quote:Originally posted by Engor
I don't find GPS on smartphone to be an adequate substitute for a real GPS unit. Would never rely on a smartphone on a serious trip. Smartphone GPS drains battery fairly quickly, is not as accurate and I like many features available on GPS units. I also like to have a GPS track available before a trip either drawn on GoogleEarth or downloaded from a web-site.
In short, using smartphone GPS for serious navigation is like using smartphone camera for serious photography. It's going to give some results but one the best ones.
I think the gps units that drain their batteries faster give you less time than some smartphones running their gps unit. I can't recall seeing a "real" gps that allows you to choose the amount of power used by the receiver, as TrekBuddy can on a smartphone.
I have compared a "real" gps unit to a smartphone gps app, and they were equally accurate. While there may be things a "real" gps can to that a gps app on a smartphone can't, this doesn't make sense to me. It is, after all, just software and a gps reciever. If anything, the smartphone has a more sophisticated "brain" than a dedicated gps, and there's no reason all the software for a real gps can't be ported over to a smartphone.
What can a "real" gps do that a gps smartphone app cant? On the other hand, how many "real" gps' can display satellite views? One or two? I haven't seen an SMS "meet you there" capability on a "real" gps.
I thought I illustrated that gps apps on smartphones can upload and download things like tracks.
Where the "real" gps has an undeniable advantage over a smartphone is in receiver sensitivity. If you have a look at the gps aerial in a smartphone, you'd be amazed it works at all.
I suppose you won't sell photos to National Geographic with the 12Mpixel camera in the Nokia N8 with a Zeiss lens, but it may just be good enough for most photography.
And what sort of a "serious trip" do you have in mind when considering dependency on a gps?