I took my Somewear Global Hotspot out for its first field test and let me show you what I found out and how it performed.
Somewear Global Hotspot Field Test
The first thing I did after receiving my Somewear Global Hotspot was to activate it and then test in at home to make sure I could access the topo map, weather forecast and messaging.
The messaging was only a simple test as I was within cell coverage, but I was surprised that I was able to send a message in my home without a view of the sky. So, I can only surmise that the Somewear Global Hotspot must use cell service plus satellites. (Follow up: This is a unique feature of the Somewear Global Hotspot that uses cell service while in coverage, and seamlessly switches to satellite mode when you move out of your cell service area).
Secondly, I checked to make sure the trails showed up on the topo map and then headed to the trail to test it out on the Timberline Lake Trail, just west of Leadville, Colorado and the Turquoise Lake.
Field Test | Topo Map
The topo map field test was the easiest to verify. It was easy to see my location on the map and also see the trail and my location as I hiked along the trail.
The first thing I like is that the trail is automatically loaded in the topo map and there is no need to place the trail route, as you have to do with a Garmin device.
The next thing I noticed is that the contours show up a little better than Garmin, but I have to add that you can add multiple maps with Garmin and have the contours show up boldly.
If I am going to be honest with you, I like the Garmin topo map better than the Somewear Global Hotspot, but they both do an excellent job.
Lastly, I need to say that both the Somewear Global Hotspot and Garmin inReach satellite messengers use the Global Iridium Satellite Network and have global, pole to pole coverage.
Field Test | Tracking
Tracking is extremely easy with the Somewear Global Hotspot. The only catch is that you must add at least one follower to you list to activate the tracking. It’s simple enough to add a friend or family member then select “Tracking” at the bottom middle of your screen.
Once you select tracking, a message is automatically sent to everyone in your followers list and lets them know the tracking has begun and where you are at that moment.
Field Test | Messaging
The messaging test was a failure on my first hike as the Somewear Global Hotspot did not recognize my iPhone or did not sync properly during the initial setup.
After returning from the hike, I contacted Somewear customer service and they advised me to select my device in the IOS setup, under Bluetooth and select “Forget This Device.” I then re-synced my iPhone and the Somewear Global Hotspot and it worked perfectly. A message will show up at the bottom of your screen saying “RICK’S HOTSPOT” or what ever name is you give it. This will let you know your device is actually synced.
I conducted several messaging tests and found out several interesting facts:
- The messaging works great with cell phones, as long as those cell phones are within cell service areas.
- The message test between the Somewear Global Hotspot and the SPOT X worked perfectly and quickly. I’m assuming this has to do with the SPOT X having its own unique U.S. cell phone number.
- Messaging between the Somewear Global Hotspot and my Garmin inReach Mini was a complete failure. I tried messaging from both devices with no success. I later contacted the Somewear customer service and they confirmed that messaging between Somewear and Garmin devices does not presently work, but they are working on correcting this in the future. (See the email below from Somewear Global Hotspot)
The Somewear Global Hotspot has one advantage over the Garmin inReach satellite messengers and that is, the Hotspot can use cell service and transition seamlessly to satellite service without you having to do a thing. I was able to send messages while in my home, without a view of the sky, and again, I was able to send messages on a hiking trip when I was out of cell service coverage.
One of my major concerns with satellite messengers like the Somewear Global Hotspot and the Bivystick, is that they rely on being synced to your smartphone. This in itself is not an issue, however, your cell phone battery life is a major issue to keep in mind. I handle this issue by carrying a portable charger that can charge my phone at least 3 time. This can still be an issue if you go out on backing trips that would last for three or more days.
I really like the simplicity of the Somewear Global Hotspot. Some satellite messengers have so many functions that it can take a significant amount of time to learn and test the device so you are comfortable when out on your adventure. The Somewear Global Hotspot simplifies your life. You basically have 4 things to choose from on your device. You can message people, let others know where you are by tracking, look up weather forecasts in your area, and call for help with the S.O.S. button. Honestly, you don’t need any more then that for most outdoor trips.
Click HERE to find out more information on the Somewear Global Hotspot.
You can see a short video on YouTube of the Somewear Global Hotspot Field Test
I would love to hear your thoughts and experience with the Somewear Global Hotspot. Please leave a Comment Below or send me an Email.
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Somewear Global Hotspot
World Wide Coverage5.0/5
Tracking & Sharing5.0/5
Initial Cost & Subscription Plan4.0/5
- Compact & Lightweight
- 2-Way Messaging
- SOS Distress Call
- Location Tracking
- Global Satellite Network
- Must be Synced with Smartphone
- Initial Purchase Price
- Must Rely on Phone Battery Life
- or Carry Portable Charger
2 thoughts on “Somewear Global Hotspot Field Test”
Hello there! this is an amazing review you have got here. When the hotspot is on, the battery easily lasted through a four-day weekend without draining. However, an hour-long hike under heavy tree cover with continuous tracking wore the battery down to 85 percent. I don’t think it would have enough battery to track an overnight backpacking trip.
Hi Joy. Thank you so much for your experience with the Somewear Global Hotspot.
I haven’t used it for long periods of time but I always carry a portable charger for my phone, especially, but I could also use it for the satellite messenger.
This is a great emergency satellite messenger but it may not be great for long outdoor trips.