This site uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. Find out more about how to manage cookies, or dismiss this message and continue to use cookies.

Recommendation for GPS+Glonass Android smartphone?

Hello

I generally like the Galaxy Nexus I've been using for a couple of years, but its satnav is useless when no data connection is available: Even while riding a bike, ie. when being in a wide open area for hours, it's still unable to locate me while it generally works well when a data connection is available.

So I'm thinking of getting a similar smartphone in terms of screen size (4.5-5") and price range (up to €350/$380) but that would support both GPS and Glonass. I just use my phone for satnav and reading web pages, and have no use for other features.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_smartphones_supporting_GLONASS_navigation#LG

I'm leaning toward getting a Nexus 5 before production ceases in a few weeks. Any recommendation much appreciated.

Thank you.

Comments

  • privet01 221 Points
    edited January 2015
    What's the purpose or intended use of the gps data? If you are wanting to record activity data and track for cycling and other activities and you know you will be away from cell service a lot, then I'd consider a dedicated gps/glonass cyclometer or runners watch. However I'll admit a smartphone probably is more accurate for position in cities and other places in cell service range where gps/glonass alone will have poorer signals.

    A smart phone, IMO, even if it can adequately find your position when out of cell range will be draining it's battery. I'd rather save my limited smartphone battery for data and talk.
  • I rarely record my tracks, and simply use GPS to be located on top of offline-maps in the phone.

    As for juice, I always have an external battery so I can let the GPS application run all day.

    I also have a Garmin Etrex 20, but it doesn't look like it can be used as an external GPS device.

    What Bluetooth/USB-OTG or Android smartphone would you recommend?
  • DaveM 159 Points
    edited January 2015
    I agree with privet01 on going with a dedicated GPS. They are waterproof have good battery life and will mount on your handlebars or stem.

    They also make a bike mount that works with a lot of their handhelds. Note this is a different mount than the one for their bike GPS. The mount is cheep so you can put one on each bike.

    I don't need cadence hart rate etc. so I use my etrex 20 on the bike most of the time. If you need cadence and/or hart rate you can go to something like the etrex 30. I like using the etrex better then a bike GPS do to the fact it has buttons not touch screen, has good battery life and uses AA batteries so I can change them if I need to during a ride.

    What do you mean by not working as an external GPS device?

    I have also used my GPSMAP 64s on the bike. It would do hart rate and cadence but I never have. It's a little bigger and had has lower battery life then the etrex but works good

    You can also mount some of the Garmin touch screen GPS units on the same mount if you like that type of screen but would like the AA batteries.

    Garmin also makes a line of bike GPS that is highly regarded and that's what most bike riders use..
  • > What do you mean by not working as an external GPS device?

    I mean that, because its screen is way too small, I'd rather keep using a smartphone with a 5" screen.

    Since the Etrex20 doesn't seem able to act as an external GPS receiver connected to a smartphone, I guess the choice is between a) getting a new smartphone, but with GPS + Glonass support this time, or 2) staying with my older Nexus 3 and getting an external GPS receiver that can be connected through either Bluetooth or USB-OTG.

    I don't need fancy features like heartbeat etc. I just ride for sightseeing, not sports.

    Is an external GPS receiver (Dual Electronics, Bad Elf, Garmin, etc.) much better than recent Android smartphones with GPS + Glonass?
  • DaveM 159 Points
    >I mean that, because its screen is way too small, I'd rather keep using a smartphone with a 5" screen.

    I don't have a problem with the screen size on the etrex 20. If you use it for nav the screen will auto zoom.
    However every one is different so you might not like it but sense you already have it it wouldn't cost anything to try.

    >I don't need fancy features like heartbeat etc. I just ride for sightseeing, not sports.

    That sounds like me I ride for fun.
  • Boyd 1985 Points
    Eukleides said:

    I also have a Garmin Etrex 20, but it doesn't look like it can be used as an external GPS device.

    You might look into using the Garmin GLO as an external bluetooth receiver for your phone. I wrote a review of the GLO but did not test it with any Android devices - see this thread: http://forums.gpsreview.net/discussion/comment/186499/
  • privet01 221 Points
    edited January 2015
    Correct me if wrong, but You want something with a large screen so you can view the map while you ride a bike. Correct? As far as what smartphone, I've no idea which one have a decent enough gps and or glonass receiver to make them useful when out of cell service. My understanding is that most have a pretty weak receiver and only excel over a dedicated gps when able to get the cell tower info to combine with the position calculation.

    Irregardless, I'd put waterproof or the ability to get a waterproof case as a priority over the glonass if it is for cycling.

    FYI ..... I use an edge500 when I bike. But it doesn't have maps. The Garmin edge1000 has maps and a bigger display and is designed for cycling. I've read of people using a Garmin Montana (or was it a Monterra) for cycling which has a bigger screen. Those two are not specifically designed for cycling and may lack some cycling specific data capability. IE data from power/torque sensors.
Sign In or Register to comment.
↑ Top