When I did a feature comparison between the Car & Family Locator and the Universal Locator I really didn't see much of a difference between the two in basic functionality even though the Car & Family Locator costs $50 more. However, there does apepar to be a a slight difference between the two from what I could see. The Car & Family Locator come with a car mount and lets users set up predefined electric "fences" where they get alerts if the car travels outside "fence" or into a new one. You should make the decision if a car mount and this feature is worth the $50 for yourself.
Since in every other way the two Zoombak GPS devices appear to be exactly the same we will take a look at the basic features for both products.
Zoombak Product Features
This GPS tracking device for cars offers an unlimited amount of on-demand locates, meaning that at anytime your device has enough battery to send you a signal you can get it to do so. There are 3 easy ways to conduct an on-demand location request of your Zoombak :
- Log on at Zoombak.com and check your status
- Send a text message to your device via mobile phone
- Contact a Zoombak customer representative for a live location report
Standby - Up to 120 hours or 5 days
Active Locator Use - Up to 150 location requests
* Battery life depends on several factors including temperature, network, signal strength and locator service features used. Location requests include the following Zoombak Locator service features:
- On-Demand / Find Now requests from your mobile phone
- Active Safety Zones and Continuous Tracking mode
- Low battery Alerts: When your Zoombak locator indicates low battery (blinking amber LED), recharge your battery as defined in the Zoombak Locator User Guide.
What I take all this to mean is that the battery will only last for 5 days - max. The more you ask for the location of the device the short the battery will last.
Having a 5 day battery life is major limitation for those looking to use this device for GPS tracking of a car. You will have to take your device out of the car regularly if you are using it as an anti-theft device or keep it in the cab, charging the battery when you drive the car. But how is that supposed to help you recover a stolen car? Won't a thief just grab the device and discard it?
Some GPS tracking devices for cars can be hardwired into your car's computer. It will feed off your batteries power. This makes the device secure, hidden, and capable of being called often. This type of device does cost more than the Zoombak and will have an installation fee as well, but this is definitely the device you are going to want to have if you are using the GPS tracking device to aid in the return of a stolen car.
It appears that the tracker is best used for short term tracking. Take a look at this snippet from the Zoombak website:
Zoombak's continuous tracking feature provides you with an automatic update of your Zoombak’s location every 5 minutes for up to 1 hour.
Tracking a teen on a "short" drive; checking a vehicle's loation on over a weekend excursion; making sure the car hasn't been stolen while you on vacation - this is what the Zoombak should be used for.
On of the key features of this GPS tracker for cars is that it is A-GPS. The "A" here denotes "assisted." This means that the Zoombak is uses cell signals to transmit information and gather location information in addition to GPS signals. This is very good, since cell phone singals often penetrate where GPS signals cannot - providing increased coverage.
Zoombak GPS Tracking For Cars Service Plans
Zoombak offers three service plans that provide the same exact coverage at three different prices. These are the:
- Only $14.99 a month
- Annual cost: $179.88
- Starts at only $9.99 a month.
- Save $15 by pre-paying the first three months for only $29.97 ($9.99/month). After three months, pay only $14.99/month.
- Annual cost: $164.88
- Save $24.89 by pre-paying the whole year.
- Annual cost: $154.99
- No activation fee
- No hidden fees
- Unlimited on-demand location requests via the Internet and customer service
- On-demand location requests via mobile phone
- Unlimited continuous tracking via web and customer care
- Unlimited safety zone alerts
- Opt-in for “Power Off” and low battery alerts via email and text message
- Location history via Zoombak.com and customer care
- 24/7 live customer care and location support
- One-year customer agreement required for all service plans
- Convenient, paperless online billing and account maintenance
- Credit or debit card
- Early termination fee applies
Zoombak CoverageLike all assisted GPS devices, the Zoombak does have some coverage limitations. It appears that the coverage is fairly decent for this car tracker:
|Size||2.87" x 1.69" x .0.82" (L x W x H)|
|Battery Life*||Standby - Up to 120 hours or 5 days|
Active Locator Use - Up to 150 location requests
The Zoombak appears to be a decent GPS tracking device for a car. It certainly has its limitations with short battery life, but is certainly sufficient for certain type of GPS tracking activity. If you can handle the $250, you could enjoy the convenience and information this GPS tracker for cars affords.