How well does the Garmin inReach Mini communicate with it’s 2-way messaging system?
I took it into the backyard after a recent hike and tested it from my Garmin Mini to my iPhone to my SPOT X and back to the Garmin to see how well it worked.
Here’s what I found out.
Garmin inReach Mini Message Results
I was concerned going into this test because I was told by a SPOT customer service representative that you could not message between a SPOT device and a Garmin device.
Let me get straight to the bottom line.
Messaging works fine between the two different manufactures.
Now, let’s break this down and show you that it works.
Message from Garmin Mini to iPhone
The first thing I did was send a message from my Garmin inReach Mini to my iPhone, using the Earthmate app. You can see the message below on the left and how it shows up on the right as being sent.
The message below is the text I received on my iPhone and my fake response “How is your hike going?” Of course, I already knew as I was sitting on my deck in the backyard.
You can see the reply from my iPhone below, both on the Garmin Mini itself on the left and on the Earthmate app on the right.
Next, just to prove this wasn’t a fluke, I sent another message from the Earthmate app. You can see it being typed on the left and being sent on the right.
Finally, you can see the reply message from my iPhone back to the Garmin inReach Mini.
There is a lag time when the messages are sent as it has to locate a satellite and the message is sent through the satellite system.
Message from Garmin Mini to SPOT X
The second test, which was the bigger question for me, was the question about the Garmin inReach Mini being able to message back and forth to the SPOT X.
Well, I’ll give the secret away again and let you know that it worked fine.
You can see my message below from the Garmin inReach Mini and the Earthmate app.
You can see the message was received from the SPOT X below.
I guess I didn’t take the picture when I sent the message the first message back to the Garmin inReach Mini but I highlighted it below so you can see it was sent.
The message was received by my Garmin Mini and you can see my reply, back to the SPOT X.
The next images show the message being received by the SPOT X.
The image on the left shows what I was typing and the image on the right shows it being sent back to the inReach Mini. There was a longer delay sending the message from the SPOT X, versus when I sent a message from my Garmin Mini.
I wanted to show you how the Garmin Mini works without the Earthmate app and how the messages are sent and received using the Earthmate app, when it is synced with your smartphone.
I believe most people will love using the Earthmate app, as it allows you to leave the Garmin inReach Mini alone on your pack and you use the app on your phone as you would in any other day of your life.
The Earthmate app, combined with the Garmin inReach Mini is incredibly simple to use.
The Bottom Line
The test was a success and I proved to myself that the messages worked. I say I proved it to myself because it’s important for me to know these devices work as promoted, especially when I’m out deep in the Rocky Mountains and need to be able to communicate with others.
I was impressed with how easy it was to message between these devices and my iPhone. I had to be patient as the satellite system is not as fast as what we’re use to on our cellular networks, but it helps when you’re in the woods to know you can get help.
What impressed me the most was how easy it was to sync my Garmin inReach Mini to my iPhone. Initially, I thought I wouldn’t like having to keep my phone synced, but as it uses an app and a system that we are all familiar with, it was easy and enjoyable to use.
You can see a short video of this messaging process in action below.
I would love to hear about any experiences you have had with satellite messengers and the messaging process. Please leave a Comment Below or send me an Email.
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