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58 of 58 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Real world trial
Just returned from a two week float in the arctic depending on the InReach for all communication. This device does exactly what it's supposed too and does it reliably.
Texting is a little cumbersome but with a limit of 160 characters not a major problem. It does create some interesting massages.
Battery life is excellent. We turned it on twice a day to send...
Published 11 months ago by Ciara Huntington

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52 of 53 people found the following review helpful
The manufacturer commented on the review below
2.0 out of 5 stars Great device with lots of potential (some limitations)
Great device with a few bugs, but lots of potential.

I frequently go with Boy Scouts to areas where cell phone communication is not available. My main purpose for purchasing this device was for emergency communications. During our last camp (week long in Wyoming), was used several times to order supplies from people coming later in week and to pass general...
Published 11 months ago by R. Ensign


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58 of 58 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Real world trial, August 2, 2013
This review is from: DeLorme AG-009871-201 inReach SE (Electronics)
Just returned from a two week float in the arctic depending on the InReach for all communication. This device does exactly what it's supposed too and does it reliably.
Texting is a little cumbersome but with a limit of 160 characters not a major problem. It does create some interesting massages.
Battery life is excellent. We turned it on twice a day to send and receive a message twice a day. We did not use tracking. At the end of the trip we had a 44% charge left. Tracking is unnecessary, each message has a very nice link to a map with your precise position, superb fot our bush pilot pickup. We did carry an Ankor rechargeable battery charger. Just for kicks we tried it on our last night, it works fine. Recommend the Ankor for a long trip or if you are chatty.
Durability seems excellent, we tossed it around in packs, dropped it in sand, submerged it in a strainer and it kept on working.
Cons- Presets are need Lots and lots of work. Keyboard is cumbersome.

Overall, this does exactly what it's supposed to and does it reliably.
If you need to be in reach in remote country, this does it cheaply and reliably. It's pretty much found a permanent place in my pack.
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The manufacturer commented on the review belowSee comments
52 of 53 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great device with lots of potential (some limitations), August 11, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: DeLorme AG-009871-201 inReach SE (Electronics)
Great device with a few bugs, but lots of potential.

I frequently go with Boy Scouts to areas where cell phone communication is not available. My main purpose for purchasing this device was for emergency communications. During our last camp (week long in Wyoming), was used several times to order supplies from people coming later in week and to pass general messages. Luckily was not needed for emergency, but was nice to have. I did not have problems activating device like other reviewers. While it mentions that it may take some time to send and receive, when using device, I discovered it had capability to manually check for messages, so when you send a message, you can check more frequently, often getting turn around in just a few minutes. When left alone, however, sometimes would go many hours without getting signal and there was no warning or notice of this, making it unreliable for incoming emergency messages (trouble at home).

Pros:

* Two way communication - This amazed everyone at camp and I was soon the go to person to send messages home.
* Ability to link to a smart phone (easier to message)
* Ability to send and receive messages without phone (while this is harder to compose, it is nice if phone not close by or battery ran out).

Cons:

* No warning when no signal. While I generally had a good connection, when device left alone, sometimes after many hours, would notice it had not connected since l looked at last, but no warning or notification that device was not connected. Status light only flashes red when it can't send a message.
* Phone app does not have capacity to manually check for messages, look at time since last satellite connection, need to do that from device
* Not great features as stand alone GPS. Cell phone app can show location maps and where message were sent from, but no good map view on device (that I could find).
* Message sent has lot of unnecessary verbiage, often confusing recipients: "See XXX's location: [...] [actual message here] Delorme-Always inReach" . Would be nice if option to send without location (not always necessary) and Delorme signature.

Overall this is a great device, with a lot of potential. I love the ability for 2 way communication. There are some limitations, some of which are likely overcome with firmware updates in the future.

Update June 2014
After a year with this product, I am lowering my review to 2 stars. Above review is still accurate, great to have two way communication when out of cell phone range, BUT, now to get basic features as a GPS device, you must buy the new Explorer module. Come on folks, can't your current users get a device that functions as it should. This should be available through a firmware update (mine is up to date), so if this changes I will update my review. I am not spending $400 to get basic GPS functions this device should have come with (and available on any cheap GPS). I will stick with my Garmin Oregon and if needed buy a newer Garmin before another Delorme.
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stem
The manufacturer commented on this review(What's this?)
Posted on Dec 27, 2013 12:13:26 PM PST
R. Ensign, I realize this is an older review but I wanted to give you an update on some improvements we've made to the inReach SE firmware.

We've added an option that lets you control how often the inReach listens for incoming messages. The default is still 20 minutes but you can increase the interval to 15, 10, and 5 minute intervals. When set at 5 minutes the device will listen to see if the Iridium satellites have a waiting message every 5 minutes. This is a little different than the manual Mailbox Check option which sends a message to the satellite and gets a confirmation. If the satellites do not have a message to deliver they do not communicate during the Listen phase, even though the inReach is listening. If your inReach is not positioned with a clear view of the sky it will listen for messages even though it cannot hear them. Keep this in mind when you position your device at scout camp so that it can listen for incoming messages. If the inReach is positioned correctly and there's a waiting message you will see it within five minutes or so of it being sent.

With our latest 2.4 firmware update we've also added a Location Page. This displays the current GPS coordinates along with your speed, course, and elevation. You can use this to plot your current GPS location on a paper map for navigation. This is a nice tool when you do not have your inReach paired with the Earthmate app for viewing topographic maps on your mobile device.

We've also changed the way a message is sent. We've removed the marketing content and shifted the custom text that you write to the beginning. We still display coordinates so that friends and family can see your location even if they can't view the map website from the message link.

Keep an eye out over the coming months as we're always working on updates to the inReach SE, the Earthmate app, and the Explore website. Feel free to contact me (chip.noble@delorme.com) if you have any questions about the information I've shared or comments based on your use of the inReach.

Thank you,
Chip Noble
Product Manager
DeLorme
 
 

The manufacturer commented on the review belowSee comments
66 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Works for me, June 25, 2013
This review is from: DeLorme AG-009871-201 inReach SE (Electronics)
Lot of complaints about SE not working out of box and having to download update software. Mine came 6/25/13 (ordered 5/17 from REI). Within ten minutes of opening I had created an account at Delorme, accurately found my location, sent a message to my iphone and back to SE and paired with my phone for contacts as well as maps using EARTHMATE APP. All worked flawlessly and intuitively. Only negatives I've found so far is you can't create contacts on your computer and then sync with the SE via USB ..yet...delorme says they are working on this. This means if your not using a bluetooth sync phone, you will have to type in on the SE (slow) all your contacts. Also, preset messages are labeled message #1, 2 or 3 and don't say what the message is...you have to remember. Delorme says when they fix the sync issue, this will be fix this as well. We'll see.
Overall this functions as expected (and then some really) and much more functional than SPOT I currently have for when you need help but not 911.

I wonder if mine already came with software updates compared to other reviews? Also wonder if you type in the wrong code (about 20 digits) for registering SE, that may be part of problem..doubt it given 3 people had problem. Guess I was just lucky?
Hope this helps.
Idaho
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stem
The manufacturer commented on this review(What's this?)
Posted on Dec 27, 2013 1:41:20 PM PST
Idaho, I know this is an older review but I wanted to give you a quick update about the new 2.4 firmware update for your inReach SE. We've added details to the Preset Message page so that you can read the text of the message along with the list of recipients. This will help when trying to remember what Message #1, #2, and #3 are when you're in the field. There are several other updates in the 2.4 firmware worth checking out. The Location Page displays GPS coordinates, speed, course, and elevation.

We've also updated the Explore website so that you can create contacts on your computer and then sync them with your inReach SE via USB. As you pointed out in your review, this will be a much faster way to add contacts to your inReach SE device.

Let me know (chip.noble@delorme.com) if you have any more feedback on the inReach SE and keep an eye out for future firmware updates and Earthmate app downloads.

Thank you,
Chip Noble
Product Manager
DeLorme
 
 

47 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No Problems, Great Product, June 29, 2013
This review is from: DeLorme AG-009871-201 inReach SE (Electronics)
Purchased from Cabelas on 6/20/2013 and received on 6/28. I had no problems activating the unit through their website. I entered in the ID info from the device, selected a service, and paid. I then took the unit outside with a clear view of the sky to activate and it activated within 10 or 15 minutes (I just left it outside for a bit and did some yard work). After it was activated I downloaded the Iphone app and set up some contacts and was able to text my wife's phone and receive one back. It was a fairly easy process. Can't wait to use it on my Ruby Mountain Trail hike later this month.

Update 7/25/2013

My wife and I just completed a 5 day 35 mile back packing trip on the Ruby Crest Trail in northern Nevada and had a chance to use the device extensively. In short it worked very well. Sending and receiving messages was a breeze. I liked the ability to send messages from the unit itself or from my iPhone. Although it was faster on the iPhone, having the ability to send and receive messages on the unit itself was peace of mind if the phone failed or ran out of battery. It would pick up satellite reception fairly quickly unless there was a lot of tree cover.

The battery life was good. Although we had a Goal Zero solar charger, I have no doubts the batter life would have been sufficient for the entire trip (we turned it off during the night). I didn't test the 100 hour claim but don't doubt it.

Our service plan included the tracking and it worked as advertised. Friends and family were able to track our progress throughout the trip easily through a website. My wife was also able to even post to her Facebook through the unit.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Purchase, August 30, 2013
This review is from: DeLorme AG-009871-201 inReach SE (Electronics)
Purchased the SE for a series of hunting trips in north-central and south-east Yukon. The unit was purchased with the protective carrying case. I also paired it with my ipad.

Pros: #1 positive is that the unit works. It sends, it receives, it is small enough to carry all the time, it is a cost-effective communications solution for remote regions. It is fairly robust so carrying it while hiking through brush wasn't a major concern. It established a signal every time, including some fairly steep mountainous terrain. I was able to send updates / all is well messages every night, even when freezing or on the backside of a mountain from the satelite. The monthly costs are relatively modest. The ability to load regional maps onto a paired device is very much appreciated. In terms of cost, the purchase price of the unit equates to 4 tanks of gas for my truck; a sat phone is 4.5 to 5 times that amount. The monthly costs are comparable to local cell phone. The downloadable maps are sure handy.

Cons: there are not many cons to the product. I found the unit may take between a few seconds to a minute to establish a link with the satelite. Typing a message using only the unit (without pairing to a device with a keypad) and moving between icons on a chilly morning with stiff/cold fingers is a challenge. The unit - especially in cold weather - consumes the battery more quickly than I anticipated. The charger included is AC only; a 12V DC would have come in handy for charging from a boat or quad. Replies to my messages did not indicate the sender, just a delorme email address, which made it difficult to know who was texting me back.

Overall: I'm happy with the purchase. It provides an additional safety asset while in remote regions. The unit, when paired with my ipad, is a convenient, cost-effective way to share your location or to communicate while outside of cell or landline telephone service.
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32 of 38 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Stay away! No way to trial and they continue to bill after cancellation., September 16, 2013
By 
Glen Lewis (Sandy, UT United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: DeLorme AG-009871-201 inReach SE (Electronics)
I have nothing but horrible experiences with these guys. First, I buy the product and sign up for their service. There's no way to trial it so I spent a lot of time researching and thought they'd be worth it.

What a mistake!

I took this on numerous bike rides, weekend camping trips, etc in the wide open deserts of Utah. I kept track points turned on so I could validate things were working. HORRID! It would only occasionally show the track points, stopped tracking and let me without the peace of mind it's supposed to provide. I ended up taking it on a 7-day cruise. We had a room with a balcony and I attached it to a chair outside so that it would have a clear view of the sky the entire time. We were out for a week and yet only about 10 hours of the trip ended up having any track points at all.

So if I'd have had an emergency, we'd have been totally up a creek.

They sell this as though it's going to help, but we would have been worse off, thinking that we were monitored.

So I cancelled. What a headache!!! Nobody in support would help, salespeople go silent. I cancel the service and they continued to bill me. I finally had to open a dispute with American Express. Even after all that THEY STILL CONTINUE TO BILL ME!! I keep receiving new statements, new billing charges and to make matters worse, today there's a new $200 charge for who-knows-what.

Stay away from these people. Regardless of the product and service (which is crappy) these people are the worst!

If you want to have peace of mind and a decent emergency beacon, go with someone else. If you want to keep your money, go with someone else. Stay away from InReach!
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The manufacturer commented on the review belowSee comments
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Real world user. Troublesome product that you should not count on in emergencies, December 26, 2013
By 
TCTundra "TC" (Marin County, CA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: DeLorme AG-009871-201 inReach SE (Electronics)
I bought my SE from REI in August 2013. Got the unit up and running fairly quickly, despite software that is reminiscent of trying to to connect a motorola flip-phone to the internet circa 1998. The hardware feels cheap, with brittle painted plastic parts showing injection molding seams, and a microscopic 16 color LCD screen that looks like it was borrowed from the same 1998 flip-phone. That said, I was able to connect with an iphone, which worked better than I expected and allowed easy entering of text, despite a dated interface which lacked needed (and basic) technical help information.

The power button on my unit was troublesome, and it sometimes would simply not turn on. Regardless, I brought it on a backpacking trip, where I used it to send and receive about 20 messages total. When I returned, the people who I sent messages to complained that a), the messages were cut off (the 160 character limit does not mention that Delorme will use about 30 characters to insert an ad at the end of your message). This caused considerable trouble, since all of my messages were cut off. B) the GPS never functioned. All of my messages showed my location as somewhere in the middle of the India Ocean, rather than in the high sierras. I had a clear view of the sky, and the unit indicated a GPS signal.

I called Delorme to complain about these issues, and asked them to clarify the $65 bill I received for sending these messages, which did not add up. Be prepared for $10+ of taxes and fees on each bill, and unintelligible details about your usage that do not match the billig plan you signed up for. Customer service apologized, but offered no refund. They promised to call back with an explanation of the cut-off messages within 48 hours, but never did.

In December, three months later, I took the unit out to charge it an prepare for an upcoming trip. The unit would not charge, and would not power up. Customer service could not offer any help, so I returned the unit to REI.

Delorme customer service refuses to cancel my contract or offer an type of recourse (12/26/2013).

Buyer beware.
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stem
The manufacturer commented on this review(What's this?)
Posted on Dec 26, 2013 2:06:50 PM PST
TCTundra, I realize you returned your inReach a while ago and might not be interested in further information about the device however I'll share here so that you and others reading your review will be aware...

I understand the frustration you experienced when your friends reported cut off messages and messages with coordinates of 0,0. We have since changed the way that messages are delivered so that your custom text appears first and there is no marketing content at the beginning or end of the message. We still display the lat/lon in the message so that your recipient knows your location if they can't follow the web link. Should you send a message that is a full 160 characters we will break the message into two SMS messages so that your friend will read the full post.

The messages that appeared in the ocean did not have a GPS location and were placed at the 0,0 coordinate. This was a problem that occurred for some of our iOS customers where their Location Services did not request updated information from the inReach. We have resolved this problem by pushing the coordinates with the message so that recipients will know where inReach messages come from. We have also added clarification to the Explore and MapShare sites to explain that a message doesn't have coordinates if the inReach user chooses to send a text only message.

One other minor note - the Earthmate app and the inReach device both have built-in Help files that could have provided detailed technical help information. I understand that the Help option is under the menu in the Earthmate app and on the second page of icons on the inReach SE. Perhaps this detail will help others looking for this information.

I am surprised to hear that our Customer Service department wasn't able to help with your device when it would not charge or power up. This is something that can be resolved with a device reset (hold X and Down for 10 seconds for existing users) and our CS reps can always offer repair options. I will check in with them regarding this and your request to cancel your contract. They work hard to help customers but do have to balance how long a device has been owned and how much it has been used.

Again, I recognize that you've returned your inReach SE but hopefully these details will show some of the steps we've taken for future users. You are welcome to email me (chip.noble@delorme.com) if you have any questions about what I've shared.

Thank you,
Chip Noble
Product Manager
DeLorme
 
 

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars best tracking GPS / Satellite Communicator piece of equipment I have ever had, November 29, 2013
This review is from: DeLorme AG-009871-201 inReach SE (Electronics)
I have been using GPS and satellite communicators for many years now. I have had the SPOT device, then the inReach and now the SE. Paired with my iPhone, the SE is really the best tracking GPS / Satellite Communicator piece of equipment I have ever had. Maps are easy to download, tracking is instant and sending Facebook or Twitter messages from the field is now as easy as sending any other text messages. Used properly and carefully, the battery life is really good. When I am gone for more than a week, I bring along my Voltaic solar charger and battery and charge my SE with the USB cable without any problems. I have stayed out on the field for weeks and my SE has never let me down or not deliver what it is supposed to do. The SE website portal is user friendly and Delorme has confirmed me that they are working hard at making it ever more useful and practical. The SE has helped my work in creating a visual narrative from my expeditions. I read some other reviews and unfortunately I haven't had any of the "bad" experiences some seems to have had. I definitely recommend this product. Daniel Fox / [...]
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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a "standalone device", July 4, 2013
This review is from: DeLorme AG-009871-201 inReach SE (Electronics)
In an oversight that must be deliberate; Delorme SE does not provide your own GPS location on the screen. To find your own coordinates you have to send a message and then dig through the message sent. Sure you can carry another GPS and/or an iPhone to provide apps and maps... but that means one or two more gizmos to power and carry. Delorme SE could be the standalone device that everyone in the backcountry must have... if it would only make a firmware upgrade available immediately that shows your own GPS coordinates on start up. Then you can go anywhere; with an SE and a map. How beautiful that would be! (Bring a compass for back up!).
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stem
The manufacturer commented on this review(What's this?)
Posted on Dec 27, 2013 2:59:28 PM PST
ZackZap, you're right - it was an oversight to not include a coordinate display in the initial release of the inReach SE. We were focused on bringing Messaging, Tracking, and SOS to the new inReach SE device with the screen and knew that GPS coordinates were available with the Earthmate app.

Thanks to requests like yours and those of other customers we've released a 2.4 firmware update for the inReach that delivers a Location Page with a GPS coordinate display as well as the current speed, course, and elevation of the device. This page also has a Share Location option that will send all of these statistics to a friend or family member that might not have a web enabled mobile device or access to a fast enough connection so that they can still receive your GPS coordinates.

Update your inReach SE with the 2.4 firmware and let me know what you think of the new Location Page. Keep an eye out for future updates to the inReach SE and the Earthmate app as we continue to improve the system.

Thank you,
Chip Noble
Product Manager
DeLorme
 
 

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last, a reliable 2-way texting device, January 29, 2014
This review is from: DeLorme AG-009871-201 inReach SE (Electronics)
EPIRBs/PLBs are great for life-threatening emergencies but they're not suitable for requesting non-urgent help (such as a chopper evacuation for a twisted ankle) or for signalling you're okay if you're delayed by bad weather, for example. Satellite phones fill this gap but they're expensive, fairly power hungry and not always reliable under canopy or in deep terrain. Moreover sat phones are unreliable for receiving text messages, at least in Australia. (My own sat phone recently received a text that was sent 8 months previously!)

I've been waiting for years for a satellite-based device that can reliably send an `I'm okay' message and confirm it's been sent. The Inreach SE not only does this but allows 2-way texting to both cell phones and email addresses, automatically sends your location and has a built-in SOS button. Texts sent to emails automatically display a map showing your current location. The SE can be programmed to send pre-scripted messages, or you can type new ones using the toggle switch. If the SE has trouble locating GPS satellites, it gives you the option of sending your message without your location information.

Some reviewers have expressed concern that the SE has a built-in battery that can't be replaced if it runs out, unlike its predecessor the AG. I've just completed a 15-day trek sending and receiving messages daily, and used less than 5% of the battery capacity. Users planning to keep the SE switched on continuously can if necessary recharge it in the field using a portable recharger such as a Powermonkey. I've rarely had problems getting messages in or out, even under dense canopy, and the messages get through as promptly as if you were sending and receiving them on a standard cell phone.

The SE is tough, waterproof and dead easy to use. It's solid and well designed but weighs only 190 grams. If you want peace of mind when you're out in the wilderness, and if you want the folks back home to have peace of mind, get one. It's the best thing since powdered milk.
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DeLorme AG-009871-201 inReach SE
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