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I-Phone vs. Samsung Galaxy(Android)- Backpacking

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I-Phone vs. Samsung Galaxy(Android)- Backpacking

Postby richlong8 » Fri Sep 12, 2014 1:48 pm

I am not that knowledgeable on either the I-Phone or Samsung Galaxy newer or older models of smartphones(Android). As related to backpacking, I normally carry a paperback book, a MP3 player w/spare AAA battery, and sometimes a GPS. Perhaps a smartphone would replace all three devices with about the same weight. I don't think I would abandon my camera for the built-in phone, in any case. I normally don't read or listen to music until I get to camp, though occasionally I might use music at the end of the day if I need a little extra motivation to get up a pass or to my destination. One factor that might be important to me is the battery issue. I know the I-Phone has a sealed battery. I understand that a person might be able to take a spare battery for the Samsung, which seems more ultralight-practical than carrying around a solar charger, or battery pack for I-Phone. I know some of you carry smart phones because of your posts, and the fact that I am one of the few folks that doesn't have one! Do you bother taking them with you backpacking. Are they a viable GPS alternate?



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Re: I-Phone vs. Samsung Galaxy(Android)- Backpacking

Postby rlown » Fri Sep 12, 2014 3:42 pm

might check out the charger JW carries: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=11677&p=88189&hilit=charger#p88189

My hiking partner has a charger as well for his droid, and it worked out well. He downloaded the maps from god knows where and they worked with the GPS just fine. i know my galaxy S4 came with some Garmin extension apps onboard but i haven't really focused on them enough to know anything yet.

He plugged in the droid everyday for a charge after we moved camp. Still carried his ipod but maybe that has changed as well. We were out for 10 days and he had no problems.
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Re: I-Phone vs. Samsung Galaxy(Android)- Backpacking

Postby sparky » Fri Sep 12, 2014 5:21 pm

my new phone, the battery is fixed...if I would have known that I wouldnt have bought it.

BUT...all my other old android phones have removable batteries. I used to pack extra batteries. That in itself, me thinks, makes it superior to iphone. Plus most can be rebuilt (I have replaced screens, speakers, buttons ect...) My older phone has 2 SD card slots. It has over 3500 photos and tons of HD video....mainly of the sierra of course :)

Use as GPS? Dont know as I keep gps off at all times. I do know that it drains a lot of juice out of the battery.

I do have peaks passes trails on my phone, which I do use sometimes. Using my phone as a camera, sometimes taking notes, and perhaps a perusal of peaks passes trails at night, I get 5 days out of a single charge while in airplane mode. Not too shabby.

iphones always had superior cameras....until now. My new phone I got a couple days ago has an awesome camera.
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Re: I-Phone vs. Samsung Galaxy(Android)- Backpacking

Postby richlong8 » Sat Sep 13, 2014 9:17 am

Thanks for the info. It is all very helpful. Any other insights are most welcome. It seems like as far as GPS, you can have an app, but you would probably want to keep the smartphone in airplane mode most of of the time to save the battery. But if you wanted a spot GPS reading, you could take a reading, then disable it once again to save battery strength. One of the reasons I don't carry a GPS much is the necessity to change batteries often if you leave it on all day long. And I always carry map and compass regardless, so I have gone back to just taking the map and compass and leaving the GPS at home.
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Re: I-Phone vs. Samsung Galaxy(Android)- Backpacking

Postby markskor » Sat Sep 13, 2014 9:58 am

richlong8 wrote:... so I have gone back to just taking the map and compass and leaving the GPS at home.

Thinking much the same, I carried a Garmin Geko GPS for 5 years - used it twice.
Even off-trail there seldom was any need, and as to just leaving crumbs (having an exact track of the route covered for perusal later), it just ate up the batteries...map & compass works.

Mostly, (since I have no say anyway), I just follow behind Mike.
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Re: I-Phone vs. Samsung Galaxy(Android)- Backpacking

Postby hjldennis » Wed Sep 17, 2014 10:57 pm

I carry my Samsung Galaxy as a watch, backup camera, notes, documents (I take photos of papers that I otherwise would carry), maps, gps, etc. If I have it on airplane mode, the battery lasts a few days. Occasional use of GPS on downloaded free topo map works very accurately, as accurate as any stand alone gps units. I do carry critical stuff like maps and compass in case of failure. I've been thinking about solar charger but I have yet to go on a long trip that would require that. Just an extra battery plus portable battery pack which also charges camera, gopro, steripen etc.
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Re: I-Phone vs. Samsung Galaxy(Android)- Backpacking

Postby shtinkypuppie » Tue Oct 14, 2014 4:46 am

I carry a Galaxy S4. It's my GPSr, (extra) topo map, notepad, clock, alarm clock, game platform, audiobook player, backcountry weather-checker, text-mom-to-tell-her-I'm-OKer, camera, and a couple other things.

Yes, they are excellent GPSr alternatives. I own a Garmin Oregon 550, and haven't carried it in years because of the superiority of the Galaxy and apps like Trimble and Orux.

As for Galaxy vs. iPhone, the biggest issue for me is the swappable battery. I did the math on energy per gram for solar charger, battery pack, or spare batteries a while back. I found that carrying a few spare batteries was far, far more weight efficient than the other options, even on a 24-day JMT hike.
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Re: I-Phone vs. Samsung Galaxy(Android)- Backpacking

Postby Brien » Sat Oct 25, 2014 8:26 am

I like backpacking with my iPhone. I have a variety of Navigation apps and resources I find useful. Plus occasionally I'll get signal and can check-in with the wife.

As for the inability to replace the battery in the iPhone, that's really a minor issue nowadays. There are lots of external batteries in a variety of capacities. I just got one of these a few months ago. It'll recharge the phone a couple of times on one charge plus has a solar panel for an emergency.

http://www.amazon.com/Levin-trade-Rain-resistant-Shockproof-Portable/dp/B00JEGLLI6/ref=sr_1_5?s=wireless&ie=UTF8&qid=1414250466&sr=1-5&keywords=solar+battery+charger" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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