New Garmin inReach Mini 2
Feb 2, 2022 at 8:21 am #3738782Feb 2, 2022 at 1:37 pm #3738841Matthew / BPLModerator
Oh man I held my breath hoping they put a tiny Blackberry keyboard on it.Feb 2, 2022 at 2:27 pm #3738845
Here’s the press release:
Peering through the hype, other interesting changes are:
– TracBack navigation. “inReach Mini 2 automatically records a user’s activity and passively stores their route. If a user becomes disoriented, they can simply engage TracBack and an on-device digital path will retrace their movements and guide them back to their point of origin.”
– “up to 14 days of continuous run time in default 10-minute tracking mode.” Where did I put that giant grain of salt?
– “up to 30 days of continuous use when in 30-minute tracking mode.” Rats, I’ll have to buy another embiggened salt grain.
– Electronic compass
– Adds GALILEO, QZSS and BeiDou to GPS. GALILEO can be better than GPS especially in Europe and Africa. QZSS helps from Japan south to most of Australia. BeiDou can help in China, and if all the other satellites are hidden (i.e. rarely). Interesting that GLONASS is not on the list. More here. But listening to more satellites means burning slightly more battery energy.
– More customizable user interface, with “widgets” AND “widget glances.” Oh, joy.
Could be interesting to see a side-by-side review with the old Mini.
Keyboard: I’d be happy with just an ancient T9 keypad. Oh well.
— RexFeb 2, 2022 at 2:38 pm #3738846
It has a crummy display. It’s impossible to compete with smart phones, those are much better. GPS, topo map, tracks,… and all the other things phones do.
Just use the mini to communicate with satellite. Some day phones will come with this and the mini can be left at home.Feb 2, 2022 at 2:41 pm #3738847
I’d also add:
– Garmin Explore App (instead of Earthmate)Feb 2, 2022 at 2:50 pm #3738851
There is, however, an interesting appeal to having a small, light, and phone independent device.
I ordered one this morning, my first satellite communicator. The phone independence is the biggest reason I purchased the Garmin.Feb 2, 2022 at 3:06 pm #3738854
Skimming through the new manual (PDF):
– “GPS Only” option that doesn’t listen to all the other systems. Why? Oh wait, I answered that question above :-)
– Still doesn’t mention WAAS, which can improve GPS accuracy in North America.
– Still need multiple apps to manage the device – Express (computer), Explore (smartphone), and the Explore web site. PITA.
– As Sébastien mentioned, a USB-C port replaces the Micro USB port on the old Mini. Good.
– Manual section “Saving Energy While Charging the Device.” Handy for backpackers recharging from battery packs.
– More details on battery life:
Default mode with 10-minute tracking send interval and standard activity recording
Full sky view: Up to 14 days
Moderate tree cover: Up to 4 days
30-minute tracking send interval with standard activity recording
Full sky view: Up to 30 days
Moderate tree cover: Up to 10 days
Note the “Up to” for every claim.
I’m happy enough with my soon-to-be-discontinued inReach * mini, and the new one costs $400 – $50 more than the old one. In many ways, I prefer being able to use it without a smartphone to distract me in the wilderness. YMMV.
— RexFeb 2, 2022 at 3:06 pm #3738855BonzoBPL Member
@bon-zoLocale: Virgo Supercluster
Decent updates – and yeah, I agree with Rex in that more than a few grains of Lot’s wife are needed – but I’m in the “link it to my phone” camp. I’m already carrying that weight, so something that interfaces well with it is more to my style. If you go phoneless, though, this might be your thing.Feb 2, 2022 at 5:43 pm #3738864BlackHatGuySpectator
@sleepingLocale: The Cascades
I imagine I’m one of the few who never disliked Earthmate. It would occasionally show me trails that didn’t show in a well-liked mapping/GPS program (Death Valley was one such place) so I was happy to have both on the phone and used both.
Perhaps the best change, for me, is the USB-C instead of micro-USB connector.Feb 2, 2022 at 7:13 pm #3738873obx hikerBPL Member
It’s a conundrum. The inreach is a good safety device and a great way, I guess the only when you are out of tower connection, to communicate with the folks at home while leaving a record of your location so you don’t end up trapped at Bloody Hell Pass . OTOH have you ever tried to type a message into one? Good Lord!
So then you need a battery backup (+cable) if you’re going to be out more than 3/4 days and next thing you know those 3 items weigh more than a lb. Sigh. Never managed to run the Inreach down to even 50% though on several 7-8 daytrips but I only used it @ 4 times a day to show my position along a pre-planned route. Got familiar with that ‘key-boarding’ fun once when I had to change course so now I have a saved change of route message.Feb 2, 2022 at 7:28 pm #3738876
Tyler Freel at Outdoor Life anticipated my request for a comparison review of the Mini, Mini 2, and Explorer+ from Garmin. Worth reading if you are in the market.
Along with other improvements, power consumption seems to be much lower, extending battery life.
Swearing through message composition without a smartphone is about the same. Probably would get too many customer complaints if Garmin changed that :-)
— RexFeb 3, 2022 at 7:20 am #3738881John S.BPL Member
nm..forgot that when some things are typed it makes link..thought I was screwing up..please delete this one.Feb 3, 2022 at 7:26 am #3738882John S.BPL Member
Skurka’s thoughts on this new unit- improved but still fundamentally flawedFeb 3, 2022 at 7:30 am #3738883
I got my mini several years ago
I noticed that if I charge it at home, then wait for a week or two, the battery is mostly discharged. I have to charge it within a few days of my trip.
Maybe the mini2 would be better, or maybe my mini battery has just reached the end of it’s lifetime?Feb 3, 2022 at 7:36 am #3738884Ryan JordanAdmin
@ryanLocale: Central Rockies
Jerry, the passive discharge of a less-than-4-year-old Mini should definitely not be happening in 1 or 2 weeks after a full charge. We use several, they were all purchased when released in 2018, and only see passive discharge when they are stored for months, not days.Feb 3, 2022 at 7:37 am #3738885
Jerry, the original Mini should last up to a year when it’s turned off (As per page 7 of the manual). Sounds like the battery is at the end of it’s life.Feb 3, 2022 at 8:48 am #3738891
a bit of googling:
new battery is $25
the only problem is my smallest torx screwdriver is T10. It looks like the mini uses maybe a T5? I just ordered a better set from Amazon – $10. Then I can compare the battery
I charged up my Mini two days ago. It said it was 100% charged
After two days it’s down to 70%Feb 3, 2022 at 11:41 am #3738900Feb 3, 2022 at 1:05 pm #3738903
yeah, I think I ordered the correct size from Amazon, $10. T4 to T10 or something like thatFeb 3, 2022 at 6:51 pm #3738926
Read Skurka’s assessment. He wants to manage client relations and continue participating in text message threads while backpacking, and the Mini 2 doesn’t address those requirements.
I backpack to get away from electronic distractions – and don’t have Skurka’s needs. The original Mini works fine for me, and I don’t see a big reason to upgrade yet. After working near the cutting edge of IT for decades, I have a love/hate relationship with lots of technology.
Consider how you plan to use a satellite communicator before deciding whether it will work for you from the title of a blog post.
— RexFeb 4, 2022 at 10:28 am #3738979Josh JBPL Member
I’ll soon be in the market for one. Here’s what turns me off about the Zoleo specifically and similar for that matter.
1) more expensive than garmin
2) tethered to phone and without a phone can only say OK and send SOS, but then nothing
3) my phone is an old Samsung S9+, battery life sucks even in airplane. If my battery dies or phone damaged from a fall ect and I get injured were I want to be able to know if SAR is coming and talk to them, even if it’s slow with letter by letter and auto complete. Which isn’t much different than T9 Which I was pretty fast at. Plus my wife is a worry wort, sometimes more than an I’M OK is needed
4) they only offer i non modifiable “im ok”
Like others I’m trying to get away from technology except for pictures and the back up if something happens and keeping the wife happy.
If I misspoke about anything please correct meFeb 4, 2022 at 10:32 am #3738980Josh JBPL Member
The one thing I didn’t like about Sakura review is no where did he mention what is intended use for it was or to consider if it was right for your needs, it came across as it sucks.Feb 4, 2022 at 1:12 pm #3738991Brad WBPL Member
Yeah, Skurkas review came across as s fluff piece for Zoleo and it may very well be.Feb 4, 2022 at 2:39 pm #3738996Philip TschersichBPL Member
@philip-akLocale: Kodiak Alaska
I’ve owned a Mini for a few years now and we use an Explorer Plus for field work. I know a few people with Zoleos and I honestly think Skurka nailed it with his evaluation. The form factor of the Mini is great, but the overall 1nReach environment is a complicated mess. I’ve become somewhat desensitized to the idiosyncrasies in the Garmin system myself through familiarity. That is, until I help a tech-challenged friend set their new unit up and the insanity comes flooding back.Feb 4, 2022 at 3:19 pm #3738999BlackHatGuySpectator
@sleepingLocale: The Cascades
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