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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I was in the market for a Garmin handheld for hiking and off-road driving until I found this rather small ip68 rated mini phone with good reviews:


It is an unlocked android phone at half the price of the Garmin Montana and supports numerous satellite functions (GPS, BeiDou, and GLONASS). It is has a rugged gorilla glass touch screen and is water resistant. It accepts two phone cards simultaneously and has a mico-SD card slot that would be great for map downloads. It has a built-in walkie-talkie radio feature and a removable Antenna. It has a decent battery life and a 48 mp camera. It’s small enough to fit in the Toyota FJ Cruiser OEM GPS holder on the dash. I could go on and on.

Other than not having the iridium function of the Montana, I am having trouble understanding why this Android-based phone is not better than the clunky Garmin with its temperamental software.

Any thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Whelp, I have AT&T, so I guess this is why we can’t have nice things:

Dear US users,

We are aware of the recent issues that many users have encountered using the AT&T service.

This is due to the carrier's recent change of policy. Although Unihertz smartphones are all valid 4G devices, they sadly are not certified by US carriers such as AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, etc.

Recently, AT&T released a whitelist of smartphone brands that will continue to work on their network after February 2022. Unfortunately, Unihertz products are not among them.

If you are using Unihertz smartphones on the AT&T network, it may not work normally after February 2022. We are sorry for the inconvenience caused, though this has resulted from the carrier's policy change.

Our Recommendation
Unihertz is trying to get in contact with AT&T and is actively seeking solutions for the problem, but this will take time. So please kindly be patient with us.

Meanwhile, we suggest that you switch to other carriers, such as T-Mobile or Verizon, which are still workable.

Sincerely,

Unihertz Team
 

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I use a Garmin Inreach Explorer+ which uses the iridium system. The Garmin bluetooths to my Iphone and i can use the Garmin Earthmate app to navigate where i have no cell service. I presume you can bluetooth to a larger viewing tablet to navigate also.

I've been in many remote locations with zero cell service while my Garmin performed flawlessly with only one exception; in a very closed-in canyon while camping for the night. My texts were taking at least 10-min to send but my maps were active and could still navigate. before i go on trips, i'm able to update my device with the entire north america maps so it's stored on the device. my cell sets up next to the Garmin on my dash for easy hands-off management.

i overland solo often. my family enjoys the ability to track my "breadcrumbs" every 10min. i'm able to communicate via text with my family. the SOS function and the Search and Rescue insurance for $100k is an added peace of mind.

i also have an attachment on my backpack shoulder strap for when I go on my hikes, this device has lasted me 12-days on the trail without a charge. the Atom you are describing is interesting by comparison but reliability of an iridium network, an unbeatable power usage, and the peace of mind connectivity with first responders and family makes this a winner for me. I would love to hear your experience should you go the Atom route.

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I used handheld and vehicle mounted GPS since it’s inception, Magellan in the early days (sponsored) then Garmin. When my last Garmin expired I was going to replace it but now never would. I use my phone and an iPad in vehicle, I use downloaded mapping for where there is no reception or I want detailed top maps etc.

For road mapping I use Sygic, very cheap and off line ‘Sat Nav’ style for the whole world and it is very good. Off-road depends on location, as I am not in the USA I can’t recommend but Gaia seems to be recommended. I’d never go back to a gps.

If you are Apple based then note the new iPhone has satellite connectivity for emergencies included FOC for USA, albeit limited but enough for rescue.
 

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It is an unlocked android phone at half the price of the Garmin Montana and supports numerous satellite functions (GPS, BeiDou, and GLONASS). It is has a rugged gorilla glass touch screen and is water resistant. It accepts two phone cards simultaneously and has a mico-SD card slot that would be great for map downloads. It has a built-in walkie-talkie radio feature and a removable Antenna. It has a decent battery life and a 48 mp camera. It’s small enough to fit in the Toyota FJ Cruiser OEM GPS holder on the dash.
BeiDou and GLONASS are just the Chinese and Russian GPS constellations, as long as whatever device you buy can use the US GPS constellation you don't need the other two. This device has those so it can be sold to Chinese / Russian customers who prefer to use their own.

Have you priced GPS-capable Samsung tablets? Here's a 7-inch Samsung for $120. If you need to be connected 100% of the time, you need a satellite device (Garmin InReach or similar). If you just need offline maps while your phone doesn't work, a tablet with storage and maps downloaded ahead of time is enough. Gaia is a popular app, here in Colorado we have Colorado Trail Explorer which works just as well and is free. There are plenty of ways to put cases / screen protectors / car mounts on such a device.

I bought a 10-inch Samsung several years ago to serve as both a mapping tablet and a controller for my drone. It works really well.

Good luck!
 

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same. ^^^ i use Sygic most of the time. i have maps for the entire US stored on it. they automatically update every 3 months if you have premium. not sure if there are any trail systems mapped but it has taken me around some fairly remote dirt roads up in the adirondacks.
one cool thing about sygic, though i haven't tried it out yet, is if you can mount the tablet where the camera can see out of your windshield it can show your route right on the video feed.
 

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i've been wanting to link my Garmin to a tablet for some time. for those of you with tablets, where did you mount them?
also, any regrets with the 10" vs going slightly smaller to a 7"?

not my vehicle but was considering something like this. i was just concerned with the weight and impact load while on a bumpy trail.

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i've been wanting to link my Garmin to a tablet for some time. for those of you with tablets, where did you mount them?
also, any regrets with the 10" vs going slightly smaller to a 7"?

not my vehicle but was considering something like this. i was just concerned with the weight and impact load while on a bumpy trail.
I don't vehicle mount mine, so I get all of the benefit of the larger screen without the hassles of mounting it. I do have a pretty bulky case on it, so if you're going to use it inside/outside of the truck plan for that extra bulk for an in-vehicle mount.

Here's a good thread with a variety of tablet mounts, or you can google for other results: Show Off Your Tablet Mounts
 

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I don't vehicle mount mine, so I get all of the benefit of the larger screen without the hassles of mounting it. I do have a pretty bulky case on it, so if you're going to use it inside/outside of the truck plan for that extra bulk for an in-vehicle mount.

Here's a good thread with a variety of tablet mounts, or you can google for other results: Show Off Your Tablet Mounts
exactly the thread i was looking for. thanks!
 

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i've been wanting to link my Garmin to a tablet for some time. for those of you with tablets, where did you mount them?
also, any regrets with the 10" vs going slightly smaller to a 7"?

not my vehicle but was considering something like this. i was just concerned with the weight and impact load while on a bumpy trail.

View attachment 1220480


View attachment 1220479
This is how I mouunted my iPad. Since the Ram mount was going into plastic I built a custom brace mounted behind the plastic for strength. It has survived some serious washboard roads with no failures.
 
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