SATMAP Active 12 Review

This is an absolute beast. The SatMap Active 12 might be specialized for the people of Britain, but residents of the United States are also finding the many benefits of using this handheld GPS unit. The Active 12 is a very top of the line GPS navigator that builds upon the award-winning predecessor model of Active 10. Read our SatMap Active 12 review to find out why we recommend this to you, and why it made our list of best handheld GPS devices.

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Pros, cons, and features of the SatMap Active 12

Let’s first enlist the core features of the Active 12 one by one.

The GPS unit comes with an HVGA high-resolution screen. It has dual battery options: you can either use the traditional AA batteries or the rechargeable LiPol batteries. The Active 12 also comes with P2P (peer to peer) data sharing ability. It ensures that you can share a lot of data with other devices in a very short amount of time. It could be track logs, geocaches, custom waypoints, and so on.

There a barometric altimeter included. The mapping is very high resolution and there is a MapCard with the device (important for Great Britain residents). Bluetooth connectivity also adds another layer of sharing. With the Bluetooth 4.0 support, you can share data with smartphones as well. You can toggle the mapping between 1:50k and 1:250k scales.

Our findings: SatMap Active 12 review

The SatMap Active 12 is marketed as a “rugged sports GPS unit”. However, it can be used for anything from hunting to casual outings and from hiking to outdoor sports. The kind of features you find in the Active 12 and the ease of use of the product ensure that you never face any trouble, no matter what you are doing in the outdoors.

The location locking was average, nothing special there. The precision of the location was also average. The precision of the altimeter, however, was much better than anyone would expect. The elevation data, especially, is fast-loading and very precise.

satmap active 12

One of the primary things we loved was the detailing of the maps. These are real maps. These topo maps have exceptional clarity and terrain data. If we were to make a comparison, the official description says that the screen area is 43% larger than the Garmin Oregon with 60% more pixels (means much better resolution). Technically, it is true because the screen area and resolution are both better than the Oregon unit (and many other bestselling units). However, 60% more pixels doesn’t mean 60% better resolution or clarity. In fact, it has a mediocre but significant improvement over competitor screens. In any case, the better resolution and large screen area is surely something many of us like.

The GPS unit looks good and feels even better. The battery backup is decent. The screen size is 3.5,” something to really look forward to. The design is smart and intellectual. The package contains a lot of stuff, but all of it is stuff you can easily carry along with the GPS unit itself.

satmap active 12 review

Major improvements over predecessors

It is true that the Active 10 was a breakthrough product. For some reasons, we were never able to use that one. However, that doesn’t mean we don’t understand how big the impact was of the Active 10 on the handheld GPS unit industry. With the Active 12, SatMap is trying to reclaim the market. Sure, there are multiple huge improvements over the Active 10 now.

First of all is the larger screen. 3.5” sunlight-ready screen is no joke. It shows maps very clearly and makes navigation much easier. Bluetooth connectivity means you can share routes between multiple Active 12 units. It also has support for heart rate monitor and bike speed/cadence sensor through Bluetooth. There was no barometric altimeter in the predecessors. Now, it is included so that you can get precise elevation data and pressure information in the region.

Customer response to the Active 12

There are not a lot of customers for the Active 12. Active 12 will most probably need to be imported, which will increase the price. If you purchase from some retailer, then the cost might be higher than that offered by an online seller on Amazon.

Nevertheless, the price point makes the gadget a rare commodity. However, in its base market of the United Kingdom, the Active 12 is very popular. After making our purchase and using it on a few trips, we understood why the price is high and why all those who use the Active 12 love it. It is the standard of premium handheld GPS units.

Customers appreciate how the Active 12 is very easy to use and user-friendly. In fact, it is designed in a way that makes new users acquainted with the basics very quickly. Screen clarity is, of course, one of the biggest plus points of the Active 12.

Wrapping up our SatMap Active 12 review

For the people of the United Kingdom, this is a device that beats all others right out of the water. With the usual features, it also comes with over 6 times better resolution mapping for the UK. Not to mention that it is a show-stopper. We didn’t get the chance to test it in the UK, but sitting here in the US and seeing those maps makes us pretty jealous why we don’t have that resolution for the US maps.

It is a very durable, high-resolution, and easy to use handheld GPS unit. The SatMap Active 12 sure delivers on its promise of better performance than the predecessors. SatMap has added more features to build upon the predecessors and it truly makes the Active 12 one of the best GPS navigators out there.

If you can purchase it, we would absolutely recommend it. The SatMap Active 12 is undoubtedly one of the best handheld GPS units out there and you should not compromise on the quality of your service by opting for anything inferior.

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