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Old 24 Sep 2008
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Location: Buckinghanshire, UK
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Blackberry with GPS?

Is anyone using a Blackberry, or similar device with a intergrated GPS receiver?

This seems like a useful gadget, cell phone, e mail and GPS all in one device.

Am not looking for turn by turn directions but rather just an electronic map that shows your current position.

Does anyone have experience, good or bad, with these types of devices.

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Old 24 Sep 2008
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I've just picked up the new BB Bold, with GPS etc.. I've used one for years for mail etc, so won't comment on that except to say I still believe it to be far and away the best push email system out there..

haven't tested the GPS fully with the bike yet, but have used it in the car. My observations so far:

- I actually got 2 sets of mapping software, Blackberry's own and Vodafone sat Nav (generic for any VF handset with a GPS). I've only used the VF version so far..

- being a phone, you get instant traffic updates all the time, and they seemed pretty accurate..

- the screen is obviously smaller than a dedicated unit but maps are still clear and easy to read/scroll although speed of scrolling etc is slower than dedicated GPS units.

- voice directions are clear and timely.. no last minute "turn left NOW!.."

- the routes are actually calculated by the VF server, not the handheld, so it takes a few moments to request and download the route data after you've programmed destination etc... this then is repeated every time you go off route, or set a new destination etc..so slows the operation up.

- GPS accuracy seems ok, but I've yet to test it against a Garmin or similar..

- using the GPS seemed to drain the battery pretty quick!

In all, I think the GPS is a nice extra feature to have if you want the device anyway for email etc.

As I doubt there are any secure mounting systems (and it's not weather/drop proof), so it won't work very well as a unit for use on the bike, but I will try it out this week connected to my Autocom and see if 'voice only' direction are any good..

To answer your question, as a tool just for locating yourself on a map when out and about, I think it would be fine.. but as I say, unless you want one anyway (or can get one on a free upgrade ) I'd suggest you might as well just buy a cheap dedicated GPS!

hope this helps!

Last edited by Gadge; 24 Sep 2008 at 15:07. Reason: spelin
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Old 24 Sep 2008
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Location: UK
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oh, and meant to say I believe you can download and install Google maps, which then means you should probably also read this thread..

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Old 24 Sep 2008
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Norn' Iron'
Posts: 89
XDA Orbit

I have an o2 XDA orbit which I've been very happy with for some time now. There is a newer version which adds 3g and a faster processor but I'm happy enough with mine to have not changed.

The big advantage is that it runs Windows Mobile and you can download tons of stuff for it. It makes a perfect travel tool that I just happen to always have with me. On more than one occasion its saved my sorry from a silly mistake. E.g. middle of nowhere, nearly out of petrol, what now? Oh yeah! my GPS is in my pocket...

Theres tons of software out there for it to do things like translation, tide tables, use it as a memory stick, currency converter, mp3/video player, even a guitar tuner!

The phone can run the likes of tomtom or co-pilot. I run a free program called gpsvp which I have a worldmap for (major roads only). This also lets me log my gps tracks (which can be used to geotag photos etc) and gives info like distance, speed etc.

On top of this I have a bluetooth folding keyboard giving me email/web/word processor etc. The phone also has wifi and a micro-sd card slot (although its fiddly to get at - better in the newer version). This means I can transfer pics from my phone (using a micro sd adaptor) to the phone and then upload them to the web using the wifi.

I've not used this in anger on a big trip yet but I do think it means I won't need a bulky laptop although it would be nice to have a big screen.

Belfast to Kathmandu on a Diesel motorbike 2010/11 www.suckindiesel.com
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