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One of the reasons I picked the v88 (other than the fact that it used the RK3188 SoC) was it was one of the few quad-core tablets that incorporated BT into it's hardware. In the past I've used an Archos tablet, which has built-in GPS, as my GPS head unit in the car and it worked out pretty well. Sometimes the built-in GPS was a bit temperamental locking onto satellites, but overall I enjoyed having a 8" GPS head unit in the car which doubled as my tablet. The biggest issue with the Archos was that it didn't have an IPS screen, which is very nice to have especially on bright sunny days.

The review of the Canmore GT-750FL Bluetooth Receiver below is based on using the following components:

- Chuwi v88 (with 2GB RAM; running Oma's v3.3 ROM)
- Sygic Navigation and Maps App
- Bluetooth GPS Provider App
- RAM Car Mount for 8" to 8.9" tablets using a 6" extension arm
- Snugg iPad mini Case

I decided on purchasing the Canmore-750FL for multiple reasons:
1. Uses a really well received GPS chipset (you can see a good comparison table of all the GPS chipsets available here)
2. Good battery performance (13+ hours)
3. Easily removable and replaceable Li-On battery
4. Fast cold start capability
5. Sinks up to 65 satellites
6. Has a built in data logger (in case I want to log a run, hike or a hidden cache of weapons and food when the Apocalypse occurs)
7. Uses BT technology (duh)
8. Customer reviews on Google Play using the Sygic GPS Navigation app (which I had previously purchased) indicated that this unit was compatible with Android and Sygic
9. Not extremely expensive. As I was unsure how well the BT antenna in v88 would work, I was reluctant to drop a lot of coin on a GPS receiver if the v88 BT proved to be flaky



Interestingly, there doesn't seem to be a great deal of development lately in the world of GPS receivers (I suppose b/c everyone is using a classical GPS Head unit (TomTom, Navigon, etc.) and/or their GPS/data from their phone.

The benefit of using a standalone GPS receiver over a built in antenna is that:
1. It will be miles better than any cheap BT hardware a tablet manufacturer incorporates into their units
2. The tablet's battery will not be sucked dry from a GPS antenna (which they always are)
3. The GPS receivers are tiny and can be place right near the windshield to allow for maximal satellite locks

Initially I was going to purchase the unit from the CanadaGPS store however the shipping was pretty steep (as I reside in the US) and I HATE paying for shipping. Interestingly enough, the CandaGPS store sells the exact same unit on e.b.a.y. and the shipping cost is much less so I decided to go that route. I got the unit in 6 business days.

Steps to using the GT-750FL are as follows:
A. Charge up the GT-750FL and turn it on
B. Turn on BT on v88 and then pair it (default pairing security code is "0000")
C. Install the free app "Bluetooth GPS Provider" (see linky above) and change the GPS Connect Method to "Insecure" in the Preferences menu (you only need to do this once). Then on the main screen click "Start." You will need to start this app 1st every time you want to use your GPS Navigation program.
D. Open up Sygic (or whatever mapping/navigation program you're using) and you should be off and running. No changes within the navigation program are necessary (at least in the case of the Sygic App).

The GT-750FL proved to be very effective with this setup. So much in fact that I could leave the receiver in my cup cubby between the driver and passenger seats and I would have no issue losing satellite or v88 connection. On top of all that, the test run was done during a rainstorm which should make getting receiver locks more difficult. I did notice that the accuracy suffered a little when placing the receiver down in my cup holder vs. being near the windshield. It wasn't really too big of an issue, but if you have streets that your turning on that are close together (I noted it when pulling into work which has a lot of side-by-side parking lots) your placement on your map vs. where you actually are may be off by about 50 feet. I'll probably attach the receiver to my dash using Velcro tape which should allow for easy placement and removal.

Basically the end result was turn on the GT-750FL and go (which is how it should be).

I thought I'd mention that the RAM mount I'm using was a hold-over from my previous setup with an Archos G9 tablet which is much longer and thicker than the v88. The RAM mount is adjustable using spring action clamps for various sizes of tablets (8" to 8.9"). The v88 did sit in the mount and didn't fall out, but the depth of the mount arms holding the v88 is much thicker than the v88 itself. The benefit of this is that I could actually keep the v88 in my case, with the front flap folded over inside the mount. The mount's side arms also have large access holes so I should have no issue charging the v88 while driving (which I intend to try out with an Apple car USB charger and a barrel USB charging cable).

The only minor issues I ran into were:

1. While using Oma's v3.3 ROM, Sygic would initially crash when accessing it's user menus. I was thinking it might be a problem with the Android 4.2.2 OS, but I didn't see anyone complaining about this on the app's Google Play Market site so I assumed it was ROM related. I figured out it was due to the tablet not effectively mounting the external SD card. Once I unmounted the card (in the Settings---> Storage), removed the card and re-inserted, I had no problems.
2. When I made a quick pit stop at a 7-Eleven (convenience store), I used the "Screen Off" app, which allows me to turn the v88's screen off via the touch screen. When I turned it back on, the GPS Navigation software froze and I needed to shut down both Sygic and Bluetooth GPS Provider apps and restart. Not sure if this was a one time thing or not, but I thought I'd mention it.

Other than that, using the Canmore GT-750FL with the v88's BT antenna was a swimming success.

smithmal
 

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This was a really good writeup you've done, smithmal! This is something I've been having in mind ever since I bought another tablet for my (senior) parents.
How "senior-proof" do you think this setup is? Is it possible for beginners to use this without having to call a younger relitive (me) everytime navigation is required?
 

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This was a really good writeup you've done, smithmal! This is something I've been having in mind ever since I bought another tablet for my (senior) parents.
How "senior-proof" do you think this setup is? Is it possible for beginners to use this without having to call a younger relitive (me) everytime navigation is required?
I would say yes. If your parents are savy enough to use a navigation app, they should have no issues using the receiver. I would place a nice Bluetooth toggle widget on their home screen and then they'd be all set. I also forgot to mention that this receiver has a battery saver function in which it will shutdown it doesn't detect a BT signal in a certain amount of time.

smithmal
 

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I would say yes. If your parents are savy enough to use a navigation app, they should have no issues using the receiver. I would place a nice Bluetooth toggle widget on their home screen and then they'd be all set. I also forgot to mention that this receiver has a battery saver function in which it will shutdown it doesn't detect a BT signal in a certain amount of time.

smithmal
nice review! do you know any GPS unit that can work with USB? (getting power via usb of the v88 also)?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
nice review! do you know any GPS unit that can work with USB? (getting power via usb of the v88 also)?
Kisamesama,

Generally Android does not play nice with USB devices due to driver incompatibilities. There is a blog here which indicates success of an Android user using a USB type GPS receiver on an Android tablet flashed with CM 10.1.

smithmal
 

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Nice! Yeah, I bought myself a TomTom MKII for pretty cheap and have been itching to test it out, but I'm still waiting for a replacement V88 from Merimobiles. They received my returned unit on June 25 and have been telling me that they're waiting for stock from Chuwi.
 

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Many thanks for your review!
But unfortunately it doesn't work for me.

In normal cases i use Locus Pro. It has an internal GPS-Bluetooth-module so it don't need another gps-provider-tool.
But this doesn't work for google maps, so i tested your configuration. All seems to work perfect: I have a small symbol in my taskbar that says "Bluetooth is active!" but i have no access to my locaion!!

Google maps says: "Please enable Google apps location access!"
When i go to the settings-menue ("location access") there are only two options: "Access to my location" and "Wifi&mobile network location" - both are enabled!
In developer options, mock locations are allowed, too.

It seems like there is no module installed in this rom, "Bluetooth GPS Provider" could transfer the GPS-data to, because it is not available.
I thougt "Bluetooth GPS Provider" would simulate this missing module?!?

Any suggestions?

(sorry fr my bad english... ;-) )

P.S.: I did it!!
There is an option hidden in the google-account-settings called "location settings". toggled it on and i had access to maps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Good deal. I'm glad it worked out for you. So you are using the same GPS receiver that I did?

smithmal
 

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No, i usually use a holux gpslim bt gps mouse. Or sometimes i tether the bluetooth-data from my mobile. Both works great now!

Gesendet von meinem GT-I9300 mit Tapatalk 4
 

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Excellent writeup! Thanks


I'd like to ask some questions...

1. Can the Canmore be charged through the USB port if connected to a 5v 2A charger?
2. Any idea how it compares to the Holux M-1000C which is in the same price bracket
3. Is it possible not to use any GPS provider apps?
 

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Excellent writeup! Thanks


I'd like to ask some questions...

1. Can the Canmore be charged through the USB port if connected to a 5v 2A charger?
2. Any idea how it compares to the Holux M-1000C which is in the same price bracket
3. Is it possible not to use any GPS provider apps?
Lambada,

Answers are below:

1. Yes
2. If you compare the Canmore's chipset to the Holux (MTK II), it would see to be better on almost every catagory including price (by about $30 dollars). Regardless, the main reason why I went with the Canmore is that reviews indicated that it played nice with the Android OS. I'm not sure if this is true with the Holux device.
3. Yes, I belive you can use your GPS with Google Maps for free. GPS specific apps just give you alot more flexibility and customization.

smithmal
 

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Lambada,

Answers are below:

1. Yes
2. If you compare the Canmore's chipset to the Holux (MTK II), it would see to be better on almost every catagory including price (by about $30 dollars). Regardless, the main reason why I went with the Canmore is that reviews indicated that it played nice with the Android OS. I'm not sure if this is true with the Holux device.
3. Yes, I belive you can use your GPS with Google Maps for free. GPS specific apps just give you alot more flexibility and customization.

smithmal
Thanks for your reply. The MTK II(Holux) seems to be better than the Skytra (Canmore) on all counts except speed. Price-wise, I found both of them available for about USD 40. Having said that, it's very reassuring to know that the Canmore has proven to be compatible with Android.

My question about the app referred to the 'GPS Receiver App' not Sygic. Can the Canmore communicate with Android and Sygic without this additional app?

Also, does the phone's GPS automatically switch off (thereby saving battery life) once it is connected to the Canmore?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for your reply. The MTK II(Holux) seems to be better than the Skytra (Canmore) on all counts except speed. Price-wise, I found both of them available for about USD 40. Having said that, it's very reassuring to know that the Canmore has proven to be compatible with Android.

My question about the app referred to the 'GPS Receiver App' not Sygic. Can the Canmore communicate with Android and Sygic without this additional app?

Also, does the phone's GPS automatically switch off (thereby saving battery life) once it is connected to the Canmore?
I believe the GPS Receiver App is necessary so that the Android OS can correctly pull GPS info through the Bluetooth receiver so I would say, yes it is necessary to use this app if you're using a BT GPS receiver (though I don't know that for a fact).

To you're second question I would say the answer is no, you'll need to manually switch off an internal GPS receiver when connecting to an external GPS receiver through BT unless you can find some app that is running in the background that can automate this for you.

BTW, can you let us know where you're able to score a Holux 1000-C for around $40? It would be nice to know there are other options out there for similar prices.

smithmal
 

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I believe the GPS Receiver App is necessary so that the Android OS can correctly pull GPS info through the Bluetooth receiver so I would say, yes it is necessary to use this app if you're using a BT GPS receiver (though I don't know that for a fact).

To you're second question I would say the answer is no, you'll need to manually switch off an internal GPS receiver when connecting to an external GPS receiver through BT unless you can find some app that is running in the background that can automate this for you.

BTW, can you let us know where you're able to score a Holux 1000-C for around $40? It would be nice to know there are other options out there for similar prices.

smithmal
"Additionally while using Bluetooth GPS Provider the internal GPS won't be used regardless of the setting so disabling it isn't needed."
Source: Bjorn Quentin, the author of the Bluetooth GPS app you mentioned. Second comment from the bottom of this page: https://plus.google.com/communities/104930572010612794860

Have you got a way of checking whether your tablet is behaving as Bjorn Quentin claims? You might realise from the power consumption rate.

My next question is....are you automatically considered not to be using 'Bluetooth GPS Provider' as soon as you unpair the phone/tablet from the receiver? i.e. will the internal GPS receiver automatically switch on again after unpairing?

I was wrong about the price of the M-1000C because USD 40 excludes shipping. Cheapest one I found is USD 51 incl shipping to the US from China on [Ali]Express (from a trader with good ratings). On [eb][ay] they start at around USD 54 incl shipping.
 

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"Additionally while using Bluetooth GPS Provider the internal GPS won't be used regardless of the setting so disabling it isn't needed."
Source: Bjorn Quentin, the author of the Bluetooth GPS app you mentioned. Second comment from the bottom of this page: https://plus.google.com/communities/104930572010612794860

Have you got a way of checking whether your tablet is behaving as Bjorn Quentin claims? You might realise from the power consumption rate.

My next question is....are you automatically considered not to be using 'Bluetooth GPS Provider' as soon as you unpair the phone/tablet from the receiver? i.e. will the internal GPS receiver automatically switch on again after unpairing?

I was wrong about the price of the M-1000C because USD 40 excludes shipping. Cheapest one I found is USD 51 incl shipping to the US from China on [Ali]Express (from a trader with good ratings). On [eb][ay] they start at around USD 54 incl shipping.
The Chuwi v88 doesn't have an internal GPS which is why I purchased an external GPS. For this reason there is no need to turn the internal GPS off and any questions you may have about how an internal GPS vs. an external GPS would work I can't answer.

From my recollection, once you start up the "Bluetooth GPS Provider" app once, there's no need to start it up again. I'm not sure if that's b/c it's working in the background, or if it updates some settings in Android so that the OS knows to use BT data to obtain GPS information. I just know that once I started up the "Bluetooth GPS Provider" app the first time, I only needed to start up my GPS app (Sygic) later on and everything worked automatically.

$51 with shipping is still a good price for a unit that uses the MKII GPS chipset. It would be nice to know if this GPS BT Receiver worked well with the Android OS. My thinking is that it will as BT is BT.

smithmal
 

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$51 with shipping is still a good price for a unit that uses the MKII GPS chipset. It would be nice to know if this GPS BT Receiver worked well with the Android OS. My thinking is that it will as BT is BT.

smithmal
Several users who used the GPS BT Receiver app reported satisfactory performance with the M-1000C in their reviews of the app. Thanks for your help mate.
 
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