# Sunday, 19 December 2010

So I finally went out and bought myself an actual Garmin GPS unit.

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It's a Gamin Nuvi 1250, pretty much the smallest, most basic GPS unit that I found at the local Garmin outlet.

Now.. the obvious question from most people would end up being "Doesn't your phone have GPS functionality?"

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So, does me buying a GPS unit is due to the fact that I can't use Bing maps for directions easily with my Windows Phone 7? Unfortunately for the Windows Phone 7 haters, that's not the case though. I pretty much made I my mind that if I replaced my HTC Diamond 2 with it's Garmin Maps software I would buy a physical device if I got a replacement phone that didn't have Garmin software support.

Why? Most important reason is that I don't trust Maxis enough to be the source of my map data, which is the case when I use either Google Maps or Bing Maps for navigation. Not to mention the fact that when I'm roaming in another country, network data usage may simply NOT be an option.

So I really much prefer an offline map solution. (Yes I know that the iPhone has a few too, but I'm getting to that)

The other reason for getting a dedicated GPS device is a matter of power. While most people look to converge all the things they do into one device, I have another view which is "The device I use must be able to serve its primary function with sufficient power reserves for any secondary functions" In this scenario, my phone's primary function is to serve as a communications device that links me to the world through the net, and of course as a phone. It's secondary function is to provide entertainment (games, movies, music) and well.. GPS guidance. Both those things require quite a big gulp of power.

I thought using my phone (The Diamond 2 and others before it) as a GPS wouldn't be a problem as long as I plugged it into the car charger, but after my first extended use of GPS when I was travelling through Melaka all day and on the highway I realized a problem. The combined heat of a working CPU, GPS chipset, screen backlight, bright HOT sunlight and the recharging of a battery is able to trip the phone battery's internal charge protection circuit. Thus the battery STOPS CHARGING until it can cool down so it doesn't EXPLODE!

Realizing that it is possible that under heavy usage my phone can't be recharged I decided that the best thing to do is to just get a dedicated GPS device so that my phone itself has power to spare.


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