Some pros and cons of the inReach SE versus inReach Smartphone, based purely on specifications.
- Full standalone SMS texting using cursor keys, virtual keyboard, and predictive texting. You can leave your smart phone behind, and still have full two-way communications.
- Built-in color screen
- 27 grams lighter, pretty amazing considering the added features.
- Taller but not as fat
- USB Rechargeable battery
- Not as water resistant: IP67 (1 meter for 30 minutes), versus IP68 (beyond 1 meter continuous).
- Shorter battery life, 100 hours versus 125 hours, with a big YMMV.
- Can't replace the batteries. For long hikes with resupplies, shipping a couple of AA Lithium cells to yourself can be more convenient than waiting in town to charge your device, and lighter than carrying a solar charger.
- $50 more expensive
Also, all inReach are backordered or not shipping until late April.
The only device fully comparable to the inReach SE on the market now is the Yellowbrick 3. Comparing those two, inReach SE:
- Cheaper to buy,
- More expensive to operate, highly dependent on your particular usage pattern,
- Includes maps in the app
- Includes GEOS IERCC rescue coordination service
- 105 grams lighter
- Much shorter battery life: about 8 days versus 90 days, with a big YMMV.
For more details, see the full article: http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/satellite_communications_sotmr_part3.html
I'm glad we have choices and competition in this market!