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Fi vs. SpotOn (Which GPS Dog Collar Is Right For You?)

So you’ve fallen down the GPS dog collar rabbit hole, and you’re torn between Fi vs SpotOn?

My honest, thorough review compares both collars across all the key factors like GPS tracking, battery life, subscription cost, customization, and more. I tested both collars for weeks to see which is truly the better buy for you!

Fi vs SpotOn: Overview of the Two Devices

Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. Fi Smart Collar Series 3 is basically your dog’s personal trainer and life coach wrapped up in a collar. Picture an Apple Watch but for your Lab. This little gadget not only keeps tabs on every walk, nap, and zoomies, it also moonlights as a GPS tracker. 

On the flip side, SpotOn dog collar is like that security guard who takes her job way too seriously—in a good way, of course. It’s all about keeping your pup in check, whether they’re gallivanting around your yard or you’re setting up a makeshift playground at a campground. How does it work?

Dog owners need to set up this virtual fence and train your dog to understand it. SpotOn is really a boundary training collar. If your fur child thinks about making a run for it, the collar will gently remind them with alert and warning sounds. If the dog ignores that, and they get vibrations.

Now like with most GPS dog fences, there’s also a static feedback option, but take it from me—I’ve tested it, and it freakin’ hurts. So, maybe skip that setting.

Oh, and don’t worry. If your pup ever thinks he’s the next Houdini and tries to escape, SpotOn dog fence has the GPS tech to help you track that adventurous spirit down.

So now you may be wondering, “Which one of these wonders do my pup and I need in our high-tech lives?” Well, stick around because we’re about to get into that. 

And just to keep things interesting, let’s also compare the few things these collars do have in common—because, hey, although they have as much in common as Arnold and Danny, Arnold and Danny seem to be good friends.

Here’s what’s on our comparison menu:

  • Location Tracking
  • Tracking on the Go
  • App User Experience
  • Battery Life
  • Customization 
  • Pricing

Location Tracking

Both Fi and SpotOn are ready to track right from the get-go. But when it comes to military-grade precision, SpotOn’s your SEAL Team Six. These folks aren’t rookies; they used to build lifesaving tech for the U.S. military. It’s all GPS, so even if you’re off the cellular grid, SpotOn fence still got your pup’s back. My field tests show faster and more reliable location updates compared to other brands.

GPS dog collar reviewer Zach Lovatt take SpotOn collar for a field test.

Since you can create virtual fences with SpotOn, it has features like “safe” and “keep-out” zones. Not pertinent to Fi, so let’s not go down that rabbit hole. For the full drill down on those features, check out my detailed SpotOn Review.

Fi, on the other hand, is a bit more laid back, updating the location every half-minute or so. But it’s not tasked with telling your dog what to do, so let’s cut it some slack. It uses a blend of GPS, your cellphone, Wi-Fi, and their “Fi base” to minimize battery drain. 

Tracking On-The-Go

With SpotOn, you can draft up to 20 custom fences. Traveling abroad? SpotOn virtual fence doesn’t need cell service to work. Your dog will still hear the warning cues and stay in bounds, even if you’re frolicking in the Swiss Alps.

Fi also got its travel game on. Its portable base ensures you have indoor coverage, longer battery life, and a charged collar. Need extra bases? About 40 bucks will hook you up. But remember, Fi’s tethered to AT&T, so outside the U.S., it’s just a fitness tracker, not so much a location tracker.

Worst Case Scenario

A small dog wearing a collar and running through a snowy forest, and the SpotOn GPS Fence logo on the upper right corner.

Say your dog’s inner squirrel-chaser kicks in, and they bolt [1]. Both Fi and SpotOn GPS dog fence will alert you. Fi gives you real-time updates and even flips on an LED collar light for night ops. SpotOn, more the stern parent, whistles a “get your tail back home” tune while feeding you live location data. And if you’re a woodland wanderer, SpotOn has a “Forest Mode” for boosted tracking.

App User Experience

When it comes to app design, SpotOn has the minimalist look nailed down. Easy to navigate, no clutter. Fi? A bit of a fixer-upper but still gets the job done. 

Battery Life

SpotOn and Fi have different priorities, and you can see it in their battery life. SpotOn dog collars, always vigilant like a security detail, needs a daily recharge. Fi? It’s the marathon runner here, can go for up to three months on a single charge. 


Fi bands come in four colors, and they have this thing called Fi Makers—think of it as an Etsy for dog collars. SpotOn, however, is that dude who wears the same black t-shirt every day: all about functionality.

Available Sizes

Both brands are size-inclusive, so whether you got a Chihuahua or a Saint Bernard, you’re covered. But Fi edges out with a broader size range for your dog’s neck.


So, how much will your pup’s new bling set you back? SpotOn’s a one-time hit of $1,295, plus an optional $9.95 monthly for cell service. Check out my link for any special deal I have my hands on.

CLICK HERE: Get my EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNT for the SpotOn (applied at checkout) →

Fi operates on a subscription model. About $24 per month, and they toss in the collar and upgrades as a part of it. Great if you like the pay-as-you-go approach, but if the idea of monthly fees makes you twitch, maybe it’s not for you.

Fi vs SpotOn: Which GPS Collar is Better?

Alright, this is the moment of truth, folks. I can’t choose the Holy Grail of dog collars for you—that’s your job. But here’s some clarity to help you make that call.

You might be Team Fi if:

  • You wanna track your dog’s fitness level
  • You live in an apartment or have a modest yard.

And Team SpotOn if:

  • You’re the owner of at least half an acre of land, and you want your dog to roam wild and free.
  • You have places on your property you don’t want paw prints. SpotOn lets you draw those boundaries easily. 
  • You wanna boundary-train your pup.

To put it simply, if you need a great activity tracker for your dog with location tracking, Fi is perfect for you. If you have a big land and your goal is to let your pup roam free while keeping themselves safe, there’s currently no virtual fence out there better than SpotOn.

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