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Old August 22nd, 2013, 12:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Compass wildly inaccurate

The compass on my S4 is wildly inaccurate.

First of all, if the phone isn't absolutely level, the compass reading is almost random and I can make the needle rotate through 360 degrees just by tilting the phone.

If the phone is level, the needle might eventually settle in approximately the right direction but if I then slowly rotate the phone 360 degrees, it can easily end up with the needle pointing more than 100 degrees out. I just tried it now and quickly rotating the phone 90 degrees resulted in the needle pointing due E rather than N.

I'm a keen walker and I sometimes use my phone for navigation. The GPS works really well but the compass is so inaccurate as to be completely worthless.

Is this just my phone?

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Old August 22nd, 2013, 12:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Try the app called GPS stats and toolbox. You should be able to calibrate it from there
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Old August 22nd, 2013, 12:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I've never used it. Have you calibrated the gyroscope? Settings/My device/motions and gestures.

What program are you using to show the compass?
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Old August 22nd, 2013, 01:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Digital compasses typically work "better" when in motion. They aren't the best "orienteering" device available. A cheap $10 peep through compass from Target works much better than most consumer level digital compasses. Just MHO.

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Old August 22nd, 2013, 01:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodspike View Post
I've never used it. Have you calibrated the gyroscope? Settings/My device/motions and gestures.

What program are you using to show the compass?
I was using GPS Status but I have tried other compass apps and they were all equally terrible.

I have tried re-calibrating the compass and the motion sensors (again) and it slightly helped but it's still very unreliable. Even a slight deviation from completely level affects the reading by 20 degrees and rotating the phone while level results in the needle pointing in completely the wrong direction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigRedGonzo View Post
Digital compasses typically work "better" when in motion. They aren't the best "orienteering" device available. A cheap $10 peep through compass from Target works much better than most consumer level digital compasses. Just MHO.

BigRedGonzo
I do own a proper Silva compass that I have had for years and you are absolutely right, my phone is not about to replace that as a navigation device any time soon.
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Old August 22nd, 2013, 02:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I have the same problem. I posted some troubleshooting steps at XDA. See this thread: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2403976

Check out post #8. I'm pretty sure I have a bad magnetic sensor as it fails the Power Noise Test in the factory test app.
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