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Anyone else having a problem with GPS lock?

Journeyman

Re: Anyone else having a problem with GPS lock?

I've tried all the suggested aGPS fixes, and like everything else about this phone, it doesn't work. I'm returning it tommorow.

Journeyman

Re: Anyone else having a problem with GPS lock?

GPS also seems to cause a lockup:

If it has trouble finding satellites (e.g. the GPS notification icon is blinking), then any app which uses GPS may hang.  Case in point:  I was using the camera and had GPS location setting on (it puts the lat/long in the JPG header).  Just after I snapped a shot, the camera went blank.  Home, back keys would not work and the phone was frozen.  Eventually, a popup window came up and said the picture viewer was not responding and I selected "Force close" to get back to the home screen.  I then tried to run the application "GPS Test" and the phone again went dark.  No responses to any key presses.  Eventually, a window popped up for me to force close the GPS Test app.

The GPS icon continued to blink.  This was done in a park on a clear sunny day.  No real obstructions (a tree here and there) and I had just used Google Maps about 15 minutes prior without issue.  It had me pinpointed to within 5 meters of where I was, judging from the satellite view.  I was under a tree at the time when using Maps.

I then tried turning GPS off but the notification icon continued to blink.  The only way I could get it to stop was to power off and then power on.

This is annoying to say the least but not worth it for me to return the phone.

Journeyman

Re: Anyone else having a problem with GPS lock?

I am wondering if this is normal operation but is

1. Considered an issue by users only because someone else complained about it and have given it a name (which makes people paranoid about how/if it affects them)

2. A issue for only a subset of defective phones.

I have 2 Epics (of 3 on my account but family is away with one).  I thought we had GPS problems because it took a long time on first initialization.  Then I reflected on how all of our GPSes do that.  These were nothing exceptional.

UNITS TESTED:

-iPhone 3g,

-Qstarz (Nemetrix 2 chipset--bluetooth hooked up to a satellite monitoring program on my laptop)

-2 Epic 4gs

These were indoors (my kitchen on a nice day).  The Epics had had initial locks recently in the area, as had the Nemetrix2.

All units took a reasonable amount of time to lock (under 1 minute, except for the iphone which took 3 minutes because it was recently out of the area).

After lock, the iPhone has no reasonable GPS program, so I could not see the satellites.

The nemetrix2 is a fantastic GPS chipset.  It saw 8 satellites steadily.

The Epics saw between 6 and 8 satellites, but were a bit less steady.  There was no significant variation in the Epics after locking (but quite a bit of variation beforehand).  (The compasses were pointed in completely different directions though.)

TAKE-HOME: Though not as good as a premier standalone Nemetrix chipset, the Epic GPS seemed to operate well.  Anecdotally, it seems to navigate well.  Locks are faster or the same as our TomToms.

Journeyman

Re: Anyone else having a problem with GPS lock?

It is clear the people finding no problem are kind of n00bs when it comes to various smartphones and what to expect. That is why the serious people doing serious testing are finding problems and others are not

I just got finished  testing the Epic against six other units. HTC EVO, HTC G1, iPhone4, Moto Droid 2, Palm Pre, and HTC Touhc Pro 2.

I tested indoors, and in four different outdoor locations. I used a number of testing programs that report number of satellites, their azimuth , declination and signal to noise ratio. I also did cache flushing and resets to test time to first fix, and did google tracking, both by foot and vehicular.

Conclusion: There is definitely  a problem with the Epic. Epic accuracy varies at times from somewhat poor to considerably poorer than all the other devices, in actual position and reported accuracy (Google accuracy reporting, and HDOP reporting) . The number of satellites is on average 25% less than other units. The Epic signal to noise is on average 30% lower, or about 12dB lower on average. Lag during driving is noticeable, and both lag and side to side inaccuracy while walking can be observed.

I have no doubt that some people are finding acceptable performance. But the generally poorer initial fix time, and the shown worse number of satellites and single strength mean less accuracy an increased chance of no fix under poor conditions where competing smartphones will be working and Epic will not.

As a last point, Sprint tech support says they are aware of the problem and consulting with Samsung so it is clear they can replicate the Epics poor GPS performance.

Journeyman

Re: Anyone else having a problem with GPS lock?

GPS unable to locate me for the past hour now. Tried inside my office and out in the parking lot. This phone is on it's way back to Sprint later today.

Journeyman

Re: Anyone else having a problem with GPS lock?

Having read that the aGPS was off by default, it was the first thing I turned on when I got it home. Yet my GPS has been horrible. I upgraded from Palm Pre because I thought Google Android GPS would be robust. This thing is killing me. This is just one of many, many problems I'm having. Horrible Wi-Fi, DLNA won't stream; battery only lasts a few hours (with aggressive battery management); phone just "rebooted" in the middle of an important call; unresponsive buttons on bottom; Qik unusable even on Wi-Fi (tested on many routers). There seems to be something very wrong with the wifi radio in this thing.

EDIT/UPDATE: Out of curiosity, I just checked the pics I've been taking. The GEOtagging has me out in the middle of the Atlantic ocean. Nice going Samsung, thanks.

Message was edited by: edward11b

Message was edited by: edward11b

Journeyman

Re: Anyone else having a problem with GPS lock?

I too made sure the aGPS was turned on and I still have spotty gps lock and 7 out of 10 times locates me several blocks away from my actual position. If I can be certain there is a fix coming I would like to keep this phone but no one can seem to give us a definite answer amd most sprint reps and techs deny a problem even exists. If I can't get any assurance this will be fixed I would rather return the phone before my 30 day period. If they just at least acknowledge there is a problem even that would make me feel a little better.

Journeyman

Re: Anyone else having a problem with GPS lock?

Here is a link to a good explanation:

http://androidforums.com/epic-4g-support-troubleshooting/172291-does-gps-need-warmed-up.html#post155...

The problem appears to stem from storing old ephemeris data (e.g. not clearing the cache).  Sounds like a simple fix but the question is when.

Journeyman

Re: Anyone else having a problem with GPS lock?

Fact is this should have never come oput with this issue which apparently Samsung can't be bothered to fix or doesn't have softare engineers who know how to as it's showing up in the VZW Fascinate as well.

At least Samsung got my TV right.

Sprint Product Ambassador

Re: Anyone else having a problem with GPS lock?

It is sad that Samsung invested so much money to design this device, but forgot to have the right engineer to properly design the GPS or maybe just trying to cut corners with a crummy GPS antenna.  For this reason I think I will select the HTC EVO when my phone is up for an upgrade next month. (Same GPS issue we saw with the Moment and Samsung Engineer would not learn, also pretty bad that Sprint was not up to speed to require Samsung to have a better GPS after what they have seen with the Moment; maybe Springt did not know about the Moment GPS issue 🙂

* Disclaimer: The Product Ambassadors are Sprint employees from many different parts of the company that love technology. They volunteer to test out all sorts of Sprint devices and offer opinions freely to the Community. Each Product Ambassador shares their own opinions of these devices, therefore the information in this post does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sprint. The PA's do not represent the company in an official way, and should not be expected to respond to Community members in an official capacity. #sprintemployee.
Journeyman

Re: Anyone else having a problem with GPS lock?

GPS only works after a reboot.  At some random time after reboot, the GPS will stop working.  It will "see" the sat's but will not lock.  It is easier to recreate this by using WIFI for a while (of course you should use WIFI if you can because 3G upload is capped at 150k.)

The only thing "Use Wireless Networks" does for me is drain the battery, it does not resolve this situation.

Sprint Product Ambassador

Re: Anyone else having a problem with GPS lock?

It is funny that the Samsung and Sprint test engineers have not found the problem!!  What do they test.

It is almost ridiculous that the users find these basic issues.  Only two conclusions: GPS is never tested on the phone, or the test engineers do not know what they are doing.

The product should not leave the fcatory with these basic issues IMHO.

* Disclaimer: The Product Ambassadors are Sprint employees from many different parts of the company that love technology. They volunteer to test out all sorts of Sprint devices and offer opinions freely to the Community. Each Product Ambassador shares their own opinions of these devices, therefore the information in this post does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sprint. The PA's do not represent the company in an official way, and should not be expected to respond to Community members in an official capacity. #sprintemployee.
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