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Anyone else having a problem with GPS lock?

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Journeyman

Anyone else having a problem with GPS lock?

I used Google Navigation and the first time it worked great.  The second time I used it, it kept losing and then re-aquiring the satellite link.  Then today, I had GPS turned off while at work and when I got in the car, I turned it back on.  GPS signal could not be found.  I waited 10 minutes (I was outside, clear sky, no obstructions) and no GPS lock.  I turned GPS off and on severals times and continue to wait with no lock.  Finally, I powered off the phone, turned it back on and went straight to Google Nav.  GPS was acquired in about 5 seconds and maps worked great.

It seems to me that Samsung does not have the GPS issue fully resolved on the Epic.  I was wondering if anyone else had similar issues and/or is there a workaround (other than re-powering the phone).

133 REPLIES 133
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Journeyman

GPS is hit or miss.  Even with the Cold start workaround, I can't rely on my GPS to work.  At times I can load GPS Test and it will show 9 sats, 3 in use with no lock at all.  Sometimes I can get a lock immediately in Maps and then move to CardioTrainer and it drops.  It's just unreliable and I hope this is something that is addressed very soon as it's an integral part of my daily routine.

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Journeyman

othan1 wrote:

GPS is hit or miss.  Even with the Cold start workaround, I can't rely on my GPS to work.  At times I can load GPS Test and it will show 9 sats, 3 in use with no lock at all.  Sometimes I can get a lock immediately in Maps and then move to [another application] and it drops.  It's just unreliable and I hope this is something that is addressed very soon as it's an integral part of my daily routine.

That has been my experience, exactly.

There is no sure-fire way to get a GPS lock - no matter what gnarly workaround is attempted, it is still random luck, apparently.

Sometimes it surprises me and works on the first try...

...and other times it NEVER locks in, even over the course of several hours, even as I'm moving from inside to outside or from city to rural.

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Journeyman

The GPS on this device is HORRIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Sometimes it will lock in 1 minute, 10 minutes or never, all in an open sky.  Tried all known work arounds from device reset to reboot to cold start work around to even GPS reset.  It will show up to 11 sats in view but not use ANY of them with at least 7 above 25 S/N.  But when it does work, it isn't even as accurate as the Hero or EVO.  Some apps I use MUST have gps running to verify that I am in the US and if GPS doesn't work, I can't use them.  Even something as simple as RadarNow must have GPS or some network location service working but neither do.  FIX THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I swear that I will NEVER buy another Samsung device if they don't know how to fix issues.

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Journeyman

I am reminded by another commenter, Tidbits808, that buyers of the Epic who are dissatisfied with the GPS bugs have only 30 days to cancel the purchase .  After that, he argues, they have only themselves to blame.   I disagree with the twisted logic that the customers bear responsibility for defective products, but it is true that the 30-day trial is their strongest protection.  And potential customers should certainly be warned that the GPS bugs still are not fixed.

So long as the GPS bugs exist, it is therefore important to keep this thread front and center.  (It really should be a sticky here, but Sprint has never even acknowledged publicly that the GPS bugs exist.)

Meanwhile, some users seem to be hoping, based on reports from Samsung in Europe, that the eventual deployment of the Froyo update to Android will fix the GPS issues for all Galaxy S phones.  This is a false hope, because the GPS bugs on the Epic are an entirely unrelated matter.  The other Galaxy S models also have GPS bugs, but they are not the same as the bugs on the Epic.

Fixing the GPS bugs on the Epic requires specific action by Samsung and Sprint.  And those of us who did keep the phones past 30 days can continue to insist that the bugs be fixed.  We are not to blame for the defect, and a working GPS is integral to the operation of our expensive Android smartphones.

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Journeyman

Boomerbubba's post is the first in three weeks to address the GPS problem!  What's up with that?  There was the HUGE outcry over the upload speed debacle, which may have been a factor in Samsung and Sprint doing something about it.   Why is there not the same outrage over the GPS, which is basically non-functional?

I AM outraged, but nobody is going to listen to my lone voice.  The best I can do is keep exchanging the phone, just to annoy Sprint as much as I am inconveneinced.

Anybody?  Any ideas as to how WE could get this resolved?

Peter

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Journeyman

poteen00 wrote:

Boomerbubba's post is the first in three weeks to address the GPS problem!  What's up with that?  There was the HUGE outcry over the upload speed debacle, which may have been a factor in Samsung and Sprint doing something about it.   Why is there not the same outrage over the GPS, which is basically non-functional?

I AM outraged, but nobody is going to listen to my lone voice.  The best I can do is keep exchanging the phone, just to annoy Sprint as much as I am inconveneinced.

Anybody?  Any ideas as to how WE could get this resolved?

Peter

Bear in mind that this Sprint-sponsored forum gets relatively little use compared to some of the independent forums, such as the Epic forums on Android Forums, Android Central or XDA-Developers.  (I find the slow response times of the Sprint site so maddening that I come here infrequently).

The independent forums have always had active threads about the GPS problems on the Epic.

Notably, there also is a "Cold Start" workaround published there that Epic users should be a aware of.  It is not a fix, but a mitigation.  See

http://androidforums.com/epic-4g-support-troubleshooting/179689-gps-cache-problem-workaround-tested-working.html

Also, if your Epic's GPS gets into a jam and fails to get a satellite lock, rebooting also is a temporary workaround.  It has a similar effect, forcing the cached GPS data to be refreshed.  It is the buggy handling of that cache that is the root of most of the Epic's GPS problems.

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Journeyman

FYI, here is my advice to a potential Epic customer in another forum.  I think it is a fair summary of the Epic's GPS issues.


All Samsung Galaxy S models, including the Epic, have had bugs.  But  those bugs are not all the same.  The Epic does not even use the same  GPS chipset and controller software as its GSM-based cousins (the  international I9000, the AT&T Captivate, and the T-Mobile Vibrant).   Different hardware.  Different software. Different bugs.  Different bug  symptoms.

I used to own Vibrants and switched to the Epic when it was introduced  because of the GPS.  After extensive testing and research on both  platforms, I concluded that the Epic bugs were not nearly as bad.  And  for the worst of the bugs -- the failure to lock because the GPS cache  data is mishandled -- there are workarounds.  I recommend the Cold Start  workaround documented as a sticky on this forum.   Alternately, you can  force a temporary lock by rebooting the phone.

Another bug specific to the Epic is that the internal estimate of  accuracy is wrong.  It always estimates its accuracy at 30.0 meters  (98.4 feet), instead of calculating the estimate dynamically.  This is  mostly an annoyance.  For example, in Google Maps or My Tracks that  shows up as a bogus 30-meter circle of uncertainty around the map  cursor.  But the actual accuracy, tested empirically in the field, is on par with other smartphones.

These are bugs, and Samsung/Sprint need to fix them.  (In fact, Sprint  and Samsung have not even acknowledged publicly that the bugs exist,  although we know off the record that Sprint has confirmed it.)   But the  Epic bugs are not as bad as the other GPS bugs that have afflicted some  other Galaxy S cousins.

So if you demand a perfect GPS that "just works," the Epic is not there  yet.   Most competitors are.  Personally, I chose to keep the Epic,  warts and all, because of its other appealing features.  Meanwhile, I  and others press for a fix of the remaining GPS bugs. You might make a  different choice, but at least your choice should be an informed one.

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Journeyman

After spending hours on the phone with Sprint and even driving about 60 miles to a Sprint Repair store because the Sprint Escalation agent told me the store said they could fix the issue.  The GPS does not work correctly.  Even after the tech told me it was fixed I requested a Tech Supervisor at the store.  While speaking with him the GPS showed us at the store then showed us up the street in the middle of the intersection.  He then spoke with someone that had the phone and was told it was a known issue.  The only other person that admitted that it was a known issue from Sprint was an agent on the phone that would have sent me a refurbished phone, but could not do so for the GPS issue because TO HIM it was a known issue.  The repair store said I was outside my 30 days, even thought I exchanged the phone on 09/29, so they could not even exchange it for an EVO or turn my old phone back on.

After leaving the store I called tech support again requesting a Supervisor, but the agent wanted to try to fix it since he was unaware of the issue, which is the same as the last two techs.  The issue still is not resolved and Google Maps reports 30 meters, but are really sometimes more than 100 meters.  The agent on the phone said that he found a document stating that the Epic was off by 200 feet in Google Maps.  He finally requested a Supervisor to call me back.  The Supervisor told me that for 911 the FCC requires GPS devices to be accurate up to 300 meters so it was working as designed and that he was sorry it was not working up to my expectations.  I adv him on my trip to New York I had to purchase a GPS because the GPS in the phone was unreliable.  I informed him I only justified the cost because for the GPS.  I previously had an EVO, but returned it for the screen separation issue.  I used that to go to NY, NJ and CT without a single problem.  I was aware of the Galaxy S GPS issues prior to buying the phone, but the sales person assured me the issues were fixed with the Epic.  The Supervisor at Sprint said there was nothing he could do.  So now I am stuck with a phone that does not operate as advertised and Sprint does not care because they have my money and I can't cancel because they will charge me $200.

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Journeyman

The most striking thing is that after so many people have reported the issue not one official statement has been made from Sprint or Samsung.

Now they have people's money and are laughing their way to the bank while authorities do nothing because noone really cares.

Sad that these thieves can get away with so much.

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Journeyman

Could someone point me to the app or function which allows one to tell how many satellites the phone's gps is seeing?

Thanks.

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Journeyman

I believe this is what you are looking for:

http://www.appbrain.com/app/gps-test/com.chartcross.gpstest

Screenshot of GPS Test Screenshot of GPS Test

GPS Test shows basic GPS signal (SNR) and satellite information as well as your current location and time read from the GPS engine.


-Russ

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Sprint Product Ambassador

I had same problem when reporting the Samsung Moment GPS problem.  Sprint's care and technical support kept making statement like they never heard of the issue before!  Well all they need is reading the forum that they create, right?

Keep pointing me to the direction refressing the phones (I had to go to the store twice), then oh you went to the wrong store, the store you went to is not an official Sprint store (well it has big yellow Sprint logo infront).  Then oh you use Google maps, that will not work as well as Sprint Nav! It is sad!

On the Epic GPS issue, the software may fix the initial lock problem, but I do not think it will never work properly because the bad GPS antenna design (see my post #59 on this thread).  The GPS antenna does not have enough gain.  SO if you take the phone in a build-up area the phone may not get enough GPS signal to work with any thing.  For this same reason, I am going for the EVO.  GPS is no longer rocket science, just do not know why Samsung has invested so much on this phone and neglect this important GPS feature.

Samsung Epic R.I.P

* 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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