SPOT X 2-way satellite messenger
Long battery life Full QWERTY keyboard Includes a US phone number
Size The keys on the keyboard are small
SPOT LLC sent me SPOT X 2-Way Satellite Messenger to test and provide an honest review. All opinions are mine.
I spend hours on the trail running in the woods alone with Sitka on most weekends, and I’ve always thought of carrying a satellite messenger with me, just in case, but in the end I never went out and bought one.
In general, I lived in the “I’ll find out if something goes wrong” mentality, and although I feel comfortable with my outdoor skills and always carry the 10 basic things, it’s not exactly a safe way to get into backcountry, especially after most of the time I walk alone.
So when SPOT contacted me and asked if I wanted to try SPOT X, I used them.
Now I can’t imagine not bringing this into all my backcountry adventures. Although I rarely have to use it, it reassures me that if something went wrong, I would have a way to communicate with friends, family, and emergency teams.
The budget two-way satellite messenger SPOT X is great for anyone who spends time in the backcountry and wants to let their friends and family know that they are fine or have a way to communicate with the search and rescue team in case of an emergency.
For SPOT X 2-Way Satellite Messenger
The SPOT X bidirectional satellite messenger allows you to go back and forth via text or email between your contacts and emergency crews when you are offline or out of cellular service areas.
Thanks to its partnership with Globalstar, SPOT X devices have an “almost global” 2/47 coverage.
Each SPOT X comes with its own phone number in the US, so friends can send you messages in the same way as if they were sending a text message at any time.
You can connect your SPOT X to your phone via Bluetooth using the SPOT X app to access messages, set tracking intervals, communicate with friends and family and search and rescue teams, send checks and more.
SPOT X looks a bit like the original Blackberry and has a fully lit QWERTY keyboard for easier messaging. It can also be used as a tracking device.
Send messages with your SPOT X
There are several ways to send messages and emails to loved ones or a search and rescue team using your SPOT X device.
First, you’ll need to add the contacts to your device using either the device itself, or you can add them to your dashboard at findmespot.com under Contact Settings.
If you have downloaded the application, all your contacts will be displayed automatically and you can send them messages without having to pre-load the information in your phone.
You can also send a registration message at the touch of a button to deliver your GPS location to friends and family you have designated to receive such messages.
Messages are limited to 140 characters, and you can write your own message or send preset messages that you create before you leave. The application already has several preloaded messages.
Shipping time is on average about 3-5 minutes, depending on your location. For best results, you want to be in a clear place, outdoors, with an antenna pointing at the sky.
Communication with emergency responders
SPOT X comes with a convenient SOS button that allows you to connect to search and rescue teams at the touch of a button. It is located under a “door” labeled “SOS” so you don’t accidentally hit it while you’re hiking.
The button sends SOS to the round-the-clock search and rescue and allows you to send messages back and forth with them about your situation and location.
Tracking with SPOT X
One cool feature you can set up in SPOT X is real-time tracking using SPOT Share Page and Google Maps.
Set up live tracking and get a link to send friends and family from your online SPOT dashboard under Maps. The link will take you to a map where you can turn on live tracking.
Your friends can follow you live and monitor your progress. I like to use this feature during route races, so the support team can have an idea of when I’m arriving and my friends can keep track of my progress.
To turn on tracking from your device, click “Tracking / Retrieving Intervals” and then set the tracking interval. The time varies depending on the plan you have, and by default it is every 10 minutes, which is good for most trips.
To start tracking, press and hold the Track button (which looks like a shoe print) for three seconds until you see a set of fingerprints in the status bar at the top of the screen. Your SPOT X will now be sent
SPOT X service plans
SPOT X offers two different service plans to suit your lifestyle and budget: contract plans and flexibility plans.
Contract plans are great for those who go outdoors and offline all year round. Think of runners, skiers and hunters. With the contract plan, you don’t have to worry or think about whether you have a service with your SPOT X before you leave.
There are three different versions of the contract plan: Basic, Extended and Unlimited.
The base plan starts at $ 11.95 / month and goes up to $ 29.95 / month for Unlimited. Each charges a one-time activation fee of $ 19.95. You can also pay annually and save some money.
The main differences between the plans are the number of messages you can send per month, the tracking intervals and the traffic alerts.
Flex plans are paid out every month and require a one-month subscription. These plans start at $ 14.95 / month and go up to $ 39.95 / month. This plan is ideal for those who go out during part of the year, for example during the summer months.
In addition to the same $ 19.95 activation fee for new devices, there is an annual annual Flex fee of $ 24.95, payable on activation and then again annually on renewal. This fee allows the user to terminate the service at any time without paying a new activation fee.
The plan’s fees are comparable to those of Garmin InReach.
SPOT X firmware update
Your device will notify you that you need a firmware update. Always check before going on a backcountry adventure to make sure you are not stuck in the woods and there is no way to communicate when you need it most.
To update your SPOT X, you will need to connect it to your computer and download the appropriate update for your computer. For more information on updating the firmware, see the detailed instructions here.
Additional SPOT X functions
The battery life of the SPOT X is quite remarkable. I only charged this a few times in the few months I had it. When set to continuous 10-minute tracking intervals, SPOT X can last 240 hours (10 days).
Other notable features include:
Operating temperature range is -4 ° F to 140 ° F (-20 ° C to 60 ° C) Operating altitude range is -100 m to 6500 m Waterproof to 1 meter in 30 minutes Shock, dust, and waterproof
In conclusion, SPOT X 2-Way Satellite Messenger is a great budget option for those who are embarking on backcountry and want a way to connect with friends and family to let them know about their safety.
It also provides peace of mind if you ever experience an emergency and need to contact emergency services.
I carry this treadmill with me and carry it in my waistcoat pocket. I can barely notice that it is there, although it is larger.