I have two superb qualifications for comparing a Garmin GPS to an iphone GPS. Since my stroke: (1) I cannot hold a map or an iphone in my right hemiplegic (paralyzed) hand and (2) I have driven 150,000+ miles through 15 states without a passenger to be my navigator.
Both a Garmin Drive Smart 50 GPS and an iphone can be controlled with voice commands and a touch screen that lets your fingers move the map and zoom in and out. However, an iphone GPS has problems with reliability, accuracy, spoken instructions, and road selection.
Reliability. A Garmin GPS I have used for 11 years has always been able to connect with the GPS satellite overhead. My iphone has repeatedly been unable to connect with a cell tower so I cannot use the GPS program. These dead zones also make it impossible to pull up my maps history. Who memorizes addresses any more? When I am 400 miles from home this is unacceptable.
Accuracy. In 11 years I have never been given wrong directions by a Garmin GPS. My iphone occasionally gives me wrong directions. For example, when I was driving on Route 138 East,
my phone said "stay on 138 West." When I am 400 miles from home this is unacceptable.
Spoken instructions. I have learned to ignore my Garmin when it gives me too much information.
If I know I have to drive 300 miles on a road, I do not need to be reminded to stay on that road every time I cross a major highway. On the other hand, my iphone GPS has repeatedly not provided critical voice instructions. For example, I saw a fork in the road but my iphone was silent. Missing a major road change when I am 400 miles from home is unacceptable.
Road Selection. My Garmin Smart Drive 50 allows me to choose any route I want by touching the road I prefer. This is important because suggested roads have the shortest travel time, but are not rated for the number of idiots on that road. I am talking about people who drive 20+ miles per hour above the speed limit and who squeeze into a one car length opening only because I step on my brake to keep from hitting them. By comparison, an iphone GPS chooses 2 or 3 alternate routes.
I do not ever want to drive Interstate 95 through Connecticut again. A Garmin Smart Drive 50 GPS will make sure this never happens for as long as I live.
The 20 year old who scoffed at me for buying a Garmin GPS probably thinks senior citizens are not up on technology. He had better be a homebody or be resigned to getting lost in Oklahoma.