I have had a basic Garmin Etrex for around 10 years, and am now considering an upgrade. However, I have fallen behind with the technology, and would welcome some help with a few basics.
I am considering either a Garmin Colorado 300 or a Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 (mobile phone, with Windows Mobile 6.1) and some (OS Landranger-based) mapping software.
An obvious disadvantage of the Xperia X1 is that it is not weatherproof. But, assuming that I can live with this, I have 3 questions:
I use a HTC TNTY11 (Kaiser) with Memory map and find it absolutely superb.
It is a bit battery hungry when using it as a GPS, but carrying spares solves that.
One thing to note though is that it has a built in GPS receiver, so it will work wherever you have a sky view.
Those mobile phones that use GPRS gps based applications however can only work where you have a phone signal.
I am not sure what the phone you mention uses, but if it has a built in GPS receiver, then you should be OK.
JonJ wrote (see)
My understanding is that the Anquet software, for example, would not integrate with a mobile phone’s GPS function, but that Memory-Map Mobile would do so, enabling the Xperia to operate in a similar way to a dedicated mapping GPS. Is this correct, and is there any other software that I should also consider?
Both Anquet and Memory Map are fully compliant with WM 6.1 devices, as is Quo 2. All three work as well with integrated GPS as with external GPS.
Is the GPS sensitivity of an Xperia X1 anything close to that of a Colorado 300 (which, as I understand, can even pick up a signal indoors)?
Sony Ericcson use SiRF III chipsets, so will be as sensitive as the Colorado which uses the equivalent MTK chipset. The internal patch antenna may not be quite as sensitive, but not significantly so. I can get a signal indoors with most mobiles using integrated GPS, though it may take a couple of seconds longer in TTFF.
Does anyone have any experience (good or bad) of using a high-end mobile as a GPS device on the hills?
Lots, and mostly good over the last few years. GPS technology actually moves faster in the mobile phone market than the dedicated GPS market with new chipsets more rapidly integrated. For example the "x" in HcX in Garmin models refers to "eXtra sensitive" as they started using the MTK chipset (equivalent to the SiRF III) - about 3 years after SiRF III came to market.
I had assumed that with all the other technology crammed into the mobile phone, the GPS would inevitably be inferior to a dedicated device (particularly one as expensive as the Colorado), but I guess that this is offset by sybergies of the mobile phone mass market.
Thank you for all the advice, and the quick responses. I'll give the Xperia a go - at worst, I'll just end up having to buy both, and have two toys instead of one
The Xperia will be OK, i use the HTC Touch Diamond but my friend has the sony. The GPS is far superior to any of the dedicated GPS units we have between us. Both the HTC and Sony locked on quicker than our etrex, etrex vista and some magellan thing. Battery is the bugger, but i have 2 spare batteries for my HTC total weight 100grams so who cares. i have a USB solar charger 200grams aswell that complements this. The 2 batteries with USB charger was 9.99 on ebay from HK and will charge nicely from my Freeloader Supercharger.
Teh Sony is quicket than my htc with a bigger display, Memory map is the A ok and on my diamond i have virtually the whole UK area if required.
There are lots of deals to be had on memory map soft ware orlook on torrents for teh pre 2005 maps and software to try it properly. Buying it of course when you are satisfyied it is for you.
I wouldn't worry about weather proof ness either get a nice ortlieb or equivilant waterproof pouch, i can operate my htc through mine. I used mine in teh canoe the other week.
Thats of course unless you are a satnaver, i.e you walk with gps unit infront of you and follow it. Still don't understand this as you must miss where you are actualy walking, but people do it. Saw a block in ethblack mountains couple weeks ago fall down a ditch as he was walking holding his GPS.
Oh and i agree dedicated units will never have the latest chipsets, phones will take over as there lifespan on average in the UK accoding to an article is 9 months for the average user to replace! Be careful onn extended batteries as well, bought a double capacity battery for my HTC and it disabled the GPS! Heard similar stories with other units, although not the sony
Sorry for spelling!!! I am on my phone very small keyboard!!! JonJ Send me a PM with your e-mail i will send you a link to a demo
I had a Nokia N95 with preloaded City navigator maps on. I used it alongside my Garmin nuvi sat nav and the difference was massive.
The sat nav won hands down.
Its like the old all in one hifi v seperates system argument. The all in one hifi will do the job but a seperates system will sound and perform much better because each element has a dedicated job whether that be to amplify the music or read CD's.
Most sat navs now, including the Garmin range come with the SiRF III chipsets and yes so too does the Erricson. But i would question its accuracy against something which has been built for the purposes of navigation against a phone which has a camera, internet and countless other features. The Garmn also has the WAAS enabled technology (see http://www8.garmin.com/aboutGPS/waas.html) which may make a difference.
I suppose it comes down to what you want to use it for. If your looking for a phone with incorporated GPS then get the Sony but f you were looking for a dedicated GPS i would get the Garmin on its waterproof credentials mainly.
Not really relevant but how do you get on with the Nuvi? They just fitted them in all our cars at work and i nearly threw it out the window!!!!
I think its a little unfair to compare the N95 as it is pants anyway. No Windows OS, no Quickfix. If you patch it to run TOMTOM it works quite well, and that beats the city navigator software hands down
I think when it comes to phone Vs Gps, then it has to be a windows OS, and you can be reassued on the fact that people will write stuff for windows so nav will get better and better, rather than a GPS where you have what you have and the updates are few and far between.
Still i am a convert, love my phone and memory map.
No problems at all with my nuvi, apart from a slight problem initially. Spoke to Garmin support and they recommended an update. Since then no issues.
Might be worth checking Garmin for updates because most have been sat in Halfords/Currys or a warehouse for weeks before a customer gets them, by which time the software is out of date.
Garmin are really good with updates and have a team working around the clock on them so i bet one will be available. I'd call their support if that doesnt work and get a replacement.
Or, protest at work for an upgrade!
I guess its the speed we drive, but my tomtom and phone if you miss your turn update really quick the NUVI took an age. Still, would love to update them but they are cabletided in cars and screwed! 2 out of 6 were nicked in first week.
really, there is no wonder they are getting stolen.
If you have a laptop and wireless at home just take the computer to the nuvi. If you can get hold of a usb cable (on Garmin its a universal jack - same as blackberry) you can plug it in an update it in the car.
Or just wait for it to get stolen and then go back to Tomtom LOL
Scott, I have to agree with Gotwhatiwant, you are not really comparing like with like and the Nokia N95 with its symbian system is no match for a windows based smart phone when it comes to running GPS software!
My HTC compares very favourably and in most cases exceeds the performance of my dedicated GPS units. Like I said earlier, the battery life is the only slight fly in the ointment! (but easily rectified)
I've used Quo & Anquet on a HTC Touch Cruise & found it good. The down side is that the screen can be difficult to read in bright sun - has anyone found a HTC phone with a bright screen?
The other diffuculty is that it is not weather proof, I was caught in a bad thunderstorm on Monte Baldo above lake Garda & didn't have my waterproof case with me. Although it was in my sac it got wet enough to ruin it! I'm waiting to see if the insurance will cover it.
tried viewranger on my nokia 5800. fantastic.
now if only the display was half as good as my garmin 60cx.
i suspect when you really need a gps the weather will be bad.
i know my garmin can cope.
i know my 5800 cant (now dead)
i quite like garmin topo anyway as it only shows what i think is enough detail,
and i always use with a map.
The insurance paid up & I replaced the HTC Touch Cruise with HTC HD. Great screen, works well with Quo, Austrian Alpine Club maps & Kompass maps.
Can a conclusion be made that mobile phones (HTC Desire) are equally as good as dedicated GPSs? If so are there any special settings required for a phone to work in exotic overseas locations (islands off Australia)?
Ontario is a vast adventure playground just waiting to be explored and experienced
Minimal & lightweight footwear designed to enhance your outdoors experience
Become a fan of OutdoorsMagic
Follow us on twitter
Sign up to our free newsletter
Meet partners in our forum
Other Immediate Media Sites
Our eCommerce Platform
© Immediate Media Company Ltd 2012. This website is owned and published by Immediate Media Company Limited. www.immediatemedia.co.uk