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Standard GPS or iphone GPS

gobux 0 Points
edited November -1 in Smartphone Navigation
Hello,

I am new to the GPS world and am ready to buy my first GPS for the car. I can’t decide whether to buy a dedicated GPS or buy an iphone and use their GPS apps such as the Navigon app.

I want to consider costs too. If I buy a dedicated GPS, my budget is under $200, and from what I have read, I should be able to find one where I don’t pay annual fees. Not sure if this is the case for the iphone.

I appreciate any recommendation to help me make a decision!

Comments

  • patruns 10 Points
    If you buy an iphone app, you probably already have a data plan so data costs should not be an issue. That puts you one step ahead of others with smartphones. Is it better? Not sure at this point. Personally, I prefer a larger screen than you see on the dedicated GPS units. But, to some the iphone screen is large enough. The other thought is, will you be able to get updated maps or additional maps for the iphone app for free or cheaper than for a dedicated unit? I'm not sure how far along the smartphone apps are yet in that regard. Does AT&T charge an additional monthly fee for using the navigation software? That's another thing you need to find out to make an informed decision.

    I have a smartphone with GPS now and a GPS unit. At this time, I prefer the GPS for anything other than pedestrian mode.
  • Tim 1481 Points
    We have reviews of both AT&T Navigator for iPhone as well as Navigon Mobile Navigator for iPhone. The AT&T app includes "free" map updates, the live traffic service, and navigation for $9.99 per month. The Navigon app is a one time charge-- $69 now but going up to $99 in a couple of weeks. Map update costs haven't yet been disclosed for that package.

    A few things to consider are that the iPhone is likely to be taken with you while many people leave the GPS in the car where it can be stolen. You will probably want a mount and charger for your iPhone so factor in those costs. And the speaker in the iPhone isn't very loud.

    The upcoming TomTom app should be good-- and it will come with an optional mount, bigger speaker, and a charging cable. That one will give the typical PND the best competition.
  • dhn 336 Points
    You know that no Canadian telco carrier offers unlimited data plans, eh?

    Ah, competition........
  • Tim 1481 Points
    There are some differences though, like Canadian carriers are typically more lax about tethering rules and SMS packages are typically cheaper. Also, don't let the "unlimited" word fool you-- it doesn't mean what a dictionary would lead you to believe. There are people who have found that there is a cap. :)
  • gobux 0 Points
    Another concern of mine is, if I get a dedicagted GPS, they will be outdated in the next 5 years due to the development of iphone/smartphone GPS apps. This is a plus, I guess, for the smartphone option. What do you guys think about this? Is this a valid concern?
  • Boyd 1985 Points
    You know that no Canadian telco carrier offers unlimited data plans, eh?
    Looks like you can get a 500MB data plan for the iPhone in Canada from Rogers (from a quick look on their site). I doubt that I have ever used that much data in a month. I was just checking and last month I only used 68MB, but my phone was used very little since I was taking some time off. Also, I use wifi whenever possible on my phone because it's so much faster, and that does not affect your data plan.
  • Boyd 1985 Points
    Another concern of mine is, if I get a dedicagted GPS, they will be outdated in the next 5 years due to the development of iphone/smartphone GPS apps
    I can guarantee that whatever you buy will be hopelessly outdated in 5 years. That's a long time in today's world of gadgets. 5 years ago I was using my StreetPilot 2620, which was great for its day but would frequently lose signal, had a very low resolution screen, no 3d mode, slow to access maps on a 2gb microdrive and was the size/weight of a brick!
  • mvl 191 Points
    5 years ago, I had the top-of-the line Startac 7868w. Your phone will be outdated in 5 years too.

    Currently, the best GPS features are in the PND devices. It depends if the convenience of smartphone GPSs is important enough. The best that smartphones offer right now are the equivalent of a low-end <$100 PND.
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