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Do It All Phone
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Barrie Grieve
(barrie_grieve) - F

Locale: Fife, Scotland
Do It All Phone on 04/15/2009 13:58:21 MDT Print View

Hi all,
Took possession of a Nokia N96, Bought GPS mapping software (Viewranger) and put a couple of albums of music on it. Went for a stroll listening to some jazz as I walked from Callander (Scotland) north towards a Munroe called Ben Vorlich, checking my route as I strolled, took some photos and a couple of videos. Camped up for the nightMLD Trailstar in the wilds.

Did the munroe the next morning walked back to the car (in total 17Km) and home for lunch.

For more than an overnight trip I would need a way of recharging the phone or finding a bigger battery as it was almost out of juice by the time I got back to the car. Other than that faultless.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Do It All Phone on 04/15/2009 14:37:19 MDT Print View

I know nothing about cell phones but am toying with the idea of buying my first one (yeah, cell virgin here).

I normally don't care for gadgets, but I will be going for a 7-month trip (hosteling, not camping) through Eastern Europe (Belaurs, Ukraine, Russia) and Asia (Mongolia, China). I think having a phone will help greatly in hotel reservations (i.e. calling ahead rather than walking all the way just to find out they're fully booked).

So, can you (or anyone) recommend a phone that can be used cheaply in the above countries and have camera (3 megapix at least) and mp3 built in? For the latter, SD card compatibility would be great. Thanks in advance.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Re: Do It All Phone on 04/15/2009 14:56:53 MDT Print View

Ben, I went for an HTC Touch Diamond.

Upside: 3MP camera MP3 FM radio 3G and WiFi internet GPS compatible with memory map software and maps, beautiful 640x480 screen. Weighs a mere 4oz.

Downside: Windows mobile, low battery life, proprietary headphone connector, no card slot (but 4gig of memory built in).

There are better phone cams out there, but the 3MP CCD is pretty good and the GPS is excellent.

Edited by tallbloke on 04/15/2009 14:57:30 MDT.

Chris Benson
(roguenode) - F

Locale: Boulder
battery on 04/15/2009 16:11:23 MDT Print View

I found a cheap accessory that holds a AA battery and plugs into my phone to give it extra juice. I have not used it for extended use, but it's great for quick checks for cell access or confirm position with phone's gps when the standard battery is dead.

Huzefa Siamwala
(huzefa) - M
Re: Re: Re: Do It All Phone on 04/15/2009 22:03:06 MDT Print View

Nokia N86

It is not available yet but it has the best camera of any current gen. phones.

8 MP, 3264x2448 pixels, wide 28mm Carl Zeiss lens, autofocus, dual LED flash, variable aperture (going through F2.4/F3.2/F4.8), geotagging, VGA@30fps

It has multiple uses:
Phone, GPS, digital compass, FM/music/video player, flash light.

It has a 1200mAh battery and all this for 5.25oz.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Re: Re: Re: Do It All Phone on 04/16/2009 03:57:01 MDT Print View

Hi Huzefa. Nice phone, shame about the map prices.

From £58.72
ViewRanger National Park Explorer : ViewRanger software with wonderfully detailed OS Explorer 1:25,000 mapping and Panoramic mapping for the National Park of your choice.

That's *per national park* !!!

I walk in 4 of them regularly.

I guess I'll have to stick with memory map on windows mobile (spit) as I already have all the national parks at 1:25,000 and the whole of Great Britain at 1:50,000, plus a 4 mile to the inch topo-road map and many others. I also make my own maps and calibrate them for use with the memory map software. Looking at the Viewranger website, I don't see a similar capability to import your own bitmaps...

Symbian is a great operating system, I first started making maps and using a serial port connected GPS with my old Psion 5mx in 1998. Psion sold the rights to Symbian to Nokia, who are developing it as a semi open source system.

It'll be interesting to see how things develop. It'd be nice if Viewranger and memory map would develop a cross licensing system for the maps, not holding my breath though.

Edited by tallbloke on 04/16/2009 04:02:09 MDT.

Roleigh Martin
(marti124) - MLife

Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group
Re: Re: Do It All Phone on 04/16/2009 07:19:22 MDT Print View

Ben, the next Iphone is supposed to include 3mp camera but I don't know how soon, but traditionally announcements are made in May or June. All followers of the iphone are convinced one of the new models will have the 3mp camera upgrade.

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
Re: Do It All Phone" on 04/16/2009 11:55:23 MDT Print View

I used a smartphone on the PCT last year, and it was nice to have a multi-function device. Technology changes fast, I suspect that I would pick a different phone if buying today.

It can be a complicated choice, along with a substantial learning curve to really use all the functionality that you're carrying. I wrote up some purchase considerations for others contemplating a long trip, here:

http://postholer.com/smartPhone.html

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Do It All Phone on 04/16/2009 15:48:16 MDT Print View

Hi Ben

> 7-month trip (hosteling, not camping) through Eastern Europe (Belaurs, Ukraine, Russia) and Asia (Mongolia, China). I think having a phone will help greatly in hotel reservations (i.e. calling ahead rather than walking all the way just to find out they're fully booked).

I am not sure whether all these countries even use the same phone system. Quite possibly not. Universality remains a poor myth.

Cheers, and enjoy.

Chris Benson
(roguenode) - F

Locale: Boulder
Phone GPS coverage on 04/16/2009 17:02:52 MDT Print View

For those who have used their phone as gps device for tracking/routing off-road, how has it performed, in particular in hollows, under cover, etc. ? Signal strength, reliability, accuracy?

Barrie Grieve
(barrie_grieve) - F

Locale: Fife, Scotland
Re: Traveling with a mobile on 04/17/2009 15:40:26 MDT Print View

Hi Ben,
You could try this simple solution for your travels
http://www.onesimcard.com/?idmenu=2
Coverage seems good at 160 countries including all that you mentioned, good price too for the sim card and international calls. All you need is a tri/quad band phone of your choice.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Re: Traveling with a mobile on 04/17/2009 22:29:52 MDT Print View

Thanks everyone. A lot of this is Greek to me (thank heavens for google). I'll read up on them.

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
Re: Phone GPS coverage on 04/18/2009 20:37:14 MDT Print View

Chris asked:
"For those who have used their phone as gps device for tracking/routing off-road, how has it performed, in particular in hollows, under cover, etc. ? Signal strength, reliability, accuracy?"

I think this has to depend on what kind of hardware/software your phone has. My smartphone has a true GPS chipset, the Sirf Star III, and it works quite well. Certainly better (under trees etc) than my older (earlier chipset) model Garmin dedicated GPS.

Bottom line is that I would grope the web for spec's on your phone in hopes of identifying the GPS chipset involved. What you particularly want to avoid is a phone that relies on being in range of cell towers for it to get a fix.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Re: Phone GPS coverage on 04/22/2009 00:51:40 MDT Print View

I'm truly impressed by the GPS in the HTC Touch Diamond. It works well under light tree cover and in urban canyons. It uses extra assistance by downloading positions from the net every 3 days if data is available, but even with the phone off it picks up a fix within a minute from cold. Much better than older units such as the handheld garmin's etc.

Jason Klass
(jasonklass) - F

Locale: Parker, CO
Smartphone on 05/02/2009 12:55:14 MDT Print View

I looked at the iPhone but I hate At&T so I went with the Blackberry Storm. It has all the same features but I could keep my Verizon account. :)

Anton Koliev
(abk2006) - F

Locale: Ukraine
Re: Re: Do It All Phone on 05/17/2009 15:05:02 MDT Print View

Benjamin, first of all, once you will go to Eastern Europe or Asia, please be sure, that your mobile phone working with 900/1800Mhz frequency, instead of 850/1900Mhz frequency, as it used in USA.
From my side, I think, that good phone for your trail will be Nokia N82 - it have built in GPS, 5mpx camera,Xenon Flash,Wi-Fi, acceptable standby time as well as other smartphone functionality like radio, MP3 player, SD card support etc.
All Eastern European countries use GSM as well as Mongolia/China have GSM operators also. Belarus and Ukraine have 99% coverage as well as Russia/China and Mongolia have worse coverage.
Also, to save your $$ you may consider to buy so-called "Travel-SIM" card. It will allow you to roam over this countries with single phone number as well as having free incoming calls in more then 30 countries as well as cheap international calls. In Ukraine you may get SIM-card virtually everywhere. In Belarus and Russia you will be required to present your passport in order to buy SIM-card.
Hope this will help a bit.

Allison Sayre
(TeamAlli) - F

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Re: Do It All Phone on 05/21/2009 10:57:44 MDT Print View

I'm pretty sure if you get a quad-band GSM phone you should be good to go.

Jeremiah Burton
(madman1892) - F
HTC Touch Pro on 06/01/2009 15:01:12 MDT Print View

I have the HTC Touch Pro. Its like the HTC Diamond, which was previously mentioned, except it has a physical keyboard. It does everything.