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Appeared on: Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Qstarz Q1300BT GPS


1. Features, specifications

After having tested the Q1000P product by Qstarz some months ago, today we will have a look to the company's newest model which has a much slimmer and sexy design and good logging features, the Qstarz Q1300 series.

The Qstarz Super 66 CH BTQ1300 – Bluetooth GPS Travel Recorder nano is powered by MTK's a new generation of GPS chipset that supports 66-Channel tracking. The device provides stand-alone logging up to 200,000 records with 12 hrs recording, and supports Smart Power control and Auto Log On-off to extend usage time and save memory.

The included BT-Q1300 software utility supports multi-condition setting which allows you to customize and travel record by 3-level detail adjustment and provides download, save, and split to arrange tracking record. Moreover, you can display travel path directly on Google Earth and combine geography information with photos by Geotagging. As a result, you may use this device for strict needs of positioning applications such as car navigation, mapping, surveying, security, agriculture and so on.

- Features

- Chipset specifications


2. Opening the package

The device comes in a small and stylish package retail package. The Qstarz Q1300BT GPS unit retails for around € 85.

Inside the box you will find all the contents typically found in GPS packages:

The device itself should be among the most stylish we have ever tested. The combination of the black finish and the gold color creates a unique, luxurious look:

The keyring strap is also useful for carrying the device or attaching it to your keys, but we would also like it if it could be removed without breaking the black leather strap.

The three available LEDs are ON when the device is operating. Other functions can be found be found in the table below:

On the right side of the device we find the power on/off button and a mini-USB port, protected via a plastic rubber.


3. Getting started

Before using the the BT-Q1300 for the first time, make sure you have fully charged the battery. This can be done either though the the mini USB cable, the travel charger, or car the power adaptor.

Charging typically takes about 1 hour. When the Power LED is Red, the battery needs to be recharged. When the Power LED is Green, the battery is under charging mode and finally when the Power LED is blinking, the battery is fully charged.

To power on the device, press the power button and hold it down for 4 seconds. The same procedure applies when you need to power it off. In order to pass to logging mode, press the power button and hold it for additional 2 seconds (device is already ON). Once the logging mode is active, the LOG status LED (blue) will start blinking . Press power button and hold it for 2 seconds again to disable the log mode. The blue LED will be off and the device will stop logging. Once you are in LOG mode, press the power button once again to log your favorite Point of Interest (POI).

Another neat feature of the Qstarz Q1300 model is the "Auto On/Off" function (Power saving mode). This will make the device automatically enter the sleeping mode after the Bluetooth connectivity is turned off, and the Blue LED will flash every 5 seconds.

But even under the power saving mode, the device will automatically turn on as soon as it detect Bluetooth connectivity. Then the blue LED will start flashing every 2 seconds and the GPS Orange LED will also be active.

Similar power/memory saving functions are supported under the Auto "Log On/Off". Under the Log mode, the device will automatically stop logging when the GPS is not fixed. As soon as the GPS is fixed again, the BT-Q1300 will start to log.

In order to take advantage of the Geotagging features and Google maps, you have to download the latest version of QStarz Travel Recorder (v4.20). In sort the software has:

For our tests, we used the latest version of the software (v4.20):

Under the configuration panel you can set autoscan for the GPS and the GPS logging setting (car, bike, pedestrian) and of course the log criteria (time, meter, km/h). A progress bar indicates the current utilization of the memory (%).

Connecting with the GPS is done automatically and you can include several tracks to display, edit, etc..

The user manual include a detailed explanation of all the functions of the Qstarz Travel Utility. Overall we have to congratulate Qstarz for the well-designed software and the overall usability/functionality it provides.


4. Tests

We paired all tested GPS receivers with an Asus A6JA laptop, via BT protocol. Each device has its own Serial port mapping under Windows. We placed the two GPS receivers side by side at the dashboard of a car. The same environmental conditions are valid for both receivers (night, clear sky, 25° Celsius ).

We recorded all the produced data for a pre-selected route with VisualGPS and later analyzed it with GPSLog. We couldn't measure the TTFF tests ("Time to First Fix" which is the time it takes for a GPS to determine its current position), since there isn't such software under Windows XP.

 
Globalsat BT-368
Qstarz Q1300
Fix
0
0
2D
0
0

3D

100

100

Satellites
Average (in view)
9.88
10.53
Average (in use)
6.89
6.93
Average Signal Level (in dB)
Maximum per Satellite
44.25
46.88
Average per Satellite
34.46
35.17

The Qstarz Q1300 showed an excellent performance, at least compared with another similar "slim-line" devices that use the SirfIII chipset. The Q1300 was able to get a 3D Fix quickly and didn't lost it during our course.

- Indoor Sensitivity

We placed both receivers inside a house close to a big window and noticed their performance. The Qstarz Q1300 had a 3D fix, having 6 satellites in use, while the Globalsat BT-368 had also 3D fix with 5 satellites in use.


5. Conclusion

The Qstarz Q1300 is a unique device not only for its features/specifications but also for its stylish appearance and design. It is a very beautiful and eye-catching gadget when attached to your key chain. People seeing it may think it is a jewel, others may think it is a mobile phone but still, it is an electronic combo device, matching a very capable BT GPS receiver and at the same time a GPS logger with over 200.000 points onboard memory.

The device uses the newest MediaTek GPS chipset with the ability to track 66 channels and sensitivity of 168dB. In our test field tests, it performed better than the GlobalSat BT-368 device, which is based on the SirFIII chipset. The Auto on/off function saves power resources when the device is not used, while the Auto on/off logging is useful to save valuable memory space at your GPS logger. There is no option for an external antenna but you probably won't need it at all.

The retail package of the device is more than complete including several charging cables/adapters and of course the appropriate software that will help you upload your logged tracks. The latest version of Qstarz Travel Recorder software (v4.2) is very user-friendly and it should help you analyze your driving/biking/walking skills and performance.

Overall, we have to do with a well-designed product that comes with the appropriate software and offers a very good performance. Add to all these its reasonable retail price of ~85Euro and we believe we have a great product here. Highly recommended to gadget freaks and enthusiasts.

The Positive

The Negative



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