Best Phone for GPS, Gmail, and craigslist
June 24, 2008 5:26 AM   Subscribe

Best Phone for Real-estate?

I need a phone to help me rent apartments. The two features I'm most interested in are a good GPS system so I can find my way to and from different properties, and the ability to check and answer my gmail. A problem I've been having going through different reviews is that most just mention that the phone has GPS without talking about capabilities. I want to know if the GPS is worth while or if I should should get a Garmin and a phone with email separately. Being able to access craigslist and post a listing with photos would also be nice.

So what is the best phone for the job, that I could purchase relatively easily? Thanks!
posted by CaptMcalister to Technology (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'd say you've just described an iPhone, but I'm not sure about posting photos to craigslist. At the same time, having never worked in real estate (though dealing with it right now), putting up apartment listings seems like the kind of thing that could probably wait till you get back to the office, and thus less-critical.
posted by Tomorrowful at 5:35 AM on June 24, 2008

Check out the phone finder at phonescoop. I don't see GPS in the choosing options, but you can choose the other things you want (carrier, megapixels, data, etc.), get your results, see the specs, and then google for gps on those phones. For example, the Motorola Q was a result and googling for that with GPS yielded this program. If it was me, I'd want a qwerty keyboard for composing the craigslist messages. If you're already an avid numeric texter then you might be fine without it.

Also check out Garmin's Nuvi Phone. Not sure if it's out yet.
posted by Askr at 7:01 AM on June 24, 2008

I kindof like my mogul from sprint. Search for Sprint Sero to get it with unlimited interent for 30 bucks a month.
I have the windows mobile email program hooked up to gmail's imap service.

The GPS is very fast and snappy and works great with all the free mapping programs for windows mobile:

google maps for mobile, and windows live search
posted by johngalt at 8:06 AM on June 24, 2008

The iPhone is useless if you're going to want turn-by-turn driving directions. For that you'll have to look at Nokia or Windows Mobile.

If you're ok with Windows Mobile look into some of the HTC phones. I have an HTC Touch Cruise, but would recommend a Tilt because you'll probably want one with a keyboard. Mine has Wifi, 3G, and TomTom navigation software (exactly the same software you get in a TomTom branded GPS).

Grab an unlocked on from eBay, drop in your SIM card, and you're done.
posted by blue_beetle at 8:23 AM on June 24, 2008

blue_beetle, I disagree that the iPhone "useless" for turn-by-turn directions. The current iPhone can do "turn-by-turn" directions in the sense that it will walk you through the turns you'll need to make to get from one location to another, and the iPhone 3G will add GPS functionality, to boot.
posted by esd at 12:03 PM on June 24, 2008

I don't know much about selling houses, but my Blackberry Curve 8310 has been enormously useful while house-hunting.

I use it's GPS capabilities with Google Maps (this is the only one I've found with coverage for Mexico so I'm resigned to just look instead of hearing directions. However you'll find many turn-by-turn "talkies" to use in the US and Canada at the Crackberry GPS Forum )

Gmail can work directly through the famous Blackberry "push" service or through the GMail application (or you could even check it on the browser if so chosen)

Another great program is a bbplaces, You just enter the notes on the house in it, take a picture, and at the end of the day get a KMZ file to use with Google Earth and have the pictures with the exact location of every house you visited.

Craigslist and posting pictures shouldn't pose any problems, and the full keyboard will be very useful both for these activities and for email.

I´m sure there will be much cheaper plans in the States, but I like the deal I have where I pay $40/month for enough (for me) phone minutes and unlimited data.
posted by fjom at 1:46 PM on June 24, 2008

Following my own advice I found Nav4All on the Crackberry forum. It is free to use until 1-1-2010, is available for just about every cellphone with gps, has turn-by-turn voice instructions in tons of languages and has maps for tons of places including Mexico, so I just became a user and publicizer.
posted by fjom at 9:24 AM on June 25, 2008

esd: By turn-by-turn directions I mean that you cannot do things like get directions while you're driving, regardless of the gps hardware in the 3g phone. It's explicitly excluded from the license. It's also not possible to use it for GPS type programs that aren't internet connected.
posted by blue_beetle at 8:32 PM on June 25, 2008

blue_beetle: Third-party applications are disallowed from providing turn-by-turn route guidance; on the page I linked to above, Apple explicitly states that turn-by-turn directions based on GPS will be built in to the 3G iPhone: "Get directions to wherever from wherever. View turn-by-turn directions or watch your progress with live GPS tracking."

You are correct, however, that the iPhone mapping functionality requires that the phone is connected to the internet.
posted by esd at 12:50 PM on June 26, 2008

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