Yet Another Cycling Forum

General Category => The Knowledge => GPS => Topic started by: Frank9755 on February 23, 2020, 03:13:30 pm

Title: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: Frank9755 on February 23, 2020, 03:13:30 pm
Has anyone abandoned Garmin, Wahoo and the rest in favour of just using a phone app? 

I'm looking into the feasibility of it, mainly because my old Garmin 705 won't last for ever and I've not found any of the current crop of GPS devices do exactly what I want.

I already use OSMAnd+ for navigation (by which I mean giving me a line to follow - I virtually never want a device to give me turn by turn navigation) from time to time and find it excellent as the big screen has far more detail and better mapping than a GPS. 

What I want to know is what are the best apps to use for capturing ride data in a form that can be imported to other systems (ie not Strava which doesn't give you the ability to re-export your own data)?

Drawbacks from phones that I can see are battery life, waterproofness and screen visibility (too bright at night, not bright enough in the sun).  The first two can be got round with a power bank and a plastic bag, but I'd need to do more testing to have a view on the last one. 

Any thoughts welcome, although ideally not multiple posts on the three drawbacks above!
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: grams on February 23, 2020, 03:45:09 pm
I've only ever done navigation by phone for long distance riding. I can't imagine being confined to tiny screen and not being able to easily browse ahead or look around the map.

A lot of phones are waterproof. All iPhones from the 7 upwards, and various random Androids (mostly high end, with a few low-end "rugged" phones from never-heard-of-them manufacturers). The touchscreens still become unusable in heavy rain, and moisture in the charging port is a huge worry.

I got an iPhone 11 Pro last year, which is my first OLED - on those power consumption is proportional to the number of illuminated pixels. Combined with "dark mode" this more than doubles battery life - I get around 13 hours screen on, including podcast listening and without using airplane mode or any low power settings. This phone also supports fast charging from a USB C power bank, so between the two I should never have to charge on the bike. It also has Qi charging in case of charging port issues.

I wrote my own app (https://bikegpx.com) for navigating with. It displays and logs speed/cadence/HRM/Power/Di2 data, and can export all except Di2.

(I don't really recommend navigating with one app and logging with another, as both iOS and Android can't be trusted not to kill background apps)
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: telstarbox on February 23, 2020, 04:23:15 pm
Strava can export a GPX file from your recorded ride if that's what you meant?
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: grams on February 23, 2020, 04:39:47 pm
Strava can export a GPX file from your recorded ride if that's what you meant?

It does yeah, including sensor data.

On the other hand, they dropped support for using external sensors with their own phone app recently, claiming it crashed the app too much (i.e. they couldn't be bothered fixing it).
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: Frank9755 on February 23, 2020, 04:48:50 pm
Thanks, interesting. 

Just had a quick look at your app, which seems lovely, clean and simple.  It doesn't quite have all the display feilds that I would like, but I expect nothing will have exactly what I want, but it looks pretty good.  Does it need an internet connection to get google maps, or is there a way of caching maps in advance?


I've only ever done navigation by phone for long distance riding. I can't imagine being confined to tiny screen and not being able to easily browse ahead or look around the map.

A lot of phones are waterproof. All iPhones from the 7 upwards, and various random Androids (mostly high end, with a few low-end "rugged" phones from never-heard-of-them manufacturers). The touchscreens still become unusable in heavy rain, and moisture in the charging port is a huge worry.

I got an iPhone 11 Pro last year, which is my first OLED - on those power consumption is proportional to the number of illuminated pixels. Combined with "dark mode" this more than doubles battery life - I get around 13 hours screen on, including podcast listening and without using airplane mode or any low power settings. This phone also supports fast charging from a USB C power bank, so between the two I should never have to charge on the bike. It also has Qi charging in case of charging port issues.

I wrote my own app (https://bikegpx.com) for navigating with. It displays and logs speed/cadence/HRM/Power/Di2 data, and can export all except Di2.

(I don't really recommend navigating with one app and logging with another, as both iOS and Android can't be trusted not to kill background apps)
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: Frank9755 on February 23, 2020, 04:50:28 pm
Strava can export a GPX file from your recorded ride if that's what you meant?

Thanks for pointing that out.  TBH I'm not quite sure what I mean!  It's years since I actually tried to export data from Strava and I just remember that it wouldn't let me do what I wanted, and that is all I remember.  It may be that they have changed things now.
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: perpetual dan on February 23, 2020, 07:00:25 pm
I've tried using my phone's GPS to log runs with Strava. My previous phone (an LG) had a fault where the aerial connections were shit. Even opening it up and bending pins didn't fix it. My current Samsung works, but is still quite prone to jumps off course and to cover gaps in data. (1km extra in a 10km run wasn't unusual.) So i now carry my bike GPS to log runs.
Maybe I'm unlucky, but I'd be cautious about using a phone where the track's accuracy mattered to me. Navigating, i reckon the human is mostly able to spot errors.


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Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: Sergeant Pluck on February 23, 2020, 07:48:53 pm
Has anyone abandoned Garmin, Wahoo and the rest in favour of just using a phone app? 

This doesn’t answer your question but it is perhaps another benefit of phone apps over GPS devices: over the past month or two I have successfully made use of Google’s routing using voice instructions via Bluetooth to hearing aids (so presumably will work at least as well with wireless ear buds), with the phone out of sight in a pocket somewhere. Worked rather well.

Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: grams on February 23, 2020, 08:03:51 pm
  Does it need an internet connection to get google maps, or is there a way of caching maps in advance?

It needs a connection for the base map, but not for the line. If you zoom in to a suitable level and follow the track while you have a connection, it will cache the map tiles for later.

It's something people request a lot, but not something I've ever found I really need myself, and that's been the driving force behind actually implementing stuff. Probably a lot of work too.
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: Frank9755 on February 23, 2020, 10:40:50 pm
I think what I am after is Cyclemeter.  Seems to have pretty much everything I want (and a lot that I don't, or certainly didn't know that I did), but I'm not sure about cached maps yet. 
Have downloaded it and will have a play with it.
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: Bolt on February 23, 2020, 11:31:54 pm
Since retiring I've found the time to really get to grips with Orux Maps on Android which I'm running on my everyday phone, a Galaxy S7 and also on a cheap Huawei 7" tablet.  What I really like about using an android device in this way is that it provides multiple options in route planning on the fly.  For planning longer distance rides I use cycle.travel on my laptop and then upload the gpx file to Orux maps on the mobile device.  If I then want to deviate from that route, say in search of "explorer tiles", I'll use the brouter plugin with Orux maps which I've found to work really well as an off-line routing engine.  If I haven't pre-planned a return route and just want to get home on an easy route I'll switch apps and use Komoot leaving Orux maps running in the background and recording the track. 

By using the "dim wake lock" function on Orux maps the map and route are always visible albeit on a dimmed screen which is readable in most conditions apart from bright sunlight.  It only takes a tap on the screen to restore full brightness when conditions dictate.  Running the tablet in this manner on aeroplane mode I can achieve 10hrs+ of navigation and track recording before having to think about recharging.  I know that using a handlebar mounted tablet may not appeal to all, but I find the advantage of having such a large moving map display is of huge benefit when exploring.

Note: the Huwaei tablet cost about £60 new, I waterproofed it by sealing the unused ports with tape and a removable port seal for the charging port.  I house the device in a PU backshell case and attach to a modified topeak ridecase and mount using velcro.  An application of RainX water repellent to the screen also helps in keeping the screen clear during a downpour.
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: Frank9755 on February 24, 2020, 09:15:15 am
Interesting.

I think the appeal of large screens increases with age, as it gets harder to see smaller screens without glasses.  When I see the guys who are on twitter, etc when riding I do think that I wouldn't be able to do that if I wanted to.

It looks like there are a range of options in the open source world.  I need to have a look at a couple.  One I will try that looks quite good is AAT (Another Activity Tracker - uses the same naming system as cycling forums!).  http://bailu.ch/aat/ (http://bailu.ch/aat/)

It looks like it will work from offline Open Streetmaps, which is my preferred setup.  I'll need to have a play to see if it does the rest.

I now realise that this could be a huge time sync.  But it feels a more rewarding use of time than messing around trying to understand how to use a new Garmin!
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: bludger on February 24, 2020, 09:55:37 am
Sean Conway used a phone instead of a GPS unit for navigation on his cross europe ride, he gave the same reasons as you and Grams. Didn't like having a small screen and he found the GPs units crashed a lot and did strange things. Certainly this was true for garmin units when I was using them, it was a real pain in the tits. My new wahoo is yet to crash on a ride but time will tell.

The newer element roam has a bigger screen and is optimised for touring etc but it's £300 (oof) and only 2.7 inches tall relative to a smartphone's more common 5-6".

I use my phone for navigation when I'm doing delivery, as it's a lot easier to plug in destinations and routes on the fly than any head unit. I use either komoot or just basic google maps. Works OK.
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: Frank9755 on February 24, 2020, 05:02:46 pm
I'd heard about Sean Conway.  The app he used is just for mapping.  Quite a few people do things like the Transcontinental using phones too - I don't know what they use.

I used RWGPS once, in an emergency, on an audax last year.  It was ok for showing me the way and also gave me a trace which I used to get my ride validated when I lost my wallet with receipt in it. 

I want to be able to record and display power data.  Not all the time, but sometimes.  And I'd also like a 'lap' button.  Without those requirement there would be a lot more options. 

I've had a look at AAT but it doesn't seem to be what I want, so Cyclemeter looks like the best hope.  RWGPS seems pretty good but don't think it has a lap button.

Need to find time to get out on my bike and test it!
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: Phil W on February 24, 2020, 06:51:52 pm
Modern android phones have Ant+ not so sure about iOS phones. Assuming your power meter is Ant+ only and not Bluetooth 5 etc.
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: Bolt on February 24, 2020, 07:15:15 pm
OruxMaps has ANT+ and other sensor support.
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: Frank9755 on February 24, 2020, 10:19:42 pm
Power meter has Bluetooth so connectivity not the issue, its just whether the app gives the option to display power.
surprisingly few seem to.
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: Bolt on February 24, 2020, 10:54:03 pm
Yes, you can add add any of the ANT+ sensor readings including power to the Oruxmaps dashboard.
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: Bolt on February 24, 2020, 10:57:50 pm
Sorry, misread your post but to confirm there are also options to add BT 4.0 sensor readings to the dashboard as well.
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: Diesel on February 24, 2020, 11:19:34 pm
I've gone the other way from phone to Wahoo having done rides of 1000km and 1500km using the phone. But it is a good question

Battery life wasn't a problem in itself but I found I couldn't keep the charging port on my android phone dry. So even though the phone worked and I had power to charge it the phone 'detected moisture' sometimes in wet conditions and would not charge. This was a major draw back.

Visibility in sun was difficult at times but puttibg the phone on max brightness was ok

It did offer the benefit of seeing a bigger map and I miss that. Using wahoo for PBP I lost all sense of where I was and didn't like that.

The other big challenge I have is that the wahoo screen is so small and as my eyes deteriorate (with age!) I struggle to read it.

Maybe I'll go back to phone at some stage

I used RWGPS on the phone and it served me well. Better and more reliable than Wahoo. It has a feature that if you follow a route with cues it turns the screen on for each cue (turn) and off in between which works pretty well.

Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: chrisbainbridge on February 25, 2020, 08:12:49 am
Interesting thread as I have moved to using a Samsung phone with a protective case for walking using Komoot or the OS app. The screen powers on as I lift it and I can read it without glasses on the hills. On aeroplane mode the battery life is more than enough for a full days hill walking.
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: bludger on February 25, 2020, 10:09:57 am
I want to be able to record and display power data.  Not all the time, but sometimes.  And I'd also like a 'lap' button.  Without those requirement there would be a lot more options. 

Yeah I think you'll struggle to find an app that does this  - my only suggestion would be getting one of the cheaper mini GPS units to record the power data etc and then just the phone to navigate. Looking at https://powermetercity.com/2018/05/08/power-meter-smartphone-apps/ I can't see anything that fits the bill, especially re pressing a 'lap' button.

This £120 STAGES one has a lap button and measures power. https://www.sigmasports.com/item/Stages-Cycling/Dash-L10-GPS-Bike-Computer/K9O1
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: Frank9755 on February 25, 2020, 06:07:45 pm
I'm pretty sure Cyclemeter does everything I want. 
It sounds like Orux might do too, but needs a bit more investigation. 

Power meter data isn't hard, as far as I can gather, just the app designer needs to have thought of it!
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: Phil W on February 25, 2020, 06:38:58 pm
I have Orux Maps on my phone as backup. It also shows  the same offline OSM mapping as on my GPS. I just copy the mapping img file from the GPS to the phone storage. Orux can read it direct. I don’t use power outside so can’t comment on that.
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: Frank9755 on February 26, 2020, 10:14:08 am
First test with cyclemeter on the way in to work.

it wasn't bad. Did a good job of recording and displays more than enough data fields. Was pleasantly surprised that it found maps despite me having it on flight mode, assume it cached them at the start. Need a longer ride to test how that works. It has loads of ride analysis, which is not such a priority, but it is good.

the map on the main screen is much better than a garmin but nothing like as good as osmand has. It does have a good map but it's on another screen. And not so easy to switch.

It worked ok with gloves.

One thing I realised is that I need to get phone on an in front mount. Currently on stem but it is too far away from the road to be looking.

I'll test it some more.

I'll also review my requirements. The main one being lap button. I only need this when I'm doing intervals and the garmin can manage those OK so maybe I don't need it. That would open up other options with better mapping, such as oruxmaps. It would also open up rwgps which has a better interface,and works with offline maps.

It might be that I end up using two or more different ones, eg cyclemeter for intervals and something else for long rides and navigating round town.  I use Osmand for that at the moment and it is hard to imagine anything else will be better.

This is turning into a bit of a project, but interesting, and I'm now certain I'll have something that meets my needs better than garmin or wahoo. It will also cost less, but that's not the main priority.
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: bludger on February 26, 2020, 01:34:02 pm
That looks like a goodun, I'll be interested to see how your findings go :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: Frank9755 on February 27, 2020, 11:16:32 am
Oruxmaps looks very good.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLMBNsaK2pA (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLMBNsaK2pA)

I don't think it has a lap button but it ticks every other box.  In particular, the map display that you get with data fields seems as good as OSMAnd.  That is really what I want, to be able to see a proper map when I am cycling.  Cost is £3.39 so I expect I'll buy it and set it up when I have a minute. 
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: Bolt on February 28, 2020, 11:24:12 am
I use maps from https://www.openandromaps.org/en (https://www.openandromaps.org/en) for Oruxmaps which are really excellent.  They will install automatically into Oruxmaps if you download them on the same device.  You can configure the map theme through Oruxmaps to further refine the map display and  also there is a POI database as a separate download from the same site which is astonishingly good, enabling you to carry out an offline search for whatever it is you're looking for be it the nearest "Spoons" or public loo :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: bludger on March 07, 2020, 08:15:16 pm
My replacement GPS unit hasn't come in time for a grimpeur tomorrow, so I'm going to be using my phone. I'm going to navigate using Strava to try to record the ride, but if it doesn't work I've also loaded it into Komoot.

We'll see how it goes....
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: MikeFromLFE on March 08, 2020, 08:11:50 am
What are y'all using to attach the phone to the bike / waterproof it?
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: HeltorChasca on March 08, 2020, 10:22:22 am
What are y'all using to attach the phone to the bike / waterproof it?
Quad Lock. Tried others and this is streets ahead.


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Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: Bolt on March 08, 2020, 11:41:35 pm
There are an increasing number of phones available that are rated to IP68 available that negate the use of a waterproof case.  In terms of a mount I use a modified Topeak Ridecase and mount which can be picked up very inexpensively, typically as NOS for obsolete models of phone.  The Ridecase is a basically a back shell for a specific model of phone but can be adapted to fit any phone by cutting away the raised edges of the Ridecase frame and bonding the carbon fibre back plate to the remaining frame with epoxy.  The phone can then be attached to the modified mount using self adhesive velcro strips.  It provides a surprisingly neat, secure and versatile mounting option as the ride case mount allows the phone to be mounted on either the steerer top cap or handlebars and can be tilted and rotated.
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: igauk on March 13, 2020, 11:49:24 pm
+ 1 for Quad Lock, mine stays in its case all the time on and off the bike. I get about 8 hours out of my Galaxy S8 running RWGPS in aeroplane mode, 12+ hours if I fanny about with brightness, battery optimisation etc. I like the functionality of RWGPS but have had issues with it not downloading all the map tiles for off-line use, despite saying it has (and it's done this on more than one phone). OSMAnd is great for Nav only but a bit more battery hungry. Viewranger is great for OS mapping but cuts batter life to a few hours on my phone. I run a small Giant computer for instant speed/distance/cadence so I can have the phone screen only come on for navigation prompts. I'm still not 100% settled on the phone solution but nothing that's come out in the GPS market has persuaded me to switch back.
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: Frank9755 on March 23, 2020, 05:47:06 am
What are y'all using to attach the phone to the bike / waterproof it?

I have a box full of mounting kits. 
For the TCR last year I used velcro, which worked well. 
There are various proprietary systems, eg Rokform, Quadlock, Topeak, and lots of cheap solutions on eBay.  What currently seems to be the most popular is to use a Garmin mount.  You can get a stick-on bit to go on the back of your phone (put it on a removable case) for a couple of pounds.
Waterproofing is a bit more tricky.  My plan is to use a dedicated waterproof phone (should arrive any day now - but seems less relevant than when I ordered it a few weeks ago).  Otherwise, there are various options which use either plastic bag or tupperware technology in some form. 
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: velosam on April 07, 2020, 10:03:07 am
What are y'all using to attach the phone to the bike / waterproof it?

I have a box full of mounting kits. 
For the TCR last year I used velcro, which worked well. 
There are various proprietary systems, eg Rokform, Quadlock, Topeak, and lots of cheap solutions on eBay.  What currently seems to be the most popular is to use a Garmin mount.  You can get a stick-on bit to go on the back of your phone (put it on a removable case) for a couple of pounds.
Waterproofing is a bit more tricky.  My plan is to use a dedicated waterproof phone (should arrive any day now - but seems less relevant than when I ordered it a few weeks ago).  Otherwise, there are various options which use either plastic bag or tupperware technology in some form.

With the garmin mounts stuck on the back of a case, does the phone then have to be on a landscape only?

Also how heavy can you go?

I ask because I have an old Tomtom rider device and would not mind trying to figure out how to get that stuck on the bars, inexpensively.
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: Frank9755 on April 18, 2020, 07:50:45 am
No, you can stick it on whichever way up you want it. 

How heavy would need to be established by experiment!  But the pads seem to stick on well.  Needs a clean, flat non-porous surface.  There are some pretty big ones around for larger devices.  I don't know anything about your TomTom but I expect it would most likely work unless it is an absolute brick of a thing.
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: Frank9755 on April 18, 2020, 10:00:19 am
OK - I have now finished all my research, test purchases and experiments and think I have got the answer I was looking for - a phone-based setup which is far better than the Garmin 1000, Garmin 1030 and Wahoo Element (however they spell it), which I have previously purchased, tried out and returned.

This project has rather been overtaken by events and I'm hardly able to ride at all at the moment, so the one thing I have not done is test my setup on long rides, nor in the rain, but I've done a few short rides and expect it will work well.

Hardware

I am using a ruggedised, waterproof android phone with a 4-inch screen.
(https://apex-insight.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/IMG_20200416_162810.jpg)

It has with a garmin mount stuck on the back so that I can mount it exactly where I used to mount my Garmin.
(https://apex-insight.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/IMG_20200416_162709.jpg)

The phone is a Cubot Kingkong Mini. 
https://www.expertreviews.co.uk/mobile-phones/1411672/cubot-kingkong-mini-review (https://www.expertreviews.co.uk/mobile-phones/1411672/cubot-kingkong-mini-review)

Despite the daft name, this is a pretty good, robust and waterproof phone which should be up to living on handlebars.  It is almost exactly the same size as a Garmin 1030, but with bigger, and much better, screen.  It's also not very expensive - mine cost $93 (£74) from AliExpress. 
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000203850799.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.393a4c4dIR5Jgk (https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000203850799.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.393a4c4dIR5Jgk)  I see it's gone up slightly since I bought it.
Add a data card, case and stick-on garmin mount and the hardware cost was about £100. 

I don't use this as a phone.  It is just a cycling computer.

The main downside vs a dedicated GPS is battery life.  I think I'll get about 6 hours of life in normal usage (not tested yet), which would be in aeroplane mode apart from bluetooth to get data from heart rate and power meters and with the screen on a low brightness setting. 

For most of my rides - commuting and short training rides - that isn't an issue, but if I am going over 100km, I will need to carry a power bank.  That is not a massive problem, as I have always had to do that for rides over 300km anyway.

I could extend battery life by turning the screen off and using voice directions.  I could imagine doing this on long, straight, main road sections, but I wouldn't normally do it as one of my main requirements is to be able to see some data fields as I ride., and I prefer navigation by seeing a line on a map than voice prompts

Software

Finding the right app took far longer.  I did a lot of searching, read lots of reviews (mostly written by people who had different criteria to me or, in the case of cycling magazines, had not used the app but had copy to write) and tried several options.  Most of them are not expensive so I paid for a few of them to do proper testing.  The main cost is not £ but the time it takes to learn how they work.

There isn't one perfect app but the two best ones that, between them, cover everything I need, are RideWithGPS and Cyclemeter [EDIT and BikeComputer]

I'm not doing in-depth reviews but here are some thoughts on these two and the others that I actually tried out.

1. RideWithGPS https://ridewithgps.com/app (https://ridewithgps.com/app)
I've actually been paying for this for the past year since my Garmin let me down on a 400km and I needed to set up another navigation method, but not using it.  It is the best all-round app with pretty much everything I need, apart from one thing - a lap button.  I only need this when I am interval training so, for other rides, it seems to be the best option.  Key thing is that, with the paid version, it has offline maps.
Cost is $5.99 per month, or if you don't need offline maps, free. Potentially one could pay to use it over the summer for longer rides and using the free version in the winter. 

2. Cyclemeter https://abvio.com/cyclemeter/ (https://abvio.com/cyclemeter/)
This is a really clean, intuitive interface.  It is the only app that I have found that has a lap button, so it is what I use for doing intervals in Richmond Park.  I would probably also use it for TTs, if I do them again.  You get a large number of screens but there are two that I would use: One has a map plus 6 data fields and the other has 12 data fields - more than I would ever want - with no map.  There are loads of other options including graphs and charts of all the metrics, but I can only ever imagine looking at an altitude chart, not the rest. 
The only flaw with this is that it does not have offline maps.  I emailed their support to enquire and they said it was on the horizon but not being worked on just yet.
Cost is £10 per year for the Elite version.

3. OSMAnd+ https://osmand.net/ (https://osmand.net/)
I have been using this for a few years.  It has great maps, good navigation and can do ride logging but doesn't do cycling things like power.  I'll still keep it for the maps.  Because I know how it works, there is not any learning curve.
Cost is £5.99, one-time purchase

4. BikeComputer Pro http://bikecomputer.roproducts.de/ (http://bikecomputer.roproducts.de/)
I thought this would be better than RideWithGPS as it would give me everything that RWGPS does but with more data fields for a tiny one-time cost.  But it is not as intuitive and I found a flaw when I tested it:
a. While it is great for navigating in most directions (ie north, east or west) but, if you want to go south, you have only a tiny bit of map in front of you, as the data fields hide the screen!  You can minimise the data fields, but that was one of my criteria.  EDIT - I discovered this can be changed in the settings which may make it a viable option.
NB, not to be confused with Bike Computer, which is completely different and doesn't do navigation.
Cost is £5.49, one-time purchase

5. Orux Maps https://www.oruxmaps.com/cs/en/ (https://www.oruxmaps.com/cs/en/)
This is a great application which potentially does everything (apart from lap button).  But it is too complicated and non-intuitive to be useful to normal people.  I tried a month or so back; I spent about two hours on it, but I wasn't getting anywhere.  But, not having found the perfect option, I had another go last night and spent another hour and a half on it.  I still wasn't getting anywhere - in over 3 hours, I wasn't able to do what I could do on Cyclemeter or RWGPS in a few seconds, or a few minutes on BikeComputer - which was customise the home screen. 
Eventually I found this critique, which made me realise it wasn't me being slow, it is just a usability disaster: https://oruxmaps.forumotion.com/t2514-some-usability-observations (https://oruxmaps.forumotion.com/t2514-some-usability-observations).  I think it is still good for mapping, just not practical to set it up as a cycling computer, and I already have OSMAnd for mapping.
Cost is £3.39, one-time purchase

6. Strava
This was one of the first I tried as I thought they would have this nailed, but was surprised how little functionality their app has.  I can only assume that, because they partner with Garmin, Wahoo, etc, they have agreed not to eat their lunch!


Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: drossall on April 18, 2020, 10:41:37 am
Interesting, but the photos don't show for me. Can you summarise the key advantages?
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: velosam on April 18, 2020, 10:51:31 am
Thanks, thats extremely helpful.

I need to do some measurements and see if it will fit in a out front mount.  I suspect not as the Garmin 800 I have is small.

The TomTom is an absolute brick (think original mobile phones)
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: Frank9755 on April 18, 2020, 12:11:42 pm
Interesting, but the photos don't show for me. Can you summarise the key advantages?

My aim is to get something more up to date and reliable than my ageing garmin 705 that still does what I want. I listed my criteria but realise it was in an earlier thread, here:
 https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=112373.msg2403199#msg2403199 (https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=112373.msg2403199#msg2403199)

It's mainly to be able to follow a line on a map and see at least 4 data fields at the same time, and to have north upwards. To my surprise, neither garmin nor wahoo can do this.
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: drossall on April 18, 2020, 01:10:14 pm
OK yes, that would be useful.
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: JonBuoy on April 18, 2020, 01:26:05 pm
I am pretty sure that my Etrex 30X will do all those things.  What it won't do is your additional requirement to talk to an Ant+ power meter.

ETA: It is not clear to me whether your phone solution will do that.
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: Morat on April 18, 2020, 04:42:13 pm
Many Android phones do include ANT+ as standard, but I don't think that one does. A quick google doesn't show any reference to it, at least.
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: Frank9755 on April 18, 2020, 07:56:58 pm
My power meter (and HR monitor) works via Bluetooth so I don't actually need Ant+
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: Bolt on April 18, 2020, 11:48:17 pm
For me one of the key advantages of using a phone as a bike gps device is the ability to have access to multiple apps.  It's no great overhead to have all of the popular apps installed and use them as situations dictate.  If I just want to record a ride I'll most likely use Strava, if I'm navigating "on the fly" I'll use Oruxmaps, for offline route planning I'll use Komoot and for online route planning I'll use cycle.travel and upload the track into Oruxmaps to navigate.  I've sold all my Garmin devices apart from an etrex 30 which I still use for audax rides and long tours as a fail safe device.   
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: fboab on April 19, 2020, 01:43:34 pm
I'm really glad, Frank, that your experience of Orux maps aligned with mine. I had assumed I was an idiot. Which of course could still be the case.

RWGPS wins for me. For intervals I used a separate app as interval timer, but I just wanted the timer, not to review the intervals afterwards so didn't need a lap button.

I found the pricing model for Komoot unappealing, even aside from the yet-another-app aspect. I also can't bring myself to purchase from a company with a blatent dsrgrd for cnsnnts.
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: Bolt on April 19, 2020, 11:42:16 pm
I can see why Oruxmaps might seem a bit of a challenge to get to grips with but I think it's well worth downloading the user manual and spending some time to understand its usefulness as a feature rich navigational aid.  If displaying performance based data was my aim then I'd probably look elsewhere, but for anyone who enjoys exploring by bike I'd say that Oruxmaps is well worth the effort.

I had high hopes of Komoot when it was launched and paid the one off fee for the world wide downloadable map package.  It's certainly an incredibly annoying app that forces you to try and create an "adventure" from every ride you plan or do, but I do like its ability to plan a fairly viable long distance route offline.

Also, as someone who likes to have the map display "always on" when navigating, I've found that older LCD screen devices seem to work better than OLED displays in bright conditions in that you can reduce the brightness down to about 10% and still be able to read it.  Maybe it's just a unique difference between the devices I'm using but it does make a big difference in power consumption enabling 10hrs+ usage from a 7" LCD screen tablet with display always on and GPS recording.
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: Kim on April 20, 2020, 12:17:35 am
The trick for saving power with OLED displays is to have as much black (and dark colours generally) on the screen as possible, as only the pixels that are actually lit up consume power.  So it might make sense to use a 'night' or 'high contrast' theme, with the brightness turned up high.

Traditional LCDs don't care what's on the screen, it's all about the backlight brightness.
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: grams on April 20, 2020, 12:42:34 am
The trick for saving power with OLED displays is to have as much black (and dark colours generally) on the screen as possible, as only the pixels that are actually lit up consume power.  So it might make sense to use a 'night' or 'high contrast' theme, with the brightness turned up high.

Yes. Switching from an LCD to OLED phone I got pretty much the same battery life in the normal theme, but switching to Dark Mode (and changing nothing else) has doubled or maybe even tripled it. It’s probably more readable too.

(It helps that I’m using an app I wrote and in implementing dark mode looked for ways to illuminate as few pixels as possible)
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: Kim on April 20, 2020, 12:57:15 am
I always find it counter-intuitive that my tablet uses markedly more battery scrolling through web pages than it does playing video.  Then I get annoyed at how pointlessly *bright* modern web design is.
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: Somnolent on June 04, 2020, 10:54:55 pm
Any suggestions for an Android app that will record a plain basic GPX track?
Strava is misbehaving on my phone - zigs & zags to odd points miles away from actual location at 200mph, and I want to check it with a different app.
I don't need maps, I don't need routing, I don't need fancy features, but it would be nice if I could easily transfer recorded tracks to a Windows desktop.
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: fuaran on June 04, 2020, 11:07:55 pm
Any suggestions for an Android app that will record a plain basic GPX track?
Strava is misbehaving on my phone - zigs & zags to odd points miles away from actual location at 200mph, and I want to check it with a different app.
I don't need maps, I don't need routing, I don't need fancy features, but it would be nice if I could easily transfer recorded tracks to a Windows desktop.
GPS Logger for Android, does just that. https://gpslogger.app/
Plenty of options to adjust the recording frequency etc. Worth turning off the option to use network locations, that can be inaccurate.
Can set it to automatically upload to Dropbox or Google Drive etc, I think that's the easiest way of transferring to desktop.
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: Kim on June 04, 2020, 11:42:48 pm
Worth turning off the option to use network locations, that can be inaccurate.

That certainly sounds like a likely cause of 200mph zigzags.
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: Frank9755 on June 05, 2020, 01:08:27 pm
Any suggestions for an Android app that will record a plain basic GPX track?
Strava is misbehaving on my phone - zigs & zags to odd points miles away from actual location at 200mph, and I want to check it with a different app.
I don't need maps, I don't need routing, I don't need fancy features, but it would be nice if I could easily transfer recorded tracks to a Windows desktop.

Lots of apps will do that, including the free versions of cyclemeter, bikecomputer, ridewithgps and osmand.
All of those 4 are pretty user friendly, maybe rwgps or cyclemeter is the simplest

Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: Tim Hall on June 08, 2020, 08:38:01 pm
Any suggestions for an Android app that will record a plain basic GPX track?
Strava is misbehaving on my phone - zigs & zags to odd points miles away from actual location at 200mph, and I want to check it with a different app.
I don't need maps, I don't need routing, I don't need fancy features, but it would be nice if I could easily transfer recorded tracks to a Windows desktop.

Lots of apps will do that, including the free versions of cyclemeter, bikecomputer, ridewithgps and osmand.
All of those 4 are pretty user friendly, maybe rwgps or cyclemeter is the simplest
I didn't know osmand could do logging. I do now. Having tweaked the battery optimisation on my phone, I've got it to work. Thanks for the pointer Frank.
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: Somnolent on June 08, 2020, 10:14:59 pm
Worth turning off the option to use network locations, that can be inaccurate.

That certainly sounds like a likely cause of 200mph zigzags.

Indeed, but in Android 9 the option to decide which location services (network / gps / both) are used, has been amputated.
It's now just Location "on" or Location "off"
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: Bolt on June 08, 2020, 11:59:27 pm
The trick for saving power with OLED displays is to have as much black (and dark colours generally) on the screen as possible, as only the pixels that are actually lit up consume power.  So it might make sense to use a 'night' or 'high contrast' theme, with the brightness turned up high.
Thanks Kim, that's a top tip! I tried it out yesterday using Oruxmaps set to night mode on my OLED display phone with the screen brightness set to 50% and auto adjust set to off. With the map display permanently on, battery consumption was around 8% per hour without any power saving adjustments.  This is as good as using the 7" lcd tablet in "dim wake lock" and aeroplane mode with the added benefit of a much easier to read display :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: Bolt on June 16, 2020, 12:03:36 am
The trick for saving power with OLED displays is to have as much black (and dark colours generally) on the screen as possible, as only the pixels that are actually lit up consume power.  So it might make sense to use a 'night' or 'high contrast' theme, with the brightness turned up high.
Thanks Kim, that's a top tip! I tried it out yesterday using Oruxmaps set to night mode on my OLED display phone with the screen brightness set to 50% and auto adjust set to off. With the map display permanently on, battery consumption was around 8% per hour without any power saving adjustments.  This is as good as using the 7" lcd tablet in "dim wake lock" and aeroplane mode with the added benefit of a much easier to read display :thumbsup:
So taking this a step further, I took an old Samsung A3 smartphone and carried out a factory reset followed by an install of "Oruxmaps" with offline UK mapping, together with Brouter and "GPS Status" apps.  Using the phone in flight mode and location set to "GPS only" the battery usage with the map display permanently on and high resolution tracking enabled was a consistent 5% per hour measured over a 300km 20 hour ride. 
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: Frank9755 on June 16, 2020, 01:27:01 pm
That's really good battery life.  FWIW I'm getting about 6 hours from my setup.  That is using about 70% brightness (I vary it manually according to conditions).  But on a sunny day, I am needing to bump it up to 100%.  Duller day 50% is more than enough - so 6 hours seems a good average.

It is borderline as to whether it is good enough.  I'll need to do more testing on longer rides to see how long I get from different sized battery packs. 

Upgrading to an OLED phone is not an option as there are no waterproof 4" models.
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: mdp on June 19, 2020, 11:43:03 pm
Not sure whether you have seen Blackview's BVXXXX series rugged phones - https://www.blackview.hk/smartphone/. I have the BV6000 which I use when bikepacking/hiking. It's pretty much bomb proof and the battery lasts for days as opposed to hours. It's a decent spec (Octa-core 2.0 GHz, 3GB Memory, 4.7" screen) but not amazing. The screen isn't fantastic and the camera is nowhere near as good as they like to make out, but it does the job for navigation. There's also a newer BV6800 with a bigger screen, bigger battery and a bit more memory. Only thing is they seem to have gone up in price lately. When I got mine 2 years ago it was around £140 on Amazon and it seems to be now selling for over £190 and the BV6800 is just over £200, which is still not bad I suppose compared to a lot of phones. They also have a much higher spec BV9900 which is more than double the price but then it does apparently have a thermal imaging camera :o
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: Frank9755 on June 22, 2020, 01:37:24 pm
Not sure whether you have seen Blackview's BVXXXX series rugged phones - https://www.blackview.hk/smartphone/. I have the BV6000 which I use when bikepacking/hiking. It's pretty much bomb proof and the battery lasts for days as opposed to hours. It's a decent spec (Octa-core 2.0 GHz, 3GB Memory, 4.7" screen) but not amazing. The screen isn't fantastic and the camera is nowhere near as good as they like to make out, but it does the job for navigation. There's also a newer BV6800 with a bigger screen, bigger battery and a bit more memory. Only thing is they seem to have gone up in price lately. When I got mine 2 years ago it was around £140 on Amazon and it seems to be now selling for over £190 and the BV6800 is just over £200, which is still not bad I suppose compared to a lot of phones. They also have a much higher spec BV9900 which is more than double the price but then it does apparently have a thermal imaging camera :o

Thanks - interesting.  I had come across Blackview but ruled them out as I only saw large screen models.  I had been considering risking a second-hand Samsung A3, having discovered the 2017 models are waterproof (Thanks Bolt ^^), but this looks like another good option.  A few quick searches show the BV6000 available for <£100.

In case anyone is interested in this, or contemplating switiching to a phone setup, now that I have had good bit of experience with the phone, I'm weighing up how best to configure my setup.  As it is, it is great for anything up to, say 600km / 2 days, but I can see that the battery burn rate could be an issue above that - and it is the longest ride that defines the requirement.

There are two main alternative approaches I am considering, and which will dictate what I might buy next:
1) to carry on down the route of looking for the best smaller phone to use as an upgrade to my Cubot and then carry a main phone as well, for back-up navigation and everything else - this is the vision that I started out with.
2) to use my main phone for navigation and use another device as backup.  This could be my Cubot or one of my old Garmins, or anything really.  When I'm using my phone to do other stuff (find music to listen to, book hotels, etc) I would turn the backup device on purely to show me the route, but this would only be for short periods, so little power requirement.  This model has two benefits: I would only have one phone to keep charged, so it might work out more economical (esp if I upgrade to an OLED screen) and I would have a bigger screen for navigation.

I'm realising that one challenge of taking the phone app approach is that there is a constant temptation to upgrade and fine-tune! And that is not necessarily what I want to spend my time doing.
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: Bolt on June 22, 2020, 04:27:42 pm
Using the Samsung A3 as previously described the battery consumption is actually less than my main phone (S7) carried in my back pocket with the screen off, even though the S7 has a bigger battery.
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: Lightning Phil on June 22, 2020, 05:28:27 pm
The battery life you are getting with your oled screens is fantastic. I think when my GPS die at some future point I’ll seriously consider a modern phone for the purpose.
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: Frank9755 on July 02, 2020, 05:22:49 pm
Well this has been an interesting project and has given me a pretty good device, but I have decided to try another Garmin - I've just bought a 1030.

The reason is that I have discovered that it can display more than two data fields on the map screen, which was the reason I had ruled it out.  But, by downloading a third party app called MapDashboard, I can get either 4 or 6 data fields. 

My phone / GPS is pretty good, but it has three areas where it wasn't up to the same standard as a Garmin - all to do with the screen: battery life, visibility in bright sun and usability in the wet.  I'll keep it as my back-up device, maybe keep it on my commuting bike.
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: Bolt on July 20, 2020, 11:08:03 am
I've just found out that I can connect my Amazfit Bip watch to Oruxmaps and display heart rate on the dashboard. All that's required is to make the watch temporarily discoverable using a 3rd party app such as "Notify and Fitness" and then select the watch in Oruxmaps Global Settings>Sensors>Heart Monitor and then add the required HRM measures to the dashboard display.
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: GusGF on July 21, 2020, 01:05:39 am
I've just found out that I can connect my Amazfit Bip watch to Oruxmaps and display heart rate on the dashboard. All that's required is to make the watch temporarily discoverable using a 3rd party app such as "Notify and Fitness" and then select the watch in Oruxmaps Global Settings>Sensors>Heart Monitor and then add the required HRM measures to the dashboard display.

I've used Notify & Fitness and found it was over complicated and so many nested levels of settings. Life is too short to be getting wound up by complicated apps.

Speaking of complicated it's reassuring to know others have difficulties with gps devices/apps. I use Locus Maps and while it does have a learning curve it's a visually beautifully app to use with lots of features and cheap maps.

I too had a Bip but it annoyed me that I couldn't run countdown timers and switch to the main screen to see the time, basically your locked in due to it's non multi-tasking OS. Which is daft since all electronic devices count time. I've now got a Huawei GT2 which is a very fine watch but once you go into a workout mode you are locked in and have limited access to other modes. The other annoying thing about it is while it's battery life is amazing the gps track info cannot be exported  :facepalm:

I've had a few gps nightmares mainly thanks to Garmin. But nowadays when I'm out in the great outdoors in the middle of no-where I try not to get over-stressed with these electronic devices when they try and wind me up. Because they rarely work seamlessly and you end up spending more time looking at the damn screen that at what's around you.

Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: frankly frankie on July 21, 2020, 08:46:45 am
I think you're confusing 'electronic devices' with 'children'.
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: GusGF on July 21, 2020, 02:33:26 pm
I think you're confusing 'electronic devices' with 'children'.

lol, you could always lose them, I won't tell  O:-)
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: Frank9755 on August 02, 2020, 08:32:52 am
I'm now back to using my phone.  I tried the Garmin 1030 out on a few rides over several weeks and it isn't quite what I had hoped for. 

Firstly, the data fields on the map screen isn't quite what I had hoped. It doesn't give me a full choice of fields and it occasionally resets, requiring re-setup.  There is another workaround for this, which would be to buy a garmin remote control.  I could put that on my brake hood, so that I could then scroll between data and map with minimal effort.  But still not quite as good as the phone app, and an extra gadget to buy.

The main issue, though, is the Garmin screen.  It really is vastly inferior to that on a (cheap) phone.  There are two main problems: visibility and refresh speed.  It can be hard to pick out the pink line, especially in urban areas at night.  As a result, I need to have it scrolled in much more than the phone.  On descents, this combines with the slow refresh speed to make it very easy to miss turns.

I've not sent the Garmin back yet but I might look into buying a better phone, possibly a Samsung A3, and seeing how that goes for battery life.
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: GusGF on August 02, 2020, 11:48:44 am
Quote
It really is vastly inferior to that on a (cheap) phone.

One of the reasons I've stayed away from Garmin is back when I did use their devices I always felt for what they charge they always seemed to shortchange the customer. They clearly don't innovate to lead just to stay in the game and make as much money as possible and unfortunately this doesn't seem to have changed.

Quote
On descents, this combines with the slow refresh speed to make it very easy to miss turns.

If you find a phone can do a better job and it would be interesting to put them side by side on the handlebar, then that is really unforgivable from a device whose main task is to guide!  :facepalm:

I was wondering why you picked the A3 but see that it's waterproof and a quick search on Ebay sees them selling for on average £100 new!
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: Frank9755 on August 03, 2020, 05:55:18 am
The Garmin screen has its strengths, which I expect it has been engineered for: 
- At least double the battery life. 
- Far better visibility in bright sunlight
- Much better touchscreen performance when wearing gloves or in rain, when, with the phone, it would be a case of not being able to adjust anything requiring the touchscreen, such as screen brightness. 

Its weaknesses in visibility and refresh are probably inevitable compromises of these.  However, I do suspect that the night visibility issue could be fixed by using a different colour for the line.  On my Garmin 705, this is not an issue with its bright, pink line.  Neither is screen update speed, for that matter.  The more I see of the 1030, my belief that the 705 was the Windows XP of Garmins is affirmed!

The Samsung A3 is what Bolt, above, is getting great battery life on.
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: Polar Bear on August 03, 2020, 06:53:04 am
There may well be a simple case of economics for Garmin vs Samsung.  Samsung make and sell literally millions of phones annually so can surely manufacture to an economy of scale that Garmin or other manufacturers of similar equipment simply cannot.

I remember having a conversation with a friend and eager in the eay naughties about the prospect of a device which could replace our Nokia dumbpbones, pda's, basic digital pocket cameras and clunky Garmin and Magellan handheld GPS units.  And yet a smartphone can do so much more with bigger, clearer screens, better battery life, and are far easier to use in most cases.  Wearables are catching up too.  Navigating using a Garmin watch is surprisingly easy.
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: fboab on August 03, 2020, 10:10:14 am
I recently bought a 530 - my Garmin history being Edge 530 - Edge 520+ - Edge 520 - Edge 500 - Etrex Vista - Etrex Legend. It sounds like a lot, but only the 500 doesn't work (charge port died) and the first 3 were 2nd hand. I've certainly had more mobiles in the same period. The smaller screen is fine for me, for maps, I think missing turns is as much to do with how you use it- do you have TBT routing with a distance countdown? Do you have the map set to auto zoom? My problem with the small screen is now that I'm quite old when the garmin tells me I've got a message- I can't read it; but hey, I can't read it on my phone either  ::-)


Just as an aside- I had an A3 as my work 'phone and it was by far and away the worst 'phone I've ever owned. It crashed, would randomly become unresponsive in some apps, had a shockingly bad refresh rate and had a great battery life- as I couldn't use it for anything! As a work 'phone, all I ever wanted was emails calendar and calls, and it struggled with that.
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: Kim on August 03, 2020, 11:41:24 am
My problem with the small screen is now that I'm quite old when the garmin tells me I've got a message- I can't read it; but hey, I can't read it on my phone either  ::-)

I'm getting that.  Not helped on the tourer by the only sensible place to mount the thing being on the derailleur post.  I arse around with TBT routing because it makes the display clearer, but I'm struggling with road names.


Quote
Just as an aside- I had an A3 as my work 'phone and it was by far and away the worst 'phone I've ever owned. It crashed, would randomly become unresponsive in some apps, had a shockingly bad refresh rate and had a great battery life- as I couldn't use it for anything! As a work 'phone, all I ever wanted was emails calendar and calls, and it struggled with that.

I hadn't thought of the crashiness thing.  Android things crash (or get silently killed by the OS) all the time, especially if there's Bluetooth involved.  IME eTrexen only usually crash if you try to auto-route an impossible path (usually a glitch in the map - it always used to happen to me when I rode up the A5127 to Erdington, but whatever caused that problem seems to have been fixed in OSM) or the SD card falls out (the card holder on the newer models is stupid, and easily knocked open while swapping batteries).  And the former failure mode tends to involve a lot of beeping before it gives up, so you tend to notice.

As a general rule, I feel reasonably confident that my eTrex will have recorded a track at the end of the ride, where I'm never quite sure when I use the Strava app or similar.
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: GusGF on August 03, 2020, 01:28:19 pm
The Garmin screen has its strengths, which I expect it has been engineered for: 
- At least double the battery life. 
- Far better visibility in bright sunlight
- Much better touchscreen performance when wearing gloves or in rain, when, with the phone, it would be a case of not being able to adjust anything requiring the touchscreen, such as screen brightness. 

I set my phone to only turn on the display when a turn is coming up.
Agreed as regards sunlight but sometimes angling the phone's screen is enough so it's never really been a problem.
Okay heavy rain will render the phone almost unusable as regards touch but again as long as I know where I'm going and the phone keeps me informed I'm happy.
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: GusGF on August 03, 2020, 01:37:07 pm
There may well be a simple case of economics for Garmin vs Samsung.  Samsung make and sell literally millions of phones annually so can surely manufacture to an economy of scale that Garmin or other manufacturers of similar equipment simply cannot.

I disagree. How many units do Garmin sell worldwide of each model? I'd wager a bet it's enough of an advantage to avail of economy of scale for each and every model. They are an established company with a pedigree (or NOT if you're of my opinion on Garmin as an innovator). I'll stick with my mobile thank you.
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: GusGF on August 03, 2020, 01:50:16 pm
Speaking of Garmin...

https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/confirmed-garmin-received-decryptor-for-wastedlocker-ransomware/ 


I guess Garmin will be kicking innovation into the long grass after paying that!  :-[
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: Polar Bear on August 03, 2020, 01:58:31 pm
There may well be a simple case of economics for Garmin vs Samsung.  Samsung make and sell literally millions of phones annually so can surely manufacture to an economy of scale that Garmin or other manufacturers of similar equipment simply cannot.

I disagree. How many units do Garmin sell worldwide of each model? I'd wager a bet it's enough of an advantage to avail of economy of scale for each and every model. They are an established company with a pedigree (or NOT if you're of my opinion on Garmin as an innovator). I'll stick with my mobile thank you.

Garmin clearly makes millions of units but their market is more niche and restricted somewhat compared to the almost unbiquitous use of mobile phones.  I would reckon on Samsung being able to drive far greater economies of bulk manufacture than Garmin can.
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: Lightning Phil on August 03, 2020, 02:19:44 pm
The problem with screen on only at turns is that there are plenty of turns where the map doesn’t recognise it as such.  So you’ll drift right past the turn unawares.
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: Lightning Phil on August 03, 2020, 02:23:00 pm

As a general rule, I feel reasonably confident that my eTrex will have recorded a track at the end of the ride, where I'm never quite sure when I use the Strava app or similar.

On Sat I thought my etrex hadn’t recorded the first 40 mins of my audax restart ride.  Then in a duh moment remembered that it archived the current track at midnight, and that I’d started before midnight to get to the start.  It was all there in the previous day archived track.
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: Kim on August 03, 2020, 05:37:21 pm

As a general rule, I feel reasonably confident that my eTrex will have recorded a track at the end of the ride, where I'm never quite sure when I use the Strava app or similar.

On Sat I thought my etrex hadn’t recorded the first 40 mins of my audax restart ride.  Then in a duh moment remembered that it archived the current track at midnight, and that I’d started before midnight to get to the start.  It was all there in the previous day archived track.

As a regular (at least before 2020 happened) night rider I hated that behaviour.  "Archive when full" makes more sense, except what happens is that you rarely cause the track memory to become full, so on the odd occasion[1] it does happen you panic and think you've lost the data.

With the old HCx, you only had to care about the copy on the SD card, where it was clear that it had started a new file at midnight because of the filenames.  (It was also a lot more idiot/gloves proof against accidental deletion.)


[1] Because I've turned the logging to point-per-second for track racing and then forgotten about it, usually.
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: Lightning Phil on August 03, 2020, 06:30:37 pm

As a general rule, I feel reasonably confident that my eTrex will have recorded a track at the end of the ride, where I'm never quite sure when I use the Strava app or similar.

On Sat I thought my etrex hadn’t recorded the first 40 mins of my audax restart ride.  Then in a duh moment remembered that it archived the current track at midnight, and that I’d started before midnight to get to the start.  It was all there in the previous day archived track.

As a regular (at least before 2020 happened) night rider I hated that behaviour.  "Archive when full" makes more sense, except what happens is that you rarely cause the track memory to become full, so on the odd occasion[1] it does happen you panic and think you've lost the data.

With the old HCx, you only had to care about the copy on the SD card, where it was clear that it had started a new file at midnight because of the filenames.  (It was also a lot more idiot/gloves proof against accidental deletion.)


[1] Because I've turned the logging to point-per-second for track racing and then forgotten about it, usually.

Archive when full can still cause it to crash if you go beyond 10,000 track points in current tracklog. Had that happen on a 400 a few years back.  Hence why I have archive at midnight and usually have it also set to record less often.
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: GusGF on August 03, 2020, 09:19:32 pm
The problem with screen on only at turns is that there are plenty of turns where the map doesn’t recognise it as such.  So you’ll drift right past the turn unawares.

That's where the option to alert you if you stray more than x metres from your route comes in handy  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: frankly frankie on August 03, 2020, 11:58:28 pm
The more I see of the 1030, my belief that the 705 was the Windows XP of Garmins is affirmed!

"Close, but no cigar" ??
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: Kim on August 04, 2020, 12:03:32 am
The more I see of the 1030, my belief that the 705 was the Windows XP of Garmins is affirmed!

"Close, but no cigar" ??

"We all took the piss at the time, but in many ways it turned out to be the least worst version they came out with." ?
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: Frank9755 on September 25, 2020, 04:02:28 pm

I hadn't thought of the crashiness thing.  Android things crash (or get silently killed by the OS) all the time, especially if there's Bluetooth involved.... 

As a general rule, I feel reasonably confident that my eTrex will have recorded a track at the end of the ride, where I'm never quite sure when I use the Strava app or similar.

This hasn't been an issue for me - I've done about 4,000 km with no crashes at all on my phone.

That may be because I'm using a dedicated phone with no other apps installed and which I don't use for any other processes apart from navigation, hence the OS doesn't ever get overloaded.
Title: Re: Using a phone instead of a GPS device
Post by: Frank9755 on September 25, 2020, 04:06:59 pm
There may well be a simple case of economics for Garmin vs Samsung.  Samsung make and sell literally millions of phones annually so can surely manufacture to an economy of scale that Garmin or other manufacturers of similar equipment simply cannot.

I disagree. How many units do Garmin sell worldwide of each model? I'd wager a bet it's enough of an advantage to avail of economy of scale for each and every model. They are an established company with a pedigree (or NOT if you're of my opinion on Garmin as an innovator). I'll stick with my mobile thank you.

Garmin clearly makes millions of units but their market is more niche and restricted somewhat compared to the almost unbiquitous use of mobile phones.  I would reckon on Samsung being able to drive far greater economies of bulk manufacture than Garmin can.

The comparison I was making was Garmin vs Cubot, not Samsung. 

Granted, Cubot will buy their screens from someone with enormous scale, but their unit sales may not be bigger than Garmin