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Gadget's Gadget Guide

Postby postholer » Wed Aug 27, 2008 11:04 am

The hiker known as 'Gadget' has created an exhaustive guide for mobile users. This is a must read for anyone planning on using a mobile device on their hike.

http://postholer.com/smartPhone.html

A big thank you to Gadget for making this available to us. You can visit his 2008 PCT journal at: http://postholer.com/brianle

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Postby p-fitz » Wed Aug 27, 2008 12:00 pm

Great guide Gadget. Thank you. I read it quickly, but I wasn't able to tell what specific phone you used. What did you use? I-phone?
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Postby brianle » Sun Sep 20, 2009 6:39 am

Gads, sorry for the very delayed reply --- I was still hiking the PCT at the time, and just spaced this out later.

I don't recommend the phone I used (and still use), but it's an ETEN Glofiish model M700. Yes, that's two letter 'i's in the word Glofiish. I think it's a Taiwanese or other Chinese company with, at least when I last looked, truly the worst customer service I've ever encountered. As far as I could tell, the info they provide is designed to ensure that the customer can never connect with a human being. The device has various warts, design flaws, which I've fortunately learned to work with or work around.

The reason I got this specific device --- after a lot of research! --- was that at the time it was the only one I could find that had a true GPS with a good (and specified) GPS chipset (SiRF Star III) as well as all the other features I wanted --- removeable batteries, built-in camera, etc etc.

If I were starting over now I'd look at the phones that AT&T and Verizon offer as part of signing up for a contract. If the cost of the contract isn't too high for you --- i.e., you were going for a contract anyway --- you can get a very substantial cost reduction in the phone itself that way. I payed full cost for my phone (ouch) as no one in the U.S. was offering it.
I read an article recently, I think by Wired magazine that lamented the fact that while Verizon has a great network, they seem to offer the lamest phones; I don't know if that's true from the perspective of a hiker, however. I think their current standard bearer for smartphones is the Blackberry, and Halfmile seemed to like his quite well when I hiked with him a bit last year.

I-phone: I didn't consider one when I was choosing mine because it had just come out and at the time had neither a removable battery nor a true GPS. I think the latter feature has been added (?), but I'm not sure about the former. If you have an alternative way to power up your device that you're happy with, then no worries, but I personally wouldn't want to be on a trip of any length without being able to carry a spare battery or two.

Again, sorry for the very late reply!


Brian Lewis / Gadget '08
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