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vGIS AR hardware Hardware recommendations by vGIS - December 2020 Edition.

At vGIS, we spend most of our time on research and development, and we often come across devices and peripheral equipment that perform better when running the vGIS app.

Because our clients often ask our advice about hardware, we have compiled this guide to share our recommendations for variously priced devices. This list of vGIS-recommended hardware includes only commercially available hardware that can be obtained from mainstream sources.

Our recommendations:

  • Ultimate vGIS kit
  • Ultimate 3D Kit
  • High-end Android
  • High-end iOS
  • Midrange Android
  • Midrange iOS
  • Budget Android
  • Budget iOS

We also recommend the following peripheral equipment that supports vGIS:

  • GNSS receivers
  • Cases
  • Mounts
  • Handles
  • DIY components

The Ultimate vGIS Kit

Overview

This kit is designed to provide the ultimate vGIS experience. It is the same combination that the vGIS team uses to obtain the best results in a variety of situations.

The kit combines the ultra-portable Leica FLX100, which delivers accuracy to within one centimeter in a small and affordable package; the Microsoft HoloLens 2 for viewing complex 3D visuals; the most powerful Android tablet, Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+, whose extra-large 12.4’’ screen delivers bright visuals even in daylight; and the ToF-sensor-equipped Samsung Galaxy Note10+.

Pros

Everything you need and more.

Cons

Expensive and bulky; you need a small suitcase to carry everything around.

The Ultimate vGIS kit in action

The Ultimate 3D Kit

Overview

Designed with engineers and supervisors in mind, this kit delivers the ultimate 3D experience with Microsoft HoloLens 2. Ideal for viewing proposed designs and complex structures, HoloLens works with the portable and lightweight Leica FLX100 to ensure highly accurate placement of mixed-reality holograms.

Pros

The best option for understanding complex visuals.

Cons

Expensive, slow to start, and has a limited range of operation because of its sensitivity to rain, bright light, hot or cold temperatures, and other inhospitable environments.

High-end Android

Overview

For the best experience with Android devices, look no further than the Samsung Galaxy Note10+ when paired with the Leica FLX100 for high accuracy. The large screen, S Pen, and ToF sensor make the Note10+ superior to any other Android device. Although not the latest phone from Samsung, the Note10+ offers performance that is indistinguishable from that of the Note20 Ultra, but offers it in a more elegant, more compact, and much less expensive package.

Pros

Fast, easy, lightweight, and much less expensive than most high-end phones.

Cons

No LiDAR and AR visuals can be less than fluid under load.

Alternatives

If the screen of the Note10+ is too small for your job, we recommend using the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+. With the S7+, you get the best Android tablet with the largest screen, albeit without a ToF sensor.

High-end iOS

Overview

For the best iOS experience, look no further than the LiDAR-equipped 12.9’’ iPad Pro 2020 mounted on a surveying pole with a magnetic mount from Joy Factory. The Leica GG04 Plus completes the setup to deliver accuracy within a centimeter using an advanced survey-grade receiver.

Pros

Largest screen and smoothest AR experience; LiDAR sensor for advanced tasks.

Cons

Bulky and expensive.

Midrange Android

Overview

Google Pixel 4a is an excellent mid-range smartphone that provides a high-quality AR experience without breaking the bank.

Pros

Excellent performance at an affordable price.

Cons

Lacks the same high-end features as the Note10+.

Alternatives

Google Pixel 4XL, Samsung Galaxy S10, OnePlus 7T

Midrange iOS

Overview

Apple-quality AR at an affordable price.

Pros

Excellent performance at an affordable price.

Cons

Small screen and no LiDAR.

Budget Android

Overview

Surprisingly strong performer at a surprising price.

Pros

Excellent value and performance for the price.

Cons

Lacks high-end features.

Budget iOS

Overview

Still an attractive and well-functioning phone for running AR applications.

Pros

Good performance at a rock-bottom price.

Cons

Showing its age.

GNSS Receivers

Overview

Leica FLX100. The ultimate AR GNSS. Offering centimeter-level real-time accuracy, small size, and stability at a surprisingly affordable price, this receiver is an ultimate GNSS antenna for AR applications.

Leica GG04 plus. The best GNSS for surveying and for iOS applications. Fast, reliable, and smaller than other high-end receivers, this antenna delivers one-centimeter accuracy in challenging situations.

Cases

Cases from Ottorbox and Joy Factory add necessary padding to protect your phones and tablets. In addition, Joy Factory cases have a magnetic connector and a hand strap built-in to create a perfect combination of mobility and pole-mounted arrangement on demand.

Mounts

Joy Factory MagConnect components convert your surveying pole into a top-of-the-line AR rig. Powerful magnets work with different devices and cases to hold them securely in place, letting you to snap them on and take them off without any effort.

Metal brackets from Ulanzi and other manufacturers connect GNSS receivers to your phone and tablets in a secure, light and low-profile fashion.

Handles

The Joy Factory universal hand strap works with most 1/4''-compatible phone and tablet mounting brackets to create a low-profile AR rig that is comfortable and easy to carry around. Manfrotto handle is the best solution if you prefer a highly flexible rig with a handle.

DIY Components

Ulanzi bracket converts Leica FLX100 GNSS receiver into a mobile powerhouse compatible with any cold-shoe/hot-shoe adapter.

Looking for more information?

Please visit our main site at www.vGIS.io or our support site at support.vGIS.io.

Need help?

Submit a support request, send a message to support@vGIS.io or direct-message the vGIS Team on Twitter.