PROS / It has the widest range of location update intervals for you to choose from.
CONS / It doesn’t work internationally.
VERDICT / The Spark Nano and its companion app are both easy to use, and it has excellent functionality backed by lengthy battery life.
The BrickHouse Security Spark Nano 5.0 is a GPS tracker with excellent battery life and a front-mounted panic button. It communicates with GPS satellites to receive location information and then transmits that information via Verizon Wireless’ CDMA cellular network to its secure server. Though the specific product we tested doesn't accomodate international use, the company also offers the GSM-based Spark Nano International GPS Tracker which works worldwide. For its powerful tracking capabilities and intuitive app, the Spark Nano wins our Top Ten Reviews Silver Award.
The GPS tracker lets you customize how often you’ll receive location updates. You can choose an update interval between 10 seconds and six hours. Getting more frequent updates will drain the device’s battery faster and is better used for short bursts rather than for all day.
You can also opt to have the tracker send updates less often, and simply utilize the on-demand location function, which gives you a single real-time location update whenever you need it in between the programmed updates. One of the best features of this device is that it allows you to set up a digital zone, called a geofence, around a specific area like your home or your child’s school. Once the geofence is set up, you can receive alerts if your child enters or exits the area.
The Spark Nano itself is easy to use and well-made. It has a panic button on the front of the device. When your child presses that button, it will send an alert out to your designated emergency contacts. The alert contains the device’s location so you can get to your loved one as quickly as possible. The device is also water resistant, as are its rubberized port covers, so it can withstand the occasional splash of water or bead of sweat without breaking. Three small lights, also located on the front of the device, indicate battery life and signal.
The construction of the device feels very solid and capable of handling daily wear and tear. From the outer body to the metal ports for charging, everything feels as though it’s made of high-quality material and is capable of lasting for quite some time.
The free companion app is simple, well-organized and easy to use. You can follow an individual tracker to see its current location or location history, and you can toggle through alerts and customize a geofence and other settings. You can view the current battery level of the tracker from the app.
One of the benefits of using this tracker is that you can monitor all activity not just on an Android or iOS smartphone app but also via a web portal located on the company’s website. Both the portal and the companion app are intuitive and well-designed; they make it easy for you to locate your tracker or adjust a particular setting, no matter which device you’re using.
The main page of both the apps and the portal show you the tracker’s current location, provided that it’s turned on and is at least somewhat charged. You can also peruse the tracker’s recent location history. This makes it easy to ensure your child was where they said they were. Since the tracker also provides on-demand tracking, you can also ping the device at any time and see where it is.
You can also see the current battery level of the tracker, so you can see how much longer it can track your child before you’ll need to recharge it. Another handy feature is the speed limit alert that sends you a notification if the tracker exceeds a set limit.
Support & Costs
If you have a question or concern about the product, you can contact the company’s customer service department via either phone or email.
The GPS tracking device does require a monthly service subscription plan, which starts at around $10 per month. It also ships with a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer – this is the longest and best warranty available from any product in our comparison. The device is not able to work internationally.
The Spark Nano’s fantastic battery life and interval update options give you lots of flexibility in tracking and notifications. Its powerful app gives you access to a variety of alerts and recent location history. Although it doesn’t work internationally, it’s a solid and powerful tracker overall, especially considering its low price. For international use, the Spark Nano International GPS Tracker is available.