A few GPS loggers have cross this DigitalReviews desk with mixed results. The latest contender is i-gotU GT-120, a GPS logger and receiver which records trip routes, auto add photo GPS locations and create an animated trip journal based on the data logged.
Has this thimble sized unit got the goods? Let’s go have a look.
The i-gotU is an absolutely tiny unit in a glossy white finish and comes with a blue rubber sleeve to protect the device. The face of the unit is dominated by a single large button that turns the unit on or off. The base of the unit has a custom four pin port and a provision for a lanyard.
The basic operation of the GT-120 could not be any simpler. It takes 4 hours to charge the unit before the first use. Press the button, the one and only button and the device turns on as indicated by a single flash of the blue LED on the right hand side of the unit face. Data logging is indicated by a double blink of both the red and blue LEDs which the red on the left side.
Hold the button down and the red LED stays on until the logger is powered off. Memory full or battery low has the same sequence, the red LED blinking twice then once.
The data from the GT-120 can be viewed via the @Trip PC software. The latest release is available from the Mobile Action website <http://www.i-gotu.com/> and you would be well advised to obtain and install the latest available version rather than going through the motions twice. Installation of the @Trip software posed no issues with the only software dependency is Microsoft .Net Framework 2.0 which is bundled into the setup software.
Tracks are downloaded and can be selected (or deselected) prior to being plotted on Google Maps. The wizard provides three GUI styles to display your data in, these being Classic, Sporting or Simple. Photos can be also be added with the program attempting to match waypoint data to the timestamps on the image files. In the event where the timestamps cannot be matched up, the software permits manual addition of photos to a recorded waypoint within the @Trip program. GPS EXIF information is written back to the image file after permission is granted by the user.
From the @Trip PC software the GT-120 can be customised for your particular usage. Features include scheduled time periods for the unit to be automatically on and logging (limit to two periods per day). There are six predefined modes, these are walking, running, biking, motorcycling, sailing and driving. Within each mode the logging interval can be modified and Smart Tracking mode enabled or disabled. Smart Tracking enables the GT-120 to change the logging interval when movement is greater than a user determined velocity.
The GT-120 has provision for password lock to the data stored on the unit. Aside from the automatic data logging mode, one can opt for the manual logging mode by pressing the button for 1.5 seconds to start/stop the process.
Mobile Action claims that the @Trip PC software is compatible with most GPS logging devices in the current market as long as it is capable of generating standard GPX files. Additionally the @Trip software is available for the Symbian and Windows Mobile 6 platforms with Java support forthcoming. There is no mention of future support for iPhone which is not particularly surprising given the crippled nature of the iPhone bluetooth stack and the App Store requirements.
Dimension: 44.5 x 28.5 x 13 mm
Built-in SiRF StarIII 65nm low-power chipset
Built-in GPS patch antenna
Built-in flash memory: 65000 waypoints for 30 days (when the logging interval is 15 seconds and used eight hours per day)
Built-in 230mAh Lithium-ion battery
Operation time: Up to 30 hours (when the logging interval is 15 seconds)
Two LEDs for tracking and battery/charger status indication
Average acquisition time for cold start: < 35 seconds, hot start: < 1 seconds
USB 1.1 interface for PC connection
Operation temperature: -10 to + 50 degrees centigrade
@Trip PC system requirements: PC running Windows 2000, XP and Vista; PC featuring USB 1.1 or 2.0.
With just how simple it is to operate the i-gotU GT-120 there is very little to complain about. I did find in my testing that some of my tracks were not entirely accurate in some parts. However the part in question was also in peak hour traffic with significant route variations and velocities which would have been sampled mostly at 5 second intervals.
The i-gotU GT-120 is a beautifully simplistic device to use and makes for a great device for a first timer in the world of GPS recording and geo-tagging. The @Trip PC software is intuitive to use and has plenty to offer including trip playback and display of images along the waypoints.
I like the no-frills, no-fuss implementation of the i-gotU GT-120. The SiRF III chipset performed well and the ability to fine tune to your needs is a definite bonus.
DigitalReviews would like to thank Mobile Action for providing the unit for this review.