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So who else has had GPS working perfectly on a new phone, only to have it stop later?

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by mjgunn, Aug 3, 2010.

  1. mjgunn

    mjgunn Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Went to the store yesterday and exchanged my captivate. When I got into the parking lot, I was pleasantly surprised to find my gps lock on almost instantly and pin point accurate. Drove around the parking lot and it followed me perfectly. Turned gps off, drove up the road, and turned it back on to see if it could find me again, same thing, found me in <10 seconds and followed me perfectly. Turned GPS off again and drove further away, turned it on, same results. Great!

    Got home, and played with the phone a bit, set up ringtones, etc, downloaded a few apps, nothing major, a game or two, engadget app, etc. Went outside my house, turned the GPS on...took about 30 seconds to lock. Strange it took so much longer than it had been, but still, 30 seconds isn't terrible.

    Fast forward to today. I still haven't done anything major to the phone, the most "hacky" things I've done to it are root it and put clockwork on, neither of which should affect the GPS, and now I go outside and after a minute I couldn't get a lock. I'm not the first person I've heard of that had a new unit work perfectly out of the box, only to have it stop working soon after.

    Looking to find out how many people this has happened to, and if we can get an idea what might be causing it. Has anyone done NOTHING to their phones, no apps, no mods, etc, and still had this degradation in performance? Maybe we can find some kind of explanation for this.

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  2. mongstradamus

    mongstradamus Android Expert

    well i just got replacement phone today and gps is working very well locking on within seconds of opening apps, but if the gps is going to degrade over time thats going to suck.

    I would just like samsung to fix it so nobody has the gps problem anymore
  3. mjgunn

    mjgunn Newbie
    Thread Starter

    I know it's asking a lot, but could you try not really doing anything to your phone for a day or two and see how it goes? No apps, etc? I really don't see why any of the ones I put on would affect it, but you never know.
  4. rajendra82

    rajendra82 Well-Known Member

    My GPS worked fine the day I got it. Then stopped working very well for a while. Now it's a crapshoot. Sometimes it works just fine and sometimes it refses to lock on. I believe there are a couple of issues going on here. Based on my own testing with apps available in the market, the Samsung GPS refuses to lock on to a lot of the satellites it sees and waits for more to come up. Since the satellites come and go and their signal to noise ratio changes depening on atmospheric and cover conditions, at times the GPS sees enough satellites and locks right on, and at other times it doesn't see enough of them that it wants to use and keeps searching. I don't have another GPS device to compare it to, but I believe that the other devices are not as picky in using the visible satellites. Due to the same finnicky behavior, the GPS lock also seems to be somewhat more unstable, with an accuracy of 5 m for a second, and then 30 m the next. Due to this variation in accuracy, the GPS acts can get all jumpy and think that you have been beamed over to the next street over before reacquiring yo more accurately again. I believe that other GPS system locks are not quite as unstable and hold onto your location better as you drive around.
  5. mongstradamus

    mongstradamus Android Expert

    well my other captivate was getting hit or miss gps locks but last few days its getting locks after a few seconds not instant , the only app i have put on it so far is the gps test one to see what satellites i am getting
  6. blackhemi

    blackhemi Well-Known Member

    I factory reset it yesterday, unrooted, and all. lbsTestMode consistently locked in 10-15 seconds for the first few hours. Then it just got bad again. taking anywhere from 30 min to 5+ min ( test was ran in open skies, no obstructions) I really wish this could be fixed. cant we just copy iPhones GPS settings :p
  7. mongstradamus

    mongstradamus Android Expert

    Well this second phone is getting same results as my old captivate takes about 10 seconds on gps test for it to connect it sees about 7 or 8 satellites.I am in kind of wooded area so not really getting the strongest signal mostly yellow and orange on the gps test app.

    Going to take it out today to test out other areas that have better service
  8. mongstradamus

    mongstradamus Android Expert

    ran both gps apps on phone side by side, and the newer phone seems to get lock on a lot quicker usually half the time. so thats interesting i guess , the older captivate is rooted and has a lot more apps on the phone , so is that hindering the abilty of gps i wonder
  9. Tinyboss

    Tinyboss Newbie

    It seems to me that, independent of any of the (many) settings I've tried, just rebooting the phone fixes the GPS for a little while. Then it starts degrading steadily until it becomes unusable in a day or so.
  10. ace35

    ace35 Member

    ok i have a non-rooted phone, got from att mail order 2 weeks ago, not heavily modified yet, just the usual Google apps and a battery app that learns as i use it. oh and the ATT bloatware that you end up stuck with after trying it once( mark the spot and wisp service). and i agree that it seems to be a little fussy about the quality of the signal it gets before it will lock.

    i did run across an "interesting" geek app that does basic gps (long/lat messure)along with showing you how many wifi sniffing for hotspots, checks the mic and and the acceleration. along with other stuff, just could use a different interface

    hunt for the "tricorder" app in the marketplace from moonblink, it's free
  11. mongstradamus

    mongstradamus Android Expert

    well i will mess around with it and see what happens with the gps functionality after a week or so. Right now i am happy that its working :) , btw my old captivate i have had about an week now it locks but takes a bit longer since not all the satellites lock on
  12. acertainman

    acertainman Newbie

    I've noticed this as well... I'm gonna do it right now in fact..

    Prior to reboot: killed all running apps, then using GPS Test, took 8 seconds to get a lock on 7 out of 7 satellites.. now I'm watching it bounce between using 0 and using 8.. the phone is stationary on my desk at work next to a window (sort of..) Sort of flaky, sort of consistent.. I guess that's contradictory. :)

    I honestly didn't expect it work at all, LOL. I'm still rebooting now though..

    ... And after 2 minutes I've got 1 In View and 0 In Use.. so whatever.

    Rebooting last time seemed to work. Now as I type this, after about 3 minutes I've got 8 In View 4 In Use.

    I have no verdict. Lame.

  13. mongstradamus

    mongstradamus Android Expert

    my old captivate hasnt been rebooted since it was on charger earlier this morning . It gets 4/7 locks takes about 10 seconds to get full gps lock , my newer one gets an full 7/7 lock and it gets full gps lock in 5 seconds usually less
  14. Regalicious

    Regalicious Well-Known Member

    I actually have the exact opposite experience ... I have an older (launch date) phone that had inconsistent and then flat-out not working GPS for a couple weeks and then yesterday it randomly started being very fast and accurate, even from inside buildings near windows. I didn't change anything. Go figure.
  15. mongstradamus

    mongstradamus Android Expert

    I did an full restore of my old rooted phone, and now it wont get any kind of gps lock at all , before it was getting an little 4/7 lock. The new phone that i just got today is getting very quick locks and mostly green signal bars in gps test.

    So I am guessing that the older phones aren't getting as strong an gps signal, just hoping it doesn't deteriorate over time wish i tested the gps capabilities of my old phone right when i got it
  16. Vee

    Vee Member

    The first day I had mine it seemed to work fine, but I'm trying it right now (3 days later) and I'm just getting "Waiting for location" and nothing else for over 2 mins.

    Granted I'm inside at my desk at work, but shouldn't effect it this bad.
  17. skinien

    skinien Android Enthusiast

    I totally agree with you. I believe there is a problem with the algorithm where it is waiting to see if it can find satellites with a better signal to noise ratio. When you run the lbstester application, you can see that it can very quickly find several satellites with a strong enough signal to obtain a fix. For some reason, it's not fixing on those satellites.

    On a side note, that's why I'm confident that it's software and not hardware that's causing the issue (since we can SEE the satellites but can't get a fix).
  18. mongstradamus

    mongstradamus Android Expert

    well i had some interesting results, after restoring my old captivate had trouble getting the first lock but once i did , its locking on almost the same time my new captivate is. I need to do some more testing in different locations to see if thats the case everywhere
  19. lwendt33

    lwendt33 Newbie

    How can you tell if you have or lose a satelite lock? I used my phone for directions yesterday and had no problems. The GPS even talked while I was using the phone.
  20. mi04se1

    mi04se1 Android Enthusiast

    The satellite icon in the task bar will start flashing.
  21. sremick

    sremick Android Expert

    Download GPS Status and/or GPS Test
  22. ys2010

    ys2010 Lurker

    I had the same experience (without rooting). It worked perfectly fine on the way back home from the store. Later, I played with the basic settings, installed apps, the usual stuff... Next day I noticed the gps problem. It would not lock at all, the gps icon on the tray would keep blinking for minutes until I got annoyed and closed maps.

    Yesterday I followed the link
    GPS Settings: Performance Options (improvement) - xda-developers
    from the sticky message in this forum and changed the advanced settings to the recommended:

    Application Settings/Operation Mode/MS Based
    Application Settings/Operation Mode/SkyHook/On
    SUPL/CP Settings/Server FQDN Type/Custom Config
    SUPL/CP Settings/Server/supl.google.com
    SUPL/CP Settings/Server Port/7276
    SUPL/CP Settings/SUPL Secure Socket/Off

    Gps has been working great since then! Locks in less than 30 seconds every time.
  23. Cuerbo

    Cuerbo Android Enthusiast

    Did some testing this evening on the way home. Using the compass application, you can clearly see that the phone is constantly dropping visible sats as you drive around. Going under an overpass kills the functionality for a minute or so before it recovers. So decided to call AT&T and asked about the issue, was told they didn't have many reports of the problem. The representative then mentioned that she did find some instructions on how to alleviate the problem but not resolve it. The solution to enable the wireless network setting. She also mentioned that probably an update would be available but she could not confirm such claim.

    It's sad that AT&T and Samsung cannot answer a simple question, is it software or hardware related? I stayed away from an IPhone after the Steve Jobs press conference and now find myself facing the same results with AT&T/Samsung. Tomorrow I'm going to look into emailing some higher ups in the company and at Samsung, as a community, we need to make as much noise as possible. I'm also thinking of letting the folks at Gizmodo know since they made a ton of noise with the IPhone and got the Apple community to revolt until Apple was forced to do something. In all honesty, as much as I love the rest of the phone, this portion of it is not ready for prime time.

Samsung Captivate Forum

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

July 2010
Release Date
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