Satmap Active 12 review - for walkers
satellite navigation, gps navigation, gps receiver
Last year SatMap released an updated version of the established Active 10 listed as the Active 12.
Over the past year we have walked extensively with both units (Satmap active 10 and Satmap Active 12) and led many Satmap training courses throughout the year and were interested to compare the two versions of this Satmap GPS unit to see the improvements on offer which are listed as High-Resolution HVGA screen, barometric altimeter, Bluetooth smart module and double the RAM of the Active 10.
The first thing to note was that the Satmap Active 10 & 12 share the same housing with the exception that the Satmap Active 12 receives smart new orange buttons. There are only minor variations around the operating systems as the operating system for Satmap Active 12 is based on the Satmap Active 10 platform. However there was a noticeable improvement in the clarity of mapping on view in the Active 12 which offers new high resolution screen which would be further enhanced when using HD mapping.
New features included in the Satmap Active 12 include barometric altimeter for those of you who want elevation data based on barometric pressure and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity using Bluetooth Smart which has two bands one for the transfer of route data between Satmap Active 12’s and the other which handles fitness data from compatible Wahoo Heart Rate and Cadence monitors a major improvement for cycling and fitness users.
For most users the big questions will be around mapping and route sharing & planning which is where the addition Ram comes into play; like most GPS on the market the Satmap Active 10 &12 are available bundled with a number of different mapping options with the Satmap Active 12 unit. When the card is installed and the GPS is active then it will display your current position on the map and scroll as you move.
Most walkers normally prefer to navigate using 25k scale OS maps and this is now an affordable option when purchasing it with our without a Satmap Active 12.
Active 10/12 users have access to Xpedition free for route sharing & planning online; some features are only available with Xpedition Premium which offers full access to all features and an impressive portfolio of worldwide mapping.
Where are our thoughts on the Satmap Active 12?
We really like the Satmap Active 12, it is a good solid unit and a very usable interface making it easy to plan routes directly on the unit. The HD maps are truly stunning and they don’t pixelate when you zoom in as you get on every other GPS unit on the market.
There has to be a but though.
Two main features do let the Satmap active 12 down but when you speak to Satmap users it does not really concern them.
- The screen – the Satmap active 12 screen is stunning indoors but outdoors in bright sunshine it is hard to read. If you switch the backlight on it improves it slightly. Yes you can just turn around and create a shadow so you can see the screen and most people do this without realising they are doing it.
- Three axis compass – many of the GPS units on the market currently have a three axis compass meaning you don’t have to hold it flat. Sadly the Satmap Active 12 does not have this. Many people don’t see this as a problem as they are used to holding a compass flat.
To end on a positive.
I certainly don’t want to end on a negative as the Satmap Active 12 is a great outdoor GPS. It is has some great features –
- Superb HD mapping, truly superb when you zoom in to see the detail.
- The Satmap Active 12 has a superb battery life, currently the best GPS battery life on the market.
- It is simple and straightforward, when you press a key you get a menu showing you what each button is going to do. So if it is a few weeks since you last used it you soon get back into the swing of things.
We really like the Satmap Active 12.
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