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Is the HTC Desire's GPS reliable?

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by xenu, Aug 2, 2010.

  1. xenu

    xenu Lurker
    Thread Starter

    A reliable GPS is extremely important to me when choosing a smartphone. I want to install android based navigation software, rather than have separate units for driving and hiking. The garminfone seems overpriced given its hardware and ancient android 1.6.

    Samsung's Galaxy S impressed me with its 9mm thickness, large Super AMOLED and blazing fast hummingbird processor. After learning the GPS was unreliable, I decided to further explore my #2 choice, the HTC Desire.

    Please comment on how your GPS navigation has performed, specifically using igo, copilot or similar navigation software. Do you feel it is as accurate as a dedicated GPS unit?


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  2. phannon86

    phannon86 Newbie

    Mine's been perfect, and has in fact replaced my TomTom entirely (using Google Navigation). In fact, I'd go one further and say it's better than my old TomTom.
  3. Griff_LI

    Griff_LI Android Enthusiast

    I've used mine both in the car and while running. It seems fine. Obviously running it as a GPS without a power feed is limited to about two hours but the same is true of many dedicated units (that are considerably larger than the Desire).

    In the car I have a cradle with a charger which allows it to be used pretty-well. The only real issue there is that the screen is quite small and geared around use in-hand so it's a bit fiddly but you do get used to it.
  4. charlies99

    charlies99 Newbie


    I use it for Geocaching and have found every find, so it is very accurate. I also use Google Sat Nav which is great and free !!
  5. omniscian

    omniscian Newbie

    Yeah it's good. Usually finds me within a few seconds and has always been reliable, much better than the Sat Nav on my previous N97 *shudder*.

    As with all smart phones though, I'd recommend a car charger to go with it otherwise it'll probably turn off half way through your journey!
  6. stueyboy

    stueyboy Member

    GPS is fine for satnav and mostly running for me. The google maps navigation software is a brilliant piece of free software.
  7. Kryten2k35

    Kryten2k35 Well-Known Member

    The GPS is shocking in the Desire. It placed me about 4 steps forwards and 4 steps to the right of where I actually was. In otherwords it was about 4 meters out. That's fantastic to say my old Sony Ericsson C905 could never place me within 30 meters of where I was.

    And yes Google Navigation, so long as it remains free, is far better than TomTom. We've used it numerous times now to find places.
  8. nacatomi

    nacatomi Android Enthusiast

    Im using copilot and its very good in my car. Gets a fix in seconds even through my athermic windscreen (my real tomtom can take 5-10 mins to get a fix) updates really quickly and haven't had a single problem (other than copilots sometimes dubious routing!!!) Ive had a fix accurate to about 3 metres which is about as good as consumer GPS gets.
  9. benchmark

    benchmark Well-Known Member

    I myself am currently testing out options for GPS . The default GPS in the Desire is not bad when it comes to accuracy but it seems the route choices were not optimal for me. I am currently trying out Navigon, which is free to try for one month and so far it has been as perfect as my Garmin . I will buy it at the end of my one mouth free trial.
    Just google 'Navigon android' to read about it and it can be downloaded in the apps marketplace.
    Note:it takes up 1.7 gb on your memory card .
  10. mrlongbeard

    mrlongbeard Member

    Using Google Nav rocks the bit fat one :cool: and I shall continue to use it in preference to my dedicated Garmin that used to live in my car.

    Routing has been spot on for me, and finding alternative routes when traffic is flagged is uber fast.

    Sat view can be a tad distracting ;) and unlike standard map view which caches most of the journey at the off set it is very easy to out drive the sat view if you're in a "G" signal area.
  11. partridge

    partridge Android Enthusiast

    I tried out Navigation the other day and it was perfect. The synthesised speech is fantastic too as it gives you road names and numbers, something my TomTom can't do with its pre-recorded voice.

    Using Google maps the Desire pinned my location to within 6 metres!!
  12. exkaraokeman

    exkaraokeman Newbie

    every HTC phone I have had has been excellent since the XDA 2 , when HTC let the phone providers badge their phones!
  13. mikeeyboy1883

    mikeeyboy1883 Lurker

    I love the GPS in the phone

    Always finds a fix quickly and the Sat Nag element is great, I use it everyday for work and my old TomTom 1 will be gping on ebay very soon

    I also use it while on my mountain bike so I can track where I have been and even off the beaten track the GPS works perfectly


  14. nickarcher

    nickarcher Newbie

    Used mine for the first time yesterday, and it's fantastic.
  15. ruotstem

    ruotstem Lurker

    The lat and lon positions seem OK, but the altitude seems to be about 20 meters too high at sea level, increasing to about 50 meters too high at altitudes 1300 meters above sea level. This was verified with both Garmin GPS units and reference map data.
  16. matttye

    matttye Android Expert

    I don't drive but it's pretty accurate when I go out for my runs :)
  17. xlucian

    xlucian Newbie

    best of the best...gets a lock super fast, the best accuracy that i got was 2-3meters
    i've had an omnia and a n95-8g...thy don't compare with this one
    a friend of mine just bought a galaxy s...and using copilot it was showing me on a map hundreds of feet from where i was
  18. JsT

    JsT Well-Known Member

    I've found the accuracy and speed of connection is second to none. Have had a few problems when starting it up at speed but when stood still it connects within seconds unlike my old Nokia.
  19. TMSsecret

    TMSsecret Newbie

    I've used it with Copilote and so far never a problem getting somewhere or weak signal
  20. Missing_Link

    Missing_Link Member

    As a TomTom One XL owner I was extremely dubious about how well a multi-function device like a smartphone could touch a dedicated device, especially one which really does just work so well.

    Initially I tested Google Nav in the car on my route home from work, seeing how accurately it mapped the route out to the sticks where I live. Just before I arrived home it said my house was so many yards up on the left hand side, a little detail which really impressed me. Then, when I arrived outside my front door it showed me a photograph of my house!. Fantastic!...or so I thought...

    I was so impressed with the dummy run I thought I'd use it on a trip to Bristol Airport. I'd flown from Bristol a load of times, taking the same route, going through the city. It had been some time since I'd done it though so I thought I'll use my Desire and Google Nav as it had done so well on its initial test. What a bad idea.... it was harder to read in the more complicated city environment and I missed turnings... then the correction / redirection took too long, and then it seemed to send me round in circles!. I nearly missed my flight to Berlin, which was extremely stressful. It also seemed to interfere with my ability to make a bluetooth call to the airport through my car stereo. With all the fiddling about with that and the stereo it was just luck I didn't crash the car.

    Never again!!... I'll only ever use it as a backup now, say if I forget my TomTom or it goes FUBAR en route.

    BUT... I got to Berlin ok, and used the Google Nav steet mappiing to guide me round on foot - and it was a-mazing!. I'd been to Berlin a bunch of times so was reasonably familiar with the centre, but walking round some new areas at random was a breeze with the Google walking mode. Just brilliant!. Battery life was a bit of a concern with the GPS enabled so I was switching things on and off a lot to conserve power. That wasn't so hot.

    So, the short answer IMHO is that dedicated devices are usually always better, unless of course you make pick up a dud in the first place.

    Oh, and the free Berlin underground map for android was a real lifesaver too!. A highly recommended download if you are ever planning to go to Berlin :-D

  21. Beowulf_pt

    Beowulf_pt Newbie

    Good topic as I'm also dumping my Samsung Galaxy S 16Gb due to extremely pathetic GPS performance (useless for walking, useless for driving. Useless for geocaching.)and don't want to end up with another unit that can't perform consistently well at that.

    Can we perhaps see some tracks recorded with the Desire? (walking and/or driving). You can use software like MyTracks or others.
  22. adibranch

    adibranch Lurker

    just as a quick question to this.. whats the average battery life running GPS from a 100% charge? I've currently got a HTC diamond running memory map, but want to run a similar app on the desire and just wonder how long the GPS will run before the phone dies.
    ( i thinh theres an app similar to MM which also kills the screen during use, so this will no doubt help)

  23. turbohobbit

    turbohobbit Android Enthusiast

    TO be fair, though, unless you're using it to fly by this isn't an issue the vast majority of "Joe Public" would be stressed about. And if you are using it to fly by, I think I'd rather take the train ;-)
  24. partridge

    partridge Android Enthusiast

    Do bear in mind Google Navigation is still in beta! But everytime I've used it, it's been absolutely fine and it does offer walking navigation as well as driving.

    Hopefully it won't be in beta too much longer, frankly I'd pay a reasonable fee for this app if that ensured it's quality and future updates.
  25. Das_Jeeb

    Das_Jeeb Member

    I use it for golf and the longest i've been out on the course with it is five hours and I was left with about 30% IIRC.

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