Sunday, March 18, 2012

Garmin GLO brings GLONASS to your smartphone or iPad

Garmin has announced the Garmin GLO, a portable GPS and GLONASS receiver that connects to Android and iOS devices via Bluetooth. The company claims it is the first wireless receiver to feature both GPS and GLONASS capabilities.

While the device can be used by anyone seeking improved reception in challenging locations such as urban canyons, it seems to be heavily targeted to pilots. It will update your position at up to 10 times per second (although the update rate may be limited by the connected Bluetooth device); slow update rates are apparently a significant problem when you’re flying at over a hundred MPH. Some smartphones already include GLONASS capability, but may suffer from a throttled update limit.

The GLO is expected to be available in August at for a $99 MSRP although a GLO for Aviation package is available immediately for $129.

Aviators aren’t a large component of our audience, but how about the rest of you? Anyone else in our readership interested in trying this out?

Here’s the full news release.

About Rich Owings

Rich is the owner, editor and chief bottle-washer for GPS Tracklog. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus.


  1. Here in the Raleigh, NC area, the hiking and biking trails and greenways in the local state, county, and city parks are not shown on USGS topos or in Garmin’s vector maps. The only way to have your position plotted on the trail is to use a smartphone app that accesses OpenCycleMap (preferably one that pre-caches maps for use offline). By using the Garmin GLO or the Bad Elf GPS Pro (which I use), the smartphone need not do the battery draining GPS receiving duty. In addition to feeding positions to an iPhone, the Bad Elf GPS Pro also has its own screen, so it can output coordinates in the event the smartphone becomes unusable.

    I wish Garmin would make the new fenix (or eTrex 10 or ForeTrex 401) able to feed position information over Bluetooth to smartphones. I asked them if they would do so and they said, “no.”

    I don’t know how Garmin’s trail maps fare in other parts of the country, but in my area, I expect to see a lot of folks using something similar to the Garmin GLO or Bad Elf GPS Pro to allow their smartphone to keep a charge and stay out of harm’s way while it giving them more relevant maps than a dedicated GPS receiver can.

  2. Hello,

    Garmin GLO has built in battery.
    How could I replace with other, If I need to do later ?
    I might be in a place where proprietary battery are out of question.
    Any solution please?
    Thank you,


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