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Thread: SpotX messenger review

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Aldergrove, BC
    Posts
    3,965

    SpotX messenger review

    Despite the mixed reviews I figured I’d buy the device and try it out myself for one month, given that Cabelas will allow me to return it within 30 days. So, i'll be out $25 for activation and $14 for one month's use.

    The device seemed to work OK when testing around town, as long as I was outdoors and away from buildings …. Like in a parking lot. However, as soon as I was up on the mountain it became much less reliable. Ironically, I was in the alpine for the opener and it really can't get any more clear and open for sat connection than that!

    Some messages would be sent and tell me they were delivered, others would be delivered but tell me they weren’t so I would send multiples for no reason. I didn’t get many replies to my messages only to find my email flooded with messages that friends/family sent to me but that could not be delivered to my device …. Lame. The device seemed better at delivering my messages to friends/family than it was at delivering theirs to me.

    Overall, SpotX has issues and I can’t recommend this as a reliable back country communications device, despite the attractive pricing.
    I am returning it to Cabela’s and trying the InReach mini now.
    Pros:

    • Great screen. The devices has a simple, black and white screen that is very easy to read. It’s not reflective, very much like a Kindle e-reader type screen.
    • Keyboard and screen are illuminated
    • Menu is intuitive and fairly easy to navigate
    • 14 allowed preset messages (that don’t count toward your monthly quota) unlike InReach’s 3 messages.
    • Cheaper than even the inReach mini by $100
    • Dedicated keyboard is SO nice. It is very quick to type out custom messages, unlike inReach devices (unless you're typing on the phone over blutooth of course)
    • Cheapest freedom plan is $12 compared to $15 from InReach.
    • Syncing the device through the computer to your Spot online account (where you edit all your contacts, preset messages etc) is very simple. It would be great for people that weren’t very tech savvy.


    Cons:

    • Some icons are hard to decipher at first
    • Some messages will display (?) telling me they weren’t delivered, but then I’d get a reply so you can’t ever really tell if the message was delivered or not.
    • Doesn’t seem to work indoors. It really wants you to be in the open like in a field. Forest canopy is an issue as well.
    • Battery life is not that great at all. I had it on less than my cell phone and by the end of 3 full days the device was dead.
    • Incosistent turnaround times. Sometimes i'll send a message and get a reply within 1 minute. Other times the reply comes back in 20mins and sometimes never only to find it in my email 3 days later when i come back home.
    • Antenna is about the size of a shotgun shell. It does get in the way a little.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Omineca
    Posts
    1,426

    Re: SpotX messenger review

    You will love the inreach mini. I bought this before my solo northern Rockies hunt this year. Every msg sent quick. You can also Bluetooth it to your phone and txt with your iPhone. The Topo maps is awesome too on your phone.
    100% recommend this product to anyone. Very impressed.

    Any fuzzy deer hit the dirt?

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Posts
    129

    Re: SpotX messenger review

    Love my Inreach mini.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Victoria BC
    Posts
    786

    Re: SpotX messenger review

    I bought the mini last week and after some limited testing it seems to work great. Takes a minute or so to send a long message but they go through reliably.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    6-8
    Posts
    1,157

    Re: SpotX messenger review

    Thanks for this review. Just confirmed my purchase for the inreach

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Aldergrove, BC
    Posts
    3,965

    Re: SpotX messenger review

    Quote Originally Posted by RackStar View Post
    You will love the inreach mini. I bought this before my solo northern Rockies hunt this year. Every msg sent quick. You can also Bluetooth it to your phone and txt with your iPhone. The Topo maps is awesome too on your phone.
    100% recommend this product to anyone. Very impressed.

    Any fuzzy deer hit the dirt?
    Yup. I shot a 4x4 velvet mulie on opening day

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Omineca
    Posts
    1,426

    Re: SpotX messenger review

    Great job!

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Posts
    87

    Re: SpotX messenger review

    Thanks for posting,great job!

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Langley
    Posts
    5,094

    Re: SpotX messenger review

    Giving this thread a bump and shout out to twoSev.

    Recently made the decision to upgrade to a two way device from the current Spot Gen3

    Spot X was tempting given the device is approx $250 cheaper and the plans are cheaper and come with more, after hours of reading/watching reviews, this was the last item I read before going with the inReach Explorer.

    Technically don't have it yet (should have it by Wednesday or Thursday) but very much looking forward to the peace of mind of having a reliable two way device. Much better than "check in! Im OK but if you get this 3X in 90mins plz come help packout bear"

    Oh another thing, silly me was paying like 200USD/year for the basic spot gen3 plan. When I went to cancel, they pointed I can be paying half that, I just had to ask lol ... thanks SPOT (tho i dont blame them, they are a business, thats fine, my fault as a consumer, but good remember to check any kind of plan you have with anything and see what it's actually selling for today)
    Last edited by caddisguy; 03-28-2021 at 09:52 PM.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Kelowna
    Posts
    354

    Re: SpotX messenger review

    Thanks for the review. I have a spot gen 2, but looking at the Spot X or Inreach Explorer. Looking forward to your review on the mini

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