Garmin has launched its new inReach Mini 2 pocket satellite messenger, with a longer battery life, faster processor and more functions than the previous version. In short, the Mini 2 makes it even easier to stay in touch with everyone back home on your next cruise, whether it’s on the Great Loop, the ICW, the San Juans or along the coast.
The new Mini 2 is the same size (roughly 2 inches by 3.9 inches by 1 inch) as the Mini 1, and it also weighs just 3.5 ounces. But the all-important battery life is now 14 days (in a 10-minute tracking mode), considerably more than the Mini 1. The Mini 2 reduces reliance on the smartphone app, which is a good thing, considering a phone’s own battery life.
The Mini 2 also has the same waterproofing feature; you can drop it in one meter of water for 30-minutes, and the same SOS function that sends an interactive SOS to the Garmin coordination center.
But with its more powerful processor, the Mini 2 scrolls much faster, making it easier to access all the functions, messages and responses. You can keep in touch with your family or friends back home by sending them messages via email or phone, and you can send updates to your Facebook page. You also can exchange locations with another inReach device. And you can download the weather.
The Mini 2 has a new TracBack feature to show where you’ve been, in case you want to go back; it’s basically a breadcrumb reciprocal. And you can get heading information with its digital compass, even when you’re not moving.
Better global satellite coverage with the Mini 2 keeps you connected even when you’re out of cellphone range, and you have wireless connectivity with Bluetooth.
For navigation, you can store 1,000 waypoints and 100 courses. The inReach Mini 2 costs $399.99 at Garmin, and you need a subscription. Read more: