104 of 106 people found the following review helpful
Good but getting slightly dated,
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This review is from: Satmap Active 10 Plus GPS (Sports)I've upgraded from quite a few handheld GPS devices over the years so a bit of experience with them. My previous one was a Garmin 60csx though more and more I'd started to use OS maps and GPS on a Nokia E90 phone. The Garmin is very robust, weatherproof and quick to track satellites but the screen size and lack of proper OS map was off putting. The Nokia phone has the maps but isn't robust enough for foul weather on top of a mountain. I wanted something that combined the two - and the SatMap does that - weatherproof and OS maps.
The SatMap is to be my replacement for the Garmin and in terms of map quality it beats it hands down. In terms of GPS sensitivity the SatMap is much slower to track satellites from cold and not quite as accurate though not far off.
My reasons for not giving 4 or 5 stars are:
1) Compared to the quality of my iPhone screen the SatMap screen looks very poor and dated. On the iPhone you can zoom out of an OS map and still read the fine detail. With the SatMap things get too grainy if you zoom out too far. Still looks better than the Garmin 60csx screen though. I suspect the current Garmin screens are not much different.
2) The iPhone's GPS is way, way faster and more accurate than the SatMap GPS. What the SatMap does in minutes the iPhone does in seconds. It really is amazing just how much more powerful the iPhone GPS is. I also compared the SatMap with the Garmin 60csx and the Garmin was quite a bit quicker at finding a lock from cold. Once locked on though both seem equally good at keeping a lock.
3) Buttons could be easier to use
4) Nice to have a charge complete on the charger - certain amount of guessing as to how far its charged.
5) Sometimes it'll claim 10m accuracy but from the position on the map its clearly out by 40m approx. This is mostly after switching on from hibernation mode. Overall accuracy is very good.
6) The screen guard scratches very, very easily but thankfully you can replace it.
On the plus side the SatMap has never crashed on me and seems quite reliable in use with the latest software updates.
If my iPhone was waterproof and more robust I'd use that for my outdoor navigation but one hard shower or drop on to rocks and the iPhone would be bust - hence the SatMap. I guess due to the massive number of phones sold they have a bigger research and development budget and are quite a few years ahead in technology.
Overall I am happy but not over the moon about the SatMap - I'd give it 3 and a half stars. I think in a year to two SatMap need to launch a new version with improved screen and faster GPS.
--- UPDATE ---
I've had quite a bit of opportunity to use the device in the field ( or mountain! ). One thing that has proved annoying is charging the battery pack. It never shows a fully charged symbol so basically just have to guess and charge it for 10 hours and hope for the best.
Also the battery failed on me rather suddenly. I'd fully charged it a month ago but not used it since. Normally Lithium batteries keep their charge for quite some time when not used. However I came to use it thinking it was charged but in fact it'd totally drained itself! This took me by surprise a bit given I'd previously fully charged it.
I discovered that using the hibernate mode was causing the device to never switch off - hence running the battery down within a day of apparent no use. Strangely it didn't do this when I first got the device so maybe there is a setting somewhere I need to change. I've switched off hibernate mode and this seems to have fixed the issue.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 16 Jun 2010 08:17:44 BDT
L. Smith says:
...so get a case for your iphone??
In reply to an earlier post on 16 Jun 2010 08:55:27 BDT
Paul W says:
Another reason is iPhone GPS battery life is poor - 3 or 4 hours maximum. The SatMap's battery lasts at least 12 hours based on real life use. In fact it never ran out on me even on the longest day walk. I think the specs say 20 hours with the lithium battery pack but I'm not sure.
Even with a case on the iPhone I feel happier in remote areas with the more rugged SatMap than the delicate iPhone. However on day hikes round less remote and rugged areas I just use the iPhone.
In reply to an earlier post on 18 Oct 2010 17:54:01 BDT
I. Harper says:
I don't think the reviewer was seriously suggesting the iPhone as an alternative - more to make the point that a non-specific GPS device actually outperforms the Satmap in a number of areas. Given that the Satmap retails towards the top end for comparable GPS products, I think it's fair to question whether the battery performance and use of raster rather than vector mapping is acceptable in a unit of this price.
Posted on 3 Jun 2012 17:06:15 BDT
W. J. Mccormack says:
err no Lithium batteris do not hold their charge for long periods unless you were using Sanyo's Eneloop batteries that is.
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