Fail: SPOT Messenger


One of items I was sent for review in China that excited me most was the SPOT messenger – a unique device that receives a GPS signal to identify your position and then allows that to be re-broadcast via the SPOT satellite service with an ‘OK’, ‘non-emergency help’ or ’emergency help’ message.  It’s intended for use by people slightly more adventurous than me who venture away from mobile network coverage and want to send status messages or emergency requests for help.  Seems like a great idea and at £130, quite an affordable option.

Without access to the online control panel I set off to China and ran around Beijing and the Great Wall recording messages… back in the UK I finally gained access to the control panel.  Nothing.

Following the supplied instructions I gave it a clear line of sight into the sky again today for several hours and tried again to record a message.  Again nothing.

It might be me, it might be the unit, it might be the location(s)… I’ve no idea.  However, without any way to confirm from the device if a GPS lock has been achieved or whether any messages have been successfully sent it’s a ‘press and hope’ affair – all the right lights flashed at all the right times for me without a single message ever being recorded.  I certainly wouldn’t rely on it as a potential ‘life saving’ device as advertised.  Very disappointing.

To be fair to the manufacturers others have used it with some sucess, but in my testing it’s been too unreliable for me to recommend.  I’d suggest taking Adventure Trading Post up on their ‘try before you buy‘ offer if you’re interested in this kind of device.


Recently Published

Question: When is the only time a traffic jam is good news in the UK?

Answer: When you're sitting in the back of an Uber and you need reliable mobile signal. Boom! Sad, isn't it, dear reader? Travel all around...

Ah yes, an S23 with a BlackBerry Bold Keyboard: Exactly what I (think) I need

I was playing with Midjourney, the AI/photo generation service and I asked it to show me what a Samsung S23 would look like with...

It’s ok, your moon photos aren’t fake, they are just enhanced – quite a bit

Have you taken a photo of the moon recently? I almost did, the other day, when I spotted a fabulous moment here in Dubai....

Don’t move! You’ll jinx it! This looks like a tiny bit of innovation in the mobile world

It has been quite a while since I’ve seen anything in the mobile industry that’s caused me to want to write much. Just look...

The new BlackBerry movie trailer is here

Were you a BlackBerry fan? Of course you were. At some point, almost everyone was. I still remember the days and the joy that...

Airalo: The easy way to roam globally with a data eSIM

Shortly before I began my FinTech & Banking Tour around the GCC, I popped into the Apple AppStore and searched ‘eSim’. I wondered if...