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All Things GPS

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by Robinelli, Jul 24, 2010.


Did JI5 fix your GPS?

  1. Yes, totally fixed my GPS!

    15 vote(s)
  2. No, still having problems with GPS!

    21 vote(s)
  3. Worked at first, then performance declined once again!

    6 vote(s)
  1. SamsungVibrant

    SamsungVibrant Android Expert

    My GPS has failed completely now. Last couple days I am getting zero sats in view, I don't know whats going on. My gps was working okay when I first baught it, then it started to decline in performance. Last week I was able to view 11 sats, today I leave it on for 20 mins, and it sees zero. I really have no clue why. I've tried restarting, i've done multiple factory resets. It seems to be completely dead. I'll try it again tonight, I'll leave the test on longer than 20 mins to see if it finds any sats in view.

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  2. SamsungVibrant

    SamsungVibrant Android Expert

    Found an interesting article that talks about 6 tech gadgets that are endangered. One of which is GPS units. Since smartphones have come on the scene, and provide GPS built in, stand alone GPS units sales obviously have taken a hit.

    Article Below:
    6-endangered-tech-species: Personal Finance News from Yahoo! Finance

    I own two stand alone gps units, I must say, that my past smartphones have performed outstandingly when it comes to GPS. Unfortunately, the Vibrant does not perform as it should. This is why I get angry when people say if you want a good GPS, purchase a stand alone GPS. Rubish, complete rubish, I know for a fact that smartphones can offer excellent GPS performance, compeletely negating the use of stand alone GPS units for many people who primiarly use GPS to get around their metropolitan cities.

    Again, if you are in a wild forest, or lost in the magical forests of the Avatars, and a pack of hungry creatures are after you, then maybe you would want a dedicated GPS instead of your Vibrant. However, for the rest of us who expect excellent GPS/Navigation in our metropolitan cities, then smartphones should be able to tackle any task, with absolutely no problems, and they infact can!:eek: Hopefully in september, Samung will prove that no obstacle is too big or too mightly for the Vibrants GPS.
  3. VegasTouch

    VegasTouch Android Enthusiast

    Used my GPS on Saturday when i went on a drive. When i went to Frys in fact. Worked just fine. The three times ive used it on a drive, it has worked fine.
  4. elgibby

    elgibby Member

  5. SamsungVibrant

    SamsungVibrant Android Expert

    Engadget lost all credibility when they said the GPS bug is fixed by turning on wireles network locations. I can't believe they wrote that, lol.

    Seems like engadget heard our complaints on this forum and captivate. Chris and Engadget responded fast and posted this:
  6. SamsungVibrant

    SamsungVibrant Android Expert

  7. Your opinion is subjective.

    Download GPS Test by Chartcross in the Android Market.
    How many satellites are "In View" and "In Use" and your accuracy?

    Typically Vibrants will have 10 in view and 2 (or zero) in use and 150foot accuracy.
    While every other Android phone has 10 in view and 10 in use and 6 feet accuracy.

    So you can see....saying the GPS "works fine" is weighted heavily on someone's personal opinion.
    Doesn't mean your Vibrant GPS is any better or worse than the rest of us with problems and doesn't mean the GPS works either.
  8. This is why I created the How Good Is Your GPS Thread and posted it in a bunch of forums on here. It's the best way to measure how the Vibrant GPS stacks up with properly functioning phones.

    And it's a good measure because even Vibrant owners have different definitions for "GPS works fine".

    I recall in my thread you said you usually have 10 satellites in view and 0 in use, but it got you where you wanted to go. You can say it "works fine", but some of us depend on GPS being accurate for a living and someone's "works fine" is someone else's "it's getting me lost, it's horrible, what's the point of even turning it on".
  9. Robinelli

    Robinelli Android Enthusiast
    Thread Starter

    While it may require rebooting before use, it has worked perfectly every time I've used it, and I use it a lot (i have no inner sense of direction).
  10. I'm just saying you already posted you have 10 satellites in view and zero satellites locked on but you're happy with that. If your opinion is that that is "working perfectly" you are SERIOUSLY MISTAKEN.

    You can please understand that while I appreciate your active posts on here that you can be leading others to believe something which is not.

    How do you feel about every other Android phone that has 10 satellites in view, 10 satellites locked on, and 6 foot accuracy.
    My definition is those phones have a working GPS.

    My definition is a Vibrant with zero satellites locked on and 150 foot accuracy like your Vibrant (and mine) is NOT "working perfectly".
  11. robo21

    robo21 Android Expert


    Every time I use the Vibrant to navigate, it has always reliably directed me from point A to point B. Furthermore, it has pinpointed me on Google Maps to within a few feet to 25-30 feet at worst.

    Occasionally, it is slow (up to a minute) to show my location. This is what GPS is supposed to do, I couldn't care less about GPS Test results if the device gets me where I need to go, that's what counts. Would it be "nice" if it locked lots of birds on GPS Test - sure! But that's what the upcoming fix will take care of.
  12. psz

    psz Android Enthusiast

    My GPS wasn't working. At all. 0 - 2 sats seen, 0 in use, etc etc etc

    Then I finally got the data plan running.

    Now it connects in about 3 seconds, and has been ALMOST as "crisp" as on the Behold II. Still not perfect, though... Getting there.
  13. elgibby

    elgibby Member

    Went to a ballgame tonight. From the wide open stands at Busch Stadium, my Vibrant located me three blocks north at ... Hooters. Maps locked up, had to reboot twice. Data connection was lost at one point. Took a photo and tried to send it to my son as a message three times, three times it failed.

    Oh, and my 14 days was up last Sunday.
  14. spiz

    spiz Android Expert

    Clearly your phone wanted you to be at Hooters. ;)
  15. robo21

    robo21 Android Expert

    [​IMG] LMAO! And that is a feature that Iphone users would pay extra for!
  16. elgibby

    elgibby Member

    Ha! Maybe it's a secret Vibrant feature to get our minds off the GPS bug?!
  17. mahgnillig

    mahgnillig Newbie

    I posted a thread on here about comparing my Vibrant GPS to my DeLorme PN-40, but somehow it got deleted. The basic idea of the post was to try out the Vibrant for Geocaching, where your GPS needs to be accurate or you're never going to find the cache. I loaded up Geobeagle & GPS Status & headed for the mountains. The area I chose to hike was at 8000ft in a tree covered canyon. I had the use wireless networks feature turned off as there was limited coverage in the area. I planned to try and find two caches I'd found before using just the phone, so I could see how accurate it was.

    At the trailhead I turned on the GPS on both devices. The phone found my position with no problem, though it reported a lock on only 1 satellite. Going back into the canyon, I got within about 15ft of one cache and 35ft of another. The Delorme got me within 5ft of the first cache and right on top of the second. Deep into the canyon, the phone lost the satellite and was unable to obtain a lock until I was back under open skies (this is not unusual for any GPS in this area... my old Garmin jumped about like crazy there). The DeLorme had no problems keeping a lock in this area... but it's a pretty high end device designed for backcountry use.

    Here's the thing though. There is something wrong with the way the Vibrant is reporting satellite locks. It would be impossible to pinpoint your location with the one satellite my Vibrant was showing. GPS works by triangulating your position, using the distance the GPS unit is from each satellite to determine your position on the surface of the Earth. You need at the very least 3 satellite signals to get it to work. 4 will give you a "3-D" position with will also calculate the elevation at which you are standing. The Vibrant reported only one satellite lock, but if you need 3 or more to get any position at all, that tells me there is something definitely wrong in how it is reporting the satellite locks.

    Comparing GPS results between the Vibrant and the DeLorme, the DeLorme performed better under the test conditions (as expected), but at 35ft margin of error in a wooded canyon on a mountain is certainly not bad for the phone. I wouldn't use it for geocaching, but it seems to work okay for basic navigation. I used it last week to find a bus route from my location to the airport and it got me there just fine. I also used it to find a nearby Starbucks, and once again, it worked. In my opinion, if your GPS seems to work, stop worrying about how many satellites it's showing and just use it. It will work well enough for everyday use until Samsung comes up with a proper fix.
  18. robo21

    robo21 Android Expert

    Thank you again for re-posting not only your real-world testing results but also your thoughtful conclusions mahgnillig! This is exactly what I've been trying to convey to the GPS Test freaks who say that "YOUR GPS CANNOT BE WORKING BECAUSE YOU HAVE NO LOCKED SATELLITES." Interesting that both the GPS Test software AND the Vibrant internal tests show the same result for locked sats. This is the first clue that GPS Test just gathers and regurgitates flawed data from the phone. The fact that the Vibrant's GPS does accurately indicate location and is capable of navigating on many phones establishes without a doubt that there are, in fact, sufficient locked birds to function, in spite of what GPS Test says.

    I'm not surprised that the Delorme, dedicated GPS outperformed the the Vibrant. I would expect that, and I imagine that it would outperform most, if not all, other smartphones' GPS.

    Excellent post! :cool:
  19. Big-Dog

    Big-Dog Newbie

    I haven't been able to duplicate the 14 in view and 6 in use that I got last week so I haven't taken a picture. I have gotten 16 in view and 5 in use, but I was driving down the road and unable to take a pic at the moment.

    At other times, I get 12-18 in view and no in use, but navigation is still humming along fairly accurate. I agree that there is something wonky going on, but for the most part, navigation gets me to where I am going.
  20. mahgnillig

    mahgnillig Newbie

    More real world test data from this afternoon's hike/geocaching expedition. I went to the same general area (same mountain) as last time, but did not go into the canyon this time. My route was in the trees again though. The Vibrant was showing 0/10 satellite locks, the DeLorme GPS was showing between 7 & 9. The first cache I tried was in an area with dodgy reception... the Vibrant gave me a reading of between 29-85 feet away at the cache site; the DeLorme gave me 13-35 (I stood in the same place for a few minutes and watched the satellites move around on the screens). Good job the cache was easy to find as this was one I had not tried before, and neither GPS seemed like it was going to get me right on top of it.

    The second cache I tried I had already found once before. This time the Vibrant performed like a champ and got me within 4 feet. Rather embarrassingly, the DeLorme had me 25ft off... but I think this was down to the fact that I turned it off to save power and when I turned it back on again I didn't give it enough time to settle.

    The one problem I did notice with the Vibrant is that it seems to lag between position updates. At times I would have to give it time to 'catch up' to my position... it read 248ft, 245ft & 239ft, but I must have walked about 100ft and had to stop to let it catch up to my true position. The DeLorme is much better at giving regular updates... so much so that it will accurately report every couple of feet. This could be down to the rate at which the Vibrant requests distance readings from the satellites, and is hopefully a software fix.

    Just a couple more things about GPS in general. Geocaching is obviously a very good way to test GPS equipment because of the accuracy required to find the cache. That said, it relies on the accuracy of the cache hider's GPS to record the correct coordinates in the first place. If the cache hider's GPS is off, everyone who attempts to find it will also be off. Also, the GPS system available to civilians is not as accurate as the system available to the military. While the system is technically capable of highly accurate readings, unless you have the ability to decrypt the military signals you're stuck with an accuracy that is + or - around 10ft.
  21. kbohip

    kbohip Well-Known Member

    In other words this test proves to me that GPS Test does in fact work as a way to test the accuracy of the gps on the Vibrant. My biggest complaint has always been the bad accuracy with the Vibrant's gps and your tests back this up. 29-85' accuracy is bad for a gps and is proof of why Samsung is working on a fix for this.
  22. krichek

    krichek Android Enthusiast

    I can assure you mine works, why yours or the majority of folks doesn't I couldn't tell you. But I have used mine regularly and extensively both while driving as well as while biking and out at the lake fishing etc.. It appears to be just as accurate as my Original Droid is. Why is it so hard to believe that perhaps some are for whatever reason unaffected by this "bug"?

    After reading this thread tonight, the first thing I did was download the program you mentioned and fire it up while in my living room, which is in the center of my house. My results? 13 sats in view 4 in use in less than 30 seconds with an accuracy of 27 feet. For being inside and at least 20 feet from the nearest window I'd say that works damn near perfectly to me.

    But, I decided in the interst of fully testing I should do more. So I got dressed again (doubt my neighbors want me running around in the middle of the night in my underwear with my phone lit up) and went outside to test.

    In the middle of my yard, I still see 13 sats, still have only 4 in use for some reason but now have an accuracy of 12 feet. 12 feet is not even half the width of my driveway so while it is about half as accurate as your 6 feet definition of perfect, I'm gonna still go with mine being damn near perfect.

    Perhaps if I had let it sit for a minute or two it would have gotten closer to the magical 6 foot mark, maybe I'll try that in the morning.. Anyway, I took screenshots as well just in case anyone needed to see it for themself.

    Attached Files:

  23. krichek

    krichek Android Enthusiast

    Just for fun I decided to load drocap2 and the gps test app on my wife's Vibrant and see how it did, as she has never had a problem using to get around.

    In the house her phone outperformed mine easily. She had 12 sats in view, 7 in use with an accuracy of 23 feet. Outside it was a little different, after getting dressed yet again (the things I do in the name of testing ;)). Outside some clouds had come in since I had tested and the wind had picked up a bit. She now only had 11 sats in view, 7 in use with an accuracy of 14. Her phone would get to an accuracy of 8 feet something but only if I set the device down. As soon as I would pick it up it would jump back up to 13-15 feet in accuracy. I'll retest hers in the morning as well and see if once she has some more sats in view how it performs... Screen shots below.

    Attached Files:

  24. robo21

    robo21 Android Expert

    Hey Krichek, all you've done is prove that your GPS doesn't work! Forget that you can navigate from point A to point B reliably. Forget that you can pinpoint your position on Google Maps. Forget that you get a lock in less than 30 seconds and sometimes faster. And especially forget that you are locking multiple birds with the Holy Grail - aka GPS Test. Trust them, they know your GPS doesn't work. :p

    Of course, I'm being facetious. However, we really don't know if the "majority of folks" are having GPS problems. As is obvious on this forum the ones with the problems are far more vocal than than the ones who have functional GPS. And furthermore, the ones with problems are relentless at trying to convince you and everyone else that you are wrong - Your GPS cannot be working, they know, theirs doesn't and yours can't be. They have magical insight and a thumb on the pulse of every Vibrant out there.

    Your test results are some of the best I've seen. Thank you for posting your results and screenshots. Nice work! :)
  25. wildblue

    wildblue Well-Known Member

    krichek -

    Thanks for the posts.

    Are you running the stock ROM? Are you using the default GPS settings, or anything other than the XDA posted "fix"?

    Curious since I haven't seen the GPS Test "In Use" # more than 3 except with the leaked Samsung firmware patch.

Samsung Vibrant Forum

The Samsung Vibrant release date was August 2010. Features and Specs include a 4.0" inch screen, 5MP camera, 512GB RAM, Hummingbird processor, and 1500mAh battery.

August 2010
Release Date

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