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Recent reviews for this item:
Hortuna, January 25, 2013 last month I downloaded to new firmware and app for Spot
Connect. Its like a completely new device. We love it.
Doug, August 10, 2012 I've been playing around with this unit for a couple of
weeks now, and it works very well! Lithium batteries,
however, are a bit of a pain, very expensive, and when
they're dead, they're REALLY dead, so if you're in track
mode, carry spares with you, and if you can't make the
connection between your smartphone and the unit and the
app, it's probably the batteries. So far, it certainly
does what it advertises it can do, at least in check-in and
tracking modes. Hopefully I won't have to use either SOS
or Help.....there have been entirely too many stories of
lost hikers and backroads drivers in the last few years for
me NOT to recommend some sort of SPOT unit to people, for
the peace of mind of their families......
Kevin, July 20, 2012 The only controls on the device are ON/OFF and the SOS
button to call the GEOS International Emergency Response
Center. All other functions are only available through a
smart phone with functioning Bluetooth connection. With my
iPhone 4 the Bluetooth connection was flaky as best. The
ability to text custom message would be nice but I don't
like not being able to use the other functions without a
smart phone. I returned this and got the Spot Messenger. I
like it a like and highly recommend it. Also it's smaller.
McGyver, July 4, 2012 The Spot Connect is a rugged, well made device that works
as advertised. Due (I believe) to the strong signal
functionality of this device, it does require two
relatively expensive Lithium AA batteries. But considering
the reason you're buying this thing and at some point it
could become your lifeline . . . how much is your life
worth to you? . . . buy the right batteries!
I use mine for VERY rugged off-road adventure motorcycle
riding. It's waterproof, vibration proof (with a minor
modification) and sits in the (optional) cradle designed
for it very well on my RAM mount. I bought this model
specifically so I could send custom text messages. Some
reviewers caution that it doesn't have all the buttons
other Spot models have . . . yes, you should always do your
research before making a purchase!
My only complaint with this device is that the bluetooth
connection to my iPhone 3GS is flakey. You sometimes have
to restart the bluetooth on the iPhone and/or the Spot
Connect several times if they get out of range of each
other. Frustrating, but resolvable within a few minutes.
The only other minor thing for me was that with extreme
vibration, the batteries can move slightly inside the case
and temporarily disconnect. If that happens, it shuts off.
So I just use some sticky back foam tape inside the battery
access lid opposite the batteries to prevent this and hold
them in place . . . it fixed the problem.
The iPhone app works well and it's easy on the fly to
change email groups, send pre-determined messages, or type
custom ones on the spot (no pun inteneded). Given the
nature of my pastime, I felt that being able to convey a
specific medical or injury condition was important so
rescuers knew what they were dealing with in advance. I
also find it valuable to be able to convey short
interruptions/changes in the trip due to being stuck,
having to cut downed trees, move obstacles, etc., so people
following my travels don't worry when they see I'm stopped
for a while or making a variation in my plans.
RAM mounts on the motorcycle handlebars of my two bikes
permit swapping the unit easily and quickly between them.
The optional cradle is superb and works well to hold it in
place. Considering that I'm riding down wet, bouldered
creekbeds at times, this unit can handle the extreme
conditions without a problem.
There can be a limitation regarding smartphone power that
you need to consider if you're hiking or cycling with this
unit. I can charge my iPhone full time on my bike (it's
also my GPS unit with an antenna booster), so anyone with a
motorbike, ATV or boat that can charge their smartphone
should be fine. There are alternative ways to charge phones
for hiking and cycling (solar chargers), but for these
activities a regular Spot might be more appropriate.
I literally don't leave home without this device whether
I'm riding solo (especially then) or with a group.