I agree that my Note 2 is a bit fragile for tramping navigation, but I do use it to record my daily walk using Maverick app. It has a useful background map from Open Street Map that has all my local park tracks available and the maps are cached. So it works well offline.
But for real navigation on a boat, a Garmin 78s is waterproof and has marine charts. I could load the charts, but operating the phone in a waterproof case might be a bit clumsy.
Currently all the phones are not just a phone, they are tiny computers with communication capabilities (wifi, 3g/gprs/phone, bluetooth,...), gps sensors and much more. Why not take advantage of that?
A small smartphone like the Samsung Galaxy Mini can easily get you on track while take phone calls using a Bluetooth adapter (or hands free), and you have the freedom to choose any map provider out there without the need of buying a new device... and it can get you real traffic online too easily!
How do the data costs work out using the mobile phone as a GPS ??
Actually it depends on the gps you are using. Some of them downloads maps and live POI => those consume a fair use of data. Some others on the other hand have offline maps and POI => those do not need data to work. The GPS localization of your phone is of no concern to determine the data costs.
Re: Will you really use your expensive smartphone to navi?
I'm using Samsung note 2 to navi whatever I need.
But for the heat, battery and precision issues, I bought another PND to navi.
Is there any fellow has done such thing like me?
I am also using SGN2. It is free on the plan, bright and powerful enough, will be upgraded the next year for free... More importantly, the battery life with a custom ROM is quite good. Then one can have navigation, music, video registrator and Internet all in the same device and in any car you use.
Well, it doesn't work in wet. So, use something else for boating or climbing.