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View Full Version : Sygic app versus a real GPS



Michael Weber
10-14-2017, 12:04 AM
I've never used a real GPS. Sygic seems to work okay but sometimes comes up with weird routes. Wondering if anyone who has experience with Sygic and a dedicated GPS can tell me if I'm missing much. Sygic seemed to have a steep learning cure at least for me.

Matt Day
10-14-2017, 11:20 AM
I havenít used Sygic but have used ďrealĒ GPS like Garmin, etc. Iíve only been using Google Maps for driving for years now, never had a problem and it works great.

If you have a smartphone, I suggest trying google maps. Waze is good too.

Doug Garson
10-14-2017, 1:14 PM
Like Matt I haven't used Sygic (actually never heard of it before your post) but have used older Garmin GPS's and built in GPS systems in my 2009 Murano and wife's 2015 Mini and Google Maps. The newest Garmin I have used is probably 10 years old so the interface is probably better now (same for the Murano GPS) but I prefer Google maps to any of the GPS's. First the interface is superior, I can simply say "OK Google Lee Valley" and it will find the nearest store and navigate to it. Don't know if the latest Garmin or other brands of GPS can do that. Also Google Maps is constantly updating via the internet, I updated my Murano GPS 2 years ago and a major new road that opened about the same time is missing and will remain missing unless I buy a newer update DVD (which I won't). As I said, my Garmin GPS is older so don't know if they have adopted a live internet based data base vs DVD or download static data base. Plus with a phone based system it's one less gadget to carry and keep charged.

Ken Fitzgerald
10-14-2017, 2:25 PM
I prefer our Garmin GPS, my wife prefers her cellphone using Google maps.

I download updated maps for our Garmin GPS periodically.

It's really a matter of preference as far as I can see.

Lee Schierer
10-14-2017, 10:10 PM
I never heard of Sygic before this, but it looks like the app tracks all sorts of other things on your phone and has ads. I think I'll stick with my Garmin.

Jim Becker
10-15-2017, 10:04 AM
It's been many years since I had a stand-alone "dedicated" GPS device. While all of our vehicles have native NAV, keeping those maps up to date is expensive, so Google Maps and Apple Maps gets the nod pretty much 100% of the time. I prefer the former as I find Google updates things quicker and has more nimble re-routing than Apple Maps, but the latter is sometimes necessary since it's the default on iOS when you click through on an address for most other apps.

Doug Garson
10-15-2017, 12:01 PM
For those that prefer traditional GPS's like Garmin, what do you like about them over say Google maps?

Michael Weber
10-15-2017, 12:19 PM
Appreciate all the suggestions. I guess there are no Sygic users here so I'll explain a bit. There are no ads on Sygic if you pay the one time nominal fee for the features you want. I think I paid between 20 to 30 dollars. Unlike google maps or Waze it does not require wifi or cellular to work, only a GPS chip ( I'm using a small pad, easy to see) It uses Tom Tom maps which are downloaded into the used device beforehand. Maps are free to download and update. It has lane guidance, speed limit warnings, distance and direction of next turn, way points, alternate and custom routes and a dash cam. Dash cam is a feature that, assuming the device is mounted so it sees through the windshield, constantly records a 10 minute loop of video. One can save the video at any time or in case of a wreak or sudden stop it uses the devices accelerometer chip to save it automatically. Other features like traffic updates, speed trap warnings, etc probably do require a cellular connection. All the information I need is clearly displayed which I require as I can not understand voice directions. I'm not endorsing it in any way, just listing features so comparison to dedicated devices can be made. Further research and readings makes me believe I need not spend money on a dedicated device. Am I missing something a Garmin or similar offers?

Doug Garson
10-15-2017, 2:13 PM
Unlike google maps or Waze it does not require wifi or cellular to work, only a GPS chip
Don't know about Waze but google maps can be used without wifi or cellular, you can download maps using wifi or cellular data and then turn off wifi and cellular data while driving.

Lee Schierer
10-15-2017, 3:37 PM
For those that prefer traditional GPS's like Garmin, what do you like about them over say Google maps?

I like the fact that my GPS will work anywhere in the country even when there is no phone signal. Once you lose cell service many phone based apps don't work, Google Maps and others cease to work. We traveled extensively in Utah to see the five National Parks and rarely had cell service unless we were in a town, yet the GPS never lost signal.

You could probably test your driving app by running your phone in Airplane mode, where your don't get cell signal, and seeing if it still tracks your route.

Ken Fitzgerald
10-15-2017, 4:42 PM
We bought our Garmin GPS from Costco and they had a special going for $75, lifetime updates on maps. Any time we are getting ready for a major trip, I update the GPS. Recently we flew to St. Louis, rented a car and drove for over 1500 miles in the Illinois and Missouri areas. My GPS traveled with me and worked well.

It really is a matter of personal taste...it's subjective.

Art Mann
10-15-2017, 4:59 PM
Based on your description of what Sygic does, I don't think a stand alone GPS will do anything more for you. In fact, it will probably do less and cost more money. The one possible exception is screen size.

Jim Becker
10-15-2017, 5:49 PM
Google Maps and others cease to work.
Google Maps supports off-line maps. Of course, you need to know in advance that you'll be without cellular connection so you can pre-fetch maps and it already pre-fetches a reasonably large area based on your travel route which deals with any short outages. I do have a TomTom app that emulates a dedicated GPS device which I originally bought because of some business travel to area that at the time had poor signals, but I honestly haven't actually used it in years.

Matt Day
10-15-2017, 10:42 PM
Sounds like it has some interesting features. But, my phone is always in my pocket, a quick couple keys on google maps and Iím off. Itís too easy for me to not use it. Just like folks with in car navigation tend to just use their phone as Jim said - anything else seems clunky.

If it works for you - great! The larger size of a tablet would be nice admittedly.

John McClanahan
10-16-2017, 8:19 AM
I used to use a Garmin. I downloaded an app named "Copilot" to my iPad and started playing around with it. I got to liking it enough I bought the upgrade. The upgrade was about $10 and gives 3D maps on top of the standard 2D and gives voice prompts. There are no ads and it works offline, as long as your device has a built-in GPS. (wi-fi only iPads won't work offline) I gave the Garmin away.

Doug Garson
10-16-2017, 12:26 PM
You could probably test your driving app by running your phone in Airplane mode, where your don't get cell signal, and seeing if it still tracks your route.
If I recall, in airplane mode google maps will continue to track your route but you can't plot a new route. Next chance I get I'll test it and report back. I'm interested in this topic because we have a trip planned to Costa Rica in February and need to decide what type of GPS we are going to use.

Alan Rutherford
10-16-2017, 12:56 PM
I consider the GPS as part of the instrument panel and I refer to it constantly. Having the right display mounted in the right place is important to me. If I could do that with a phone or table, that might be OK but I like the dedicated GPS. The Garmin we'd had nearly 10 years died while we were out of town last week. I replaced it with a new Garmin Drive 50 LM 5 for about $130 at the Sam's Club next to the motel. I wasn't unhappy with the old one, but the interface on the new one is much improved. It works very smoothly, the touch screen is responsive. It will store routes as well as locations. It will interface with a camera.

I wish it had traffic information but it was the only GPS in the store. I installed Waze while sitting in a 4-hour freeway tieup last week but have since uninstalled it. Google Maps had good information. It would be much more useful on the GPS.

After looking into Sygic, I'll get that, too. $22.50 for lifetime maps & traffic on an Android is a no-brainer IMO, but it won't replace the GPS on the dash.

[Edit a few hours later: I installed Sygic and there's a lot to like about it, but compared to a Garmin GPS the interface is extremely primitive. It also gave me some astonishing route choices apparently based on rush-hour traffic and backups that were constantly changing. It will be useful but IMO there's no comparison to a real GPS.]

Doug Garson
10-17-2017, 1:42 PM
What is the user interface like on the current Garmins? An older one we have has voice recognition but you have to spell out the words letter by letter, you also need to know the address you want to input, you can't for example, just say "Holiday Inn Seattle".

Alan Rutherford
10-17-2017, 2:07 PM
I don't use voice recognition and I don't let it talk to me. My experience with the new one is one 17-hour trip last week (should have been 12 hours, that's why I want traffic) but within the limits of one-finger input capabilities, IMO it's pretty smooth. In addition to entering addresses, which works for us, you can navigate to any location you can get on the screen and you can find locations via search or scrolling. Scrolling is much easier than with my older one. I think you could find motels by location and category e.g. "lodging". It might depend somewhat on their advertising arrangements.

When the GPS and my wife get back in town I'll look at it. Maybe someone else can answer better. My point was that although the Garmin and Sygic cover the same bases, IMO Garmin does it better. Saving locations to favorites and editing them is high on my list of priorities and Sygic seems especially awkward for that unless I've completely missed something.

Alan Rutherford
10-17-2017, 2:19 PM
One important difference between a Garmin GPS made for a car and a cellphone app is that the GPS won't work unless it's plugged into the 12v socket in a car. You can't take it to your motel room and plug the USB connection into a laptop and do anything but update maps. There are workarounds and there is an internal battery that will work but I don't know how long - it's minutes in my old one. Just something to keep in mind.

Adam Herman
10-17-2017, 3:49 PM
Google Maps supports off-line maps. Of course, you need to know in advance that you'll be without cellular connection so you can pre-fetch maps and it already pre-fetches a reasonably large area based on your travel route which deals with any short outages. I do have a TomTom app that emulates a dedicated GPS device which I originally bought because of some business travel to area that at the time had poor signals, but I honestly haven't actually used it in years.

The offline maps work fine as long as you get them set up correctly with reasonable storage requirements and resolution. I download areas over seas before we go. worked in Laos, Vietnam, Paris and a few other areas in France. Will be using the feature this year for New Delhi, Daradune and a few other places in India where my service gets very expensive.