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SatMap Active 20 - review

SatMap Active 20 - review

Tue 11th July 2017

After much anticipation, the new SatMap Active 20 arrived into the GPS Training office after many hours of using it and a fair few miles under our belt does it live up the expectations?

Unboxing the unit our first impressions of the New SatMap Active 20 is that the build quality looks and feels good, the unit has a high weather rating of IP68 and has been drop tested to IK7 (1metre on concrete), it also boasts a tough 3.5 Gorilla Glass 3 screen, a great start

Turning on the unit on for the first time we were pleased at how quick the installed High Resolution Ordnance Survey Maps took to load, we were testing the Platinum Map bundle which includes both OS 1:25k & 1:50k Scale Maps + 1:10k Street view.  Changing between the map sets was quick and easy with just one press of a button or touch of the screen we were able to toggle between the different scales quickly, the clarity and sharpness of the maps looked great even when zoomed in close and the speed the maps renders has to be seen, we have never seen anything like it before, very impressive. 

We liked the idea of having a unit with both buttons and a touch screen, this is great when on the map page as you can simply touch on the screen to zoom in and out or move the map around or if you are wearing gloves the same functions can be done via the buttons on the unit which are very responsive.

The unit has a fast 1GHZ processor which was evident when moving the maps around on the screen they load very quickly and you can move the maps to another location easily with no delay or rendering.

The unit is setup to pick up several Satellite systems including GPS, GLONASS, SBAS and the new European GALILEO system (first outdoor GPS on the market to utilise the Galileo system). Taking the unit outside for the first time we were impressed at the speed the unit locked on to the Satellites and after only a few minutes the accuracy of the Satellite lock was displaying and impressive 2 metres.

Walking with the unit for the first time it had a nice feel in the hand, the unit is nicely shaped to hold in your hand when out walking and after calibrating the new 3axis electronic compass the map orientation was quick and accurate and when moving or stationary worked well with the unit being held either upright or flat.

It was a nice sunny day when we tested the unit (a rare occasion in North East England), the nice large 3.5 screen was great for viewing the High Resolutions maps on, we did find that giving the unit a quick backlight boost made the screen good to view in the sunshine, there are some simple setting in the unit for adjusting backlight settings and a quick button on the side of the unit for increasing the backlight for varied light conditions. We set the backlight to time out after 15 seconds and with such a large power pack the unit is very capable of being on for a longer period if need be.

Using the unit for a full day walking we still had some battery life left at the end of the day, the unit has good 5000mAh Rechargeable LiPol battery that performed well.

Overall our first impression of the unit is very good, we like the High Resolution Tough Gorilla Glass Screen, the robust feel of the unit / high weather rating and with the addition now of the 3axis compass and faster processor for loading the High-Resolution maps quickly we are looking forward to using the unit some more, well done SatMap.

SatMap Active 20 GPS units with GB maps - more here

SatMap Active 20 - Unboxing

SatMap Active 20 - Overview

SatMap Active 20 - Video Review

SatMap Active 20 GPS units with GB maps - more here


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