PROS / Because it works using a satellite phone system, it can broadcast location data in places that most GPS trackers cannot.
CONS / It doesn’t allow you to set geofences as most GPS trackers do.
VERDICT / The Spot Gen3’s lack of rechargeable battery and zone functionality means that, in areas with cellular service, there are far better options for everyday GPS tracking of your kids. However, this is the best GPS tracker on the market if you’re in a remote area.
The Spot Gen3 is a tough GPS tracker designed for active outdoor enthusiasts. It’s waterproof and relies solely on GPS satellites for its reception. It’s designed primarily to allow you to track the progress of your loved ones’ adventures, but it also includes powerful emergency functions, making it a trustworthy choice if your kids love camping, boating or attending summer camp.
The first thing we noticed when we unboxed this GPS tracking device was its fantastic, durable build quality. It has a rugged rubber edge wrapped around the plastic exterior to guard against shocks and impacts. Its buttons are made of the same tough rubber, and the whole device feels solid and well-made.
You can track your kid’s GPS tracker live on a smartphone app or a web portal powered by Google Maps. You can set the device to update its location every 10, 30 or 60 minutes. If you buy the upgraded package, you can also set the location intervals as low as 2.5 minutes.
Your child can send you a text message or email up to 10 contacts by pressing one of two buttons. The check-in button sends a message telling you they’re in a non-life-threatening situation and need help. The other, the SOS button, sends an emergency distress message directly to the GEOS International Emergency Response Center. GEOS then notifies localized emergency personnel to the tracker’s location. Pressing this second button can result in fees.
This device works by determining its location via GPS satellites. It then sends that information to commercial communication satellites. They send that data to a network, which disperses the emails or text messages. This mean that, unlike most GPS trackers, the device works perfectly well in areas without cellular network coverage.
The Spot Gen3 lacks some features common to GPS tracking devices. It doesn’t let you set up geofences, which trigger alerts when a device enters or leaves them. It doesn’t have a rechargeable battery either, so you have to change out its four AA batteries every few weeks. The device is optimized for tracking adventures, and its rugged rubber build makes it bulkier than the other devices in our comparison, so it won’t easily clip on to a child’s clothing or arm. It may be better suited for a backpack. The tracker comes with a one-year warranty, and its website also has a thorough FAQs section.
The Spot Gen3 is not the best GPS tracker for everyday tracking because of its non-rechargeable batteries. It also lacks geofencing, as well as the ability to provide you with an on-demand location update or make and receive phone calls. But for athletic or adventurous children, it might be the best option thanks to its rugged design and its ability to work outside the range of cell towers.