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Old 08-07-2021, 08:54   #1
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Best Smart Phones for Cruisers

My phone has just died so I need to replace it. Since I hope to be heading south at the end of November, upgrading to one that will be the best compromise between service (i.e. apps) and cost seem like reasonable criteria. I'm sure this has been covered elsewhere, but I am unwilling to search through nearly 400 pages of threads to find this particular needle in this particular haystack. Two simple questions:

(1) I-phone or Android?
(2) Best/favorite models in both categories.

Thanks,

William Clark
Fredericksburg, VA
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Old 08-07-2021, 09:47   #2
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Re: Best Smart Phones for Cruisers

Get one that is waterproof (IP-67 / 30 min @ 1m is good enough)
Get one for the apps you prefer and already paid for. Some people are into Android, some drank the Apple cool-aid.
Get one you're willing to afford.
Small bonus: A nice camera can be useful too.

For me this meant an iPhone SE.
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Old 08-07-2021, 10:47   #3
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Re: Best Smart Phones for Cruisers

I really like the specs on the Cat (as in, Caterpillar; the diesel people) smart phones.

I'm sort of waiting for my current phone to give up the ghost (or go for a swim) so I can justify the purchase.
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Old 08-07-2021, 12:37   #4
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Re: Best Smart Phones for Cruisers

Decide if you want Apple or Android. Obviously Android give you more choices and can cost less but if you are an Apple person, you don't care.

Go onto Amazon and look at specs and prices (don't bother with waterproof, IP67, it will only limit your choices). If you see something interesting, google that phone and read the reviews.

You do want "unlocked" so you can buy sim cards everywhere you go.

Avoid contracts and "plans", buy local service. it will be much cheaper.

My wife and I recently purchased Xiaomi phones (Redmi 7 and Redmi 8) because we liked the screens, the looks of the phone and the great cameras, and the huge battery capacity (we recharge them about once in 5 days) for about $250 each. They are fantastic.
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Old 09-07-2021, 09:05   #5
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Re: Best Smart Phones for Cruisers

All good suggestions above and Android I believe is more amenable for Aps for cruisers. For $250 I also purchased a Titan from www.unihertz.com . It's a bullet proof, water proof big screen device sporting two SIM chip capabilities...good for country hopping. I also have several chart suppliers loaded. INavX and openCPN. A large Qwerty keyboard insures no mis typing when sailing in lumpy seas! Cheers
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Old 09-07-2021, 09:13   #6
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Re: Best Smart Phones for Cruisers

And don’t forget the carrier. Not all “bars” are equal, but that’s a whole separate thread…
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Old 09-07-2021, 09:29   #7
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Re: Best Smart Phones for Cruisers

Quote:
Originally Posted by dadster3 View Post
My phone has just died so I need to replace it. Since I hope to be heading south at the end of November, upgrading to one that will be the best compromise between service (i.e. apps) and cost seem like reasonable criteria. I'm sure this has been covered elsewhere, but I am unwilling to search through nearly 400 pages of threads to find this particular needle in this particular haystack. Two simple questions:

(1) I-phone or Android?
(2) Best/favorite models in both categories.

Thanks,

William Clark
Fredericksburg, VA
I would 2nd the iPhone SE. Less than $400 (64GB) and durable enough - mine has been dropped hard a few times, (with light 'leather' case from Apple) and underwater once in 1 ft. saltwater for 10 seconds.
Small and fairly light.
But be warned that as a retired hippie, I have had a sip of the 'Apple Cool-Aid'.
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Old 09-07-2021, 09:57   #8
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Re: Best Smart Phones for Cruisers

I got the iPhone SE also. It has GPS/Gmss and all the gyro/accelerometer/ barometer/compass, etc., instruments built in. It’s IP67 already. But I don’t trust electronic connections like the lightning connector in sea water. So I bought the waterproof, shockproof SPIDERCASE from Amazon for $20. The case gives it a grippy outside to easily hold on to. And I did the same for my IPad. The cases stay where you put them pretty well on flat surfaces too. No loss from falling out of your pocket. The two share info and apps really well so it helps with charts and ROR files. Recommended.
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Old 09-07-2021, 10:38   #9
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Re: Best Smart Phones for Cruisers

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You do want "unlocked" so you can buy sim cards everywhere you go.
Not only unlocked but check the transmission bands in the areas you will be in.

Picked up a phone overseas, used it in 8 different countries...got back to the USA and it doesn't match the bands used by the US carriers.

Honestly, unless you have specific needs, I would go with the cheapest name brand phone you can find that will work with the providers system.

Unless you are already sucked into the apple ecosystem and need it for continuity, I would go android.
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Old 09-07-2021, 11:15   #10
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Re: Best Smart Phones for Cruisers

Iím grateful for my iPhone 12. Three days ago, I was careless and had to dive for it in 10 feet off the quay in Vathi, Ithaca. Was able to grab it after 5 mins, and use it immediately! Water resistant, good camera and lots of storage - everything I need. Next time Iíll buy one jailbroke, however, so I can use a local SIM card rather than having to get a separate data hotspot.
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Old 09-07-2021, 11:41   #11
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Re: Best Smart Phones for Cruisers

Note to Apple slaves. Most I Phones DO NOT have "real" GPS hardware built in. Your GPS position is being derived from cellular triangulation.
So sailing offshore/out of range of cell towers, your charts if loaded, will not provide your position.
Cheers
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Old 09-07-2021, 11:53   #12
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Re: Best Smart Phones for Cruisers

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So sailing offshore/out of range of cell towers, your charts if loaded, will not provide your position.
Cheers
It doesn't matter whether this is true or not because using the internal GPS isn't that great anyway. I use the nmea over wifi anyway.
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Old 09-07-2021, 13:34   #13
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Re: Best Smart Phones for Cruisers

The phone's specs should indicate whether or not it has a GPS receiver. Any phone I've used in the past several years, iOS or Android, has had as good a GPS receiver as any other device on board. The only exception is the iPad bug where it shuts off the GPS if you're moving too slowly (like at sailboat or trawler speeds!) Not sure if iOS phones have the same bug, I'm mostly an Android guy.

My point is, of course if it doesn't have a GPS receiver, it's sort of useless. But if it does, you can trust it as much as any other electronics.
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Old 09-07-2021, 13:48   #14
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Re: Best Smart Phones for Cruisers

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Decide if you want Apple or Android. Obviously Android give you more choices and can cost less but if you are an Apple person, you don't care.

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Old 09-07-2021, 13:51   #15
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Re: Best Smart Phones for Cruisers

We've been using an unlocked ZTE zip as a phone and 24/7 mobile hotspot for 5 years now.
$40
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