Galaxy Samsung Tab Active 2 as nav device

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Didado
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Galaxy Samsung Tab Active 2 as nav device

Post by Didado » Fri Aug 17, 2018 11:30 am

I just tested this 8 inch Samsung Galaxy Tab Active 2 as a navigation device on the Dutch TET recently. Here's a brief video of it in action.

Because I test gear for a living I have just about every nav device one could have like the Garmin Zumo 590, Montana 680, Tripy, TomTom 550, Cat S60 and S61 smartphones etc etc but nothing compares to using the large screen of a tablet like this.

It is waterproof, dust resistant and can handle a drop. It's mounted in a dedicated Galaxy Tab RAM mount. At the store I just click it out and take it with me in my backpack or whatever.

When I rode the TET UK I had a CAT s61 with the Galileo app zoomed in at 200 meters for an overview of the track and my iPhone 8 with Galileo zoomed in at 50 meters for close up navigation

Worked like a charm but with this tablet I can simulate this with split view for example running OSMand or Google Maps and Galileo at the same time zoomed in at different ratios. Both apps will navigate at the same time.

However, due to the large screen which is so much easier to read I discovered that zoomed in at 100 meters and in portrait orientation I really don't need a splitscreen app in overview because I get so much information as it is. When I'm lost I just zoom out which is super fast compared to say Garmin devices.

The physical Android buttons also work fantastic with gloves and the screen worked with my gloves. Don't know if thick gloves work.

The pen is also great for editing tracks with Plotaroute.com which has a drag mode for plotting routes on mobile devices.

I had been considering this tablet as an option for a while now but when I was at HyperPro in the Netherlands talking to Bas he said he, Colebatch and a few others have been using these tablets and find them great for navigating tracks. I agree. I don't want anything else anymore. With a phone as a backup there's really no reason for me to even have a sturdy Montana as backup anymore.

I just love this setup. Perhaps it wil inspire some one else to try this.



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uglymr
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Re: Galaxy Samsung Tab Active 2 as nav device

Post by uglymr » Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:45 am

Hi, sounds very interesting. How did you fix the tablet to your bike?

Thanks and cheers Martin
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Cheers Ugly Martin Reichardt
CCM 450 GP + HD Electra Glide (this one not for TET :8 )
uglymr
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Re: Galaxy Samsung Tab Active 2 as nav device

Post by uglymr » Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:48 am

Oh and forgot to ask: How did you charge the tablet? On the bike while driving ? Cheers Martin
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Cheers Ugly Martin Reichardt
CCM 450 GP + HD Electra Glide (this one not for TET :8 )
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Didado
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Re: Galaxy Samsung Tab Active 2 as nav device

Post by Didado » Tue Aug 21, 2018 3:39 pm

uglymr wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:45 am
Hi, sounds very interesting. How did you fix the tablet to your bike?

Thanks and cheers Martin
I bought a RAM mount specifically for the TAB Active. It has its own PoGo pin connector built in for charging via 12 volt but I heard from several riders to skip that. Off road it bounces too much for a good connection. I and the others all charge it through USB-c. The thing it lacks though is fast charging. That's a pity but other than that I super happy so far.
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uglymr
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Re: Galaxy Samsung Tab Active 2 as nav device

Post by uglymr » Tue Aug 21, 2018 11:27 pm

Just found The Runbo F1, F1+ and F2 models rugged smartphones. Expensive but seem to be good for what we would use them for. Maybe don't even need to charge as they have massive batteries.

Cheers
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Cheers Ugly Martin Reichardt
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Didado
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Re: Galaxy Samsung Tab Active 2 as nav device

Post by Didado » Wed Aug 22, 2018 6:09 am

uglymr wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 11:27 pm
Just found The Runbo F1, F1+ and F2 models rugged smartphones. Expensive but seem to be good for what we would use them for. Maybe don't even need to charge as they have massive batteries.

Cheers
When I rode a little part the TET UK a month I used a CAT s61 and my iPhone 8 both running Galileo as the nav app zoomed in at different levels. However, the pleasure of an 8 inch Tab screen beats those phones anytime.

In my opinion the required ruggedness of the phones is a bit overrated. I also did a Albania Rally Raid with an iPhone without any problems, yet I dropped the bike several times.
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Nepomuk
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Re: Galaxy Samsung Tab Active 2 as nav device

Post by Nepomuk » Tue Sep 25, 2018 9:36 pm

Didado wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 3:39 pm
uglymr wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:45 am
Hi, sounds very interesting. How did you fix the tablet to your bike?

Thanks and cheers Martin
I bought a RAM mount specifically for the TAB Active. It has its own PoGo pin connector built in for charging via 12 volt but I heard from several riders to skip that. Off road it bounces too much for a good connection. I and the others all charge it through USB-c. The thing it lacks though is fast charging. That's a pity but other than that I super happy so far.
Interesting, thanks. A question though: I suppose you can't charge in wet conditions, right? I would consider that a problem. What if it rains and you run out of battery?

Cheers
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motorang
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Re: Galaxy Samsung Tab Active 2 as nav device

Post by motorang » Sat Sep 29, 2018 1:38 pm

Interesting stuff, Didado

I wrecked a Motorola Defy+ in Iceland and a Samsung Galaxy S4 active in Croatia,
both were said to be waterproof but weren't as soon as you hooked them up to a USB cable.
Without juice > only 4-5 hours of navigation.

It will be interesting to see how long the USB connector holds up on that tablet.
I was looking long and hard for a waterproof Android phone with wireless charging, but only could find very little stuff (Samsung Galaxy S6 active would have been one but not very common in Europe).

So I switched to a Garmin GPSMAP 276Cx. Excellent battery life, 12V powered mount, very nice and big display, the only downside is being trapped in Garmins eco system (namely their shitty software/firmware).

For nicer maps and online capabilities, like looking for nearby restaurants or gas stations, I usually get my Samsung Galaxy S5 out of the tank bag, which is my navigation backup device as well.

So the Garmin is the workhorse and does 90% of the tasks very reliably, e.g. permanent tracking of my entire trip (all of my smartphone apps or Windows CE or Palm device software like Pathaway, Locus, OsmAnd, Oruxmaps had problems doing that - at the end of a journey there always were parts missing where the device restarted or the app crashed, not continuing tracking).

I would love to hear some long-term experience, especially using the tablet while driving, with gloves on or in the rain or snowy conditions.
My GPSMAP 276Cx has buttons, for above reasons ...

http://www.motorang.com/sonstiges/PIC/gpsmap_tenere.jpg

Andy
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Didado
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Re: Galaxy Samsung Tab Active 2 as nav device

Post by Didado » Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:50 am

motorang wrote:
Sat Sep 29, 2018 1:38 pm


I would love to hear some long-term experience, especially using the tablet while driving, with gloves on or in the rain or snowy conditions.
My GPSMAP 276Cx has buttons, for above reasons ...

http://www.motorang.com/sonstiges/PIC/gpsmap_tenere.jpg

Andy
Did ten days in Spain and Portugal TET. No problem at all with vibrations, usb connections, gloves, dust, crashes etc. Neither did the two other riders with their iPhones. I had both the tablet and the iPhone at the same time in my cockpit. Only issue I've had is overheating when you leave the bike parked in the sun. As soon as you ride the wind cools it down enough.

The Android devices you mentioned are in tech terms 'ancient'. A lot has changed since those models. All high end smartphones are waterproof and can be often submerged for up to half an hour or longer. I've never had the usb connections fail. However, I've had the Garmin Zumo crash and fail all the time (bad battery connection design which is a known issue) and the Garmin Montana cradles are also known to fail. Basecamp is no longer supported and all Garmin device interfaces are slow as a snail. If you use routing for driving on the road route calculations take minutes instead of seconds compared to for example a TomTom 550 or any smartphone app. I test this stuff for a living as a journalist and often receive the latest and greatest gadgets for reviews.

Having said that I will keep my Montana 680 as a backup because the Garmin devices are more robust than tablets and smartphones. So far I've done a Rally Raid in Albania, parts of the UK TET and the Spain Portugal TET with smartphones and tablets including numerous small crashes without a breaking a single device but I've been lucky.
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Paul C
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Re: Galaxy Samsung Tab Active 2 as nav device

Post by Paul C » Sat Oct 13, 2018 3:34 pm

I've been using a Doogee S60 rugged android phone for approaching a year now. It has wireless charging capability but I've never used that. In fact I've only needed to charge it once when riding. The battery is good. Clear screen. No issues so far. I generally use LocusMaps Pro for trails and Kurviger for point to point "interesting" road routes.

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