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  1. aerajan's Avatar
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       #1  
    I am hoping that somone may have some insight on the decision that I am trying to make between purchasing either a standalone gps unit for my car or purchasing a package through buygpsnow.com for my treo which comes with the software and a bluetooth receiver. My dilemma is that a standalone unit costs only $30 more than a package for my phone. I'm looking at either a tomtom go one for $149 through Amazon.com or buying a package for $120 through buygpsnow.com. Now I like the idea of having everything on one device vs having multiple devices however, if I get the package for my phone than I have two devices to charge or keep plugged in while driving. Both have text to speech and serveral other features so in those ways they seem comparable or at least for my purposes. Has anyone had this dilemma or has any insight to offer?
  2. #2  
    I don't have actual experience with a standalone GPS unit, I went with the a BT GPS receiver (OnCourse Bluetooth GPS Receiver Edition 3) on my phone using TomTom. The nice thing about it is that TomTom can access my contacts on the phone, so I can look up and get directions from anyone on my contact lists with an address. You can also receive traffic data using the data connection on your phone.

    The drawback is that you have to charge 2 devices, but I found the OnCourse to last for awhile. It automatically powers down when a BT signal is lost. Even though it can functions while it is charging, it is supposed to last about 11 hours on a full charge. This would only be beneficial if you were probably hiking or biking for that length of time. I love the OnCourse, since it's small, has that soft rubbery feel, and does not look cheap. It's also a good price at BuyGPSNow for under $39.95. The receiver comes with a car charger (mini USB). The home charger is optional.

    The map I use (North America & Canada) requires almost 1Gb of space, which needs to be on an SD card. There's a break down of maps by regions, such as Central, Eastern, etc. So the maps would take up less space.

    The maps and most of the data is stored on the SD card. A 1GB storage card is sufficient, but 2Gb is better, while a 4Gb is best. I originally used a 2Gb storage card, but since I use my SD cards for data, storage for my backups (Sprite), some music, etc, I decided to get a 4Gb storage card (Non SDHC) instead.

    The thing with standalone units is that you must make sure you remove them from sight before leaving the car. They are bound to get stolen. The OnCourse BT GPS receiver I have is small enough that you can use those velcro tapes to secure it to the top of the windsheild. I actually found that it works well in my area, even with the receiver being in my pocket with some change.

    Good luck with your decision.
  3. aerajan's Avatar
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       #3  
    Thanks for the info, it does make me lean more toward getting the gps setup for my phone. I have a few more questions based on what you mentioned or if anyone else knows. Do any of gps programs beside windows live search and google maps let you access for traffic info if you have a data plan. I know I can check the traffic using those free programs but I don't want to have to switch between programs while driving. Also you mentioned the different SD card options. I was actually thinking of purchasing the Oncourse package with the gps unit and 1gb sd card with the maps already on it. Now are is there every any extra space on these cards or does the manufactuer always fill them up. I am not sure if I'm better getting a card with the info already on it or buying a blank sd card and putting the maps on it that I need so I have more space.
  4. #4  
    I use a GPSlim bluetooth receiver with my 700w. Found it new about a year ago on EBay for $30 or $40 incl. shipping. So far I'm only using free Google Maps and Live Search for mapping software. They both work great as long as you have a data connection. I also use a $10 vent mount from Radio Shack which puts the Treo in finger reach from my steering wheel. I went to Canada last summer and was lost (figuratively) without a data connection, so my next trip to the boonies I'll buy some software beforehand.

    The GPS unit is small enough to put in my pocket or seat bag on my bike in case I need it, and I already have the phone with me anyway. Google Maps and Live Search also give you the satellite image if you need it off road.

    The traffic data on Live Search is very accurate in Houston which is the only place I've used it. Live Search asks if you want to reroute from current location as soon as you get off course. Both let you use contacts for addresses.
  5. #5  
    Yeah, I forgot to mention about Live Search and Google Maps. I believe both have up-to-date maps, compared to TomTom, Garmin, etc. These products purchase their maps from another source. I will have to test it out, since there's a new extension on a local highway, which Tomtom freaked out and kept telling me to turn. LOL

    Both Live Search and Google Maps both give turn by turn directions, but NO voice prompts. Their still good for being free.

    FYI...There are other plenty of BT receivers. From what I've read, any of the latest BT receivers are good. There are 2 different types of chip sets, Sirf III and MTK. MTK is rather new, but still good. You will see different channels for the receivers, from 10, 20, and even 51 (with MTK). This refers to how many satellites the receiver can access. Supposedly, any of the current receivers can access up to 10 receivers to work properly, so I'm unsure why MTK chip sets would offer 51 channels.
  6. aerajan's Avatar
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       #6  
    I have heard that google maps and wls update their maps more frequently in fact I found that out somewhere on buygpsnow. I was aware that neither are text to speech capable but didn't know that they gave topographical options. I guess between the free software and whatever program I purchase I should be set. I was thinking about just using a data gps option but realized I also may run into the problem of going somewhere where I might loose signal and then get screwed so I've opted out of that option.

    I've also noticed that the less expensive gps receivers don't track as many satellites as those that are more expensive but I haven't found anyone who has said that this was a major issue. I did check the forums on buygpsnow but they're nothing like treocentral so I couldn't find anything out there.

    Do any of you guys have opinions on the software side. Again there's too many options and I'm thrown between tomtom, garmin and oncourse and each seem to be pretty good. Tomtom seems to have a cool feature that temporarily suspends the gps when you recieve a phone call but then brings the gps back when the phone call is ended so that sounds pretty neat. Any ideas?
  7. #7  
    so here's my saga. I started using my Treo for static directions way back in the day with my 600 and Handmark Pocket Express. Loved it. (in fact, now that I think about it - I go back even before that with my old Palm V & some Garmin yellow GPS thing that would connect to the V with a cable - talk about old school!). I've tried and used Telenav. I've been down the path bigtime.

    For me, and what I use my device for when I'm driving (music with either a stereo BT or wired stereo headset) I don't want to have to use my card for maps. I MUCH prefer over the air maps like what Windows Live Search & Google Maps give (and so does Telenav for that matter).

    Here's an easy way to get your feet wet while also allowing for possible upgrade decisions later should you want to. Order the tiniest smallest GPS unit at buygpsnow.com (I love the Holux GPSlim), use it with Live Search, and you'll get about as close to full blown TomTom/Garmin as you can, and with only spending something like $40. you get turn by turn nav, arrow icon showing your movement and direction, distance to next turn - all that. No spoken directions, and not some of the other coolness that TomTom etc gives - but this way you can start out easy & see what you think. And you can still use the receiver later if you want to get one of those programs.

    As far as phone calls - I've found that I can still partially use my program while ON A CALL. The GPS part still works when talking, and I can tell where I am generally by the initially downloaded map, which can show WITH the arrow/direction indicator while I'm talking. Very useful.

    I like WLS for nav much better than Google Maps cuz it gives the distance till next turn, and also will reroute you, and shows your arrow/direction on the map, none of which Google Maps really does when used with GPS (it just shows a blinking blue dot for present location - that's it).

    So there you go - many options in this space & enough for everyone.
  8. #8  
    Another plus to having a separate BT receiver is that you can pull up any current local POI's (Points of Interests), call them up, then get directions, all from Windows Live Search on your phone. Just too bad it doesn't do voice prompting.
  9. #9  
    I have a stand alone TomTom go 720, I love it, pairs up to my phone great. The plus services are a bonus if your data plan supports it. I didn't bother getting the GPS on my phone because I am on it quite often in the car.
  10. aerajan's Avatar
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       #10  
    Based on some of my own research and the opinions I've gotten on here I am deciding to go the route of purchasing a bluetooth receiver. I can even remember a lenghty discussion on this when I asked how to set it up and JohnnyMac explained it in the thread a while back called: "Use Google Maps AND LiveSearch with cellular GPS! " For some reason I still wasn't sure what route seemed to fit my needs better but I think this does so thanks to all for the feedback.
  11. #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by aerajan View Post
    Based on some of my own research and the opinions I've gotten on here I am deciding to go the route of purchasing a bluetooth receiver. I can even remember a lenghty discussion on this when I asked how to set it up and JohnnyMac explained it in the thread a while back called: "Use Google Maps AND LiveSearch with cellular GPS! " For some reason I still wasn't sure what route seemed to fit my needs better but I think this does so thanks to all for the feedback.
    good luck.. let us know how it works out.

    I think a cheap standalone would have been the better option, here is why:

    I picked up a great standalone gps for $109... can find them at newegg and amazon...

    Don't have to fool with my phone and it works like a charm when I'm in the car and on the phone.

    The screen is much better.

    I normally trade out a phone once every 12 to 16 months.

    Treos break... I'd bet they have issues far more than any gps unit.

    Rather have something that is always in the car and I can easily give to a family member so they can get around. Win for everyone...

    Integration makes sense in some devices... treo + navigation... I don't think so. Standalone is cheaper and has more pluses.

    Good luck to you though....
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