Ever since the Halo 3 dropped in September, a lot of Halo 2+ users, myself included, have been scratching their heads—should we upgrade?
So, I bit the bullet for all of us. In this Halo 2+ vs Halo3 review, I’ll break down who should think about making the switch and who can sit this one out.
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The Halo 2+ was always sort of “meh” for me. With some tinkering I could get it to work, but the location tech was unreliable and it delivered some shocks out of the blue. Judging by online reviews from many dog owners, I’m not the only one who feels this way about the Halo collar series.
Halo 3 is flaunting some promising new location tech. If you’re a fan of Halo’s all-in-one system for GPS fencing, activity tracking, and training your dog, the upgrade might seem tempting.
Here’s the thing. Halo is rolling out updates to their 2+ collars, adding the same PrecisionGPS tech through a firmware update. So if you own a 2+, you might want to see if yours has been updated. Mine has.
So, that settles it, then. You don’t have to upgrade to 3. But not so fast… What about the other perks that come with the Halo 3? Location tech can’t be the only improvement, right? And sure, the software may be new, but the hardware’s still the same old thing.
Let’s break down all the new bells and whistles, feature by feature. And yeah, I did a field test to compare how the updated location tech performs on both collars.
Collar Design And Price
At first glance, both collars look pretty similar. But don’t be fooled; there are some significant changes under the surface. I had hoped they’d have adjusted the leash hook’s awkward placement, but no dice. If anything, it’s even more off-center now. But hey, this is a GPS dog fence; the leash is more of a side gig.
And get this: Halo didn’t jack up the price. You’re still looking at about $700 for the collar as I’m filming, and the cellular subscription starts at about 6 bucks a month.
In the box, you’ll find two new kids on the block: the PerfectFit kit and a magnetic charging base. Learn about setting up the Halo app and see what goes with the collar in my Halo 3 Unboxing review.
Magnetic Charging Base
Remember the Halo 2+ and its USB port that loved to gather lint and debris? The magnetic charging base kicks that issue to the curb. The base even has a USB-C port, and yep, they threw in a cable but skipped the charging block.
Is this worth the upgrade? Simple: ever had a problem with the Halo 2+’s charging port? If yes, then it might be worth considering the upgrade. If not, let’s roll on.
Halo touted their PerfectFit tech as some sort of magical solution that would let the collar grow with your dog. Spoiler: it’s not that magical, but it’s still a decent addition.
I tried the collar on—me, of course, I’m the pup here. I got it to fit just right, which according to Halo, is supposed to be with a two-finger gap, then used the provided tools to trim and crimp.
The instructional video makes it look like a breeze, but I had to wrestle with it multiple times because, surprise, silicone isn’t the most cooperative material. Good luck getting a hyper pup to sit still for that.
The crimping part? Easy-peasy, just mind your fingers. The crimp’s teeth are no joke. The instructions want you to open it at a 90-degree angle. Really? Could’ve just shipped it that way, folks. But hey, slap it in, give it a squeeze, and it looks neat as a pin.
It might not be the smoothest way to make adjustments, but having options is never a bad thing. If you’ve struggled with getting the collar to fit your pup just right, you have a solid reason to upgrade. Otherwise, let’s keep going.
All Carrier Coverage Worldwide
Alright, this feature is a game-changer. Traveling the world with your pooch? The Halo 3 will automatically connect to the strongest carrier out there, and here’s the kicker: no extra charge. Sounds great on paper; I haven’t field-tested it, though. But if it delivers, this is golden. And remember, subscription prices haven’t budged.
If you’re the homebody type and your dog is, too, then this feature won’t mean squat to you. But if you’re the jet-setting kind, then think about upgrading before the next vacation to keep your dog safe.
The static correction prongs may seem identical to those on the Halo 2+, but look closer. These bad boys are built to last, and that’s good news, especially with all the stories of prongs snapping off on the older version.
When I did a pull test. It’s solid. Even when I yanked on it full tilt, it held up and didn’t feel like a torture device either. So, if you’re hoping for a more robust Halo, the Halo 3 could be your pick.
Time for real-world GPS testing. And I gotta say, I was pleasantly surprised. Both the Halo 3 and the updated 2+ update their location pretty darn quickly, pretty much in real time. And kudos to the Halo 2+; its recent firmware update really stepped up its game.
I wanted to see how these collars fare in places where the sky isn’t wide open. The Halo collar 3 has a nifty feature called Active GPS Antenna, meant to improve GPS reception when you’re in less-than-ideal conditions, like under a bunch of trees. My field test shows that the Halo 3 has a slight edge over the 2+. But the 2+ after the PrecisionGPS upgrade is a game-changer.
So if you’ve felt let down by Halo’s location tech in the past, maybe give your updated 2+ another shot.
If you wanna see a detailed review of Halo 3’s location tracking, including fence and boundary testing, check out my Halo 3 Collar Reviews #3. For more information on creating Halo fences and how it works, read my Halo 3 Collar Reviews #4: How to Set Up Fences.
Halo says the 3 has a 20% longer battery life than the 2+, that’s roughly 4 extra hours. After putting both collars through their paces, here’s the rundown: the Halo 2+ clocked in at 19 hours and 10 minutes, while the Halo 3 came in at 20 hours and 7 minutes. That’s barely a 5% bump in battery life. Keep in mind my Halo 2+ has been with me for 9 months. So you’d expect its battery to be a bit tired by now.
Halo 2+ vs Halo 3: The Verdict
Alright, let’s cut to the chase. Should you swap your Halo 2+ for the Halo 3? Here’s how to decide:
If you’re mostly concerned with the core feature—better location accuracy—you’re good sticking with your 2+. Just make sure you’ve updated your Halo dog collar to the latest firmware.
But, if it’s the hardware and added durability you’re eyeing, then taking the leap to the Halo 3 could be a smart move for you.
No matter what you decide, use the link below for the sweetest deal on the Halo 3.CLICK HERE: check for deals on the Halo Collar →