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Phone discussion

Old 11-27-23, 10:29 AM
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Phone discussion

Thought that I'd start a thread about how people are using phones on their bikes - what phones you are using, what apps, what mounts, etc...

There are plenty of threads debating phones vs bike computers vs. Garmin. Let's not debate that here.

This is for folks who have chosen to use phones on their bikes.

I'll start...

I've been using my old (no data plan, wifi only) Galaxy S9+ in a Punk Case on my bicycle and motorcycle trips (I like having a single unit for both activities). I've been using Quad Lock mounts. Osmand for navigation. YouTube Music. Both with downloaded maps and songs On shorter rides, no problem with battery. On trips, a midday charge is usually sufficient. Or just attach it to a battery bank while touring.



My girlfriend needs a unit so I just got this Fossibot 101 rugged phone on sale for $120 with a massive 10,600Mah battery and an oversized speaker on the back. With the massive battery and smaller screen, it should last all day. But boy is it heavy - over 330 grams. So heavy that Quad Lock says it's too heavy for their mounting system. Still setting up and ordered a different mount. It's a slower MediaTek processor but it should be fast enough for navigation. Let's see how it goes...




What about you? What's your setup.
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Old 11-27-23, 10:47 AM
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If you have no data plan, are you still able to call 911 in an emergency?

If so, that sounds like an ideal option.

To address the question, I drag my cutting-edge iPhone SE v. 1 along with me, but usually only use the camera and rarely the text messaging apps.
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Old 11-27-23, 10:57 AM
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Maybe too good to be true? Does that phone work on any network in the US?
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Old 11-27-23, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Polaris OBark
If you have no data plan, are you still able to call 911 in an emergency?

If so, that sounds like an ideal option.
You don't need a data plan to call 911. And I usually have my regular phone in my pocket. I usually don't mount it on the bike because the vibrations can kill the camera and it's good to have it on you in case you fall and are separated from the bike. That said, I did just use my regular phone on my last trip to safe space and reduce the number of devices that needed a charge every night.

Originally Posted by Polaris OBark
Maybe too good to be true? Does that phone work on any network in the US?
It's 4G only and not all 4G networks, i e., not CDMA. Only GSM I think.
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Old 11-27-23, 11:42 AM
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Thanks. My daughter destroys her phone every 6 months, so I thought that this could be the solution. Maybe it is...

It sounds ideal for your use case.
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Old 11-27-23, 11:45 AM
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Screen brightness so you can see the screen in the bright sun. How is it.
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Old 11-27-23, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Rick
Screen brightness so you can see the screen in the bright sun. How is it.
this is a good question, my last phone didn't have enough screen brightness to be seen outside, even with my hand shading the screen. Could be really infuriating when I was expecting a text. My pixel is okay in the sun.
I have tried to use my phone with rwgps to navigate. It worked, but I could never get it loud enough to be useful, I had to be able to see the screen. Worked pretty well in the dark.
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Old 11-27-23, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Rick
Screen brightness so you can see the screen in the bright sun. How is it.
​​​​​​Still waiting for the phone mount to test. But it's cloudy and dark here until April so I won't really know until next Spring. It is noticably dimmer than my daily phone (Pixel 8) but I looked at while at the window when the sun briefly appeared and it seemed ok.

Originally Posted by unterhausen
this is a good question, my last phone didn't have enough screen brightness to be seen outside, even with my hand shading the screen. Could be really infuriating when I was expecting a text. My pixel is okay in the sun.
I have tried to use my phone with rwgps to navigate. It worked, but I could never get it loud enough to be useful, I had to be able to see the screen. Worked pretty well in the dark.
One of the keys for me has been angling the screen to avoid glare. This phone has a huge speaker on back so turn by turn directions should be easy LOL.
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Old 11-27-23, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by john m flores
​​​​​​Still waiting for the phone mount to test. But it's cloudy and dark here until April so I won't really know until next Spring. It is noticably dimmer than my daily phone (Pixel 8) but I looked at while at the window when the sun briefly appeared and it seemed ok.



One of the keys for me has been angling the screen to avoid glare. This phone has a huge speaker on back so turn by turn directions should be easy LOL.
I have no problems at all with my
Galaxy S21 5G.
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Old 11-27-23, 08:28 PM
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I use my Samsung A14 w/5G mounted via Ram mount for everything. It was only 200 bucks retail, has a 5000 amp hour battery that gives me 10+ hours with a bright screen for running my cycle app plus Bt sensors, GPS, mp3 via Bt headphones and the phone/email/text notifications all going on as normal w/alerts through my ear buds. I don't do much picture taking so the Ram mount works great for me. It's in a rugged case plus Gorilla glass screen cover. Has worked flawlessly for almost a year now. On the rare occasions that I don't use it on the bike, the battery will go a week without needing a charge under normal use. My wife has to put her Iphone on the charger every night just with normal use. But I do like the size of her phone.
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Old 11-27-23, 08:40 PM
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iPhone on Quadlock running MapMyRide for at least 10 years now.
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Old 11-30-23, 11:56 AM
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Your choice seems like a good one, with a large battery and good speaker.
I take an iPhone X with me but it stays in my pocket. I tried to use it for navigation but it’s battery gets depleted quickly (doesn’t last for day long rides); screen brightness is inadequate on bright sunny days; speaker is adequate for quiet bike trails but not loud enough for busy city streets but since I avoid those as a plague, this only a theoretical limitation. 😉
I could have used an older phone that isn’t active any longer but the above-mentioned issues are even worse with them.
Perhaps I should look for an inexpensive phone in my area with two specific requirements, a bright screen and a fairly loud speaker. I could potentially power a thin and light phone (easy to mount on bike) with an external battery that could stay in a bag or strapped with a Velcro to frame somewhere conveniently.
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Old 11-30-23, 12:37 PM
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fwiw - recently got turned around in the forest. I wasn't far off course. but actually, I had no course, was exploring & didn't mind getting a "little" lost. before I got too far afield, I used the google maps app to show me where I was & what my options were for retuning to my car

did a screen capture, so I could piece together where I rode
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Old 11-30-23, 03:18 PM
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iPhone 12 mini with Quad Lock on the stem. Third iPhone gen using a Quad Lock over a ten-year span.
I put a thin squishy furniture pad on the case's attachment interface. Prevents it from rattling around.
I attached a rechargeable battery extension off the handlebar. Very lightweight. Holds a headlight, too.
It keeps my phone 100% charged with screen on Strava for three hours.
Leaves the phone with ample charge, even with the screen on well over another hour.
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Old 12-01-23, 08:22 AM
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One of the features of OSMand that I started using this year is the altitude profile of a route. It's been really handy balancing distance and climbing when planning a route.

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Old 12-05-23, 12:02 AM
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My riding is very utilitarian - I could not care less about the miles, power, or amount of calories I burn. The phone naturally integrates with the rest of my life and I get directions for my next destination straight from the agenda for my day.

Originally Posted by SpedFast
I use my Samsung A14 w/5G mounted via Ram mount for everything. It was only 200 bucks retail, has a 5000 amp hour battery that gives me 10+ hours with a bright screen for running my cycle app plus Bt sensors, GPS, mp3 via Bt headphones and the phone/email/text notifications all going on as normal w/alerts through my ear buds. I don't do much picture taking so the Ram mount works great for me. It's in a rugged case plus Gorilla glass screen cover. Has worked flawlessly for almost a year now. On the rare occasions that I don't use it on the bike, the battery will go a week without needing a charge under normal use. My wife has to put her Iphone on the charger every night just with normal use. But I do like the size of her phone.
I got a used A14 for $100 as my secondary phone, a 5G hotspot for a laptop, and possible bike navigation. At first, I was dismayed by its limited storage, but that storage forced me to remove redundant apps and thus sped up the phone, and dramatically reduced battery use. My dynamo feeds a USB charger, and for longer travel, I typically connect the phone to the charger, which stalls the battery drain to the level I cease to care about.

Originally Posted by john m flores
One of the features of OSMand that I started using this year is the altitude profile of a route. It's been really handy balancing distance and climbing when planning a route.
I maintain several navigation apps, and one that often beats OsmAnd is Mapy.cz. Of all places, I first started using it in the Czech Republic, but it shines elsewhere in the world. It typically gives you 3 routes to choose from, with altitude profiles, for your destination. The non-Google Maps apps often struggle with points of interest (POI). Sometimes, I get the coordinates of a POI under the Maps and then transfer them to the other app I want to use. In many areas of the world, Google Maps provides no bike routes. In other areas, those routes might not be optimal.
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