Going in the opposite direction of Garmin’s inReach Mini, the new SPOT X from SPOT includes a built-in keyboard and display. Almost like an old-school Blackberry with an antenna, the SPOT X provides two-way satellite messaging so you can stay connected to family, friends, and colleagues whenever you’re outside of cellular range.
The SPOT X features an illuminated QWERTY keyboard and a 2.7-inch backlit, black and white display. The two-way satellite messenger enables you to exchange messages with any cell phone number or email address, while SPOT X even provides you with your own personal mobile U.S. number so others can message you directly.
Similar to other SPOT devices, the SPOT X enables you to track your route at a variety of intervals — 2 1/2, 5, 10, 30, or 60 minutes — and let friends and family follow your progress via a Google Maps interface. The device also includes a built-in compass with programmable waypoints to help you navigate.
When out on your adventure, leave quick messages that say you’re ok and link to your social accounts to post the updates there as well. In case of emergency, simply activate the S.O.S. to alert the 24/7 Search & Rescue center, message back and forth about your emergency, and receive confirmation when help is on the way.
SPOT claims 240 hours (10 days) of battery life in the rechargeable lithium battery when you are in continuous 10 minute tracking mode. The device is waterproof, as well as impact and dust resistant to withstand the most rugged adventures.
The SPOT X itself retails for $249.99 and SPOT offers a variety of service plans billed both monthly and annually. Prices start at $19.99 and a 12-month term applies. There is an additional $19.99 activation fee.
SPOT X offers almost global coverage for S.O.S. and one-way messaging, with two-way messaging available in North and South America, Europe, and parts of Africa.