Car Navigation Systems - Dedicated or Smartphone?

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#1
My very old Tom-Tom finally bit the dust.

Looking for comments and recommendations. I have thought of biting the bullet, so to speak, and getting an iPhone 6 Plus - Screen size is important these days to me, although I really hate the idea of carrying around such a big thing just for a phone. Which is why I'm considering a dedicated GPS for the car - One with a 5" or 7" screen.

I have read some good reviews for the Tom-Tom app for iPhone. Any other app(s) you are using for navigation, or has anyone here used the Tom-Tom app?

Your thoughts and experiences appreciated.
 
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Miner

Forum Moderator
Staff member
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#2
I just use the native app that comes with the iPhone. Works fine. Also, the maps are always updated without paying for newer maps (i.e., Garmin et al).

Just be aware that any smart phone app will use data. If you use it a lot or for a cross country drive, it could put you over plan.
 
#3
I have used various mapping apps on my iPhone 4 and I don't really like it. I'm considering getting another Garmin (but then I can also use it on my motorcycle and be able to see it better). I'm trying an iPod Touch as the nav unit, because if I'm navigating and I get or need to make a call, how do you use the nav app? (I don't have hands free Bluetooth phone connectivity)
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#4
<snip> Just be aware that any smart phone app will use data. If you use it a lot or for a cross country drive, it could put you over plan.
I forgot about that aspect. I got an iPad a few years ago and got the "WiFi only" model because I didn't want a data plan as my intended use was/is only for WiFi stuff. To be honest I rarely use it for anything anymore at home. Now and again when I have to see a doctor or have to take someone someplace and wait for them, I do have an app that does movies so I have some movies stashed on it (iPad 3, I think, on it's original OS),

I really don't use many apps on my old iPhone 4 - I haven't even updated it to iOS 7 (and it's not updatable to iSO 8).

When I was looking at prices on some GPS units for cars, I saw a good one is around US$300+

I was looking at the Garmin Nuvi 3597LMTHD

and the Garmin Nuvi 2689LMT (about US$270) comes with:Garmin Nuvi 2689 Automotive GPS with Lifetime Maps, Vehicle Power Cable with built-in Traffic Receiver, Windshield Suction Cup Mount, USB Cable, Quick Start Manual and a One-Year Warranty. Size:7.7"W x 4.4"H x 0.7"D

and the Magellan RoadMate 9250T-LMB 7-Inch Widescreen Portable GPS Navigator with Lifetime Maps and Traffic Alerts (about US$220).

The data plan is scaring me away from a phone. Then again - A lot of places out west you can't even get cell phone reception - How do cell phone GPS apps work in that type of scenario? Anyone know?
 

hogheavenfarm

Quite Involved in Discussions
#5
I use a dedicated Garmin, since my cataract surgery my near vision is useless without my reading glasses, so I need a big screen (and a loud voice) telling me where to go - :)
I put in a dashmount for it so it is nice and close and solidly mounted , works great.
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#6
Which model Garmin do you use?

Same here with eye problems. I need glasses for near vision.
 

John Broomfield

Staff member
Super Moderator
#7
Marc,

My Ford factory-fitted SatNav by TomTom (on an SD card) is brilliant.

It includes timely lane information which is important to me.

It has made all my other navigation devices redundant (except my wife of course!)

And it improves my use of the Smith System for defensive driving.

John
 

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hogheavenfarm

Quite Involved in Discussions
#8
Sorry, Its a Magellan Roadmaster (see what I mean about my near vision).
Definitely lower end, but that wasnt my consideration, seeing it and more importantly, hearing it, was.
 
P

PaulJSmith

#9
I had one of the smaller Tom-Tom units up until last summer ... when the suction cup mount failed and it took a dive off of my motorcycle and landed face-down on the pavement of I-70 one evening. I keep thinking of getting a new, bigger replacement, but can't bring myself to spend the $300-ish for a good one.

I liked the Tom-Tom, but the Garmins look good, too.
 

Sidney Vianna

Post Responsibly
Staff member
Admin
#10
Marc, I HIGHLY recommend the Google Maps (free) app with an iPhone, especially if you can connect it via Bluetooth to your car system. The only question is your network coverage and how much data you will use. It provides real-time traffic conditions

As for the screen size issue, I really like the voice commands, so you don't have to pay too much attention to the screen, as taking your eyes off the road represents a real problem.

But, if you can wait a few years, we should have the self-driving cars commercially available in 3 to 5 years.
 
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