Phones are okay for navigation where there is data coverage. I use a Samsung Galaxy 3 with both Google maps and Backcountry Navigator. Both are great apps, Google for main roads and BCN for the boonies. Google is great for finding a local bar or restaurant. It's more up to date than any GPS software available.
Phone deficits - hard to mount, keep charged, and use while riding, and not the best screens in bright sun. You can pre download maps for use beyond 3/4G but that only works if you don't change your plans. Preloading maps requires a higher level of tech savvy on an app than loading stuff on a GPS.
GPS units work better in most ways, especially while in motion with gloves on. Phones are okay if you can't afford a GPS and that's all you have. Phones are pretty good in a car where you don't have to worry about weather and can work a touch screen but you still need data service. Most GPS units don't have voice recognition but that hardly matters rolling down the road wearing a helmet.
My preference, belt, suspenders, and duct tape: GPS, smartphone, and paper map.
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Sparrowhawk screwed with this post 07-03-2013 at 11:07 PM