Spot X Communicator

Discussion in 'Mapping & Navigation' started by Smoke Eater 3, May 10, 2018.

  1. Smoke Eater 3

    Smoke Eater 3 Long timer

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    #1
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  2. swimmer

    swimmer armchair asshole

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    I'd be more impressed if they came out with a subscription plan and payment system that didn't require an annual bunghole resurrection.
    #2
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  3. motokeith

    motokeith Been here awhile

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    That Spot X is ginormous, something like twice the size of the Gen 3

    I cancelled my spot service about 2 weeks ago and the guy was vaguely hinting that there was something new on the way to compete with InReach.
    #3
  4. Smoke Eater 3

    Smoke Eater 3 Long timer

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    6.5 x 3 inches. Not too bad IMHO for something with an actual keyboard and a decent battery.
    #4
  5. motokeith

    motokeith Been here awhile

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    Yeah, it is comparable to the full-size InReach. Just feels like a move in the wrong direction when I'm used to carrying the Gen 3 in the breast pocket of my jacket.
    #5
  6. AdamChandler

    AdamChandler n00b

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    I love the design, this is a lot better than current Garmin offerings (for how long, though?) but offering a monthly plan that still requires an annual commitment is hilarious and disingenuous and $20 activation fee? This is the kind of billing cell phone companies did years ago. It costs Spot $0 to re-activate a device. $20 is just free money.
    #6
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  7. swimmer

    swimmer armchair asshole

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    Don't forget the additional $15 they try to charge every year for "system improvements".

    Suckle me.
    #7
  8. AK_Hoff

    AK_Hoff Going slow as fast as I can.

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    Just ordered one. I will let you know if it was worth it..
    #8
  9. CO303

    CO303 Been here awhile

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    The costs are less than the InReach
    #9
  10. HalcyonRider

    HalcyonRider peaceful, prosperous, carefree

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    I struggled deciding between the Spot X, InReach, or InReach Mini. I've decided to go with the Spot X. Here is my reasoning...

    The prices almost balance out to be honest.
    Spot X is $250 up front and about $250 a (contracted) year to run. Approx $500
    InReach $350-$450 depending on model, and anywhere from $12 to $80 a month depending on service. Although, you can pay for a single month at a time.

    The sub situation on both seems ridiculous. Either overpriced or contracted.

    I was happy to find out Spot offers $100k of SAR emergency insurance coverage for $2 a month. Seems like a Heli-evac may be expensive in a worse case. They also offer some sort of vehicle recovery option... Nickle and diming, but may be worth peace of mind. I'll be honest, I didn't look into these types of features on the InReach.

    Battery Life!
    InReach-Mini is around 50 hrs of active use (2 days)
    InReach is around 100 hrs of active use (4 days)
    Spot X is touting 10-days according to early reviews. This is the clear winner.

    As far as Battery life is concerned, I guess as a moto rider, recharging is not a big deal, but if you plan on using this off bike for backpacking, hiking, fishing, canoeing, etc. it is worth considering.

    Screen and Messaging
    This is maybe an odd concern. It seems that if you really want to message on the Garmin, it's better to pair a phone and use the phones keyboard. Now, we are talking two devices to keep charged. Once again, more important to consider if you aren't strictly using this on the bike where charging isn't a big deal.
    I'd prefer the Keyboard on the Spot X. In addition, this allows easy 2-way with SOS services. If I'm lying in a ditch somewhere, I really don't want to be fiddling with multiple devices. Simple would be best.

    I'm guessing the Spot X $20 activation fee is due to a Phone Number being actually assigned to the device. Easy to share with anyone. Also a contact list is stored on the device.

    Mapping
    As an R1200GS rider with a BMW Nav VI (Garmin), I was disappointed to find the InReach isn't compatible with my existing Garmin Software (i.e. BaseCamp, Garmin Express). Neither is the Spot X obviously, but it kinda shows the division in Garmin products. The InReach was previously a Delorme product.

    A point to be made here though is that the InReach can be used for navigation as well as tracking. As far as I know the Spot X only has a compass. Maybe some waypoint capabilities? Dunno.

    Location Sharing and Social Network.
    Both seem to have location sharing and social network capabilities.

    I think over all, the initial price, battery life and keyboard sold me on the Spot X. Not to mention, I have friends that are plenty happy with their older Spot devices.
    #10
  11. gqelements

    gqelements Been here awhile

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    ugh... Looks like they bought Blackberry's antique hardware design cache and thought it would fly in a rugged chassis.

    I really want to support SPOT, but just can't, especially due to the annual subscription model that is just not economical for typical weekend warrior riders.
    #11
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  12. outty

    outty (☞゚ヮ゚)☞

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    There just isn't enough competition to Garmin and Spot at the moment, they can charge whatever they want.
    #12
  13. t1hybrid

    t1hybrid Adventurer

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    The dedicated phone number on the spot x is huge for me, the wife can simply shoot off a text to me when I’m in the backcountry. Texting needs to be initiated by the inreach user which I would never do and that wouldn’t make the boss happy=less days in the bush for me.
    #13
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  14. kickstandsup

    kickstandsup Long timer

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    Less days in the bush...I see what you did there...
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  15. Aviatordoc

    Aviatordoc BMW R1200 GSA LC rider

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    Spot still does not use the iridium sats. Not good.
    #15
  16. mbabc

    mbabc Curmudgeon trainee

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    I just dropped my Spot gen 2 after 5+ years with them.

    Just looked at the Spot X and their plans. Little confused but is it possible to get a monthly plan (Weekender) at $19.99 with a $19.99 activation fee or is there also an additional yearly fee. Paying $40 for a month at a time might work for a yearly 2 week trip.

    #16
  17. appliance57

    appliance57 Long timer

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    I think wht they're saying is if yo pay a year in advance you are saving about $40.00 as opposed to paying on a monthly basis.
    #17
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  18. HalcyonRider

    HalcyonRider peaceful, prosperous, carefree

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    The gotcha on Spot is that you have to sign up for an Annual Contract. No paying for a month at a time. That would be ideal for me too. Garmin allows a month at a time, but prices are higher and the unit is more expensive. It kinda a balances out in the end. I chose Spot for my region and purposes.
    #18
  19. Smoke Eater 3

    Smoke Eater 3 Long timer

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    The Spot allows you to go monthly if you want. There is an activation fee but Delorme has one too. I plan to buy a 5 month package and pay one activation fee. I only need it for those five months.
    #19
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  20. HalcyonRider

    HalcyonRider peaceful, prosperous, carefree

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    If that's the case, then the Spot definitely wins out on price.

    If you look at the Service pricing bit for SpotX under additional information, it says, "12 month term applies to all service plans." I took that to mean 12 month contract. Either you pay monthly or the year up front for a discount. I hope I'm wrong because I don't need it year round.
    #20
    mbabc likes this.