Who says that real-time GPS tracking devices have to be very expensive? One of the things that make fleet managers hesitate about getting a fleet tracking system is the price of the devices. No worries, as there are some great options that are under $250. Hey, there are even devices that go below $100.
Here are the top eight tracking devices under $250:
GPS tracker below $100
One device that costs less than a hundred bucks is the Securus eZoom. eZoom makes use of T-Mobile’s network. It weighs less than 3 ounces and measures 2.76 inches by 1.73 inches by 0.85 inches. It comes with a one-year warranty and the battery life lasts for more than 500 hours on a single charge.
The unit itself is durable and is water-resistant, and you have the option to buy an auto installation kit to help you install the device on your vehicles.
By default, the tracker updates location data every 30 seconds. But you can also have it update on demand by requesting its location any time. Then there is the continuous mode, which allows you to get update location data every five minutes.
Getting an eZoom would mean paying an activation fee of $30 if you choose to pay monthly, or $15 if you choose to pay a year or two in advance. There is also an upfront service fee of $19.99, $14.99 and $12.99 per month, depending on the payment option that most suits your needs.
These fees would mean that Securus eZoom might have a lower entry price with a $100 dollar price tag.
You can access the location data by logging onto the Securus Web portal or through iOS or Android apps. You can also designate SafeSpots using the Web portal so that you can get e-mail or SMS alerts if the device leaves the area you considered safe. eZoom also comes with an emergency button that alerts you like a panic button does. But one distinguishing feature that eZoom has is that it sends you an alert if the device is moved, such as when the truck or car that you install it on moves when it is not supposed to. Plus, you can even designate a maximum speed limit with your eZoom and it will alert if the vehicle breaks the speed limit that you have set.
GPS trackers below $150
There are three GPS tracking devices that costs around $150. Let us check them out:
Spark Nano is from BrickHouse Security and gives you excellent battery life. You can have Spark Nano update its location every minute and even then, you can get battery juice of up to 23 hours, making it the longest lasting battery in the GPS tracking device industry. It also gives you the preference to have the location data every 24 hours, further saving battery life. Using this option, you can go for 25 days without needing to charge the unit.
Spark Nano uses T-Mobile’s network to send location data and a secure server stores the data. You can access these location data using BrickHouse Security’s Web site because Spark Nano comes with no mobile apps. The good news, however, is that the site is mobile optimized, so that it displays perfectly on any tablet or smartphone.
Apart from location data, you also get current speed at which the vehicle is moving. You can also set up your own preferred speed limit and the device will alert you if the vehicle goes beyond that specified speed limit. And very much like eZoom, you can also create zones with Spark Nano, which also alerts you when the device leaves that zone.
And like all the previous devices we have suggested, you also have a panic button feature for Spark Nano.
For $149.99, you can get a GPS tracking device, a smart watch and a basic phone with Filip Wearable Phone. You can set the device to update location data every 15 minutes, 30 minutes and 60 minutes, giving you battery juice that will last anywhere from one day to two days.
The device is designed to be worn, so it comes in different colors, such as red, pink, blue and green. It weighs only two ounces and measures 1.85 inches by 2.06 inches by 0.64 inches. It works on 3G 850/900/1700/1900/2100 megahertz and 2G networks. It works with AT&T.
Because it comes with a basic phone, you have two-way calling on board. You can set five numbers that you can call with just a touch of a button and other parties can call at anytime. It can also receive SMS messages.
It has the “Safe Zones” feature, which notifies you if the device and the user go beyond the specified areas that you consider safe. Then there is the emergency mode as well. Pressing down on the emergency button, the device will call five pre-selected phone numbers until somebody answers the phone.
The downside to the Filip is that it is designed to be worn by a child and might not fit the wrist of an adult driver. It also does not log historical tracking data nor does it alert you of anybody breaking speed limits.
Aside from the purchase price, you would also need to pay a monthly fee. You can get it discounted at $99.99 with a plan from AT&T.
The best of these three is the Spot Gen3 GPS tracker. It comes in a waterproof case and uses only satellites to determine and transmit its location. This is the perfect GPS tracker for those who are out in rural areas with no reliable mobile coverage.
Spot Gen3 measures 3.43 inches by 2.56 inches by 1 inch. It weighs 4 ounces with batteries. That is almost double the average weight of this type of device, which is pegged at around 2.53 ounces.
Location data is gathered in 10 minutes, 30 minutes or an hour. If you need shorter intervals, you can buy an upgraded package that can give you location data every 2.5 minutes or 5 minutes. You can access the location data on your iOS device by downloading the mobile app here or your Android mobile app here. You can also use the Web portal here.
The user could press a button on the device and send location information via SMS messages or e-mail. You can also check in by pressing another button. This tells your pre-specified recipients a message that basically says that you are okay along with your GPS coordinates.
There are also two panic buttons on the device. The help button is used for non-threatening situations, while the SOS button is for emergencies.
Spot Gen3 is best used for outdoor adventures, but if you have a fleet of vehicles that regularly go through rural areas with spotty or no cellular coverage, this will work rather well. But you have to understand that it makes use of four AA batteries that might be a hassle in the long run, because you would need to replace it after a few weeks. It also does not allow you to specify safe zones.
You can buy Spot Gen3 for as low as $149.95 in selected retailers.
GPS trackers below $250
Trackimo weighs around 1.4 ounces and measures 1.8 inches by 1.7 inches by 0.7 inches. This is probably among the smallest GPS vehicle tracking device available in the market right now, and much lighter than the average of 2.7 ounces. The tracker connects to GPS satellites to determine its location and it uses AT&T’s networks on the Quad GSM 850, GSM 900, DCS 1800 and PCS 1900 bands to send location information, which you can check on the Trackimo mobile app. Download it here:
Or you can just go online and view location data on the Web.
Trackimo has a panic button feature. You specify e-mail addresses and phone numbers, and the user will be able to notify you of his or her location on these by pressing on the panic button.
You can get up-to-the-minute location data updates. But if you feel that you need to save battery, you can set it up to update just every five minutes. But that seems to be of no concern as Trackimo claims that its 600 mAH lithium ion battery can last for more than 144 hours on standby.
Trackimo’s system also allows you to set up limits on a map and you will be alerted if the user goes beyond these limits.
Now let us talk costs. The retail price is about $170 and there are no monthly fees for the first year. After that, though, your monthly fees are much lower than other providers. You can go abroad and use Trackimo and there are no extra charges.
Each Trackimo unit comes with a two-year warranty.
For around $250, you can get PocketFinder. It is very basic and battery life is better than most devices. And it is very easy to use. It has pretty much everything that a GPS tracking device offers. You can also easily create safe zones on the fly, using the current location of the tracker. This means that you can set up safe zones easily and almost automatically, which is perfect if you are parking and wants to be alerted if your vehicle was moved.
Trax is more on the expensive end with a price tag of $249. But it is full featured and very easy to use. But it does not have voice features. It uses three different satellites to ensure accuracy and it works in more than two dozen countries. It is also activated by movement. You get to save battery life when the device is not moving. And when the device is moving, it updates its location more frequently the faster you go, so you get more accurate location data. Plus, if you do not like reading maps, you can still tell where the device is by using augmented reality.
Best in Class: Amber Alert GPS
If you are looking for value for money, then Amber Alert GPS is your best bet. For only $125, you get the most features than any of the devices we have reviewed here.
You get the basic real time GPS tracking out of the box and you can see location data on a map using a mobile or tablet app, or via Amber Alert’s Web portal. You can get updated location data every five minutes with accuracy of at least fifty feet. It has two-way calling. You can listen in on the user’s environment because you can make a call without the device ringing. There is an SOS button that the user can press. Once activated, the device calls and sends SMS messages to ten different pre-selected numbers, complete with location data from the tracker.
You can designate zones using an online map and the device will alert you if the user enters or exits these zones.
The mobile app it connects to is very easy to use and has an intuitive user interface. It allows you to easily see location information without having you to dig too much into the app. But if you want more information, check out the Web portal where you could get historical location information and device speed.
The device itself weighs around two ounces and is similar to a garage door opener in size.
Some drawbacks: You will need to charge the device every night because battery life is somewhat lesser than other devices, lasting only around 40 hours for very minimal usage. It also comes with a monthly cost, and you will be relying on AT&T’s network for information transmission. And if you want to stop using the device before your contract expires, you will need to pay an early termination fee.
Listed above are just some of the best of the best in the industry. For below $250, you can have one useful and practical device that can track your vehicles and fleet anytime, anywhere.