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Old 09-05-2020, 14:10   #1
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Rugged phone as backup plotter?

I was wondering if anyone using a cheapish brand (doogee, blackview, oukitel, ulefone, etc) rugged phone as backup or even main plotter? I am looking for a reliable backup, unfortunately my tablet (samsung Tab A) is having gps signal issues, not waterproof and the screen is way too dim compared to my phone.

I think i could work with the 6"ish screen size, my Lowrance is 5"...
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Old 09-05-2020, 15:43   #2
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Re: Rugged phone as backup plotter?

Excellent idea! If you search around, there are plenty of old Samsung Active models from S6 to S8 still available in new to manufacturer refurbished condition. These are fantastic. I've purchased about 7 of these. I had an S7 Active as my primary phone for a while that is now sitting at the bottom of the ocean somewhere and currently have an S6 active that is used in the cockpit as the chartplotter and gauges when I'm not sitting at the helm mounted plotter. It's also used as a mini tablet, the controller for the drone and the camera to use in hostile environments. It also acts as my backup phone if my primary phone breaks. The other phones went to a bunch of Nuns for use as mini tablets and ip phones in their aged care facility to replace the standard phones that had short life spans because staff kept dropping them. So far, not one has bit the dust.

And best of all, you can pick them up cheap as chips.
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Old 09-05-2020, 23:20   #3
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Re: Rugged phone as backup plotter?

Thank you, I'll check for the s8. This side of the pond I haven't seen refurb units just the new xcover pro, which sells 2+x more expensive as the chinese ones above and still has a much smaller battery.

The xcover 4s has a reasonable price tag but the battery is miserably small, SoC is ancient (likely worse in power efficiency than the mediatek stuff) and I'd prefer something bigger than 5".
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Old 10-05-2020, 15:17   #4
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Re: Rugged phone as backup plotter?

Try eBay. There's always some to be found there. I never buy new phones because they are always on borrowed time with me so I have an S8 as my current phone purchased NOS and it's not a bad piece of gear that still holds up well.
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Old 10-05-2020, 15:25   #5
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Re: Rugged phone as backup plotter?

We have just bought one of these:

https://www.visitmyharbour.com/ip68-tablet-plotter/

GPS, phone, camera and chart package for £140 (there are no free charts for UK).

Have to say it works well in daylight and the GPS tells me I am moving around the garden. The cheap price is down to the OS being slightly older version, but that's fine, I wanted a portable chart plotter that is bomb proof to survive use in the cockpit.

Ought to be second hand ones available in the US.
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Old 10-05-2020, 16:18   #6
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Re: Rugged phone as backup plotter?

Thank you Pete, seems very solid! However, I am trying to hunt down something with a bit stronger internals, 1GB RAM might become an issue. I wish there were more, contemporary rugged tablets around.
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Old 10-05-2020, 20:36   #7
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Re: Rugged phone as backup plotter?

My suggestion would be a modern prepaid phone. They cost $29-$49 in the US, you do not need to activate it. Then you couple it with a Bluetooth or WiFi serial converter to get your autopilot and sensor information. Good apps to load include a weather routing app, a regular weather app, a navigation app (Seapilot), then you are set.
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Old 11-05-2020, 07:40   #8
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Re: Rugged phone as backup plotter?

Check AGM A9. Really good for 190$ https://es.aliexpress.com/item/32962...archweb201603_

If money is not an issue... then Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro is great option.
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Old 11-05-2020, 08:36   #9
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Re: Rugged phone as backup plotter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Username25 View Post
Check AGM A9. Really good for 190$ https://es.aliexpress.com/item/32962...archweb201603_

If money is not an issue... then Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro is great option.
Shipping seems to cost 200$...
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Old 11-05-2020, 09:07   #10
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Re: Rugged phone as backup plotter?

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Shipping seems to cost 200$...
Free to all EU countries. Where are you based?
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Old 11-05-2020, 09:17   #11
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Re: Rugged phone as backup plotter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTom View Post
Thank you, I'll check for the s8. This side of the pond I haven't seen refurb units just the new xcover pro, which sells 2+x more expensive as the chinese ones above and still has a much smaller battery.

The xcover 4s has a reasonable price tag but the battery is miserably small, SoC is ancient (likely worse in power efficiency than the mediatek stuff) and I'd prefer something bigger than 5".



I would stick with the S7 active as it has 3 hard buttons on the bottom. Just be careful when you look at them to check the condition of the screen. If it says some image burn or something like that, look elsewhere. These have a problem with a vertical pink or green line on the right side of the screen. It is a mechanical issue not software so the screen needs to be replaced. I love the S7 active and am on my 4th as two have gone for a deep swim. It is getting tougher to find a good one though.

BTW The S7 active was an AT&T phone so the little corner phone screen guy probably wont have parts for it.
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Old 11-05-2020, 09:23   #12
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Re: Rugged phone as backup plotter?

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Originally Posted by Username25 View Post
Free to all EU countries. Where are you based?
My mistake, I was behind vpn, seems free shipping now
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Old 11-05-2020, 09:50   #13
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Re: Rugged phone as backup plotter?

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My mistake, I was behind vpn, seems free shipping now
There is additional -$5.00 coupon. Please keep in mind, this version is with Google GMS for Russia. It works perfectly fine in EU, but due to Russian regulations it is possible to get rid of some Google stuff. I got this version (32GB) just because of import tax threshold and later added SD card, so I would suggest EU version (ask seller) with more memory (64GB) https://www.aliexpress.com/item/3297...db7c5a9bZUuhfm
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Old 11-05-2020, 11:42   #14
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Re: Rugged phone as backup plotter?

I have a Blackview running Navionics as a back up. Previous owner used an Iphone as a primary navigation tool. Prefer a larger screen but as a back up ( or with my glasses on) works great.
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Old 11-05-2020, 13:11   #15
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Re: Rugged phone as backup plotter?

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I have a Blackview running Navionics as a back up. Previous owner used an Iphone as a primary navigation tool. Prefer a larger screen but as a back up ( or with my glasses on) works great.
Thank you, how much does the navionics app drain the battery? I tried it on my s7 edge 2 years ago, I recall maybe 2 hours and the phone was flat while landside navigation apps like google maps lasted 5 hours easily.
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