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 Smartphones and PDAs with built-in GPS
 REVIEW - ETEN G500 - First PDAPhone with SiRFIII
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gpspassion

93782 Posts

Posted - 15 mars 2006 :  17:07:40  Show Profile  Visit gpspassion's Homepage  Reply with Quote
ETEN G500 - PDAPhone with SiRFstarIII - REVIEWED



http://www.gpspassion.com/fr/articles.asp?id=179


The Eten G500 is the first PDAPhone with a built-in SiRFstarIII GPS chipset and is only the second PDAPhone with a GPS to become available after the HP hw6515 released in August 2005 in Europe and late 2005 in the US (see the full review). I've been testing it for a few days, mainly looking at the GPS side of things. This message will be updated with new findings as well as the feedback of others posted below.

  1. COMMENTS AND OBSERVATIONS
    1. GPS Performance : I put the Eten G500 through my usual side by side testing, with the Asus A636 (GPS PDA) and the Globalsat BT-338 (Bluetooth GPS), references in their category. The results can be seen below and confirm the good overall impression made by the G500 in this area. In terms of TTFF (time to first fix), cold starts ("cold" and "warm" fix) are similar to that of the BT-338 and Asus A636, varying between 45 and 60 seconds with a good view of the sky, so there's no comparison with the endless TTFF of the Qtek G100/Pharos 525 (> 180 seconds). Same comments for the hot starts ("hot" fix), less than 2 seconds when exiting a tunnel for instance. Good news overall and it shows that it is possible to build a PDA with no external antenna and retain good performance, something we feared would not be possible after experiencing with the Qtek G100/Pharos 525 (seehere for details) and to a lesser extent with the Loox N520



    2. In these three difficult situations with some sharp turns between high rise buildings, the three GPSr's behave well, with some slight multipath drifting that would not cause any guidance problems with road software


      The G500 is slightly behind in terms of satellites in the fix, but the margin (need 3+ satellites) remains good. The decent signal level shows that in spite of the concealed antenna, sensitivity remains good

    3. GPS Firmware : version 3.1.1 (full list), so it will not be compatible with the AGPS over the internet offered by SiRFInstantFix (faster TTFF, see here for details) unlike the Mio A701

    4. Battery life with GPS : my first test runs have shown unexpected results with battery life remaining at an exceptional 55% after 4 hours of continuous GPS use running VirtualGPS CE, with the closest competition (Asus A636 and Qtek G100) showing 20%! This is likely due to the Samsung CPU going into very low power mode, so I will do more testing with a GPS app running in demo mode too. This has now been done, but the results are quite comparable. I have also noticed now that even though the battery level remains high (40+%) the G500 turns itself off so there might be some calibration issues here.

    5. GPS Software compatibility : I was able to run Mapopolis, TomTom v5 and iGuidance v2.13 without any problems on COM Port 4. As usual there is a slight hit in performance when switching to portrait mode courtesy of the software rotation forced by Microsoft. Standard GPS utilities (see here) such as CE Monitor worked fine, but APLSiRF made me "lose" the GPS when switching to SiRF and only removing the main battery restored the connection to the GPS


    6. RDS/FM TMC Module : The G500 is the first PDA to include an RDS/FM TMC module to receive traffic information, which isn't unexpected since the GPS module was done with the help of Royaltek and as we saw at CES they're going "full out" for TMC. Two major problems at this point though, you need to plug in the external headphones to act as an FM antenna, so no more voice guidance through the speakers (might be possible over Bluetooth thanks to A2DP) and the TMC messages that are added to the standard NMEA messages are not recognized by current TMC enabled GPS software like Navigon or Destinator as they are designed to work with the GNS modules that rely on a dual COM port interface.


    7. Car holder : unlike the HP hw6515, the G500 comes with a car holder specifically designed to host it, a nice touch





    8. Portrait and landscape modes, rotation cap and a tightening wheel


    9. Bluetooth A2DP Stereo : the G500 includes the Bluetooth stereo A2DP profile that will come to other PDAs with the AKU2.0 WM5.0 upgrade. I did some testing with the Globalsat BTH-820 headset and it worked with MP3s played through WMPlayer, but the quality was poor (think very low bitrate mp3s), and this has to come from the G500 as the BTH-820 offers excellent quality when hooked up to the BTA-830 mini base station. UPDATE after temporarily losing bluetooth connectivity, it is back and I was able to verify that TomTom's voice instructions were streamed to the BT headset too, but at a low quality too


    10. Overall impression : Like the Eten M500 and M600 PDAPhones, the G500 does not make a very favorable first impression due to its thickness and weight, especially compared to the HP hw6515, thinner, lighter but wider. The G500 feels a bit like a "brick" in spite of the rounded edges. Still, once you start using it, it's easy to get over this first impression and the good quality case makes it easy to carry it around.



    Compared to the HP hw6515, Siemens SXG 75 and Nokia 6680


  2. LINKS
    1. Manufacturer : Eten - link
    2. Other reviews : ...

Questions, comments ?


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Marvin Hlavac

Canada
6903 Posts

Posted - 15 mars 2006 :  22:45:08  Show Profile  Visit Marvin Hlavac's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Nice! So there is hope for internal GPS receivers after all! If I were in market to buy a new cell phone or a PDA or a gift for someone, I think this would be it.

Marvin Hlavac______________
iG customization | AR and S&T Tips & Tricks
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razza

Australia
25 Posts

Posted - 17 mars 2006 :  13:44:38  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for yet another good read gpspassion. So glad that internal antennas are capable of producing some good results. I saw that you mentioned the FS N520. Did you do a review of this somewhere because I can't seem to find it? If not what's your general impression? I'm looking at geting the FS N560 (VGA screen goodness) and thinking it will perfrom the same as the N520 if not better. If that all fails I guess i'll wait till the Mio P550 is officially released.
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epicurean

33 Posts

Posted - 21 mars 2006 :  11:28:18  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I just got a G500 myself. However, I cant seem to get a fix /lock over here in Washington DC, even after 5 mins in the open. Am using Tom tom 5.21. How long did you take to get a fix?

Note- I just got here from using the set in Singapore without problems.
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epicurean

33 Posts

Posted - 21 mars 2006 :  11:34:41  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
BTW, which firmware are you on?
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gpspassion

93782 Posts

Posted - 21 mars 2006 :  12:00:33  Show Profile  Visit gpspassion's Homepage  Reply with Quote
You mean GPS firmware ? V3.1.1 as mentioned above ;-) As for getting a fix, the standard 45/60 seconds with a good view of the sky.

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epicurean

33 Posts

Posted - 21 mars 2006 :  12:03:05  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
45-60s!...something is definately wrong with mine. Can you tell your GPS and your TomTom settings?
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gpspassion

93782 Posts

Posted - 21 mars 2006 :  12:10:32  Show Profile  Visit gpspassion's Homepage  Reply with Quote
You probably want to use a GPS utility to check that everything is ok, as the GPS module does all the work so if it works with the utility it will work with TomTom. A good one to use is CE Monitor you can get in the download section on the portal.

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kuehn

USA
9 Posts

Posted - 21 mars 2006 :  21:23:26  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Any plans to compare gps performance with the FS N560 and Mio a701?
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gpspassion

93782 Posts

Posted - 21 mars 2006 :  22:36:20  Show Profile  Visit gpspassion's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Sure, as soon as they become available ;-)

As an update on the battery situation, I've run the test with TomTom in demo mode, but the results are quite comparable and I have noticed that even though the battery level remains high (40+%) the G500 turns itself off so there might be some calibration issues here.
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epicurean

33 Posts

Posted - 22 mars 2006 :  04:10:21  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the tip. Unfortunately I'm on the road right now and only have a Mac powerbook with me. Any way I can load ce monitor or similar software onto my G500?
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gpspassion

93782 Posts

Posted - 23 mars 2006 :  23:01:36  Show Profile  Visit gpspassion's Homepage  Reply with Quote
You can download it over the air diretly to your G500 http://www.gpspassion.com/upload/GPSmonitor1.1.zip, just unzip the .exe and click on it.


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epicurean

33 Posts

Posted - 28 mars 2006 :  06:08:12  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Guess what. I got a message from Eten that they want to recall my G500 for hardware(not software) updates. Perhaps something WAS wrong with my set.

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gpspassion

93782 Posts

Posted - 28 mars 2006 :  12:08:21  Show Profile  Visit gpspassion's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Really? Wow, how did they find you?! Any findings with CE Monitor ?

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epicurean

33 Posts

Posted - 29 mars 2006 :  17:58:00  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I returned the G500 to the local Eten agent in Singapore( Trendsmobile) and they were kind enough to loan me an Eten M600 for the time being. Someone else also confirmed my findings that the GPS lock took a little longer.

Never did managed to install the CE Monitor...btw Eten M600 and a Holux GPSlim 236 works very well..
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admin_0

1 Posts

Posted - 31 mars 2006 :  15:17:05  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Im trying to get Tomtom Navigator 5 to work and i cant get it to see the GPS device. How do you set it up as the manual is useless.

Many thanks
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