Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Smartphone vs GPS


Why use a Garmin instead of your smartphone?

Most smartphones have built-in GPS, so why spend money on a dedicated Garmin off-road navigation device?

• Ruggedised construction

A Garmin is built to withstand rain, snow, dust, cold, and the inevitable bumps and knocks of outdoor use. Your smartphone probably isn't.

• High-performance, energy efficient GPS

The GPS on your smartphone may well be very low performance - slow to acquire a satellite fix, easily effected by tree cover, and quick to drain your battery (in some cases less than an hour!). A Garmin is designed to give a good battery life (typically around 16hrs), a quick position fix, and to maintain satellite fix under tree cover, etc.

• ’Infinitely extendable’ battery life

Some Garmins use removable rechargeable battery packs, but all use AA batteries. You can easily carry as many batteries as you need for the day, weekend, week, etc. You can use alkaline, lithium and rechargeable batteries. You can save your smartphones batteries for when you really need to make a life-saving call!

• Glove-friendly controls

If you've ever used your smartphone in the cold, you've probably noticed that the screen looses its touch-sensitivity when you put on a pair of gloves. Garmin devices use buttons or pressure-sensitive touch-screens, meaning that skiers, mountaineers, and winter walkers can keep their gloves on.

• Built-in high-quality mapping

Smartphones typically download maps ’on demand’ and therefore rely on a constant data connection - loose your phone or wi-fi signal and you loose your mapping. Also, the mapping you can view may not be the most appropriate for off-road use. Many Garmin devices use genuine Ordnance Survey mapping and allow you to pre-load additional mapping and satellite imagery using Garmin Birdseye.

• Dedicated navigation software

Designed with serious off-road navigation in mind, Garmin software provides a raft of functions and features: tracks, routes, proximity waypoints, Sight 'N Go, MOB, TracBak, area calculation, multiple map datums (including British OS grid ref), and customisable dashboards with dozens of data displays (speed, distance, time to destination, altitude gain, sunset times, heading, and loads more).

• 'BaseCamp' - free route-planning and data management on your PC

BaseCamp is a free download from garmin.com and allows you to transfer all your tracks, waypoints and routes between your Garmin device and your PC or Mac. You can view the Garmin's built-in maps, plan routes, and view your tracks in Google Earth.

• Altimeter functions

Most Garmins feature a barometric altimeter for meter-accurate altitude measurement and altitude related data functions - see and record how high you've climbed or descended in a day.

• Geocaching friendly

Download geocaches via your PC or Mac directly to you Garmin from geocaching.com and opencaching.com.

• Additional sensors

There are several external sensors available to extend to the use of your Garmin - heartrate and cadence sensors for fitness training, and 'Tempo' temperature sensor for data collection.

• A bit of peace and quiet?

Your Garmin will not bother you with calls, texts, emails, social media and game notifications - you really can 'get away from it all'!
The bottom line - Garmin have been designing and manufacturing GPS navigation devices for aviation, ocean and land navigation use for over 20 years - they are trusted by pilots, sailors, military personal, and professionals the world over. Can you say the same about the GPS on your phone?

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