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Standalone GPS devices vs Mobile Phone GPS vs In-built infotainment navigation systems

Standalone GPS devices vs Mobile Phone GPS vs In-built infotainment navigation systems

Standalone GPS devic..

  • 30 Nov 2015, 4784 Views

Roshun

Super Moderator

Member: 13 Oct, 2015

Total Posts: 2035

  • 30 Nov 2015, 12:02 pm ( 3 Photos )
As technology progresses, we have begun to rely a lot more on gizmos to perform even simple tasks. One such is the task of asking for directions or planning your route. These days one can easily get from point A to point B in a strange city just by using GPS navigation - be it Google Maps on your phone or relying on standalone GPS devices from Garmin or MapMyIndia, or probably using the Navigation function of your car's head unit, if the car is equipped with GPS navigation.
Many car manufacturers are now supplying GPS navigation and touchscreen infotainment systems as part of the standard feature list in the top-end variants of their cars. The question is, which of these systems is most efficient? Do you get more benefits from a standalone GPS device or from your mobile phone compared to an in-car entertainment system? We take a look at some of the pros and cons of all these systems:

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Advantages of in-car infotainment systems with GPS navigation:
  • Built into the car right from day one and usually come pre-loaded with lifetime maps , so you don't really need to carry any additional devices or bother about connectivity.
  • Not network dependent, so will work when there is no mobile coverage.
  • Take power from the vehicle's battery so there is no need to constantly charge the device
  • Covered under vehicle warranty so if anything goes wrong with the navigation bit, the entire head unit can be replaced by the manufacturer
  • Integrated functionality with the rest of the head unit. Turn-by-turn directions can be read out and heard clearly even with the radio playing, as audio is muted temporarily for Navigation read outs.
  • Keeps the car clutter free - as you don't need to have additional chargers or windshield mounts for the device.
Disadvantages of in-car infotainment systems with GPS navigation:
  • Maps on infotainment systems cannot be easily updated, although some have a USB port to update maps. Some systems rely on an SD card to provide navigation.
  • Not portable. GPS navigation can only be used in the car, but you can't carry the device with you.
  • Expensive option compared to standalone GPS devices
  • Failure of navigation function would necessitate full replacement of the head unit, which could be expensive if the car is out of warranty coverage.
  • Not all systems have live traffic coverage.
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Advantages of standalone GPS navigation devices:
  • Relatively inexpensive to buy. Many options from brands such as Garmin, MapMyIndia, SatGuide, TomTom etc, with prices ranging from Rs. 6,000 to Rs. 25,000.
  • Not network dependent, so will work even in places where there is no mobile phone coverage.
  • Easy portability - you can move the device from one vehicle to another or carry it with you.
  • Some standalone GPS navigation devices double up as hands free units in cars that do not have Bluetooth-equipped infotainment systems. One can make and receive phone calls or stream music through the device.
  • Some GPS navigation devices double up as LCD screens for functions such as a reverse camera or playing movies.
  • Not dependent on vehicle infotainment system, can function even when the vehicle is switched off as they have their own batteries.
Disadvantages of standalone GPS navigation devices:
  • Takes up space in the vehicle. Requires a separate windshield mount and a car charger to be connected to it at all times, leading to clutter.
  • Smaller screen size compared to in-car infotainment systems can make reading maps slightly difficult.
  • Adds to clutter in your bag, as it's one more device to charge and carry.
  • May not be able to display live traffic coverage.
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Advantages of Mobile Phone as a GPS device:
  • One device, many functions. You can use it for navigation as well as attend to phone calls or stream music in the car.
  • Ability to give live traffic updates on Google Maps, which helps in planning your route better.
  • Ability to download and install various apps related to navigation - allowing friends to track you for instance.
  • Relatively inexpensive compared to in-car infotainment systems or standalone GPS devices.
Disadvantages of Mobile Phone as a GPS device:
  • Using the GPS navigation function on the phone will drain its battery much faster, as well as slow down other functions if the phone does not have enough RAM and a fast processor.
  • Requires a car charger and windshield mount to be able to function properly.
  • Navigation is network dependent - maps will not update when there is no cellphone connectivity, unless offline maps have been installed in the phone (which take up significant storage space in the phone's memory).
Considering the pros and cons of all three kinds of devices - in-car entertainment systems with GPS navigation, standalone GPS devices and mobile phones with GPS navigation, there is no clear leader really. However, in-car systems leave the car clutter free, while standalone devices add a degree of portability. All three, clearly have their advantages and disadvantages.
Which ones do you use and rely on?

tush.desai

First Gear

Member: 01 Feb, 2016

Total Posts: 52

  • 4 Feb 2016, 11:21 am
Nice explanation of all 3 types of devices.
I mostly prefer & use Google Maps on my 6-inch Phablet. 6-inch screen in neither big nor small.
On my last road trip covering Surat - Ahmedabad - Kishangarh - Ratangarh - Hanumangarh - Bhatinda - Amritsar - Dalhoussie - McLeodGunj - Panipat - Rohtak - Rewari - Jaipur - Udaipur - Ahmedabad - Surat, covering 4100 km, I used Google Maps & found it very useful. I used Google Maps on my entire route in offline mode. You can see a Blue Google Pointer moving on Map even in Offline mode, which is good enough when you have researched a bit before starting your trip. To make this happen , you just have to enable LOCATION feature on your Android device.
This way, you do not have to buy data bundle, you increase your battery life by a couple of hours, and you can be assured that you are going the right way on a very long trip like the one i did.

kaiserketkar

Moderator

Member: 26 Oct, 2015

Total Posts: 403

  • 24 Feb 2016, 5:52 pm
One more disadvantage of Google maps/Cellphone based GPS navigators [also true for some inbuilt car GPS systems]
Whenever a phone comes, or you have to make a call, the map display is replaced. On the phone you have to physically shift back to the map [something not advisable when you're driving], while in the inbuilt GPS system, you can't do anything.
More advantages of Google maps/ Cellphone based GPS:
-Google maps suggests 2-3 different routes to the destination, something that other devices don't.
-Google maps routes are far better than routes plotted by the other devices.
-They have a lot more [and updated] POIs.
My last trip, I took my tab along, loaded offline maps on in and used it as my GPS guide. So my phone was free for phone calls and music.

Roshun

Super Moderator

Member: 13 Oct, 2015

Total Posts: 2035

  • 24 Feb 2016, 6:45 pm
"Originally posted by kaiserketkar"
One more disadvantage of Google maps/Cellphone based GPS navigators [also true for some inbuilt car GPS systems]
Whenever a phone comes, or you have to make a call, the map display is replaced. On the phone you have to physically shift back to the map [something not advisable when you're driving], while in the inbuilt GPS system, you can't do anything.
More advantages of Google maps/ Cellphone based GPS:
-Google maps suggests 2-3 different routes to the destination, something that other devices don't.
-Google maps routes are far better than routes plotted by the other devices.
-They have a lot more [and updated] POIs.
My last trip, I took my tab along, loaded offline maps on in and used it as my GPS guide. So my phone was free for phone calls and music.
I really wish more car manufacturers started integrating Apple Car Play or Android Based infotainment systems with network connections in-built. I like the navigation system on the Scorpio, but it has a terrible interface and more importantly, I would have loved if it provided me with real-time traffic updates. So despite having a navigation system in-built, most of the time, I have Google Maps turned on on the phone just so that I can see real-time traffic updates.

kaiserketkar

Moderator

Member: 26 Oct, 2015

Total Posts: 403

  • 24 Feb 2016, 7:15 pm
I have this feeling that Android Auto will become common on the top variants of 10lac + cars within a year or so.
In fact I was surprised when the new XUV500 didn't come with it. Mahindra are usually one step ahead when it comes to fancy gizmos.

Augusto_Mateo

First Gear

Member: 10 Feb, 2017

Total Posts: 1

  • 11 Feb 2017, 3:49 pm
Hello, I would like to add that most of the tracking devices, can be integrated with other third party gps software, you do not need to buy addition second device. My boss is using such called vehicle tracking for our fleet, and I use the same gps tracker device on my own navigation. I am not pretty sure is it possible with all devices, but the service provider http://www.gpswox.com/ wrote's that it is possible to integrate any desired gps device.

malgudi_days

First Gear

Member: 03 Jul, 2016

Total Posts: 2

  • 27 Feb 2017, 11:43 am
Kaiserketkar
The inbuilt navigation system in XUV 500 is not updated often and its doesn't show latest changes on the roads. This essential as there are road widening works happening all over India resulting in numerous diversions. I have approached Mahindra but got no response

Roshun

Super Moderator

Member: 13 Oct, 2015

Total Posts: 2035

  • 28 Feb 2017, 5:28 pm
Malgudi_days
Yes, this is an issue. I have the Scorpio S10 4WD, which essentially has the same navigation system that the XUV500 uses - the same maps from MapMyIndia. I checked with Mahindra and they said they did not have the updated maps for 2016 (the map software says it is a 2014 version). I then checked with MapMyIndia who said that they release updates every 3 months or so and have sent updated maps to Mahindra's vendor - Nippon Audiotronix - the guys who supply the infotainment system to Mahindra. So best case scenario would be to contact Nippon and get them to update the maps.

malgudi_days

First Gear

Member: 03 Jul, 2016

Total Posts: 2

  • 16 Oct 2017, 9:39 am
My car went for a service two months back and got an update. However I found that even that 'update' was outdated compared to road conditions. Moreover I am finding Navigation often stops functioning due to "Bad GPS Signal' while mobile phone based Google maps works perfectly. The Navigation system will lose its relevance soon if Mahindra continues to neglect this anymore. I am highly un-satisfied with Mahindra for this glaring lapse that has not been corrected even after more than a year of its reporting

Enterox

First Gear

Member: 01 Dec, 2017

Total Posts: 2

  • 1 Dec 2017, 12:49 pm
The comparison of GPS tracking device with mobile phone GPS or GPS navigation system is not relevant as they serve very different purpose.A GPS tracking device is designed to track real-time location and other information about the vehicle "remotely" whereas mobile phone GPS or GPS navigation system helps the driver find directions.

Enterox

First Gear

Member: 01 Dec, 2017

Total Posts: 2

  • 1 Dec 2017, 12:54 pm
Roshun
The comparison of GPS tracking device with mobile phone GPS or GPS navigation system is pointless as they serve very different purpose.A GPS tracking device is designed to track real-time location and other information about the vehicle "remotely" whereas mobile phone GPS or GPS navigation system helps the driver find directions.

Arjun

Moderator

Member: 26 Oct, 2015

Total Posts: 807

  • 1 Dec 2017, 2:45 pm
Enterox
Yes, agreed. In simple terms the tracking device can be considered as a GPS transmitter and the navigation system as a receiver (though it does both transmit and receive).
The comparison was between Stand alone GPS Devices like Garmin, MapmyIndia devices, vs maps on mobile phones vs the ICEs with navigation. The GPS tracker discussion was added by one of the user, and it was not the main topic of conversation.

Fourth Div