If you own a smartphone such as a model from the Apple iPhone, Samsung Android or Nokia Symbian ranges then you can benefit from its built-in GPS receiver and just add mapping software. Many brands now produce mobile-phone friendly software, but one of the most well-established products comes from ViewRanger. The software can be downloaded directly from the ViewRanger website onto your phone, and at only £10 including credit to purchase the Ordnance Survey mapping of your choice this is a remarkably cost-effective means of streamlining your navigation. Mobile phones often have incredibly good screens, which when combined with ViewRanger software (and its ease of functionality), makes a superb navigational tool. Phones are not as durable as dedicated outdoor devices, though, so you’ll need something like an Aquapac or Ortlieb phone case. Battery power may also be limited to a few hours so such a system should never be relied on. However the ViewRanger software itself is outstanding and includes the ability to create routes on the phone directly or on your PC via my.viewranger.com, which you then import to the phone. The unique Buddy Beacon feature allows you to share your pictures and location via Twitter or share your position with other ViewRanger users.
Screen 10.5x6cm colour touchscreen
Cost phone free on plans from £41 per month / software £10
Battery life 7 hours
The Samsung Galaxy S III was the best-value GPS device in our review.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine October 2012