What Smartphone / GPS for touring UK/France ?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
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andrew_s
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Re: What Smartphone / GPS for touring UK/France ?

Postby andrew_s » 29 Jul 2019, 1:57pm

Graham wrote:1) Map function - e.g. for planning a route on the hoof e.g. cycle.travel/map

2) Internet function - for looking up anything : finding campsites : accommodation : train&ferry times : reservations : etc.

3) GPS - probably fairly low priority, as one is never really lost on near continent.

4) Books / other reading whilst travelling.

My approach is to keep everything separate, so I take a phone, a Garmin GPS (Etrex with AA batteries), and a kindle for books.

The phone has maps for planning on it (Memory Map OS 1:250k & 1:50k in the UK, IGN 1:250k & 1:100k in France). These have useful planning info visible over a fairly reasonable area, which OpenStreetMap-based maps generally don't.
It also does the internet stuff. Random browsing and non-essential stuff, such as getting route suggestions from cycle.travel, is something I only do if there's wifi available.
I generally just remember where I'd planned to go, and use the on-screen maps of the Garmin as a reminder and ride recorder. Occasionally, I might put in a waypoint on the Garmin and go to it using the Garmin navigation, but that would normally only be if there's a lot of road detail, like into or out of a middling large town or city, where there are things like one-way streets to complicate matters.
I tend to prefer to make a route up as I go along, rather than stick to something preplanned (even if it was only last night's planning). This allows me to throw in diversions if I'm running ahead of time, or divert off a road that's busier than anticipated.

To a large extent, a phone is a phone, provided it's recent. Waterproof is nice, and I'd suggest avoiding anything with less than 16 GB of storage.
A slot for a second SIM may be handy for a local card if Brexit mucks up roaming.
As for Windows phones, I thought they were more or less dead. Are new models still being released?

mercalia
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Re: What Smartphone / GPS for touring UK/France ?

Postby mercalia » 29 Jul 2019, 2:29pm

andrew_s wrote:
Graham wrote:1) Map function - e.g. for planning a route on the hoof e.g. cycle.travel/map

2) Internet function - for looking up anything : finding campsites : accommodation : train&ferry times : reservations : etc.

3) GPS - probably fairly low priority, as one is never really lost on near continent.

4) Books / other reading whilst travelling.

My approach is to keep everything separate, so I take a phone, a Garmin GPS (Etrex with AA batteries), and a kindle for books.

The phone has maps for planning on it (Memory Map OS 1:250k & 1:50k in the UK, IGN 1:250k & 1:100k in France). These have useful planning info visible over a fairly reasonable area, which OpenStreetMap-based maps generally don't.
It also does the internet stuff. Random browsing and non-essential stuff, such as getting route suggestions from cycle.travel, is something I only do if there's wifi available.
I generally just remember where I'd planned to go, and use the on-screen maps of the Garmin as a reminder and ride recorder. Occasionally, I might put in a waypoint on the Garmin and go to it using the Garmin navigation, but that would normally only be if there's a lot of road detail, like into or out of a middling large town or city, where there are things like one-way streets to complicate matters.
I tend to prefer to make a route up as I go along, rather than stick to something preplanned (even if it was only last night's planning). This allows me to throw in diversions if I'm running ahead of time, or divert off a road that's busier than anticipated.

To a large extent, a phone is a phone, provided it's recent. Waterproof is nice, and I'd suggest avoiding anything with less than 16 GB of storage.
A slot for a second SIM may be handy for a local card if Brexit mucks up roaming.
As for Windows phones, I thought they were more or less dead. Are new models still being released?


no but they still work and have adequate viable apps for travel and can be got cheap. very few of the travel apps I have are more than 40mb so dont need much memory to run - just need a sd card to store them on. The key word was CHEAP I wasnt prepared to spend much. I have found I dont need to buy an Android phone now

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al_yrpal
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Re: What Smartphone / GPS for touring UK/France ?

Postby al_yrpal » 29 Jul 2019, 2:43pm

I am constantly amazed that folk complicate their lives with oddball harware and software that imposes constant tweaking and misses the point of simple reliable straightforward solutions. I ran my own software business for 15 years and provided only inexpensive solutions that worked and which did not distract customers from the main business purpose. Same thing here navigating your tour.

A reliable Android phone, Osmand+, a small power pack if its needed and a waterproof stem mounted phone holder does everything simply and efficiently. Total cost no more than £225, and if you have the phone already about £30. Far better and more versatile than a dedicated gps.

Al
Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. CTC gone but not forgotten!

iandriver
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Re: What Smartphone / GPS for touring UK/France ?

Postby iandriver » 29 Jul 2019, 3:28pm

As one of the suggesters of the G7 power, I had previous G models, before getting the power, and have found Motorola are very good at providing updates and do so for several years after the phone been released.

It costs less than £180 SIM free, has the biggest battery on the smartphone market and has a more than adequate camera. 64GB of memory is plenty also for photos and video.

Combined with a £8 a month GifGaff SIM, it has been a worthy companion on tour.

That's my real world experience as an actual owner who takes it on tour. The apps like google translate and the maps planner for last mile finds I find indispensable. In Iceland, Italy and the Netherlands this year, they all served me faultlessly.
Supporter of the A10 corridor cycling campaign serving Royston to Cambridge http://a10corridorcycle.com. Never knew gardening secateurs were an essential part of the on bike tool kit until I took up campaigning.....

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Re: What Smartphone / GPS for touring UK/France ?

Postby mjr » 29 Jul 2019, 4:15pm

mercalia wrote:well MJR it sounds like you have to work hard to get around the ecosysytem issues.

It shouldn't sound like that because it wasn't hard: I just followed the instructions from the update project and it worked. Not really much different to installing other software. It was more difficult to upgrade the accursed DAB radio with a USB cable.
mercalia wrote:The 4 years came from a recent Google Android certification standards paper I read about

I think you can only get the sony SP to accept Android 8 by forcing it? it dont come from Sony themselves?

Who cares? Google, Sony, they're just businesses. I don't want to be tied to them for the life of the phone.

mercalia wrote:And thats the nonsense of it all. who knows what will and wont work?

Reviewers usually have gone there before us and describe what works and doesn't. Read reviews before buying.

mercalia wrote:One virtue of Windows 10 phones is that MS have been hammering on bug fixes etc every month for the last 2 years for the last version 1703 in my case, and as a result probably very secure and what remains, malware writers cant be bother to exploit. probably noone is even trying to find them?

I wouldn't underestimate the hatred for Microsoft that is out there. Probably if anyone discovers an exploit now, they will sit on it until New Year's Day, then they can own all the phones with less fear of a security update fixing them.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
All the above is CC-By-SA and no other implied copyright license to Cycle magazine.

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Re: What Smartphone / GPS for touring UK/France ?

Postby mercalia » 29 Jul 2019, 4:29pm

mjr wrote:
mercalia wrote:well MJR it sounds like you have to work hard to get around the ecosysytem issues.

It shouldn't sound like that because it wasn't hard: I just followed the instructions from the update project and it worked. Not really much different to installing other software. It was more difficult to upgrade the accursed DAB radio with a USB cable.
mercalia wrote:The 4 years came from a recent Google Android certification standards paper I read about

I think you can only get the sony SP to accept Android 8 by forcing it? it dont come from Sony themselves?

Who cares? Google, Sony, they're just businesses. I don't want to be tied to them for the life of the phone.

mercalia wrote:And thats the nonsense of it all. who knows what will and wont work?

Reviewers usually have gone there before us and describe what works and doesn't. Read reviews before buying.

mercalia wrote:One virtue of Windows 10 phones is that MS have been hammering on bug fixes etc every month for the last 2 years for the last version 1703 in my case, and as a result probably very secure and what remains, malware writers cant be bother to exploit. probably noone is even trying to find them?

I wouldn't underestimate the hatred for Microsoft that is out there. Probably if anyone discovers an exploit now, they will sit on it until New Year's Day, then they can own all the phones with less fear of a security update fixing them.



well I got the impression these days they are after making money and there is little money to be made from Windows phone - desk top maybe

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Re: What Smartphone / GPS for touring UK/France ?

Postby thelawnet » 29 Jul 2019, 6:56pm

iandriver wrote:As one of the suggesters of the G7 power, I had previous G models, before getting the power, and have found Motorola are very good at providing updates and do so for several years after the phone been released.

It costs less than £180 SIM free, has the biggest battery on the smartphone market and has a more than adequate camera. 64GB of memory is plenty also for photos and video.



Meh, the camera is pretty poor, you can find something like a Mi 8 for a little more which would be far better (and also has dual-mode GPS).

Most phones are compromises; you can get by fine with something costing £70 it's just a question of how much more than that you want to spend.

The G7 Power (and some others) focus on battery, but it's quite average in all other respects.

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Re: What Smartphone / GPS for touring UK/France ?

Postby mercalia » 29 Jul 2019, 8:08pm

I might add the one very important reason I am sticking with the Lumia 640 is that you can remove and change the battery which is a rarity for recent phones bar only the very cheapest moto ones that Moto give scant support for.

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Re: What Smartphone / GPS for touring UK/France ?

Postby iandriver » 29 Jul 2019, 8:21pm

thelawnet wrote:
iandriver wrote:As one of the suggesters of the G7 power, I had previous G models, before getting the power, and have found Motorola are very good at providing updates and do so for several years after the phone been released.

It costs less than £180 SIM free, has the biggest battery on the smartphone market and has a more than adequate camera. 64GB of memory is plenty also for photos and video.



Meh, the camera is pretty poor, you can find something like a Mi 8 for a little more which would be far better (and also has dual-mode GPS).

Most phones are compromises; you can get by fine with something costing £70 it's just a question of how much more than that you want to spend.

The G7 Power (and some others) focus on battery, but it's quite average in all other respects.


That is simply not my experience as someone who has one. For general everyday use, I can't fault it.
Pictures it's taken like this are fine for me.
Image
Supporter of the A10 corridor cycling campaign serving Royston to Cambridge http://a10corridorcycle.com. Never knew gardening secateurs were an essential part of the on bike tool kit until I took up campaigning.....

mercalia
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Re: What Smartphone / GPS for touring UK/France ?

Postby mercalia » 29 Jul 2019, 8:42pm

One thing I have been wondering about is how adequate the screen is in sunny conditions like you picture above. Why my real camera has an optical viewfinder. Though the camera on my phone is fine, I cant say the screen is very bright in bright conditions. Why I am reluctant to spend much on a mobile phone

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Re: What Smartphone / GPS for touring UK/France ?

Postby Sweep » 29 Jul 2019, 8:44pm

thelawnet wrote:
The G7 Power (and some others) focus on battery, but it's quite average in all other respects.

Care to highlight any particular issues?
I must admit to being quite keen on "average" stuff.
Sweep

iandriver
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Re: What Smartphone / GPS for touring UK/France ?

Postby iandriver » 29 Jul 2019, 8:58pm

mercalia wrote:One thing I have been wondering about is how adequate the screen is in sunny conditions like you picture above. Why my real camera has an optical viewfinder. Though the camera on my phone is fine, I cant say the screen is very bright in bright conditions. Why I am reluctant to spend much on a mobile phone


To be honest, I don't know. That implies I haven't had any significant issues. I would be quite used to finding a bit of shade to view a screen, so maybe I do it without noticing. I seem to be managing to take photos OK.
Supporter of the A10 corridor cycling campaign serving Royston to Cambridge http://a10corridorcycle.com. Never knew gardening secateurs were an essential part of the on bike tool kit until I took up campaigning.....

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Re: What Smartphone / GPS for touring UK/France ?

Postby pete75 » 29 Jul 2019, 9:08pm

Graham wrote:
mjr wrote: . . . That's part of why I now look for phones which can be rooted/unlocked, which at least gives me a chance of the other Android providers supporting them! . . .

This may be a significant factor. As a long-standing Ubuntu user for my Desktop PC I dislike the idea of having software locked to the hardware.


Android is basically a front end for Linux as, I believe, is Ubuntu. Linux needs a front end for most people to be able to use as it's a command line operating system. You can run a Linux monitor on android phones and it responds to most Linux commands. This works best if your phone is rooted. Rooting most Android devices is a fairly straightforward task.
Android and Apple's Ios have similar roots in that both are based on unix type operatings systems. Android is by far the most open of the two though.

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Re: What Smartphone / GPS for touring UK/France ?

Postby al_yrpal » 29 Jul 2019, 9:18pm

Average is great, its all you need for cycle navigation. Spending hundreds of £s on a phone with only slightly better features and many features isnt necessary. I appreciate that some peoples lives and their whole world revolves around their phone but not to me, its a tool for certain tasks, a communication device and handy bùt rather poor camera.

Al
Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. CTC gone but not forgotten!

thelawnet
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Re: What Smartphone / GPS for touring UK/France ?

Postby thelawnet » 30 Jul 2019, 5:00am

It depends what you are using it for, but that's bright sunshine and an easy task for a camera. If you are trying to take things in low light, or say a squirrel in a tree or something, then you will find a phone that has more spent on its camera will do a much better job.