Smart Phone Map App VS Dedicated GPS Device

I have recently spent a lot of time trying to decide if I want to replace my trusty Garmin nuvi GPS with a newer model or simply join the rest of the world and usemap an app on my smartphone to get me to where I need to go. We are getting ready for our first RV road trip of the season and I have decided that it may be time to upgrade my GPS to something newer. Following hours of research and personal testing here are a few of the deciding factors that helped me make my decision.

Stand Alone GPS Device-

  • Price approx. $100-and up
  • Dedicated device
  • Features are easy to use
  • Maps must be updated
  • Roadside locations are easy to find

Smart Phone App-

  • App is $FREE-and up
  • Map app is shared with other apps running on your phone
  • Features can be a bit confusing
  • Map data is updated on the fly (so long as you have a cell signal)
  • Directions can reroute you around traffic problems as they occur
  • Routes and Places can be shared

After weighing all these things, I decided to save my money and go with a Smart Phone App. I really like how some of the apps will direct you around traffic problems in your path. I know that a GPS with traffic updates will do the same thing but not as quickly and only in areas where it is available. Some apps even give you real-time updates on traffic events as they occur.

Another feature that I like is you can save your routes and places and make them available to you on your other devices. You can also share this information with others if you like.

Honestly, I was leaning towards just replacing my Garmin GPS Device. I have really enjoyed having my nuvi help me get down the road all these years; it has been a very trusty friend. However, I felt like the cost of a few hundred bucks would have been more wisely spent on something else (like in my fuel tank).

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