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Satmap Active 12 review - for walkers

Satmap Active 12 review - for walkers

Tue 14th April 2015

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 12ís 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 donít 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 donít have to hold it flat. Sadly the Satmap Active 12 does not have this. Many people donít see this as a problem as they are used to holding a compass flat.

To end on a positive.

I certainly donít 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. 

Donít forget if you do purchase a Satmap Active 12 from GPS Training we donít just sell you the unit.

You will –

- Receive a FREE copy of getting started with your SatMap Active 12 guide - compiled exclusively by GPS Training for our customers.

- FREE Satmap Active 12 Webimar (worth £19.99)

- Receive FREE access to the SatMap GPS training - online resource (worth £11.99)

- FREE set up of your Satmap unit (including installing and checking mapping card and setting unit up for UK) before it leaves GPS Training. So you take it out of the box and can start using it straight away.

- FREE ongoing support from our GPS training experts.

- Part exchange available on any GPS unit.

- Buy any GPS online from us and pay just £3.95 delivery. 

- All GPS units are kept in stock and is sent out Royal Mail Special Delivery, so it will be with you the next working day (if ordered before 16.00).

The Active 12 GB Edition will include the following items:

- Active 12 GPS

- Map Card: Hi-Res Great Britain Ordnance Survey

- Map discount voucher (terms apply)

- Access to Xpedition Premium for a 3 month FREE trial

- 2700mAh LiPol Rechargeable Battery

- Standard Carry Case and Lanyard

- Wall Charger & Multi-Country Adapters

- Car Charger

- Battery Caddy (for AA batteries)

- USB cable for data upload and recharging

- Documentation including a Quick-start user guide.

You can find out more about the different Satmap Active 12 units and mapping bundles that are available here and please do feel free to get in touch and talk to a friendly GPS expert.

comments
Posted By: Brian Davies | Tue 14th April 2015

Thanks for all your help today installing the new mapping on my Satmap, it is really appreciated. Exceeded all expectations to get that kind of support.

Posted By: Philip Basford | Fri 17th April 2015

Hi, pleased to read your review of the SatMap 12.Is it available with just the 1:10,000 maps?Philip

Posted By: Jon Monks - GPS Training | Fri 17th April 2015

Philip, the Satmap Active 12 1:10,000 package is only available bundled with the 1:50 and 1:25k as you can then zoom through each of the map sets. I hope this helps.

Posted By: Peter Kenner | Thu 26th November 2015

Re Satmap 12. If bought with 1:25k mapping doesn't it allow you to zoom out negating the need for separate 1:50 mapping?

Posted By: Jon Monks - GPS Training | Fri 27th November 2015

Peter, thanks for your question. You need to buy the Satmap Active 12 with 1:50k, 1:25k and 1:10k Full GB Maps if you are wanting all map sets. Then you can choose what map set you wish to view. You can also buy the unit with just 1:25k map set but as you would expect you just then have the 1:25k maps. I hope this helps.

Posted By: max | Fri 27th November 2015

Thanks for your review. You didn't comment much on the difference between the Active 10 and the Active 12 units. Do you suggest to upgrade? I use it mainly for Skitouring in the Swiss Alps, as a backup to my paper maps or for Mountain Biking sometimes. Thanks.

Posted By: Andy - GPS Training | Wed 2nd December 2015

Upgrading from an Active10. The following new features were added to the Active 12 - NEW: Large, bright 3.5" Hi-Res screen (HVGA, twice the pixels of the Active 10) NEW: Bluetooth Smart (4.0) - for route sharing between Active 12 units. NEW: Bluetooth Smart (4.0) - for Heart Rate Monitor and bike Speed/Cadence sensor support. NEW: Barometric Altimeter, for accurate pressure and elevation data

Posted By: Keith Birkett | Fri 11th November 2016

A question rather than a comment , are Satmap 10 map cards compatible with Satmap 12 units ?If so , are Satmap 12 units available minus map cards , and at what price ?

Posted By: Andy - GPS Training | Fri 11th November 2016

Hi Keith, Thank you for your enquiry, we have the SatMap Active 12 Solo unit available on our Website under the SatMap GPS Section for £305.00 (RRP £320.00) this units comes with know OS Maps but your Active 10 Maps will work in the unit with no problems. I hope this helps, Regards Andy

Posted By: Brian H | Tue 21st February 2017

How may map cards would I need to cover the UK at 1:25000 and do I purchase these separately for the Satmap12 ?

Posted By: Jon Monks - GPS Training | Tue 21st February 2017

Thanks for your question. You can buy the full country at 1:25k scale on 1 map card for the SatMap. Just go to the top of the page and click on GPS store - Accessories and Mapping - Satmap Mapping. I hope this helps.

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