Spot X 2-Way Satellite Messenger – No Australian Release?
It’s been years since we’ve heard about a new product being released from FindMeSpot but they have broken that silence with a new 2-way Satellite Messenger the Spot X. The Spot X is Spot’s first big entrant into the 2-way Satellite Messaging category which has been dominated largely by Garmin with their inReach products. There’s only one problem with Spot’s new product, it doesn't really work in Australia…
Spot doesn’t have any current plans to release the Spot X in Australia, and it's easy to see why. There simply isn't networking infrastructure in our region to support 2-way Satellite Messaging. This is shown also by Spot’s coverage map which shows that Australia only has access to One Way Messaging through Spot's network. Technically it could be possible for Spot to get 2-way messaging working in the future but it would require the local Globalstar licensee for Australia (Pivotel) to upgrade the ground stations to work with the SPOT X. Right now, they have no plans to do this.
This looks like a great new product from Spot at a very competitive price point and will likely be quite popular over in the United States. From all accounts, it has a solid messaging system and an illuminated keyboard, along with Spots solid SOS support. Interestingly Spot has also included the ability to post to social media which I don't think would be widely used but major hiking or adventuring enthusiasts might use it to keep their audience up to date. Navigation wise the Spot X will give you the ability to set a waypoint and then point you in the direction of that waypoint, there won't be any turn by turn assistance but that's really beyond what an SOS device is designed for. If the Spot X does ever end up coming to Australia we'll take a much more in-depth look at it and how it stacks up against its competitors.
Just as a side note, is anyone else getting a Nokia e63 vibe from this design? If so hats off to Spot for instantly giving their device the old ‘Nokia Tough’ aesthetic.