There is no doubt that the Smartphone, today, has replaced many standalone devices. No one is interested in buying an alarm clock, a calendar or to an extent a compact camera. Most of us are comfortable using a Smartphone that can handle all these and many other tasks. The case with regular GPS units is also the same. Slowly it is being replaced by Smartphone apps.
My Smartphone, like any other Smartphone, does have GPS capability that can function just like dedicated regular GPS unit. In my experience, they are more convenient and capable of providing a faster solution compared to regular GPS units.
One advantage that the Smartphone has over regular GPS units is that Smartphones have full mapping installed by default. In regular GPS units, a high-speed internet connection is required to download maps as and when required. So, in areas where the internet connection is slow, it will struggle. But, if you are an ardent traveler like me, and want an easy to use GPS system, then you will prefer a regular GPS unit over a Smartphone App.
The main problem with GPS Smartphone apps is that they consume too much space in your Smartphone. When you are using your Smartphone as a GPS unit, it becomes really difficult to use your Smartphone for calling. That means you have to stop the primary function of Smartphone so that you can use it as a regular GPS unit.
For beginners, it becomes really difficult to use a Smartphone app as a GPS unit. You will have to learn the tricks for mounting your Smartphone as a GPS unit. The GPS apps that are installed on your Smartphone consume a huge amount of your battery charge. So, if you are going to use your Smartphone as a GPS unit, you need to ensure you have a car charger with you.
You can use a regular GPS unit in all weather conditions without worrying about a plug point to charge. A Smartphone cannot be used in such a scenario. GPS units have a better battery life compared to Smartphone and are waterproof and dustproof. Another advantage of a regular GPS unit over a Smartphone app is that you can use regular GPS units anywhere at any time. The viewing capability of regular GPS units is better compared to a Smartphone.
So, make a choice of the navigation tool you prefer depending on your requirement-a GPS savvy Smartphone or a standalone GPS unit.