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Phones need a data connection to provide nav.
Nope

Real GPS units use satellites and generally have better maps.
Phones use GPS. They have GPS receivers built in.

The also work where there is no cell data coverage.
So do phones, as long as you use an app that allows you to download offline maps, and that do route calculation locally on the device rather than relying on a cloud service.

Plenty of people successfully use phones for navigation where there is no cellular data signal. Read back through the thread from here: BMW Navigator 6 or iPhone
 

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Downloading the region I know I am going to be with Google Maps, then I am never in fear of loosing cell signal. It's ALWAYS worked either here in the States and many trips to Europe. My Garmin is a fancy looking paper weight never to be mounted on the bike again.
 

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I have a Nav6 and it currently works well, though have received a replacement unit twice due to past hickups. If I was starting from scratch I would try the new phone adapter that BMW is now selling (for whatever phone you have.) Lots cheaper, and phones are 10x more technically competent than the Nav6, and one less item to sync. The Nav6 was an interim product that is not relevant for the future, though mine works great. One issue for phones is water resistance if they are out there during rainy weather. Some phones have better water resistance than others. So, do you want your $1000 phone out in the wet??
 
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