Although SPOT's personal GPS tracker was announced last August
, it's just now managed to navigate its way into reviewers hands. Essentially, this unit is supposed to enable the carrier to upload real-time tracking data to friends and family back home, but according to GPS Magazine
, that was easier said than done. The unit was hailed as extraordinarily rugged, long-lasting (battery life) and able to work in areas without cellular coverage. Sadly, its internal GPS receiver was so insensitive that even "moderate tree cover prevented the unit from getting reliable signals." Additionally, there's no way to tell whether or not a message has been sent successfully (or received), and the lack of geofencing support was also a letdown. All in all, SPOT seemed to be a good bet for hikers, boaters, etc. traveling to remote areas simply due to its ability to ring for help if necessary, but for the average joe (or youngster) hoping to transmit step-by-step data back home, it seems the built-in GPS receiver just ain't cut out for all that.