New SPOT has Better Battery Life, 'Motion Sensor' Built-In

A new form factor, extended battery life, and a motion sensor to tell the tracker when you’re on the move are among the new features on a long-anticipated product, the SPOT Gen3.

Made by Globalstar Inc., SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger devices have been around for years. The product offers GPS tracking, messaging, and rescue features for explorers and weekend hikers alike.

spot device gen 3 image.jpg


We covered the debut of the SPOT Global Phone earlier this year. This week Globalstar makes official the release of the new-generation Gen3.

In addition to the above-mentioned upgrades, one thing caught our eye: When tracking a hike you can now set the SPOT to record a GPS waypoint every 2.5 minutes with a feature called Extreme Tracking. This means a hiker on a trail will get an accurate route with every major turn recorded.

Another neat touch: A new vibration sensor in the device can tell when you are moving. It only plots a GPS point when you’re on the go. This saves power and does not let the device plot points on top of points if you stop for lunch.

features of spot gen 3.jpg

To save battery, users can set the SPOT to record at intervals of every 2.5, 5, 10, 30, or 60 minutes. Depending on setting, the device will run for months between battery switches.

For power options, the device takes 4 AAA batteries or it can be plugged into a USB port. You can remove the batteries and plug it into a computer or a solar panel with USB — the device runs with the electricity straight from the source.

spot side profile image.jpg

4 ounces and 1-inch thick

The Gen3 is 1-inch thick and weighs 4 ounces. It ships this month for $169.95 plus $149 for a one-year plan. More info is here.

We have used SPOT devices on adventures around the world since they debuted a few years back. The SPOT Gen3 will be available for testing soon. We’re looking forward to putting it through the paces to track and message out on the trail.

—Stephen Regenold

Posted by Andy Pomeroy - 07/29/2013 09:45 PM

Jordan, can’t speak to the new one yet, but I and others in my group have been using my Spot 2 with regular batteries with no issues whatsoever for going on 28 months. Yes the directions say to use only lithium, but proof is in use. We use them frequently so battery replacement is every 3 to 4 weeks (30 hrs estimated in that time frame) during flying season. How do you conclude that only SOS signals would be sent on regular batteries? By what you have read or what you have experienced?

Posted by willie - 08/10/2013 01:44 AM

i just bought one these before leaving on current trip. i must be the only that’s bought one because i fail to find a single review. my first experience with spot. perhaps, i bought a dud/lemon. so far, it sucks big time. what a piece of junk. how could they permit release. i called tech support twice in the first 12 hours. they were courteous. the thing locks/freezes all the time. i have to take out batteries and then it refuses to turn on again and then i remove batteries and wait. when i finally get it to turn on, it freezes again. did they test this thing. again what piece of crap. i’m on my trip and it’s become a paper weight. let’s pray, i won’t have to summon it. i shall return it and try anther one. again, perhaps i received dud. i eagerly await hearing from someone else who has used this. i want to know that i purchased a dud. thanks for listening.


Posted by Luis Velasco - 10/14/2013 06:24 PM

Por quĂ© no ponen una tarjeta shirt 4 para que coja los saletites igual que otros localizadores que se pueden llevar escondidos en cualquier parte…este spot solo con taparlo con la mano ya no coge los satelites.

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