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Dedicated GPS phone recommendations?

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by firefox73, Jun 25, 2010.

  1. firefox73

    firefox73 Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    Jun 24, 2010
    Hi all,

    First time poster and have tried looking through the search for this particular question but not found anything relevant mainly due to the search word not being long enough presumably?

    I was/am seriously considering the Samsung Galaxy S as areplacement to my old phone. However, one significant feature that I am looking for is the ability to use Sat-Nav when abroad (all over the world).

    It is my understanding that if I buy a phone with Assisted GPS such as the Galaxy, I will be charged a small fortune when roaming internationally for the data uplink!

    Therefore my questions are:

    1. Am I correct in thinking this or is there a way around this without gettingbilled heavily?
    2. What comparable phone would forum users recommend on the market at this time?
    3. What other phones due to be released shortly have a dedicated GPS system built-in that users would recommend holding out for?

    I live in the UK but travel abroad a lot.

    I look forward to hearing your suggestions.

    Thank you.


  2. IOWA

    IOWA Mr. Logic Pants

    Dec 2, 2009
    Network Admin
    AFAIK the galaxy also has a dedicated GPS, but you would need software to go with it. There are a few options in market. Your best bet for international travel is to just pick up a cheap dedicated GPS unit. Better reception, maps are stored locally, and easier to use while driving.
  3. firefox73

    firefox73 Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    Jun 24, 2010
    Thanks IOWA

    Unfortunately though, my work takes me to over 30 countries for limited periods usually for only 2 - 3 days. Therefore the cheap GPS units is really ruled out.

    I was buying some aftermarket software for whichever phone but even so the assistant in the shop said that because the Galaxy S uses 'Assisted' GPS (using triangulation from the telephone masts to help speed up initial location finding, I would incur hefty roaming charges. Whereas if the phone had a dedicated GPS built in (i.e. non A-GPS) this would not happen. Basically, he said that if you turn an A-GPS phone data mode off when abroad (to save the phone sending/receiving data) the GPS would not work.

    AFAIK or have been told the Galaxy S is A-GPS, anyone heard diffferently?

    Thanks for the feedback.
  4. takeshi

    takeshi Well-Known Member

    Dec 6, 2009
    You're a bit confused but this is pretty typical of people's understanding of GPS in my experience on various forum sites.

    "Assisted" means that the GPS receiver attempts to pull the Ephemeris data from the assistance server to obtain a faster initial fix. Triangulation (and WiFi positioning, etc etc) is something else entirely and is not GPS even though people mistakenly use "GPS" to mean any method of determining your location. Any GPS solution by definiton uses the Global Positioning System (satellites) or it isn't GPS. "Assisted" has nothing to do with whether or not your GPS app (entirely separate despite whatever may be supplied stock with your device) uses data.

    For example, the Droid's GPS receiver is assisted but can fall back to standalone mode. Google Maps Navigation, which comes stock on the Droid requires data coverage but that doesn't mean that I'm stuck with it and can't use an app like CoPilot that stores its data locally. The GPS receiver works with or without data coverage.

    You'd need to browse around for a GPS nav app that suits your needs. You don't have to use the stock apps on your device.

    Hopefully the above has helped you. You don't need to look into other devices. Again, the receiver on any device you're considering is just the receiver. You also need a GPS nav app. If the stock app has to download data then you need to look into another GPS nav app that stores data locally. I know CoPilot does this but I'm not sure that they have map data for every place you need. I don't have any first hand experience with it or other options since currently Google Maps Navigation meets my needs (aside from a couple of missing features that are nice-to-have items IMO).

    Best/better is always highly subjective. For me, carrying additional devices and their entourage of accessories is a non-starter. I've never had reception issues with GPS on my smartphones. Maps can be stored locally without a dedicated GPS unit. I won't argue against easier to use though. Dedicated devices tend to have interfaces better suited for their one purpose.

    Obviously, the OP can have an entirely different take.
    firefox73 likes this.

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