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Globalsat GH-601 Review 4th July 2006

Review by Darren Griffin.



GPS devices aimed at the more athletic amongst us have become popular additions to the product portfolio of manufacturers recently. Garmin started the trend with their Forerunner range a while back and now Globalsat have entered the fray with their GH-601 wrist mounted device.


The general idea is you use the unit to capture your training and then use the data as part of your fitness regime to improve your fitness, better your lap or circuit times etc.


Fitness is big business nowadays and there is a clear demand for gadgets such as these. Clearly Globalsat have taken a liking to the form factor and appearance of Garmin's Forerunner series as the two devices share a very similar look albeit the Globalsat comes in a brightly coloured case which may or may not be to your liking!


The unit is affixed to a large velcro wristband (thankfully much longer than Garmin's!) and is comfortable when worn.


Quick Navigation










  • Built-in SiRF Star III high performance GPS chipset. Excellent sensitivity for fixing the position even at a weak signal status.
  • With an omni-directional GPS antenna, it can receive the signal from all directions.
  • With built in rechargeable lithium-ion battery.
  • Large LCD for easy reading.
  • Waterproof design to avoid damaging with carelessness.
  • Recording all history of self training by defined day.
  • Coach mode : Define a target performance to be achieved.
  • Pace Alert : While user is slower / faster the define performance.
  • Navigation : Map Location, Mark Trace, Find Mark, Backtrack, Ahead and North.
  • 100 Way point Memory.
  • 20 Channel Receiver.
  • Automatically record up to 1000 laps by day or week.
  • No. of Routes/No. of way points per route: 10 / 125.
  • 16 Hour Battery Life (Rechargeable Internal Li-Ion Battery).
  • Display Size 2.5cm x 3.25cm Greyscale 80 x 120 pixel LCD.
  • Unit Size (H x W x D in inches): 1.8 x 3.2 x .7.
  • Backlit Display.


As this was an early model I did not have the opportunity to evaluate the PC Software that will come with retail units. The 601 has a standard mini-usb port protected from the worst of our weather by a small rubber flap.


The Mini-USB port is used both to charge the unit either by connecting it to your PC with the supplied USB cable or direct from the mains with the supplied USB Mains Adapter.

Gh-601 Controls


The unit is very simple to operate with the buttons clearly labelled and self explanatory when accessing menus.


Location Mode Speedometer Mode


As can be seen in the illustrations above, the screen is fairly easy to read, although the resolution is not very high and contrast is moderate this does not affect the ease of use and as the set is likely to be used outdoors it is fine. All the relevant information is to hand and the menus can be accessed simply and quickly. Users of simple non-mapping GPS systems will be familiar with most of the screens and operation such as the breadcrumb modes and the ability to create way points and import from and export these to a PC via the supplied USB cable.


Training Screens


The sport specific features allow you to record your lap time, distance and speed and compare these against previous runs etc.


On Wrist


I managed to break off the rubber USB cover within minutes of opening the package and although it was my fault it does suggest that this is a weak area that may benefit from a re-design. I was still able to use cover but it was no longer secured to the device itself and would be easily lost. Without the flap the USB port has no protection and could be easily damaged by water or sweat.


USB Cover



The GH-601 is a well designed and effective GPS receiver. It's interface is easy to operate and the SiRF chipset results in quick fix times and continued lock even under marginal conditions.


Combined with software such as Memory-Map it is easy to plan routes and upload and similarly easy to download the data and view. The 601 can even be used in GPS Mouse mode when connected to a laptop.


I cannot honestly say it has driven me to improve my fitness but for the avid runner it could prove very useful and allows you to quickly evaluate your performance and measure your improved lap times etc.




Manufacturers Web site www.globalsat.com.tw
Pocket GPS Contributors

Darren Griffin

Pocket GPS Contributor Web site




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