Halo 3 comes at us with some big promises in the dog-tracking game. They’re talking AI-powered PrecisionGPS, an Active GPS Antenna to boost signal strength, and real-time location updates.
Halo is even claiming they’ve made the best GPS tracker collar your furry companion could ever wear.
So, what’s the real deal with the new Halo collar? Let’s find out.
I have the Halo 3 and the Halo 2+ updated to the latest firmware. Halo says both these bad boys are equipped with the new PrecisionGPS tech.
Here’s how my field test went:
- Draw a virtual fence using the Halo collar app and check how accurate those boundaries really are.
- Cross those boundaries to see if we get three distinct levels of feedback.
- Take a walk through the woods and a tunnel to put this Active GPS Antenna to the test.
- Find out just how “real-time” these real-time location updates are.
- Test out Halo’s bold claim that you can make a tiny 250 sq. ft. invisible fence with the Halo 3, which does not sound practical at all to me.
- And last but not least, see if the Halo Beacon can actually set up a no-go zone for your dog.
Before diving into any tests, I had to get the collar set up and synced with the satellites. It took it for a little stroll to grab that satellite data. Setting up the Halo 3 is a breeze compared to my earlier experiences with the 2+.
How does the Halo collar work? Read my detailed Halo 3 dog collar unboxing and setup process review to find out. If you are curious about its collar strength, the PerfectFit System, battery life, and pricing, check out my Halo 3 Dog Collar Reviews #2.
Drawing the Fence
Creating virtual fences for Halo 3 was pretty easy to do thanks to the improved Halo collar GPS system, although it is not 100% precise as you need to manually drop fence posts as you mark the boundary. It’s also does a better job than the original Halo collar and the 2+.
Fence Boundary Test
Honestly, I’m eager for the day when Halo dog collar perfects this system. You know, a reliable warning feedback, then a boundary feedback, and only then hitting you with that emergency feedback. But for now, the location accuracy is a solid step up at least. Halo remains one of the best GPS dog fence systems I have tested.
Active GPS Antenna Test
I gotta say, after applying the updates, I’m not seeing a huge gap between the Halo collars 3 and the 2+. Both are noticeably improved—especially the 2+ after the new PrecisionGPS update. But thanks to the additional active GPS, the 3 has perhaps a slight edge. Good news for many pet owners who are 2+ users not itching to upgrade just yet. I tested both Halo dog collars 2+ and 3 in an area densely covered with trees and both tracked well enough, but the Halo collar 3 did a more solid job tracking my location.
Anyway, since both Halo 2+ and 3’s collar GPS system was as accurate as my phone’s GPS, I thought I’d push them a bit.
Real-time Location Updates
During my tests for this Halo dog collar review, I found that walking through the woods gave me real-time location updates, pretty much on par with my iPhone’s GPS. When I tried the collar under an open sky to give it a more ideal playing field, the real-time location tracking performed equally well.
How small can the halo wireless fence be?
According to Halo, the smallest area pet owners can create a Halo fences for is 250 sq ft. So I drew a 16′ x 16′ square—that’s 256 sq ft to test this. I tried walking the boundary to complete the fence twice, but no dice. It said my area was too small. I had to manually adjust the fence posts just to finish it, then ran the tests.
I wish I could say I was wrong, but the tech just doesn’t seem to be there for such small spaces—unless you want your dog to be a statue. It’s not just a Halo collar problem; it’s a GPS thing.
By the way, has the static correction gotten milder, or am I just getting used to it? One thing I noticed after testing the collar is that it’s way less jarring now. Of course, this can be avoided if you do boundary training with your dog. The Halo company offers Cesar Millan’s training program to help you and your dog use this collar.
The Beacon Test
Time to check out the Halo 3 Beacon . I’ve never really been into it, and after testing it again this time, I have to say the Beacon still isn’t impressing me as a keep-away tool. Same old story.
Alright, we put the new Halo collar 3 and the upgraded Halo 2+ through the wringer. What’s changed?
- Setting up invisible fences? Way easier and more accurate now—on both models. Could use some more fence posts and auto-dropping, but we’re getting there.
- Boundary alerts? I’ve seen worse, though still not perfect.
- Active GPS? Aces. Tracks your dog’s location like a pro, even in covered spots.
- Real-time updates? Yep, they’re legit.
- Tiny fences? Not so much. Halo’s 250 sq. ft. claim didn’t check out.
- And as for the Halo Beacon? I already added it to my ‘wires and old cellphones drawer,’ where tech goes to die.
So, here’s the $700 question: Should dog owners make the leap from Halo 2+ to Halo 3? If you’re all about location tech, maybe hold off. The 2+ with the PrecisionGPS update holds its own pretty well. It’s not the 3, but it’s leaps ahead of the 2+ prior to these updates.
I’ll get into non-location reasons to consider the upgrade in another Halo collar review. Best deal on the Halo 3? Check out my link below.CLICK HERE: check for deals on the Halo Collar →
Till our next test, keep those tails wagging!