not using up the battery of a potential emergency device (my phone). I’m not afraid to use it in shite conditions because I’m not worried about having to shell out $500 to replace it if I drop it in the rocks like a smartphone. When using more advanced features, making a route, using the compass, etc, I've found it to be way easier on my dedicated GPS. For me, touchscreens seem cumbersome and frustrating in the wilderness.
I don't think most people will get the same battery life that you claim to get. I used to use a Samsung Nexus S for GPS navigation before I got a dedicated GPS. On my Nexus S I was lucky to make it through a medium-length day trip (~8 hours) with only GPS on and screen dim (cell service off). My GPS can easily make it through 4+ medium length day trips… and it’s bright enough to see! The biggest battery consumer on a smart phone is the screen, so if you’re looking at the screen a lot and actually using it for navigation (and want it bright enough to see) you’re still going to burn through your battery fairly quickly.
This is a matter of opinion and how one wants to utilize their GPS.. Having used both, a smartphone is great if you just want to get some stats, save tracks, and compare data. If you’re relying on your GPS as your primary navigation tool (with a backup map/compass of course) then you should really check out a dedicated unit.