QStarz BT-Q818

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QStarz BT-Q818
  • QStarz BT-Q818
  • QStarz BT-Q818
  • QStarz BT-Q818

Pros

  • 32-hour battery life, removable battery, included AC and in-car chargers, speedy performance, non-slip back

Cons

  • No included suction cap to stick to a window

Bottom Line

The BT-Q818 boasts a fantastic battery life and speedy GPS performance, so it's an ideal receiver for the relatively inexpensive asking price.

Would you buy this?

Boasting 32 channels and 32 hours of continuous use from a single charge, QStarz BT-Q818 is a simple but extremely effective GPS receiver. Although it lacks a suction cup to mount to a window, it performs reliably well and is quick to gain a GPS fix.

Design wise, the BT-Q818 is a compact but largely unremarkable looking unit. It has just a single switch to power on as well as a standard mini-USB port for charging. The anti-slip rubber backing on the rear is a nice touch and means you should be able to rest the unit on the dashboard in your car, for example. A suction cap to stick to a window would have been a nice inclusion though.

The BT-Q818 strays away from the popular SiRF Star III GPS receiver and instead uses an MTK GPS module. It's the first time we've reviewed a device that uses this chipset and we were very pleased with the results, managing to lock onto a GPS signal in just under a minute, speedier than the far more expensive LD-4W Bluetooth GPS Module.

We tested the receiver with a HP iPAQ 112 Classic PDA running the latest CoPilot Live 7 GPS software, but the BT-Q818 works with most Bluetooth mobile phones and PDAs. Most impressive was the accuracy of this unit; even a slight movement of the receiver managed to update the GPS coordinates.

Although the BT-Q818 has 32 channels, this isn't really necessary as there are only 24 GPS satellites in total and you can only connect up to 12 at one time. Regardless, we found the overall performance of this unit a slight improvement on the LD-4W Bluetooth GPS Module.

Pairing is as simple as turning the unit on, whereby it automatically enters pairing mode. Three LED indicators on the front signal battery life, Bluetooth connectivity and GPS reception.

QStarz claims the BT-Q818 can provide a whopping 32 hours of operating time from one full three-hour charge and the Lithium Ion battery is removable. Conveniently, if you turn your phone or PDA off, the BT-Q818 automatically enters "sleeping mode", saving power. When you switch your phone or PDA back on again, the unit will automatically switch back into full power mode and detect a GPS signal again.

Both in-car AC chargers are bundled in the sales package.

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