The passion to plug-in-play devices may be immeasurable. Last week SquareGPS decided to highlight one the most atypical car GPS trackers in a mass market.
It is referred to GoSafe G717, cigarette lighter GPS tracker, manufactured by the Chinese Gosafe Company, Ltd. It is interesting that the company has its own OBDII product line with two devices G777 and G797. Nevertheless, their ideas took a step further to create a really unique device that may be connected in car lighter.
This tracker expressly draws the eye, because you probably haven’t seen anything like this before. And while the usability of “lighter GPS” is a question, its appearance is great for a square consumer (i. e. for marketing). We have bought G717 tracker guided by our customer instincts that work absolutely smooth in this case.
It is hardly bigger than a torch lighter or pepper-ball. Thanks to the portability a device even could have been a personal GPS tracker, thus, its battery doesn’t have enough capacity.
A 60-grams device doesn’t have many confusing buttons. The one and only SOS button is big and easy-to-push that is very important in emergency situations and road accidents. This button is lightened by the special LED indicators that makes it, even more, usable.
GPS tracker has USB port for device setup and firmware upgrade, and a slot for SIM card. Depending on the revision the last one is either of micro SIM (newer) or standard SIM (older). We had both versions, but unhappy to say that the slot is built improperly. Firstly, because a SIM card is difficult to inject or eject: you will need some thin tools like scissors or pen to do it. The second problem is that a holder isn’t done firmly and a SIM card may fall inside the case. This affair disappoints, even if you won’t change SIM cards too often.
A device also has a small microphone that can be used for sound monitoring of in-cabin events. This security feature becomes essential for high-end GPS devices.
GoSafe G717 looks handy in bulk despite the annoying fail patches with SIM card holder. It heavily mars the impression about the device.
Quality of GPS tracks
First of all, you should be aware that both hardware and firmware of the device changed a few times since the first version of the device was released.
According to the latest specification, GoSafe G717 is equipped with u-Blox NEO 6M GPS receiver with support of A-GPS. Stated accuracy is up to 2.5 meters.
As for GSM connectivity, manufacturer offers two revisions with GSM modules for 2G or 3G networks. The price for 3G version is a little higher, but becomes actual because of the “2G rollup” in most part of developed countries.
GoSafe G717 shows good performance during the tracking quality test. The manufacturer advises installing a tracker with branded part faced to open sky because an internal antenna is placed there.
Tracking quality was good after some configuration fixes. During the first test session, we got some problems with tracks in an urban area. While our car was turning around a block too much a tracking line laid over buildings.
Then we fixed time-tracking mode. After that tracking line angles became more correct, thus it didn’t match with map roads with absolute accuracy. Looks like it was a mapping issue. We chose Google real-map (in Loccate service) to realize how close was our painted route to a real one.
Monitoring of events
A form-factor is not the only speciality of GoSafe G717. The device is very rich with its event monitoring features at the hardware level.
Here we listed the most helpful events:
- SOS button
- Socket plug in / out
- Engine on / off
- Parking and idling
- Tow detection
- GSM jamming
- Harsh braking and acceleration
- Car crash and turnover
- Geo fence
- Low backup battery
- SIM card balance notification
It is remarkable that G717 tracker distincts “Socket plug in/out” and “Engine on/off” – obviously it uses the information about the board voltage level. Thanks to that, for example, the team supervisor certainly knows when his employees try to cheat the system by switching the device off.
It also can be used in the engine hours measurement to know exactly how many hours do an engine work a day.
Events related to the harsh driving and car accidents are absolutely on trend: the demand for such options increases due to growing interest to insurance telematics and environmental care.
It’s unlikely G717 is commonly used for security purposes, however such features as emergency button, towing alert and GSM jamming are not out of place.
In the end of this review we can conclude that GoSafe G717 is not only a goodly gismo, that is incredible easy to install. It is also a reliable device with all basic features of vehicle tracker, and sometimes even more.
Of course, this model can’t provide any telemetry information from vehicle systems, e.g. about fuel level or DTC error codes. That’s true: G717 is not designed for advanced fleet management.
Thus, GoSafe G717 is a good choice for monitoring of mobile employees who work on corporate or own cars, as well as for private car owners.
We give big points to this GPS tracker with some reservations and make such resume for it:
- Attractive appearance and portability
- Easy to use. Plug & play device
- Fair tracking quality and A-GPS
- Big SOS button
- Weak build quality
- No interconnection with vehicle systems
- Relatively high-price
- Easy to detach and break
Want to know more about GoSafe product line? Check it out in our device section.