Spot X
Awards Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award 
Price $299.99 at REI
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$199.95 at Amazon$349.99 at REI
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$350 List$239.95 at Amazon
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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69
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Pros Small, two-way textingExcellent network, seamless communication, some on-device functionalityEasy and affordable two-way messaging, great smartphone app, feature loaded, proven global networkSmall, affordable subscription options, proven satellite and dispatch networks, simpleTwo-way messaging, on-device keyboard, smartphone interface
Cons Complicated to compare costs, texting on device is very slowNo on-device message viewing or composition, no trackingExpensive initial purchase, largest and heaviest messengerOnly supports SOS on the device itselfBulky, tough customer and tech service
Bottom Line Text correspondence to and from the wilderness, wrapped up in a diminutive formThis is a smooth, comprehensive two-way communicator that relies on a proven satellite network and brings innovations that raise the barAn excellent device with only one weakness -- portabilityA small, basic device that employs established network, dispatch, and hardware systems through affordable subscription plansIf you want two-way texting that doesn't rely on a smartphone and tend to travel in the Americas and Europe, this one's is for you
Rating Categories Garmin inReach Mini Satellite Communicator inReach Explorer+ Global Hotspot SPOT X
SOS Emergency Messaging (30%)
7
7
7
7
7
Non Emergency Messaging (25%)
9
8
9
6
8
Signal Coverage (20%)
8
8
8
8
6
Ease Of Use (15%)
6
7
7
7
7
Portability (10%)
9
7
4
8
5
Specs Garmin inReach Mini Satellite... inReach Explorer+ Global Hotspot SPOT X
2-way Messaging? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
2-way Messaging Available via Cellular/Wifi? No Yes No Yes No
Custom Messaging Viewable and Composable on Device? Yes No Yes No Yes
Passive Tracking (turn on and forget about it - viewers at home can watch your progress on the web) Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Weight w/ Batteries (ounces) 3.5 5.3 7.5 4.1 6.8
Battery Life (hours) Up to 50 200+ when checking messages every 12 minutes 100 (lithium polymer battery) Up to 1000 messages 240
Waterproof Rating IPX7 (splashes & weather proof, nonsubmersible) IP68 (water resistant) IPX7 (splashes & weather proof, nonsubmersible) IPX7 IPX7 (splashes & weather proof, nonsubmersible)
Pairs with Smartphone? Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Satellite Network Iridium Iridium Iridium Iridium Globalstar
Dimensions (inches) 3.9 x 2 x 1 3.5 x 2.6 x 1 6.5 x 2.7 x 1.5 3 x 3.6 x .8 6.5 x 2.9 x 0.9
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