The SPOT Gen 4 review & field test worked perfectly and is one of the most reliable and least expensive satellite messengers on the market.
Satellite Messenger Field Test 1
I completed the first field test of my new SPOT Gen 4 on a short hiking trail in Castle Rock, Colorado. It was a quick out and back trail to work out any issues before heading out on a longer trail.
The first thing to do at your trailhead is to initiate the tracking. Your tracks won’t show up right away and may take five of ten minutes to see the first track.
Next, I selected the “Check-In” message to make sure it worked.
You can see the white and sand colored check mark in the middle of the left image, plus the message it generated on the right image.
After this, I hiked farther up the trail to get a good view of the Rockies and continue my test and video review. You can see the tracking along the trail. I have shown two different maps; one with the standard view and one with the satellite view.
After reaching the top of the trail, I selected the “Custom” message to confirm it worked.
So far, everything was working perfectly.
Satellite Messenger Field Test 2
I started a second and longer test on a five-mile trail near Larkspur, Colorado, and one that had a dense forest to make sure the SPOT Gen4 worked well in a setting without a clear view of the sky.
Again, I began by selecting tracking at the trailhead and then the check-in message shortly after that.
I then headed down the trail and about 1/3 of the way into the hike, I sent a custom message to verify it also worked. By this time, I had every confidence it would work fine.
My last test was to make sure the “HELP/SPOT SOV” or second custom message test would work. This button is under the left cover, nest to the SOS cover.
Again, this worked flawlessly. The only thing to note here is that the HELP/SPOT SOV message will continue to send out messages until you turn it off, which is good, because this messages means you really need help, it’s just not life threatening, or at least that’s how I have mine set up.
You can see the entire trail and the different type of maps below. You have the Standard view, Satellite view and Hybrid view.
Let’s talk about cost now.
SPOT Gen4 Cost & Subscription Plans
As of today, February 15, 2022, you can buy the SPOT Gen4 for around $150 but you may be able to find it on sale for $100 if you keep watching for sales.
There are several subscription plans. One is contract and the other is month to month, called the flexible plan. See the subscription plans below.
It’s best to go with the contract plan if you plan on using your satellite messenger often, however, the flex plan will be better if you only go out a few times each year. You can activate and suspend your plan each month.
This is one negative for some people that you need to be aware of and that is, it doesn not have global, pole to pole satellite coverage. There are some gaps in the coverage as you can see below, so make sure you consider this when purchasing the SPOT or the SPOT Gen4.
The bottom line for me is that this is the least expensive satellite messenger on the market, with one of the lowest monthly costs, with flexible subscription plans and is the perfect satellite messenger for probably 80 percent of the people in the world. It’s simple to learn, it has the important SOS function and 1-way messaging to let your family and friends know you’re okay or need help and most of us don’t need any more than what the SPOT Gen 4 has to offer.
Check out the YouTube video below of the SPOT Gen 4 Review and Field Test.
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- HELP/SPOT S.O.V. - Request help from your friends and family at your GPS Location or ask for help from professional assistance organizations
- CUSTOM MESSAGE Let contacts know where you are by sending a pre-programmed message with your GPS location.
- TRACK Automatically send and save your location and allow contacts to track your progress using cloud-based mapping.
- S.O.S. - With the push of the S.O.S. button, SPOT’s 24/7 global search & rescue service provides your GPS location coordinates to local authorities for the quickest response to your emergency.
- CHECK IN - Let contacts know where you are and that you’re okay with a pre-programmed message.
This product was presentation was made with AAWP plugin.
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SPOT Gen4 Satellite Messenger
World Wide Coverage7.0/10
Tracking & Sharing10.0/10
Initial Cost & Subscription10.0/10
- Compact & Lightweight
- SOS Distress Call
- Track & Share with Friends
- Rental Options
- Low Initial Purchase Price
- Only 1-Way Communication
- So Smartphone Interface
- No Navigation