Lowest Cost GPS-Capable Device for Senior Citizen

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Kennedy
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Lowest Cost GPS-Capable Device for Senior Citizen

Post by Kennedy » Thu Nov 08, 2018 9:57 pm

I have a senior citizen friend who asked me to help her find the best bargain for a portable GPS-capable device to use when navigating in a car. She was referencing one of those hand-held GPS devices that were popular briefly before maps via cell phones took over.

She said right now she has a cell phone that she "re-fills" with a card at Walmart every three months. It sounds like she gets unlimited talk minutes for a cost of $30/three months ($10/month). She does not believe it comes with data.

As an alternative to a portable GPS unit, I'm wondering if there is a cheap, cheap cell phone she can purchase with a data plan that will allow her the occasional use of Google maps (or whatever) for navigating and unlimited talk that will be about the same price as she has now. She lives in a city of about 100,000 about an hour outside of Seattle.

RudyS
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Re: Lowest Cost GPS-Capable Device for Senior Citizen

Post by RudyS » Thu Nov 08, 2018 10:30 pm

It's not really relevant that she's a senior citizen. Whatever she comes up with would be of value to anyone on such a restricted budget. Seems she's capable enough if she's driving. I guess I'm a bit sensitive since I'm over 80! For $55 a month I get unlimited talk, text, and 2 GB data on my Verizon Samsung Galaxy.

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Lowest Cost GPS-Capable Device for Senior Citizen

Post by Doom&Gloom » Thu Nov 08, 2018 10:44 pm

For a cheap, easy to use, easy to read and reliable device for vehicle use, I would go with a Garmin stand-alone unit. It is a one-purpose device, but for this scenario, I think it fills the bill.

Gryphon
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Re: Lowest Cost GPS-Capable Device for Senior Citizen

Post by Gryphon » Thu Nov 08, 2018 10:53 pm

+1 on the Garmin. You should be able to pick up a basic model for $100 - $150 that will come with lifetime map updates, so there's no additional costs later on, and no cell phone data plan required either.

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Watty
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Re: Lowest Cost GPS-Capable Device for Senior Citizen

Post by Watty » Thu Nov 08, 2018 10:54 pm

Doom&Gloom wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 10:44 pm
For a cheap, easy to use, easy to read and reliable device for vehicle use, I would go with a Garmin stand-alone unit. It is a one-purpose device, but for this scenario, I think it fills the bill.
+1

It will probably also have a louder speaker than a cell phone. It would also be a one time cost.

There are also restrictions on using cell phones while driving in many states which might not apply to a GPS.

skjoldur
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Re: Lowest Cost GPS-Capable Device for Senior Citizen

Post by skjoldur » Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:02 pm

You don't need a data plan to navigate with google maps offline feature. Maybe her current phone will do this already. GPS is free signal and does not use cellular data. The maps normally use data, but if you download them first, you don't need data to navigate.

You can use WIFI on the phone at home to download google map areas using the offline maps feature.

Then the GPS will work fine and let you navigate out in the world (as long as you stay in the map areas you have downloaded in advance).

Here is some info on Google Maps Offline: https://www.androidauthority.com/google ... id-637359/

If you leave the phone on WIFI at home, the maps update automatically every 30 days to stay current.

sawdust60
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Re: Lowest Cost GPS-Capable Device for Senior Citizen

Post by sawdust60 » Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:16 pm

Cellular data is not needed on a GPS-capable cell phone, with the maps.me app.
You install the app while you are using wifi, and then select which maps to download.
It is not as useful as a Garmin when you're driving, but it can be quite helpful when you need it.

MathWizard
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Re: Lowest Cost GPS-Capable Device for Senior Citizen

Post by MathWizard » Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:21 pm

I suggest a Garmin with LMT like the
50 LMT

5 inch screen
The L is lane guidance , it shows you what lane to be in for turns, great for those left lane interstate exits you never expect.
T for traffic alerts which tells you when there is traffic congestion ahead, e g construction
The M is lifetime maps updates.

It also pops up a picture of the exit where you need to get off when you approach it and can let you know when rest stops, gas stations and cafes are coming up.

I bought this after having to navigate through Seattle having come in after dark with lots of construction and one way streets.

This is a one time cost, no monthly costs.

We use it all the time on trips and have had it for 5 years.

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BL
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Re: Lowest Cost GPS-Capable Device for Senior Citizen

Post by BL » Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:28 pm

A stand-alone Garmin or similar might be simplest.
Anyone's used smartphone could be set up, off-line cheap, or low-cost provider.
Tracfone has $30 smartphone online that I used for a year to try it out. GPS was handy in a strange city.

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Sheepdog
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Re: Lowest Cost GPS-Capable Device for Senior Citizen

Post by Sheepdog » Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:35 pm

Doom&Gloom wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 10:44 pm
For a cheap, easy to use, easy to read and reliable device for vehicle use, I would go with a Garmin stand-alone unit. It is a one-purpose device, but for this scenario, I think it fills the bill.
I purchased a Garmin 51LM last August from Best Buy at a cost of about $120. Good for this senior.
(As far as portable phones are concerned I didn't like and still don't like a "smart phone". I find a Tracfone flip phone fine for my purposes at a cost of about $100 a year)
It's not what you gather, but what you scatter which tells what kind of life you have lived---Helen Walton

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tractorguy
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Re: Lowest Cost GPS-Capable Device for Senior Citizen

Post by tractorguy » Fri Nov 09, 2018 10:37 am

+1 on a Garmin. This is the only recognizable brand name sold on Amazon. I'd be hesitant to buy the off brands.
Advantages over a cell phone mapping system are :
1. It does not need a cell signal to plot a route. Cell phone maps can be used outside of a service area but they require that you have the forethought to choose your destination and download maps before you leave your service area. If you leave the planned route outside a service area it won't be able to recalculate. I like to fiddle with electronics and have no problem with this. My wife doesn't and refuses to learn how to do this.
2. The interface won't change. This is a big deal for a senior who isn't used to dealing with a cell phone.
3. It will probably last longer. Cell phones have a 2 year design life. I've had bad luck stretching smart phones much past 3 years. I have a 10 year old Tom Tom system that worked last time I turned it on about a year ago.
Lorne

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tractorguy
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Re: Lowest Cost GPS-Capable Device for Senior Citizen

Post by tractorguy » Fri Nov 09, 2018 10:38 am

+1 on a Garmin. This is the only recognizable brand name sold on Amazon. I'd be hesitant to buy the off brands.
Advantages over a cell phone mapping system are :
1. It does not need a cell signal to plot a route. Cell phone maps can be used outside of a service area but they require that you have the forethought to choose your destination and download maps before you leave your service area. If you leave the planned route outside a service area it won't be able to recalculate. I like to fiddle with electronics and have no problem with this. My wife doesn't and refuses to learn how to do this.
2. The interface won't change. This is a big deal for a senior who isn't used to dealing with a cell phone.
3. It will probably last longer. Cell phones have a 2 year design life. I've had bad luck stretching smart phones much past 3 years. I have a 10 year old Tom Tom system that worked last time I turned it on about a year ago.
Lorne

bdaniel58
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Re: Lowest Cost GPS-Capable Device for Senior Citizen

Post by bdaniel58 » Fri Nov 09, 2018 10:43 am

Garmin all the way. They are the best. I've had several.
Don't make it complicated.

student
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Re: Lowest Cost GPS-Capable Device for Senior Citizen

Post by student » Fri Nov 09, 2018 10:46 am

I think an expensive way is to get a $30 prepaid cell phone and just use it as a mini tablet. One can download google map at home. Of course, you do not get real time traffic alerts and you can update the maps as frequently as you want.

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OAG
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Re: Lowest Cost GPS-Capable Device for Senior Citizen

Post by OAG » Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:31 pm

Kennedy wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 9:57 pm
I have a senior citizen friend who asked me to help her find the best bargain for a portable GPS-capable device to use when navigating in a car. She was referencing one of those hand-held GPS devices that were popular briefly before maps via cell phones took over.

She said right now she has a cell phone that she "re-fills" with a card at Walmart every three months. It sounds like she gets unlimited talk minutes for a cost of $30/three months ($10/month). She does not believe it comes with data.

As an alternative to a portable GPS unit, I'm wondering if there is a cheap, cheap cell phone she can purchase with a data plan that will allow her the occasional use of Google maps (or whatever) for navigating and unlimited talk that will be about the same price as she has now. She lives in a city of about 100,000 about an hour outside of Seattle.
I have a Garmin NOVI 3597LM which I no longer use. It was used very little and is complete (including the windshield mounting bracket and transfer and charging cables). Only problem is that after sitting dormant for a few years the battery cannot be charged and must be replaced. Battery is cheap (under $25) BUT disassembly in order to replace the battery is not easy (see UTube on how to do it). PM me if you feel it could be put to good use.
OAG=Old Army Guy. Retired CW4 USA (US Army) in 1979.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Lowest Cost GPS-Capable Device for Senior Citizen

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:46 pm

Garmin.

I think people assume that everyone's phone is a smart phone. My mom's phone will receive and send texts, but the buttons are combo buttons (not a touch screen) where each key is 3 letters.....so press the button once for "a", twice for "b", 3 times for "c". There are no apps. This is no online anything.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

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BL
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Re: Lowest Cost GPS-Capable Device for Senior Citizen

Post by BL » Fri Nov 09, 2018 3:08 pm

If you get a Garmin, don't forget to register it so you can get map updates later!

criticalmass
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Re: Lowest Cost GPS-Capable Device for Senior Citizen

Post by criticalmass » Sun Nov 11, 2018 10:50 am

tractorguy wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 10:38 am
+1 on a Garmin. This is the only recognizable brand name sold on Amazon. I'd be hesitant to buy the off brands.
Actually Tomtom is sold on Amazon too and they are very recognizable. Some may find Tomtom easier to use and they have large screen models. I agree that a standalone portable navigation unit can be much easier to use while driving than fussing with a telephone and applications.

See this as an example of a lower end Tomtom model that may be perfect:
https://www.amazon.com/TomTom-1515TM-5- ... 013QKFV8Q/

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nisiprius
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Re: Lowest Cost GPS-Capable Device for Senior Citizen

Post by nisiprius » Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:20 pm

I have a standalone Garmin nüvi 2555 I bought for about $100 circa 2015. I've gotten free map updates as advertised. It's been great. It is far superior to the built-in nav in the car we bought in 2016 and I always bring it with us on trips so that if--rather when--the built-in nav seems crazy we have a fallback. The accuracy and completeness of the database, the easy of use, and the timing of voice directions is better than the one in the car. I'd mount it on the dashboard but the new car is so full of electronics and airbags that there's really no place to put it.

Cautions: 1) The touchscreen requires a heavy touch. It's some kind of cheesier technology than we expect on smartphones. It may require more dexterity than some seniors may have. 2) The built-in rechargeable battery has a very short runtime, maybe 90 minutes even when new, and it self-discharges quickly even when off. They obviously expect it to be plugged into a car's 12 power outlet most of the time. 3) Easier to use than our car's nav system doesn't mean "easy." I think it's harder than using Google Maps on a smartphone.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

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