GlobalTop Touch G66 GPS 51 channel GPS - Reviewed

Written by Martin Regtien on . Posted in Navigation

GlobalTop Touch G66A few months ago Digital Reviews announced the imminent release the innovative GlobalTop Touch G66. 

The amazing 51 channel, super slim GPS has just hit the desk of this reviewer with many thanks to GlobalTop. 

First Impressions

The Touch G66 came packaged in a simple tasteful box.  The unit was displayed within a raised clear bubble in the presentation box, highlighting just how slim the Touch G66 actually is.  The unit is shorter and narrower than a credit card, with an overall thickness of 6.8 mm.  The unit is also very light, coming in at a svelte 30 grams.  As GlobalTop claims on their website, it "is not only make GPS only put in automobile but want users can put it in their pocket and take away to get their location with their mobile phone or handheld PDA."

The GlobalTop Touch G66 has a very Nano-like, luxurious piano black finish.  In the off mode, there is only a discreet GlobalTop branding on the top face, and a double circle on the bottom to indicate the location of the touch pad.  To give an idea just how thin the G66 is, the overall thickness is only about 2.5 mm more than the mini-USB port which is located on the bottom of the device for charging.

Included in the package is:
  * 1 x GlobalTop Touch G66 GPS
  * 1 x car charger to mini-USB cable
  * 1 x CD-ROM containing the User Guide
  * 1 x Serial number for 7 days trial of smart2go (compatible with
 Windows Mobile 5.0 and Nokia Series 60 3rd and 2nd (v2.8+) system)

Testing
GTop BoxGetting the Touch G66 up and running was about the easiest thing I have done for a long time.  As indicated by its namesake Touch66 is activated by pressing on the touch pad for one second - and all three indicators light up to indicate power on.  The LEDs then flash in sequence, from left to right as the device initialises:
  * Red for power charge indicator;
  * Blue for Bluetooth; and
  * Green for GPS signal.

I did have to select the GPS device within the software in my Nokia phone which is only to be expected.  Once Bluetooth connectivity has been established the blue LED blink rate slows down.  Similarly when the device acquires a signal from the satellite, the green LED rate slows down dramatically.  On average I found that the TouchG66 could have between 6 to 9 satellites locked on with good signal strength at one time.

GlobalTop claims an acquisition time of 36 seconds average on a cold start, 34 seconds average on a warm start or 1 second average on a hot start.  My findings vary somewhat, with a cold start requiring, on occasion, up to 90 seconds. Warm start and hot start are pretty close to the GlobalTop provided estimates.

In the event of a loss of Bluetooth connection, the G66 will automatically shutdown for power savings.  In the scenario of unexpectedly long contact on the touch pad of the G66, such as collision inside a pocket or bag, the G66 will automatically shutdown after detecting over 10 seconds in this abnormal switching condition.

The battery is rated for seven hours of normal continuous operation when fully charged.  I have used it on and off for a number of days for varying distances and there was no sign of the battery running out.

Technical Specifications

  • Protocol: NMEA 0183 v3.01 (Default: GGA,GSA,GSV,RMC,VTG), MTK NMEA Command
  • Baud rate: 38400,N,8,1(Default)
  • Update rate: 5 Hz
  • Datum: WGS84
  • Channel: 51 channel satellites all-in-view tracking
  • Frequency: L1, 1575.42 MHz
  • Hot start: 1 second (average)
  • Warm start: 34 seconds (average)
  • Cold start: 36 seconds (average)
  • Reacquisition time: Less than 1 second (typical)
  • Position accuracy: < 3m CEP (50%) without SA (Horizontal)
  • Sensitivity: Tracking: -158 dBm
  • Power supply: DC 5V from USB or internal Li-ion
  • Power consumption: 60mA(Average)
  • Antenna type: Built in active patch antenna
  • Bluetooth: Class 2, distance up to 10 meters
  • Dimension: 78.5 x 49.7 x6.8 (L x W x D) mm
  • Weight: 30 ± 0.5 g
  • Operating temperature: -10°C to + 60°C
  • Storage temperature: -40°C to + 85°C
  • Operation humidity: 5%~95%, Non-Condensing

Conclusions
The GlobalTop Touch G66 is a very attractive device indeed.  It is fairly amazing to hold such a tiny device and know the amazing capabilities hidden behind that elegant veneer of the polished black finish.  The device is unpretentious in that it is simple to operate and designed to obtain accurate fixes from the GPS satellites with a minimum of fuss.  Although I did not try out the 7 day Smart2Go trial, I thought it was a thoughtful inclusion.

There were just a few minor gripes.  With such a beautiful finish it is easy (and annoying) to leave fingerprint smudges all over it.  On the bright side it is easy to clean.  The second issue is that the device is billed as far more than just a GPS unit to be left in a vehicle.  There is the provision of a hole for a lanyard but no lanyard was provided.  Lastly the User Guide could do with a professional once-over.  It communicates the important points, but makes some interesting use of English!

The GlobalTop Touch G66 will be available shortly, more information is available here.

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