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Old July 2nd, 2013, 08:34 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default GPS Question

Has anybody checked the GPS accuracy on the S4 yet? The GPS on my GNex was one of the very few complaints I have with the phone, and I was hoping that Sammy put a better GPS chip in the S4.

I occasionally use my phone for geocaching and obviously the more accurate the better.

The easiest way to test it is to launch Google Maps, turn on the satellite layer, zoom in as far as you an, then stand by a visible landmark (like the corner of your driveway or something). How close does it plot you? Do you stay in one spot or does it jump around a lot?

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Old July 2nd, 2013, 08:59 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I have checked in my bedroom using Google maps and it was almost spot on (no more than 1-2m out). I have also found it accurate to about 5m when using Sygic (sat nav).

I have just checked again at work and it was slightly further out but I am in a steel framed building but it was still less than 10m.

I haven't noticed it jittering about at all so all in all, I'd say it's pretty accurate.
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Old July 2nd, 2013, 09:05 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Given that civilian GPS is specified as being accurate "to 7.8 meters at a 95% confidence", getting to within a couple of metres is rather better than you could realistically expect.
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Old July 2nd, 2013, 09:41 AM   #4 (permalink)
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It's not an unrealistic expectation, *with a good receiver* to get accuracy of ~1 meter. My good Garmin handheld and curiously my old HTC Incredible can boast that. Boy not my GNex. I can be on my deck and my Nex has me 10 meters away in my yard. LOL.

Not that this is a deal breaker by any means, I will own an S4 on my upgrade date (8/15 cannot get here fast enough!) but I was just curious if it was any better.
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Old July 2nd, 2013, 09:46 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: my post, here, regarding the i9505...

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Originally Posted by ironass View Post
On a separate note, on my SGS2 I used to pick up about 11 satellites on my phones GPS. On the S4, it is around 23 and a fix is under 10 sec's with an error of around 10ft, (3.05m). Very impressive!
I used GPS Status & Toolbox to determine the sat's.
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Old July 2nd, 2013, 10:41 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I've found the GPS on the S4 is much better than the one in the GNex. I had a bitch of a time getting my old phone to get a signal (especially indoors), whereas the S4 locks right on. I use GPS Test a lot to check it, and it acquires the signal really fast (or at least faster than I was used to!).
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Old July 2nd, 2013, 10:52 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for the input guys! I really appreciate it.

Hey Joe, since you're an old GNexer too... how's the volume on the S4?
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Old July 2nd, 2013, 11:49 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SiempreTuna View Post
Given that civilian GPS is specified as being accurate "to 7.8 meters at a 95% confidence", getting to within a couple of metres is rather better than you could realistically expect.
You are quite right that it is better than you could expect (although the link you posted, which was interesting, says that this is "worst case") and I certainly wouldn't claim that it will always be this accurate but I have checked several times when I have been in my bedroom and I can clearly see on the satellite view on Google Maps whether I am on my bed or at my desk and they are only 2-3m apart. I am now sitting by my sitting room window and it says I am in my front garden but it's still less than 3m out although it is wandering around slightly but only by about 2m.

All in all, I think it's pretty impressive that something as small as an S4 can be as accurate as it is. It's a shame the compass isn't as good - I have found that to be wildly inaccurate.
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Old July 2nd, 2013, 12:35 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Outatime View Post
Thanks for the input guys! I really appreciate it.

Hey Joe, since you're an old GNexer too... how's the volume on the S4?
Ring volume and speaker volume for music are both great in comparison to the GNex.
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Old July 2nd, 2013, 10:01 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Outatime View Post
Thanks for the input guys! I really appreciate it.

Hey Joe, since you're an old GNexer too... how's the volume on the S4?
I've found the volume to be markedly improved, but I was still missing some calls if I had the phone in my pocket. I think my homemade ringtones weren't recorded loud enough (the stock ones work better), so I found some louder ones on the web and re-recorded the ones I was using before by boosting the audio with Mp3 Gain. Problem solved.

One thing I've noticed, though, is the volume decrease if you have a case on your phone and lay it on a flat surface. I took care of that by laying the phone on my desk at work halfway on an extra mouse pad. This way the camera lens doesn't get scratched , and the speaker is not laying directly on the desk (simulating the "bump" on the back below the speaker of an uncased S4). Haven't missed a call yet (even if I'm 50 feet away from my desk)!
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Old July 3rd, 2013, 06:32 AM   #11 (permalink)
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heck my old GNex was great (outdoors) with GPS, I often used some of the GPS golf apps to check my distance to the front/center/back of the greens and it was nearly always with 1-2 yards difference compared to either a laser ranger finder or a Skycaddie. I haven't tried with my S4 yet (mainly because I've accepted the fact that I'm not good enough to NEED to know if I am 154 yards out or 156 yards out....)
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Old July 3rd, 2013, 08:10 AM   #12 (permalink)
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As for GPS accuracy, the statement above about the Civilian GPS is very accurate. I had the opportunity to see a military GPS (handheld) in use and it put us withing inches of where we were standing. I have had my handheld GPS be spot on one day and off by 30 feet another day in the same spot. As for geocaching, we don't even bother getting out the GPS any more. The phone gets us just as close as the GPS ever did. Remember, in geocaching, you can only be as accurate as the person's GPS that placed the cache.

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heck my old GNex was great (outdoors) with GPS, I often used some of the GPS golf apps to check my distance to the front/center/back of the greens and it was nearly always with 1-2 yards difference compared to either a laser ranger finder or a Skycaddie. I haven't tried with my S4 yet (mainly because I've accepted the fact that I'm not good enough to NEED to know if I am 154 yards out or 156 yards out....)
I watched 4 guys a couple of months ago on the golf course. All 4 of them had some sort of range device, either a phone or a handheld golf gps. They were on the tee box of a 150ish yard par 3. I was sitting in the shade waiting on the group in front of us and was only about twenty feet from their tee box. They determined that the flag was on the back of the green. They argued over whether it was 154 or 156 yards to the flag. I was anticipating some nice shots. Remember, they were only 140ish yards from the front of the green. The tee box was on top of a hill and the green was on the top of the next hill and there was a large stream between. Two of them rehit from the tee box because they went in the water. That made their "drive" about 75 yards. After the two rehit, none of the 6 shots made were anywhere near the green. I was playing with my Pastor and neither of us are any good at all, we just like to get outdoors, but we had a really good laugh watching these "duffers" argue over a distance that they evidently couldn't hit anyway.

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