Lets find the Best Phone for Navigation

Everything about following the wiggly line and finding the stuff to the left and right of it

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Lets find the Best Phone for Navigation

Post by chrishimself » Mon Oct 28, 2019 11:06 am

Hey guys!

I first thought Ill "just" get a rugged phone (Ulefone Armor X2 Outdoor) and Im good - however after it let me hanging big time during a longer trip Ive decided to do more research in order to find a better device.

So whys a rugged phone not the easy solution? Because many, not all of course, rugged phones are a scam. Its basically Asian manufactures recycling old and bad hardware into a rugged case - and marketing it as the super robust and gadgetry thing - only on paper.

Examples with my phone:
- SUPER SUPER slow - even my 8 year old Galaxy S2 is much much faster. The Armor X2 is so slow that you really get aggressive.
- after it fell down the 3rd time (at very low speed) from my bike the display stopped working properly (no damage to the case at all)
- display (colors / brightness) really bad (this is a rugged phone for outdoors!)
- 18:9 screen - who needs screen dimensions optimized for movies and games in an outdoor phone?
- theres much more to mention but its not relevant to me for navigation (i.e. camera)

So after some ranting I will list some features the "perfect" navigation phone should have:
- bright & big display (broad)
- big battery (> 5500 mAh)
- waterproof, shock proof
- no overheating (when display on, gps on, data on, charging + sunlight)
- decent CPU (doesnt need to be super fast - just decently usable)
- (wirless charing) - just if you feel fancy and not wanting to connect it via cable (however a battery with +5500 mAh lasts you easily a whole day which is very convenient)
- decent price - I think theres no need to spend nowadays more than 250-300€ for a phone

Note: Ive intentionally used the name "phone" because there might be the option of just buying a "normal" phone and put it into a rugged case - since after all some rugged phones dont deserve that name.

Atm Im looking into Blackview phones (BV9600 / BV6100) but they could be a "cat in the sack" again since most reviews on Amazon are fake.

Let me know your thoughts & suggestions :)
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Paul C
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Re: Lets find the Best Phone for Navigation

Post by Paul C » Mon Oct 28, 2019 12:27 pm

I've been using a Doogee S60 for two years now. Both on my GS for mainly road riding and on my CCM for mainly trails. This includes a road trip to Corsica and Sardinia, another to Spain plus a third to the Dolomites Also used it in the car driving to and around the Dolomites. I generally use the Kurviger app for roads and LocucMaps for following tracks when trail riding.
No problems with viewing it in sunlight. It's survived quite a few jetwashes. The battery used to last all day but now I generally put it on charge when I stop for a lunch break. It does have wireless charging but I've never set that up.
I made my own holder to fix it to a Ram mount.
I've yet to notice it "getting lost" and thinking I'm riding somewhere adjacent to the road/trail. Ie it seems to provide good location tracking, even in gorges.
A bonus, I use it for mountain walking too.
Perhaps I've just been lucky but it suits me. However, so far as I'm aware, it's longer available.

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Re: Lets find the Best Phone for Navigation

Post by Didado » Tue Oct 29, 2019 5:49 pm

I review gadgets for a living and rugged phones like CAT S60/S62 or Sonim phones or Landrover are quality phones and seriously rugged. However, you also pay a serious price.

I personally ride with a Galaxy Tab Active 8 inch which is more sensitive to damage. However, I've been riding and crashing for years with regular phones like the iPhone 6 and 8 Plus without any protective casings and now with the tablet and so far it is a non issue. Protective cases are a disaster as soon as it gets hot. Smartphone and tablets in cases will black out due to overheating. A good rugged phone will not.

Admittedly, I always have a spare nav device with me and I realise that's the luxury of testing gadgets for a living. CAT today announced the CAT S52 today which is a rugged smartphone for the consumer with a decent camera (Pixel3), the first with Gorilla glass 6, thin and IP68 (nothing special). The price is also reasonable and it looks somewhat like a regular phone.
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