Review: SPOT Gen3 GPS tracking device
Weighing in at around 125g its not going to slow you down at all and its size 6.5cm x 9cm is not going to be too intrusive, however if you are not using a hydration pack placing the device may become a little of a puzzle as it ideally should be facing the sky.
Several buttons on the device provide various functions for safety and tracking that not only benefit you as the runner by let your family track your route and provides a check in service as required.
The SPOT Gen3 is rugged and built to take knocks, the important buttons (SOS and Assist) are covered with a rubber cap both for protection and so that they are not accidentally pressed; each button on the device is accompanied by an LED which indicates use.
There is no LCD screen on the device which for me provides its own level of safety as this could reduce the perceived value of the item to potential thieves. An unfortunate reality today.
Four AAA batteries power the device or additionally if you are heading out for a really long run it can be powered from a power bank that can be carried in a hydration pack.
Battery life is dependent on the interval setting used for the tracking service which are configured at 2.5, 5, 10, 30 and 60 minutes, noting that the 2.5 and 5 minute intervals are subscribed to as a separate package with SPOT.
The functions available on the SPOT Gen3 are as follows:
SOS – This service is for severe emergencies only and will notify the GEOS International Emergency Response Coordination Center
Assist – For emergencies of a less critical nature and a notification is sent to a custom list of of recipients notifying that assistance is required.
Check-In – A message that is sent to your contacts with a check-in notification and position.
Custom Message – Similar to the Check-In service but with a customised message for your contacts list.
Tracking from the device is done on the SPOT Adventure web interface where your GPS co-ordinates are stored for review and your route can be tracked and mapped, with various options to integrate with social media and also to let those that have been sent your personal link track your progress while you are out on the trails.
The objective of the SPOT Gen3 is to provide peace of mind to you and your family and friends while you navigate your way through your favourite trails or explore new ones, and the Gen3 does just that without having to worry about signal from cellphone towers in remote or sometimes not so remote areas.
In my opinion this device is SPOT on!
Pricing at June 2016:
SPOT Gen3 Unit retail price R 2 995.00 Excl. Vat
Services (12 months):
• Basic tracking: waypoint every 10 minutes R 2 475.00 per year ($164,99)
• Unlimited - waypoint every 5, 10, 30 or 60 min: Basic tracking & ADD ON: R 750.00 per year ($49.99)
• Extreme tracking - waypoint every 2.5, 5, 10, 30 or 60 min) Basic tracking & ADD ON: R 2 250.00 per year ($149.99)
GEOS search and rescue R 300.00 per year ($19.95)
Subscription fees are charged in US Dollars only, so keep Rand/Dollar fluctuations in mind.