When the future of GPS devices is discussed, there is sure to be some mixed reactions. One side says that as smartphones become more and more developed, the era of standalone global positioning devices is drawing to a close. On the other side, supporters of standalone GPS systems say that these devices are here to stay. The best way, perhaps, to analyze this is to look at the advantages and disadvantages of both.
The basis of those who say GPS devices have no future base their conclusion on the fact that nowadays, smartphone features are similar to dedicated GPS devices offering turn-by-turn navigation. It even has audio prompts like the standalone systems. Aside from smartphones, the latest car models are also equipped with GPS-enabled navigation. What more, they are voice-activated and give a turn-by-turn navigation while driving. With these advantages and cool features, why buy a separate device? But there are significant trade-offs and disadvantages when you solely rely on your mobile phone for your GPS needs: poor performance in areas where there's weak and congested network access, and decreased battery life.
When it comes to battery life, smartphones barely last a day if they use various features, such as web browsing, email, listening to music, taking pictures, and mapping. Thus, if you turn on the GPS tracking or navigation device on your phone, it will be a huge battery drain. That is because it takes a lot of energy to pick up and hand off signals from different satellites. It becomes more energy draining if you pass through weak or congested connections. Thus, if you intend to use the built-in GPS device on your phone, it is best to invest in a car charger as well. Also maps and directions are usually downloaded as needed on wireless networks.
On the other hand, dedicated GPS systems have a bigger capacity to download and store maps and prompts even without a cell service. Thus, these reasons are enough why standalone GPS-devices will not disappear.