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Smart Phone for Geocaching? -Galaxy Centura

 
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RyanLisaKayla
Geocacher


Joined: 10 Aug 2011

Posts: 162

PostPosted: Tue Nov 19, 2013 11:55 pm    Post subject: Smart Phone for Geocaching? -Galaxy Centura Reply with quote

We are still in the dark ages with "dumb" phones (they have SLOW internet, but they aren't smart, and we can't get anything geocaching related on them). The majority of the time, this suits our needs just fine, so we have a tough time swallowing the prospect of our monthly cell bill doubling just to get a smart phone. But, the one time it is a bit of an inconvenience is when we go on a long geocaching trip. I have to be very diligent in planning, because our GPSr can only hold 1000 caches at a time, and we have no way to see if there are any caches in the area "on the fly". I would love to have that abiliity.

I was just looking through the Wal Mart Black Friday add, and I see they will have the "Galaxy Centura" "Straight Talk" android phone for only $29, and then it is only $45 for unlimited everything per month, with no contract. So, I could see paying $29 for the phone and then $45 only on the few months when it would come in handy for something like this (and then just staying on our "dumb phone" plan for the rest of the time). What do you think? Would that work? Would the geocaching app work on this phone or is it too low end?

Thanks!
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WestSideDaddy
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 06 Apr 2010

Posts: 560

PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 7:25 am    Post subject: Re: Smart Phone for Geocaching? -Galaxy Centura Reply with quote

RyanLisaKayla wrote:
We are still in the dark ages with "dumb" phones (they have SLOW internet, but they aren't smart, and we can't get anything geocaching related on them). The majority of the time, this suits our needs just fine, so we have a tough time swallowing the prospect of our monthly cell bill doubling just to get a smart phone. But, the one time it is a bit of an inconvenience is when we go on a long geocaching trip. I have to be very diligent in planning, because our GPSr can only hold 1000 caches at a time, and we have no way to see if there are any caches in the area "on the fly". I would love to have that abiliity.

I was just looking through the Wal Mart Black Friday add, and I see they will have the "Galaxy Centura" "Straight Talk" android phone for only $29, and then it is only $45 for unlimited everything per month, with no contract. So, I could see paying $29 for the phone and then $45 only on the few months when it would come in handy for something like this (and then just staying on our "dumb phone" plan for the rest of the time). What do you think? Would that work? Would the geocaching app work on this phone or is it too low end?

Thanks!


Last year when I went to Florida, I bought a cheap android smart phone with service from boost mobile who actually have daily plan rates. I carry it with me all the time and can use it for everything as long as I can get on WIFI, and on those occasions I want to make sure I have access then I just charge my account for the days I want.

I already have a phone from work (blackberry, yuck) so this works for me, but just another alternative to carry a smart phone without having to necessarily get a new service plan.
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bflentje
Geocacher


Joined: 29 May 2006

Posts: 4039

PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 8:38 am    Post subject: Re: Smart Phone for Geocaching? -Galaxy Centura Reply with quote

WestSideDaddy wrote:
RyanLisaKayla wrote:
We are still in the dark ages with "dumb" phones (they have SLOW internet, but they aren't smart, and we can't get anything geocaching related on them). The majority of the time, this suits our needs just fine, so we have a tough time swallowing the prospect of our monthly cell bill doubling just to get a smart phone. But, the one time it is a bit of an inconvenience is when we go on a long geocaching trip. I have to be very diligent in planning, because our GPSr can only hold 1000 caches at a time, and we have no way to see if there are any caches in the area "on the fly". I would love to have that abiliity.

I was just looking through the Wal Mart Black Friday add, and I see they will have the "Galaxy Centura" "Straight Talk" android phone for only $29, and then it is only $45 for unlimited everything per month, with no contract. So, I could see paying $29 for the phone and then $45 only on the few months when it would come in handy for something like this (and then just staying on our "dumb phone" plan for the rest of the time). What do you think? Would that work? Would the geocaching app work on this phone or is it too low end?

Thanks!


Last year when I went to Florida, I bought a cheap android smart phone with service from boost mobile who actually have daily plan rates. I carry it with me all the time and can use it for everything as long as I can get on WIFI, and on those occasions I want to make sure I have access then I just charge my account for the days I want.

I already have a phone from work (blackberry, yuck) so this works for me, but just another alternative to carry a smart phone without having to necessarily get a new service plan.


You elitist you..
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dornole
Geocacher


Joined: 03 Apr 2006

Posts: 459

PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd check the offer to make sure you can jump on and off plan for that $45 a month rate . . . more typically, you'd have a 2 year contract (24 mos x $45 = $1080) to get a cheap smart phone.

Also check the provider data service map to see how good coverage is in the areas you'd like to cache.
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RyanLisaKayla
Geocacher


Joined: 10 Aug 2011

Posts: 162

PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dornole wrote:
I'd check the offer to make sure you can jump on and off plan for that $45 a month rate . . . more typically, you'd have a 2 year contract (24 mos x $45 = $1080) to get a cheap smart phone.

Also check the provider data service map to see how good coverage is in the areas you'd like to cache.


It says right on the ad that there is no contract to sign (other phones do have an * by them that mean a contract, but this one advertises none - it is just a Black Friday special, regularly $99, now $29), so that should mean no 2 year thing. I think how it works is you buy some kind of card or something (like one of those phone calling cards you could buy) and then you use it on a month you want and buy another if you want to do another month, and so on. So, I'm assuming you can jump on and off but will make sure.

Regarding the service map, they say it is the same networks but I'm not sure how that is possible or if it is really that good. I looked at the map and there seems to be some gaps, but not too bad. I also looked into that "Boost Mobile" plan, which seems to go off of Sprint's towers. Sprint is who we have now, and that isn't bad but isn't the greatest either, so I'm thinking the "Straight Talk" towers might be better?
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dornole
Geocacher


Joined: 03 Apr 2006

Posts: 459

PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not sure - but make sure you know if you're looking at a talk map or a data map, the coverage can be different. If it's really no contract and easy to hop on and off, you don't have a lot to lose by trying it.
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schmittfamily
Geocacher


Joined: 21 Sep 2012

Posts: 113

PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I would much rather try a high terrain Boreal Walker cache than going to Walmart on Black Friday trying to buy a loss leader. Just seems a lot safer.

In terms of being able to look things up when out and about - it seems like a reasonable entry point. It has GPS/data/Android/etc so there is little reason to believe it won't run the groundspeak app.

It is running Qualcomm's low end processor so it is probably safe to assume the GPS performance is going to suffer. I have a personal paranoia that Black Friday low cost electronics contain binned parts (IE the parts they know they can't sell full price).

To explain the processor comment, my understanding is the GPS chip typically does the receiving of the signals from the satellite. It may do a number of the correction factors but to really get to the sub 10 foot accuracy, the GPS chip has to farm out a lot of the heavy computation to the CPU (things like dopler shift, signal bounce, signal echoing, etc). So in the end, the CPU is the limiting factor in the refresh rate.

Then again - we all know the most accurate GPS is the one in our hands and everyone else's is wrong. Using that line of thinking it will be awesome.

The only review I could find on the Centura mentioning geocaching complained about the compass not being accurate. Didn't mention the location refresh rate although it means someone did get some geocaching app working on it.

So in short - it should work but it is low cost entry point.



PS - I am really concerned the autocorrect on my computer capitalizes Black Friday.
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RyanLisaKayla
Geocacher


Joined: 10 Aug 2011

Posts: 162

PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

schmittfamily wrote:
Well I would much rather try a high terrain Boreal Walker cache than going to Walmart on Black Friday trying to buy a loss leader. Just seems a lot safer.


Haha... Not long ago, I would have totally agreed with you. I NEVER did any Black Friday shopping at all, because I always thought there was no deal on earth worth going through that. But then we were in WI for Thanksgiving a couple years ago and Kayla had fallen asleep in the car on our way to WI Dells after the family festivities. Both of us were still pretty awake and this was a year that Black Friday started at Midnight, so we decided, what the heck, I was curious what all the hubbub was about, so we took turns going in to check it out while the other manned the car. It was so totally overwhelming at first that I had the urge to turn around and head back to the car, but there was no going against the flow of the herd. Through it all, I saw the value in the deals. The next year, Black "Friday" started at 10pm on Thursday night, so we decided to check out a small town Wal-Mart closer to the family festivities. This was actually very nice. No pushing or shoving or even THAT many people, and everything we wanted to get was easily accessible without standing in any lines or very short lines (even the big ticket items). SO, now it is a family tradition to end our Thanksgiving day at that small town WI Wal-Mart. It also gives us an opportunity to stock up on Packers gear that isn't as readily available here. Wink

Anyway, that aside, thanks for all the info. I don't think I'd use a smart phone to actually do the geocaching - would still use the GPSr for that (for the accuracy) - but more just to find out what caches are in the area where we are. Sometimes we get off our planned route going somewhere unexpected or couldn't find the cache we planned for a particular county or what not, etc., and that would be very useful.

One thing I've learned since I posted this is that there is apparently no roaming allowed on these plans. I'm a little concerned about that. We roam quite a bit with our current phones...
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AustinMN
Geocacher


Joined: 21 Mar 2012

Posts: 110

PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RyanLisaKayla wrote:
...there was no going against the flow of the herd...


Reading that was enough to keep me away from Black Friday for another ten or fifteen years. Confused

Austin
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RyanLisaKayla
Geocacher


Joined: 10 Aug 2011

Posts: 162

PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AustinMN wrote:
RyanLisaKayla wrote:
...there was no going against the flow of the herd...


Reading that was enough to keep me away from Black Friday for another ten or fifteen years. Confused

Austin


Keep in mind that was the WI Dells Wal-Mart, that is a big and busy one to begin with on a normal day due to all of the tourists. Add Black Friday to the mix, especially with people that are already on vacation, and it was craziness.

The smaller town one was not like that at all. No herd. Not even really a huge crowd. Not sure what it would be like in a metro area here in MN as I've never been...
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