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Smartphone vs SatNav.

 
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keithandtony
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Joined: Apr 30, 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 12:46 pm    Post subject: Smartphone vs SatNav. Reply with quote

We are in a fortunate position of planning a 12 month trip next year spending long periods driving in USA, Australia & New Zealand.
Thinking of buying a smartphone for it's use as a phone, internet access and possibility as a SatNav. We already have a Garmin Nuvi 200 for UK only.
So question is, just use the Smartphone for SatNav or purchase maps for Garmin?
Please keep it simple as I'm a technophobe and haven't a clue about different smartphones. It's the most I can do just to update the camera database.
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mikealder
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Using a smart phone for internet access while overseas is rather costly, in fact unless you have the maps on the smartphone it will have to download them each time you use the phone for navigation, this will cost you a fortune.

You could puchase the maps you need for each country as an app for the phone but again this is going to cost you around the same as it would to get the maps for the Garmin.

Using a smartphone for navigation will also hammer the battery so factor in the cost of a good quality car holder for the phone that is powered from the ciggy lighter socket.

I would suggest the existing Garmin you have is better placed for use as a navigation device as you already have the power addaptor and car holder, you just need a couple of maps for it - Mike
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253
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Going just by what you said in post, I would support Mike. Stay with the Garmin, you know your way around it. Rather than buy a smart phone and have to learn how to use it as a phone and also jiggle the satnav apps.

Remember, if your phone is 'unlocked', you can buy sim cards abroad and use them instead of your UK sim. Much cheaper.
My ex is from OZ, I have traveled a lot in OZ/NZ/Asia/Pacific Islands, always use a local sim for calls and 3G (where it is available) and also free wifi connection. Put the UK sim every couple of days to see if you have texts or messages.
You have a couple of options how to do this.

Bob
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AliOnHols
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My two cents worth are that if I were to be crossing the globe over the next 12 months I wouldn't really want to do it by SmartPhone, I'd much rather do it by SatNav. Then, taking SmartPhone roaming costs into consideration would definately steer me towards navigating by a dedicated SatNav. Looking at the Garmin Website, it appears that to install Austrailia/NZ maps and NA maps for a nuvi 200 shall cost you about 200, that would bother me too, so I would consider buying new, cheapish SatNav in either USA or Aus/NZ and then just buying one extra set of maps. It'd probably cost slightly more, but at least you would have a new SatNAv to show for your money!

You state that you are a bit of a technaphobe, so I would question your desire for smartphone. They're fantastic bits of kit but can be jolly difficult to use. You may discover that one phone would not cover you for all the counties you visit anyway due to the different network "bands" various countries use. Perhaps keep your existing mobile phone, get it unlocked before you leave so that you can use different sim cards in it. Buy a cheap PAYG sim card in the country you are visiting and install it into your mobile. Use the money you have saved by not buying a SmartPhone to buy a cheap "NetBook" for storage of photos, Internet access, etc. and then set up a VOIP account for telephony service in the countries you are staying in of short duration. I use Skype but much prefer VoipCheap.co.uk for very cheap international phone-to-phone call rates.

So, In summary, if it were me I'd consider:-
1) Existing/New satnav with new additional maps as required.
2) Unlock existing mobile phone, buy new payg Sim card in each country of significant length of stay.
3) Buy a cheap netbook and set up a VoipCheap.co.uk (NOT VoipCheap.com) account.

Sorry if this is not the straight forward answer you were hoping for.

Good luck.

EDIT - Doh! has it really taken me over an hour to write a reply? I support Mike's and 253's comments above
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Last edited by AliOnHols on Sun Nov 06, 2011 2:44 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Darren
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But there is the issue of loading the various maps as you travel. No device will be able to store maps for everywhere you go.

A smartphone will have other benefits, web browser, email etc and can be used on WiFi wherever you stop, and you can easily install the nav apps and map, as required via free WiFi at a Hotel/Motel.

The GSM network is ubiquitous, supported in the vast majority of countries so no big issue there. And even if not supported, your phone will still work on WiFi for web/updating apps, email etc.

If you go with a SatNav then you will either have to have a laptop in order to load/unload the maps as you traval or use a device that supports memory cards and have all the maps installed on memory cards (and tested) before you depart.

Most smartphone nav apps are on-board so the issue of roaming costs is a red herring.
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mikealder
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darren wrote:
But there is the issue of loading the various maps as you travel. No device will be able to store maps for everywhere you go.


This should be as simple as inserting an SD card though on a Nuvi 200 - Mike
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Darren
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Indeed, and I said as much. But that requires that you've pre-purchased all the maps you think you may need. It'll be too late once on the road if you realise you're missing one unless you bring the laptop along of course.

Just saying that a smartphone can be useful in other ways and may be useful even if you choose to use a PND.

And on Android, Sygic offer 7-day trials so you could conceivably download and use the maps for free. Not sure if they trap each map as a trial or the app as a whole though.
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peterc10
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with Darren. Yes data roaming costs a fortune, but the USA (not sure of Aus and NZ) is the land of the free Wifi. Hotels, restaurants, shopping malls, they all have it. And that is what I use for both my laptop and smartphone when in the USA.

I have enough electronics to be stolen with my laptop and phone. A sat nav just adds another thing that could disappear.

You can easily get all the maps onto a smartphone with a reasonable capacity SD card or internal memory. Europe (with Sygic software) is about 2GB as is the whole of the USA and Canada (with Copilot software). According to Sygic Australia is about 300MB and NZ about 50MB. So a 16GB memory would more than suffice, and still have plenty of room for apps, music etc. 32GB would be even better.

If you are going to use a smartphone get a holder for the windscreen and make sure that it has got a decent loudspeaker with decent volume for sat nav directions. If not then there are plenty of small visor Bluetooth hands free kits - just make sure you get one that supports A2DP profile (needed for the sat nav directions) as well as the usual handsfree.

I agree on buying a local SIM if you are staying any length of time. The trouble with the USA is one of compatibility if you want to use mobile data. You have to choose very carefully the provider. But it is no problem for phone calls and texts. But again choose your provider carefully, network coverage in the USA can be a problem, as the market appears to be more fragmented than over here.
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keithandtony
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many thanks for all your replies. The road systems in Oz and NZ are pretty straight forward so will use good old paper maps for them and will get a North America SD card for the Garmin, which is sixty odd pounds.
Your replies regards the smartphone were also really informative as I thought that would be the easy bit Rolling Eyes . Already have a pay-as-you-go phone so will get a SIM card when in each country and use internet cafe's.

Many thanks again.
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avarob89
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2016 5:32 pm    Post subject: Google Maps on Iphone 6s Reply with quote

Google maps on my iPhone is the best, better than Apple maps and a regular sat nav.
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