Find My Phone VS GPS Tracking: Which Is Actually Better?

Find My Phone VS GPS Tracking: Which Is Actually Better?

The Global Positioning System is effective when it comes to location tracking. It’s integrated into so many forms of technology and when it comes to GPS tracking, there are two main categories you can pick from.

GPS tracking with a cheap/throwaway phone or using a GPS tracker.

Both have pros and cons. But when it comes down to it, which method is better?

Would it be a tracking unit that can be hidden under the seat of your car or a cheap phone connected to your battery that’s always on.

Here’s the 6 factors you should compare when deciding what to use to protect your vehicle.

How Easy is it to Set Up?

For GPS trackers we’ll use the Solid GPS tracker as stock standard. It comes ready-built. All you need to do is charge it up, turn it on and place it in your vehicle.

As for using an app, it’ll be through a cheap phone you hook up to your vehicle’s battery and using free software such as “Find My Phone” for IPhone or the android equivalent.

Installing a cheap-phone into your car is the hardest of these two options as you’ll need to ensure it remains constantly connected without the chance of draining your battery. More on this later.

Car Enthusiast Installing a GPS Tracker

Will You Recover Your Vehicle?

The biggest reason you’ll find to invest in a GPS tracker is to recover your vehicle. In Australia, over 50,000 vehicles are stolen every single year.

Read more about the top 10 highest car theft areas here.

Another point for wireless trackers such as Solid GPS is you can hide it nearly anywhere in your vehicle, such as your glove compartment, under the seat, in your boot, while your tracker blends into the background.

As for using a throw-away phone, it will need to be hidden but remain charged, limiting the areas you can hide. Another downside is if a thief disconnects your vehicle’s battery, your hidden phone won’t last more than a day without needing a charge.

It’s part of the reason why phones are better when it comes to tracking people rather than vehicles.

How Long Will Your Device Track for?

GPS trackers like Solid GPS hold an extremely long battery life (3 – 6 months). Charge times are minimal too, requiring about 6 – 12 hours for 3 – 6 months of battery life.

Using a throwaway phone requires a constant connection to your vehicle’s battery as we spoke about before. The two downsides to this are it’s tedious to install and a thief disconnecting your vehicle’s battery means your phone will lose power in a day.

After losing power, you’ll soon lose the ability to track your pride & joy.

Solid GPS lasts on average 3 - 6 months

How Will Your Tracker Operate Under Stress?

It’s a given that both GPS trackers and tracking apps will be able to help you keep tabs on a vehicle’s location. When it comes to signal, GPS trackers rely on a GPS satellite connection and on the cellular network to transmit that location.

Whereas using a throwaway phone mainly relies on its embedded SIM card.

Both GPS trackers and tracking apps are subject to disturbances such as if your vehicle enters an area with no mobile coverage. 

GPS trackers like Solid GPS save your vehicles progress and upload them later on, while tracking apps wait until mobile coverage is found again.

Satellite Tracker

What Happens if Your Tracker Runs into Issues?

Tracking issues occur, and it’s important to rectify them so you can continue to check your vehicle’s location. We’ve built the best GPS tracker in Australia (and the world) at a competitive rate.

But nothing comes close to our customer service, check out a sample of our reviews below.

Solid GPS Caravan Testimonial 2
Solid GPS Car Testimonial 2

GPS tracking apps on the other hand are often abandoned after being uploaded onto the app store. 

Or if you’re using features from Apple like “Find My Phone”, they’re extremely limited in regards to tracking (no route history, infrequent updates) and Apple does not condone using their apps to track stolen vehicles.

Why Are You Using a Tracker?

“Jack of all trades, master of none”. That applies to using your phone as a GPS tracker, sure you can do it, but you can invest in a dedicated tracker that’ll do a better job and leave you with less headaches.

If you’re a wiz with electronics and have a spare phone lying around you can use those to track your vehicle, but features are severely limited and some are still stuck behind a paywall at around $10 a month, not including the SIM card. 

Using a phone to track your car

It comes down to how reliable you want your vehicle to be protected and monitored. A GPS tracker is a master at it’s namesake; GPS tracking. While a phone and it’s accompanying apps will always play second-fiddle.


GPS trackers are better than GPS tracking apps. It’s a good investment to make for any business and individual who’s interested in a heavy-duty system that will be able to help you keep tabs on your vehicle and where it is at all times.

While GPS tracking apps are suited towards tracking people as your phone is almost always near you 24/7, not in your vehicle.

If you’re wondering what type of tracking device you should buy, click me to see the 4 best trackers in 2021. 

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