Garmin vs Smartphone - are Garmin maps "special"?

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mattsccm
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Re: Garmin vs Smartphone - are Garmin maps "special"?

Postby mattsccm » 6 Feb 2020, 5:53am

2. Points. If you can't see the Garmin t is pointless and all the wonderful features in the world won't solve that. Surely that can decide for you unless you want to compromise with glasses of some thing.
Other point is, have you tried it with a non Garmin cable? Mine work happily with one of those plugged in. They don't even switch it off when plugging in to a power source which is what the genuine cable does.

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Cunobelin
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Re: Garmin vs Smartphone - are Garmin maps "special"?

Postby Cunobelin » 6 Feb 2020, 6:17am

mikeymo wrote:
Jdsk wrote:I like the ruggedness and battery life of a dedicated device, and the built-in maps of my Edge 1000. And it not affecting the storage or battery life of my iPhone.
mikeymo wrote:Also, you can't use it while it's charging it seems, which is a real negative for hard core remote tourers who would want to charge from a dynamo.

Reports aren't totally consistent. I found that my Edge 1000 didn't like the charging stopping and starting. So I run it off a USB battery pack which is charged by the hub dynamo. Or would be if my second B + M charging headlamp hadn't failed.

Jonathan


When the Edge Explore was charging (from my laptop) it wouldn't even turn "on", in other words go into normal usage mode. But as I said, that's probably only an issue to serious camping tourists in the wilds.

I've thought of a plus for the Garmin which is lights and rear "radar" integration. It's probably not a massive plus, though for my Outer Hebrides usage it could be handy. Those are single track roads up there, and with the (always blowing) wind you sometimes don't realise there's a car behind.

And sure enough, this review:

https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2018/04/garmin-varia-rtl510-radar-cycling-light-in-depth-review.html

seems to support my thought that it might be useful in exactly the place I like to cycle.


Don't know if still the case....

Garmin used to switch onto "mass storage mode" and be unusable because it was a data cable. There were alternative cables without the pin that activated this mode. These would allow the unit to charge whilst in use.

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al_yrpal
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Re: Garmin vs Smartphone - are Garmin maps "special"?

Postby al_yrpal » 6 Feb 2020, 7:34am

If you get a rugged Android phone it won't work with a wet screen, and, how do you mount it, it's irrelavent. Any phone inside that case will work in the wet.

Al
Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. What do you do to make a difference?

francovendee
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Re: Garmin vs Smartphone - are Garmin maps "special"?

Postby francovendee » 6 Feb 2020, 8:27am

al_yrpal wrote:An Android phone. Possibly adding a power bank for longevity and Open Street Map + would be my choice. If you have a route planned I would have it on the bike in this.. If you have a route (cycle.travel on line will give you this) Osmand + will give you voice and screen directions. OSM+ is a fiver, cycle.travel is free.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07 ... UTF8&psc=1

Al

I had one similar to this and although it worked at keep the phone dry if the bike was left in full sunshine for a time I'd get error messages that the phone was overheating. I think being sealed it was acting as a greenhouse.
Just remember to park the bike in the shade or remove the phone if you can.

atlas_shrugged
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Re: Garmin vs Smartphone - are Garmin maps "special"?

Postby atlas_shrugged » 6 Feb 2020, 8:41am

I think the whole world is waiting for a colour eInk SatNav so that there is a high resolution screen which is easily readable in bright sunlight and which has minimal drain on a battery like a Kindle does.

The screen does not need fast update rates for walking or cycling (satnavs) which is unlike a smartphone requirement that needs to show video.

... maybe some day

mikeymo
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Re: Garmin vs Smartphone - are Garmin maps "special"?

Postby mikeymo » 6 Feb 2020, 9:07am

al_yrpal wrote:If you get a rugged Android phone it won't work with a wet screen, and, how do you mount it, it's irrelavent. Any phone inside that case will work in the wet.

Al


This user's experience:

"Alors, so this morning i did this:

http://www.strava.com/activities/138781 ... rview(link is external)

which involved some inclement weather. very inclement. Here's what I found:

1) the xperia z1 compact really is waterproof. at least, it's still working after three hours in the rain (and mud) and being rinsed off in the shower

2) if you want to do stuff that requires high accuracy on the screen (texting etc) in the micturating rain then you may as well not bother, cause it doesn't really work. general swiping and fannying about is okay

3) i had a couple of rogue events on the screen where it flicked to some other view. but it was only a couple, in three hours.

I guess it depends on your use case. i have the phone on my bars and i turn on the screen occasionally to check i'm still on the blue line in Viewranger, and then i turn it off again. That means I don't ever have to stop, which makes rides more enjoyable and also shorter (a good thing when you have a family). I don't use it as a bike computer, and for my usage it works more or less perfectly. if you want to use it more like a standalone GPS (data constantly on, looking at lots of different screens, swapping between them, etc) or you're doing something like training with power where you'll need the screen on constantly then you're probably better off with a garmin (other gps units are available)"

from:

https://road.cc/content/forum/108899-smartphones-and-long-rides-strategy

seems to say that wet screen doesn't make it useless. Just not as good. One's own usage might be different. And after all, rain wouldn't really matter where I enjoy cycling the most, the Western Isles of Scotland!

mikeymo
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Re: Garmin vs Smartphone - are Garmin maps "special"?

Postby mikeymo » 6 Feb 2020, 9:09am

Thanks for the advice folks.

Does anybody have any thoughts on the second part of my question? Is there anything about Garmin's "own" maps that would make buying an actual Garmin device a better option? All I can seem to see is the new Trendline feature. Which may or may not be useful.

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Mick F
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Re: Garmin vs Smartphone - are Garmin maps "special"?

Postby Mick F » 6 Feb 2020, 9:18am

atlas_shrugged wrote:I think the whole world is waiting for a colour eInk SatNav so that there is a high resolution screen which is easily readable in bright sunlight and which has minimal drain on a battery like a Kindle does.

The screen does not need fast update rates for walking or cycling (satnavs) which is unlike a smartphone requirement that needs to show video.

... maybe some day
Garmin Montana has a high resolution full colour screen which is easily readable in the brightest of sunlight and has minimal drain on the battery. It'll take a Li power pack (supplied with them) or three AA batteries of any type, plus it can be powered from a dynamo via a power device.

Check out these websites.
http://www.gpsrchive.com/Montana/index.htm
http://www.tramsoft.ch/gps/garmin_montana600_en.html
Mick F. Cornwall

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al_yrpal
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Re: Garmin vs Smartphone - are Garmin maps "special"?

Postby al_yrpal » 6 Feb 2020, 9:19am

If I am using Osmand+ guiding me with voice prompts there is little need to touch the screen but rain on an unprotected screen makes the phone unuseable IME. The case is useful to hold the power pack. I can appreciate the fact that the case might cause it to overheat. Not a problem on the Western Isles...

Al
Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. What do you do to make a difference?

Richard Fairhurst
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Re: Garmin vs Smartphone - are Garmin maps "special"?

Postby Richard Fairhurst » 6 Feb 2020, 9:24am

mikeymo wrote:Thanks for the advice folks.

Does anybody have any thoughts on the second part of my question? Is there anything about Garmin's "own" maps that would make buying an actual Garmin device a better option? All I can seem to see is the new Trendline feature. Which may or may not be useful.


No, Garmin's maps aren't special at all.

Garmin (outside the US) now use OpenStreetMap data, the same as pretty much every cycling app and website other than Google. So ultimately the raw data is the same.

What matters with OSM data is how you slice and dice it, and I haven't seen any evidence that Garmin are better at this than anyone else.

As you note, Garmin do have the popularity (Trendline) feature, similar to Strava's heatmaps. Up to you whether you think this is valuable, but personally I don't - my contention has always been that a good cycle route is one defined by the absence of cars rather than an abundance of other cyclists.
cycle.travel - maps, journey-planner, route guides and city guides

mikeymo
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Re: Garmin vs Smartphone - are Garmin maps "special"?

Postby mikeymo » 6 Feb 2020, 9:42am

al_yrpal wrote:If I am using Osmand+ guiding me with voice prompts there is little need to touch the screen but rain on an unprotected screen makes the phone unuseable IME. The case is useful to hold the power pack. I can appreciate the fact that the case might cause it to overheat. Not a problem on the Western Isles...

Al


Thanks for your input. I am stumbling towards the "needs to make actual decision" point. Apparently it rains on something like a third or half of the days of the year (depending where you are) in the UK. But of course it's not raining all day, usually. Though of course we love to pretend it does. I couldn't actually find any data on how many minutes per year it is raining.

I'm not really in a position where I will often be "forced" to ride in the rain, being neither a commuter (and if I was I should know where I'm going) or a hard core tourer. If it's bad rain I can just not bother. Given that situation the waterproofness of any device is more to do with avoiding damage to the device itself. Is it safe to leave it on the bike and not worry if (or when) it rains. If it still kinda works (as per that blokes experience above), but not very well, or if it stops working at all, but will start again when the rain stops and I wipe it down, then that will usually be fine.

mikeymo
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Re: Garmin vs Smartphone - are Garmin maps "special"?

Postby mikeymo » 6 Feb 2020, 9:48am

Richard Fairhurst wrote:
mikeymo wrote:Thanks for the advice folks.

Does anybody have any thoughts on the second part of my question? Is there anything about Garmin's "own" maps that would make buying an actual Garmin device a better option? All I can seem to see is the new Trendline feature. Which may or may not be useful.


No, Garmin's maps aren't special at all.

Garmin (outside the US) now use OpenStreetMap data, the same as pretty much every cycling app and website other than Google. So ultimately the raw data is the same.

What matters with OSM data is how you slice and dice it, and I haven't seen any evidence that Garmin are better at this than anyone else.

As you note, Garmin do have the popularity (Trendline) feature, similar to Strava's heatmaps. Up to you whether you think this is valuable, but personally I don't - my contention has always been that a good cycle route is one defined by the absence of cars rather than an abundance of other cyclists.


Thanks for clarifying that.

Yes, I agree about the Trendline thing. Given that Garmin devices are probably bought more by a certain type of cyclist, the Trendlines will show those. "Garmin Trendlines show routes popular with Garmin owners - shock horror probe". As you say, it may or may not be useful. Only a few thousand miles will tell, but I can well imagine that the utility might be marginal.

Though I do like the look of the rear radar light.

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Sweep
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Re: Garmin vs Smartphone - are Garmin maps "special"?

Postby Sweep » 6 Feb 2020, 9:50am

al_yrpal wrote:If you get a rugged Android phone it won't work with a wet screen, and, how do you mount it, it's irrelavent. Any phone inside that case will work in the wet.

Al

Some of the reviews of that case say it isn't truly waterproof Al.
Sweep

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Sweep
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Re: Garmin vs Smartphone - are Garmin maps "special"?

Postby Sweep » 6 Feb 2020, 9:54am

No the maps aren't special.

I acquired a second-hand one recently and it came with a full Garmin map (the one I had bought new before didn't).

The maps seemed to use the same OSM data but with lots taken out.

I much prefer openfietsmap.

http://www.openfietsmap.nl/

The only advantage of the garmin map I could see was that it was fully postcode searchable but though that is handy when walking with it around town it isn't something I really need when cycling.

In short, I wouldn't bother with the garmin maps.
Sweep

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al_yrpal
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Re: Garmin vs Smartphone - are Garmin maps "special"?

Postby al_yrpal » 6 Feb 2020, 9:56am

Sweep wrote:
al_yrpal wrote:If you get a rugged Android phone it won't work with a wet screen, and, how do you mount it, it's irrelavent. Any phone inside that case will work in the wet.

Al

Some of the reviews of that case say it isn't truly waterproof Al.


Yes, it has a zip with a rubber cover on the zip so in really heavy rain water might get through although it never has on mine. And, the phone is in the lid which is above the zip so water shouldnt reach the phone very easily. It wouldnt survive immersion!

It was interesting listening to Sir Tim Berners Lee's TV lecture. As well as giving the world the internet free he mentioned two other free online public rescources - Wikipedia and Openstreetmap, Osmand! What a great man...

Al
Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. What do you do to make a difference?