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  1. #1
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    The quest for best smartphone for MTB...

    ... I am up for an upgrade with Verizon Wireless so I started doing some research...

    This is what I need:

    1. Communication device for emergency and GPS location service - pretty much any phone
    2. Smartphone capable running a mapping software - Strava or other -on Android or Iphone
    3. Something lightweight and slim - I don't like having the phone on my backpack or bike pack, it's easier to have it in your pocket... but then I hate heavy object in my pockets when I ride.
    4. Camera to take pics - most phones these days.

    Here is nice comparo of selected smartphones
    2012 Smartphone Comparison Guide

    and the winner is:

    IPHONE 5

    No, I am not apple fanboi, I love my PC... but when it comes to dimensions/weight it is the most featherlight and slim. My wife has one and felt comfortable in my pocket when riding..

    For everything else battery life etc. it's pretty much comparable to others...

  2. #2
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    There is only ONE reason I keep my iphone instead of switching back to an amazing android device, and that reason is a map that has all my local trails listed (Squamish, Whistler and Pemberton).

    Unfortunately it is not available for android, and the second it is I look forward to drop kicking my crapple into the ocean.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by 006_007 View Post
    There is only ONE reason I keep my iphone instead of switching back to an amazing android device, and that reason is a map that has all my local trails listed (Squamish, Whistler and Pemberton).

    Unfortunately it is not available for android, and the second it is I look forward to drop kicking my crapple into the ocean.
    Have you checked out maprika?
    Bikes, lots'o bikes

  4. #4
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    I'm currently using my rugged and water resistant Motorola Defy Plus but it has a sucky camera. I'm looking at the Sony Xperia Go but I just don't know if it has a better camera. Both smartphones are rugged and water resistant and have 5MP cameras.

  5. #5
    fly on the wall
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    I'm in the exact same boat. I'll be up for upgrading at the end of the month. I've lived my life thus far on a "dumb" phone. Or known by its historical name: a cell phone.

    I can't speak much to which phone or protective case is best, but I would recommend finding an extra battery pack that's compatible with your phone. Two of my friends each have a Galaxy S3 and a Droid something or other. It's amazing how unpredictable the stock battery on each of them lasts, depending on whether they're running GPS maps / GPS ride tracker / camera / video / etc.

  6. #6
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    I switched to the Iphone earlier this year. I had been using android, but they glitched so much and a new model came out every two weeks making my phone obsolete after a few weeks!! The iphone had a good rep and after several android phones, that was what I was after.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by joshhan View Post
    Have you checked out maprika?
    +1 on Maprika.

    The one part that kills the iphone for me is being able to carry a spare battery. My wife and I have identical HTC Incredibles. Small light and has all the features you mention although the camera is not as good as the iphone. But we have a Gopro for that.

  8. #8
    Fat-tired Roadie Moderator
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    OP - you're going to have a little bit of a fight to keep it running Google Maps, and the Apple map doesn't have bike trails. I rarely use that, but it's nice to have it there.

    I've ended up mostly retiring my phone for GPS. I finally got a purpose-built training watch.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  9. #9
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    Samsung Galaxy Rugby LTE... Android 4.0, 1.5Ghz dual-core, 1 gig of ram, 5 gig internal storage, takes up to a 32gig microSD card, 5MP rear camera, 3MP front camera, Super AMOLED screen, mil-spec ratings for shock, dust and waterproof to 1 meter for a half hour (I'll see your water resistance and raise you standing in a creek fishing with your phone underwater in your shorts thigh-pocket). I already found a free GPS app for it that is good for riding, and the content can be transferred to a PC.
    I don't post to generate business for myself or make like I'm better than sliced bread

  10. #10
    meow meow
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    samsung galaxy s3 is better than an iphone in almost every way but the screen at almost 5'' is too big imo. the new droid razr looks really nice for biking.
    Last edited by b-kul; 01-04-2013 at 11:58 AM.

  11. #11
    ****** to the dirt
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    ^^ the motorola razor is thin and suppose to be good. Never used it but heard it is good

    My friend has the htc amaze and likes it
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    OP - you're going to have a little bit of a fight to keep it running Google Maps, and the Apple map doesn't have bike trails. I rarely use that, but it's nice to have it there.

    I've ended up mostly retiring my phone for GPS. I finally got a purpose-built training watch.
    google map app

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by bc3xx0 View Post
    I switched to the Iphone earlier this year. I had been using android, but they glitched so much and a new model came out every two weeks making my phone obsolete after a few weeks!! The iphone had a good rep and after several android phones, that was what I was after.
    that was my experience with android phones, I am sure they got better now...

  14. #14
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    Good point on the external battery, my longest mapped ride on Stava was 6 hours - I had 1/3 of battery left after. This was with occasional phone use for photos, text messaging and without shutting off network. I wonder if I could push the life further with battery saving measures, although I don't I will be riding much longer than 6 hours - maybe 7-8 for the race.

    ALso good point on the ruggedness of the phone. I usually just use a glad sandwich bag for the phone, the waterproofing in AZ is not too much of an issue, but I may reconsider wearing it in my pocket. Keep it safe from crashes in my pack.

  15. #15
    Fat-tired Roadie Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by metalaficionado View Post
    google map app
    Friend of mine got switched back to the Apple maps program with the recent update to his tablet. Not sure if the iPhone is as creepy.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  16. #16
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    OP - don't ride with anything in your short pockets. Heard some horror stories...
    Absolutely everything goes in the hydro pack.
    Including my iPhone.

  17. #17
    fly on the wall
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    Speaking of crash protection, my manager uses a LifeProof case on his iphone. It is very thin once it goes on, but is both waterproof and shock proof. He's always out on the job sites, and has dropped it beyond count. The biggest drop was from 7 feet up onto concrete off a ladder, and the phone worked fine. It's also completely submersible, but not that you're too worried about that, as you said.

  18. #18
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    I use a Galaxy S III and I love the damn thing. Of course, I despise Apple so that part is easy for me, but I don't know what you would want a phone to do, that the S III doesn't do. If you're worried about battery life, go on Amazon and get a bigger battery for like $23. I've never had a problem with mine lasting for the duration of my ride.

    BTW, plus 1 on the nothing breakable in your pockets recommendation. That could get ugly AND PRICEY!
    Without heroes, we are all plain people, and don't know how far we can go. Bernard Malamud

  19. #19
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    This is gonna be my next phone once it drops. Kinda big for mtb but I'm adaptive and will make it work. Check the specs.
    HTC M7 - 4.7-inch 1080p display, 13MP camera, 2GB RAM, Sense 5
    http://phandroid.com/2012/12/17/htc-m7-detailed-rumor/

    Sent from my ADR6425LVW using Tapatalk 2

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by joshhan View Post
    Have you checked out maprika?
    Have not, but the maps I have list all the local trails with updates as to whats open/closed due to logging etc.

    Will check into maprika if it opens up the android world for me!

  21. #21
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    iPhone - all others are just imitations.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by octavius View Post
    OP - don't ride with anything in your short pockets. Heard some horror stories...
    Absolutely everything goes in the hydro pack.
    Including my iPhone.
    wurd, I hate having things in my pocket when I ride anyway...

  23. #23
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    I use a lumia 822 with endomondo, great GPS and much better battery life then the iphone.

    Good camera and windows phone os is a breath of fresh air. really like this phone.

  24. #24
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    iPhone. Have had one since the 3Gs came out. It is the only phone that I can say that I have never ever had any kind of problem/glitch.....ever. With a Lifeproof case it is indestructable.

  25. #25
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    Casio G'Zone Commando is what you want
    '11 Jedi
    '01 Rocket 88 Stage3
    '00 Homegrown

  26. #26
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    yeah.Good camera and windows phone os is a breath of fresh air. really like this phone.

  27. #27
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    -iphone4s with lifeproof case( what I have or there's the iphone5 but read below that's what I'd chose)

    -Samsung galaxy s3 with lifeproof case(whenever it comes out)

    -Casio gzone

  28. #28
    2006 Yeti AS-X
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    I have an HTC Thunderbolt and it takes Hd video and 8mp photos. Not shabby for phone standards.
    I don't use Strava. Don't need an application to tell me I am slow because I already know.

  29. #29
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    As far as navigation and location based satellite tracking are concerned, most new multi-core smartphones have both GPS and Glonass satellite networks which improves location accuracy. Among these phones are the iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S3, Nokia Lumia 920, Sony Xperia phones etc. You just have to narrow down your selection to those handsets that are rugged enough to sustain the multiple shocks and vibrations involved in our activity and possibly water and dust resistance and you're left with three of Sony Xperia's dual core, water and dust resistant phones:

    Sony Xperia Z
    -1.5 GHz Quad Core Krait processor
    - 13 MP camera
    - GPS, aGPS and Glonass support
    - water and dust resistant (IP57 certified)

    Sony Xperia V
    -1.5 GHz Dual Core Krait processor
    - 13 MP camera
    - GPS, aGPS and Glonass support
    - water and dust resistant (IP57 certified)

    Sony Xperia Acro S
    -1.5 GHz Dual Core Scorpion processor
    - 12 MP camera
    - GPS, aGPS and Glonass support
    - water and dust resistant (IP57 certified)

    Sony Xperia Go
    -1.0 GHz Dual Core Cortex A9 processor
    - 5 MP camera
    - GPS, aGPS support
    - water and dust resistant (IP67 certified)
    .
    Last edited by Gundam168; 01-08-2013 at 05:41 AM.

  30. #30
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    Good Decision! try this app

    Go Iphone! Completely agree with your decision. I have the 4s model currently and i use a free mapping app called "All Trails". Its great for mapping out the trail you ride by gps. It records the trail, top speed, avg moving speed, time stopped, elevation, and elevation gain! Also it has a decent amount of trails in the database.

  31. #31
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    Just so you know, if you've got unlimited data, you'll lose it when you get a new phone on verizon. The only way to keep your unlimited data is to pay full price for your new phone and not renew your contract, which is some ~750 dollars for an iPhone. This took effect in December.

  32. #32
    Give it a crank
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    The best smartphone is coming out in 6 months, always.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn-Rider View Post
    The best smartphone is coming out in 6 months, always.

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