September 01, 2021 4 min read 2 Comments
With the new release of the Garmin Alpha 10 handheld, we thought it would be the perfect time to compare the Alpha 100 with the new Alpha 10. In our opinion, customers are going to most likely have to decide between the Alpha 100 and Alpha 10 handhelds as they are the most similar in functionality and features.
For more on all the new features on the Garmin Alpha 10 handheld see: Introducing the New Garmin Alpha 10 Handheld.
When it comes down to this spec, the Alpha 100 and the Alpha 10 dog device compatibility are almost exactly the same. Both handhelds are compatible with the TT15, TT15 Mini, T5, and T5 Mini collars. The Alpha 100 handheld is also compatible with the TT10 and DC50 collars; but we are currently unable to confirm that the Alpha 10 is or is not compatible with those collars. We will update this on DC50 and TT10 compatibility once Garmin confirms or once we are able to do further testing ourselves.
Both the Alpha 100 and Alpha 10 are identical when it comes to device connectivity. Both devices can connect to the DriveTrack series of in-car navigation systems, the Fenix series watches, the Instinct series watches, and Garmin Tempe. One new feature to the Garmin Alpha 10 is the ability to connect with the Garmin Explore smartphone app. The Garmin Explore app is a powerful program that allows you to play back your entire hunt, providing data on both dog device movement and the handheld’s.
The Alpha 10 was designed to be a smaller, compact handheld. With that design, it comes in a lot smaller than the Alpha 100. The Alpha 10 handheld is 2.3 inches wide, 4.8 inches tall, and 1.1 inches thick. This in comparison to the Alpha 100’s 2.5 inches wide, 6.5 inches tall, and 1.5 inches thick body. Consequentially, it also comes with a much lighter handheld weight. As a result, the Alpha 10 handheld may be the better option if you are wanting a handheld that will fit nicely in your pocket and be light enough to be carried on a lanyard around your neck.
Another major change with the Alpha 10 is the removal of the touch screen and replacing it with a thumb controlled “joy-stick” input. For many that hated the touch screen, they are going to really enjoy this simpler design. However, those that like to take advantage of the feature-packed Alpha 100 handheld, they would miss the easy of input of the Alpha 100’s touch screen.
A first for the Garmin Alpha and Garmin Astro series handheld, the Alpha 10 has a non-replaceable battery pack. Unfortunately, that means no more hot-swapping batteries or battery packs mid-hunt with the Alpha 10. With the smaller size, you may assume that means a shorter battery life, but that’s not the case. We were pleased to find out that the Alpha 10 handheld offers up to 40 hours of active usage and up to a week of just being on. This is a huge improvement over the Alpha 100’s 20 hours of battery life. This is likely due to the smaller screen and the removal of the touch screen hardware, as well as advancements in battery technology since the Alpha 100 was released. Though it could also be due to the change in battery pack design and moving to the built-in, non-replaceable battery. Either way, the decision between the Alpha 10 and Alpha 100 handhelds will ultimately come down to what you're looking to get out of your device. For those that are planning on owning their handhelds for several years, choosing a handheld with an easily-replaceable battery, like the Alpha 100, might be preferable to you. With the Alpha 10, when the battery does begin to fail and need replaced (usually around the 3–5-year mark), you’re left with two options. You either have to send the handheld in for a battery replacement or take the risk of doing a somewhat complicated and intricate battery replacement yourself.
Another area where the Alpha 10 handheld excels is on its price. The Alpha 10 handheld costs $399.99, compared to the current price of the Alpha 100 handheld at $599.99. Even when compared to the Garmin Astro 430 handheld, the Alpha 10 is still a good bit cheaper. This makes the Alpha 10 officially the cheapest Garmin tracking handheld currently available.
With its more compact size and the price point, the Alpha 10 will make a great choice for those looking for a tracking and training handheld for seasoned dogs that don’t require a lot of input, or for hunting in groups. The Alpha 100, in my opinion, is still the superior handheld for those that will need to be doing frequent dog corrections and are running larger groups of dogs. Moving from just a training system to either the Alpha 10 or Alpha 100 is going to change your hunting; making your hunts more fun, enjoyable, and less stressful about trying to locate your dog in cover.
If you have any questions on the new Garmin Alpha 10 or the Garmin Alpha 100, leave a comment below, give us a call at 1-800-662-5202, email email@example.com, contact us on social media, or message us during business hours on our live chat feature.
Thank you for reading,
Looking to get the new Garmin Alpha 10 handheld and already have an older Garmin handheld, or even the latest Alpha 200i? Lion Country Supply accepts trade-ins on Tri-Tronics and Garmin E-Collar systems, extra collars, and handhelds. The trade-in value you receive can be used on your purchase of the Garmin Alpha 10 handheld or other Garmin systems through Lion Country Supply. We will be accepting both working AND non-working electronics. Please include chargers and accessories if available. More information on the trade in program see, LCS Trade-In Program.
September 03, 2021
Thank you for the comparison. I coon hunt and deer dog hunt so I am glad I have the Alpha 100. I now know I made the right choice.
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Michael - Lion Country Supply
September 06, 2021
The Alpha 100 handheld is a great handheld. I’m sure you’ll be happy with it.
With the Alpha 10 handheld, when hunting with hounds, our General Manager left the Garmin Alpha 10 handheld mounted inside the truck paired up with the Garmin Drive Track 71 navigation system. When on foot, he used the Alpha 200i handheld. When jumping back into the truck, you didn’t have to worry about connecting the Alpha 200i handheld back up to the Drive Track 71. Also with the Alpha 10 handheld in the truck, you could track the trucks movement if you were on foot and your hunting partners were moving in the truck.