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Freedom Keychain GPS 2000 Review

Best Treo GPS ReceiverThe superb, diminutive and bestselling original Freedom Keychain GPS receiver for Treo and Centro smartphones (below right) is now even better and smaller thanks to the release of the Freedom Keychain GPS 2000 model (pictured below left).

Freedom Keychain GPS 2000

The new and improved Freedom Keychain GPS 2000 retains the title of “the world’s smallest, lightest and most compact GPS receiver” while also benefiting from a few significant changes.

Keychain GPS 2000 ComparisonFor starters it now offers 51 Channels instead of 20 and an increased baud rate of 115,200 bps (up from 57,600) that both help to deliver improved GPS speed and accuracy.

To save size and weight the internal battery size has been reduced from 450mAh to 350mAh but without affecting the working time which remains unchanged at up to 9 hours.

Freedom Keychain GPS 2000 Comparison

Aside from these technical improvements the most visible and noticeable change is in the design of the unit itself (image above).  The company has managed to shave an incredible 25% of the thickness and nearly 30% of the weight (to only 22 grams) on the GPS 2000.

Freedom Keychain GPS 2000 - Side

Additionally, the Freedom Keychain GPS 2000 has now been coated in a rubberized black paint which feels great in your hands as well as benefiting from a minor update to the keychain itself which is now much more elegant. 

Freedom Keychain GPS 2000 - Indicator Lights

Also, where the previous model had only one indicator light the new one (above) has been improved with four individual lights to clearly show the status for Bluetooth, GPS, Battery Life and Power – something which makes it considerably easier to understand when using the device.

Freedom Keychain GPS 2000 Kit

Finally, I love the fact that the Freedom Keychain GPS 2000 uses a miniUSB charging connector and that the kit includes both a USB car charger and also USB charging cable to recharge your receiver at home or office via your PC (or wall outlet using a simple USB Wall Adapter).

The Freedom Keychain GPS 2000 package does not include any GPS navigation software but the receiver can actually be used with any of the most popular solutions available.  I have been using it with my Palm Centro using Telenav and an iGrip Universal Fit Flexible Mount as well as testing it on my Treo 680 using TomTom Navigator and the iGrip Custom Fit Flexible Mount – they both work perfectly well and also compatible with Windows Mobile devices.

Overall there’s hardly anything not to like about the new Freedom Keychain GPS 2000 as it’s even more compact, light and better designed than its older sibling and now delivers even faster performance with an enhanced chipset – there’s no doubt that the Freedom GPS offers the best solution if you’re looking to always have a Treo or Centro GPS in your pocket.

Treonauts always demand total freedom

Posted by Andrew on February 6, 2008 at 12:29 PM

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by Gerry Jurrens | Feb 6, 2008 1:19:02 PM

Do you know if the Freedom Keychain GPS 2000 has NMEA output available?

by paulius | Feb 6, 2008 3:13:32 PM

-First, I still wonder are these GPS gadgets totally safe having them so close to your body (read: balls, when the keychain is inside my pants pocket) to actually have it around?

-Second, how much would the whole package be, this Freedom 2000 keychain, Tomtom navigator, plus a vehicle mount?

-Would you have any special package for using Treo 680 w/GPS capability in a car?

by Scott | Feb 6, 2008 5:06:18 PM

Your review says the Freedom 2000 chipset is MTK but your store says it's SiRF. Which is it?

by Scott | Feb 6, 2008 5:08:33 PM

These are GPS receivers, not trasmitters, so your balls are already exposed 24x7 by our satellites in space whether you have the keychain or not.

It does transmit bluetooth but I can't tell you whether or not that will affect you.

by Micah | Feb 6, 2008 5:33:45 PM

I was originally thrilled with the idea of the Freedom so I bought it --- and only then realized that finding software is easier said than done. Telenav looks like a great service --- but at $10 per month (or $100 per year) it is no bargain. They sell a four-year contract for $250 --- more or less the cost of a GPS device (especially if you include the cost of the Freedom) which requires no service. I ended up returning the device. I will wait for good software with a reasonable cost to arrive before I buy the Freedom.

by Dick | Feb 6, 2008 6:13:34 PM

I'm I little confused about TomTom6 compatibility with the Centro. I have TT6 from my 650 days and I would like to use Centro, Freedom 2000 and TT6, but am not sure if they are compatible. This package really look slick for when I'm on the road! Especially, if I can leave all this other hardware from home, that I bought 2 years ago. I am also waiting for iGrip to come out with a Cigarette Lighter Mount for the Centro, like I have for my 650.

by Andrew | Feb 6, 2008 6:26:24 PM

Gerry - I don't know if it has NMEA output and could not find any information about this.

Scott - the new unit uses the 51 channel MTK chipset while the old one uses the 20 channel SiRF Star III.

Micah - if you prefer a GPS software without subscription then the TomTom 6 Navigator software combined with the Freedom 2000 is a great solution.

Dick - based on my tests you will have no problem using a Palm Centro + Freedom 2000 + TomTom 6 = it works great! ;-) Like you I'd also like to see a "custom" iGrip mount for the Centro released soon.

Cheers, A.

by morgansparrot | Feb 7, 2008 11:05:11 AM

+Does it work with GoogleMaps on the Treo 680 as well?

by Jess Stratton | Feb 7, 2008 11:24:27 AM

I bought the original Freedom based on reviews here, and I was not disappointed. I am using the (free) Microsoft Live Search Mobile with my Treo 700wx, and am so loving it! It seems to be the only free software I found that would give me turn-by-turn directions, automatic rerouting, and makes a little noise when coming up on the turn so I can hear it. The cool thing is, if you use a program like PocketMusic, which enables you to use buttons in the background, I can have my cake and eat it, too. I listen to MP3's with my Treo, and have the Navigation on in the foreground. I can skip tracks using the left/right buttons, and it doesn't affect the navigation. I'm so happy with it.
Here's the link to the nav software: http://livesearchmobile.com/?mid=1011

by Derek | Feb 18, 2008 2:14:29 PM

I bought the 2000 model based on the reviews (actually waited too long to get the original before it sold out/was off sale).

Anyway, I cannot get it to connect to my Treo 700p (which does successfully pair with my headset). The GPS does pair with my laptop and my wife's Blackberry. Any thoughts on how to solve this?

by Mike | Feb 20, 2008 7:45:36 PM

Jess Stratton-

Can you use that Windows Live Nav software without an internet connection? I have the Freedom GPS receiver but I don't have a data plan for my 755p...

by Cathy | Feb 26, 2008 3:51:56 PM

Hi! Sprint has a navigation system that is only 5$ per month addition to the data packages. Does anyone know if we would be able to use the Freedom Keychain 2000 with a Centro with the Sprint Navigation Pack? Thanks.

by shavercamp | Feb 27, 2008 2:30:02 PM

Great concept and size, but i have encountered a bug. I have a tro 755p and run garmin mobile xt 20 software. I purchased the freedom gps 2000 in hopes of detaching from the garmin car mount. my treo, however, is not finding the freedom gps and so it cannot pair - it keeps saying it can't find a garmin . has anyone else encountered this problem and if so, were you able to correct it? any help would be appreciated.

by Todd | Mar 4, 2008 7:02:41 PM

Has anybody been able to make the Freedom 2000 work with a Treo 650 running TomTom Navigator 6?

The phone works fine with the PalmOne bluetooth GPS, Jawbone headset, or Palm headset but no luck with the Freedom 2000.

I notice that the Treo 650 appears to use bluetooth 1.1 and the Freedom 2000 uses 2.0. Could this be the problem?

by Ed Hornsey | Mar 8, 2008 4:31:16 AM

Freedom Keychain GPS 2000 works fine with v6 TomTom on an iPaq 2210 via bluetooth. Battery seems to last long than the advertised 9hrs in my experience. Aquiring gps signal lock is very quick, much faster than other SiRF products Ive previously used. Tried it with SE K850i (R1CA037) however, pairs OK but does not work with Mobile Googlemaps.

by Joe | Mar 20, 2008 3:51:13 PM

I would just like to say I have the Freedom 2000 and I love it. I have the HTC Touch and within minutes of opening the package I was paired and linked with satellites. didn't have to go out and find software, I just used what came on my phone. And the reciever itself is very strong. My old Garmin handheld GPS would never work without being on my dash, this receiver I just throw my keys in the cup holder and go. It's great. Definitely a must have for anyone who is thinking of going to GPS via the smartphone or PPC.

by Ariel | Apr 11, 2008 1:27:47 PM

Does the Freedom can work directly attached to a Laptop using the USB cable, without Bluetooth, as an option? Anyone knows?

by Tim | Apr 22, 2008 2:48:48 PM

Does anyone know if the freedom 2000 work with a Dell Axim x30?
Thanks Tim

by Tom | Apr 23, 2008 2:10:10 PM

I am using this GPS receiver with my Treo 700p and TomTom 6 software...it works great!

It's a much better design than the GPS unit that you can get from TomTom (I left my TomTom GPS receiver on the dash and it melted). You can actually tell if the Bluetooth is connecting and if it has a GPS signal via the lights on the unit. Also, it has a hard on/off switch. All of these issues were problems with the TomTom receiver (hard to believe that TomTom got so many things wrong with such a basic device).

Also, the unit is much smaller than it appears in most of the pictures. It's about half the size of either of the keyless entry devices for my cars.

I would highly recommend this hardware for anyone considering a GPS receiver for their Palm.

by Bobboya | Jun 7, 2008 5:07:47 PM

I just got my Keychain GPS 2000. The GPS works well, as I can tell by the blinking orange satellite LED, but the bluetooth does not work well. Very strange. I have no problems coupling my Curve to other bluetooth devices -- just this Keychain GPS 2000. Anyone else have similar problems?

by Bobboya | Jun 9, 2008 12:44:04 AM

Never mind! I figured it out. I loaded Flickr on my Curve after I had started to use the Keychain GPS 2000. There must be some kind of conflict between the two programs. After I deleted Flickr, the GPS system started working again. I have no idea why!

by Jeff | Jun 14, 2008 10:59:46 AM

does anybody have info if this will pair up with an IPAQ HW6515. The 6515 has a built in agps which is garbage. It never worked well, but not its not working at all.
Would also like to make sure it works with microsoft live gps maps. I have never heard of MTK, most stuff is NMEA or SIRF.

Thanks in advance

by Scott | Jul 17, 2008 12:13:12 AM

I am thinking about getting the Freedom 2000 for my Treo 700W and was wondering if you can still receive phone calls on the phone while the GPS is running, and if you can, can you answer via Bluetooth headset?

by Woody | Jul 18, 2008 1:03:11 AM

I just purchased the Freedom 2000 for my Sprint HTC Touch. It will not pair with Garmin XT at all. But it works great with Live Search Mobile, Google Maps & Navi2Go (all are FREE). It actually works best with Live Search. No lag like it does with Google Maps. ALso Live Search has Speech Recognition so you can tell it adresses, look for certain stores etc. It also lets my Motorola 700 bluetooth headset connect as well at the same time.

by David | Jul 25, 2008 12:25:28 PM

I just bought a Centro. I've never used used a GPS but want to make the leap. I do a lot of mountain biking and am looking for something small that will go in my pack. Since I am off-road (the street maps won't help) I also need a GPS that will leave bread crumbs and track my path so I can find my way home.

Will the Keychain GPS 2000 achieve this?

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