I currently own FOUR Samsung Note 3 phones. Have owned a Note 4, didn't like it, but not because of the GPS
. Also owned a Tab 2 7" and it worked great, but the Note 3 is a little more convenient. The GPS
seems to be every bit as accurate as a standalone dedicated GPS. I have a couple of BU353 pucks that I use with my Linux
laptops and there is zero difference in performance between them and my Note3 phones. I run OCPN on the phones, rather than use them as GPS units for the laptop
GPS doens't work
well inside a steel
vessel, though it is okay right in a window. Well, same with the USB puck
but you can always mount it topside. On a wood or fiberglass
yacht, a Samsung tablet properly set up and with charging
power available is a perfectly cromulent solution. And you can even use it to make phone
calls. Can't do that with most GPS machines!
Only caveat other than the power issue and the antenna
placement issue is redundancy. If GPS is your only means of determining position at sea, you really need at least two devices and two separate means of providing them with power. So many boats don't even carry paper charts
anymore (I don't) that even the fallback option of keeping a simple DR track is out.
But because you might want to use your phone to do other things, I would lean more toward a "real" GPS for everyday use and keep the phone configured and loaded with charts
for a backup. NOT because the GPS chip isn't as good... it is.
The BU353 USB GPS pucks are pretty cheap
. They play nicely with Linux
, and just need a driver to work
on WinDOHs. Probably works on Mac, too.
Of course, the cool thing about using your phone is you can stick it in a ziplock bag and use it in the cockpit
, no wires needed and completely portable, until the battery
dies. An external battery
in the baggie with the phone and you are good to go all day long. If it dies, pop down below and get your backup.