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Is this normal behaviour for GPS?

13 posts in this topic

Posted · Report post

Hi, everyone, let me start by saying whatever an awesome gizmo this phone is. I've had it a day or so, after upgrading from a ZTE Blade, and think it's fantastic.

However, I'm a little concerned about the GPS signal. Even while stationary I can't seem to get a proper location fix and my location marker is constantly on the move. Is this normal or is my unit faulty?

I'm not rooted or running a custom ROM, just the volume fix from Huawei. Also my location is coming from Wifi and GPS, not the phone's data connection.

So, is this a fault of the phone or a 'feature' I'm just going to have to live with? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Posted · Report post

Not normal, I loaded up Google Maps and it locked in seconds, accurate to 5mtrs, and never wandered, it was the same in Co Pilot.

Maybe your unit is faulty

Andrew

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Posted · Report post

Hi, everyone, let me start by saying whatever an awesome gizmo this phone is. I've had it a day or so, after upgrading from a ZTE Blade, and think it's fantastic.

However, I'm a little concerned about the GPS signal. Even while stationary I can't seem to get a proper location fix and my location marker is constantly on the move. Is this normal or is my unit faulty?

I'm not rooted or running a custom ROM, just the volume fix from Huawei. Also my location is coming from Wifi and GPS, not the phone's data connection.

So, is this a fault of the phone or a 'feature' I'm just going to have to live with? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Do you have all 3 ticked.

use wirless networks.

use gps satellites.

use quick GPS.

in my location sttings.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Not normal, I loaded up Google Maps and it locked in seconds, accurate to 5mtrs, and never wandered, it was the same in Co Pilot.

Maybe your unit is faulty

Andrew

Thanks for the input. Looks like it may need go back but I'd like a few more opinions just in case there's a fix.

Do you have all 3 ticked.

use wirless networks.

use gps satellites.

use quick GPS.

in my location sttings.

Not quick GPS as I don't want to run the risk of being charged. But GPS satellites and Wireless are both ticked

Edited by Tom Delada
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Posted · Report post

Not normal, I loaded up Google Maps and it locked in seconds, accurate to 5mtrs, and never wandered, it was the same in Co Pilot.

Maybe your unit is faulty

Andrew

Yes but if you were using Google Maps then you would have had Quick GPS enabled as it needs a data connection and hence your quick fix in seconds. The OP has this switched off as he is trying to avoid using a data connection.

Hi, everyone, let me start by saying whatever an awesome gizmo this phone is. I've had it a day or so, after upgrading from a ZTE Blade, and think it's fantastic.

However, I'm a little concerned about the GPS signal. Even while stationary I can't seem to get a proper location fix and my location marker is constantly on the move. Is this normal or is my unit faulty?

I'm not rooted or running a custom ROM, just the volume fix from Huawei. Also my location is coming from Wifi and GPS, not the phone's data connection.

So, is this a fault of the phone or a 'feature' I'm just going to have to live with? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

In my experience so far, to get a GPS fix on this phone using ONLY the GPS satellites option, can take up to about 5 minutes, and as I have posted previously, it can also be prone to GPS black spots, or urban canyoning as I believe it's called, and I wouldn't even bother trying it in doors for obvious reasons. Even a car roof can give it trouble, so stick it by the windscreen or step outside with it. Even on the Co-Pilot website they say it will take about 5 mins using just the satellite fix. Once it does lock on though the fix and postioning are very accurate and smoothly updated. I tried Co-Pilot side by side with a Navman sat nav and co-pilot was actually smoother and faster. It's just that initial fix that seems to take so long, probably because at a guess I expect the GPS aerial in the phone is quite a bit smaller than that in a dedicated sat nav. The wandering you are experiencing will be from the wifi fix, which is usually pretty sketchy as your signal jumps from network to network. Using the quick GPS it takes seconds, because they are using the phone network to triangulate your position. So if you've got a half decent phone signal then you also have a fix. It's not a new thing; I used to do coverage testing for Vodafone about 15 years ago and even back then they could triangulate the posistion of a phone call down to less than 5 feet. I've only just started trying it with the data enabled myself, so I can't really tell you how much data it uses yet.

My advice though is to just swap to a package with a good data allowance. I've just moved from O2 PAYG to GiffGaff, as the £10 goody bag with unlimited data, unlimited texts and 250 mins is pretty hard to beat. Handy too as you can buy 2 top-ups and have one start as soon as the first one finishes, oh and GiffGaff also uses the O2 network so I still get the same coverage. Although the £15 "3" PAYG offering is also pretty good too, but the "3" network is crap. I wasn't initially going to bother with a data package myself and just use the web via my home router to update stuff and donwload aps etc, but once out and about you suddenly start thinking how handy it would be to be able to check something out on Google or keep tabs on an eBay bid etc. Plus it also solves the slow GPS problems.

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Posted · Report post

Snip

Ok, thanks, that put my mind at ease. I actually took the phone out for a proper spin in the wilds today and it does seem to behave when WiFi is disabled.

I am actually with GiffGaff right now but don't actually use the phone enough as a phone to justify goodiebags.

I also gave the assisted GPSthing a tryand found that a) it really helps accuracy and B) it doesn't actually seem to be classed as data and therefore isn't charged. A couple of similar questions asked on Google, as well as my own experimentation, seem to back this up.

Thanks for the help everyone. I do like to think I'm fairly tech-savvy but have very little experience with GPS so your advice was great.

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Posted · Report post

It only downloads a small file and only occasionally not every time. It's a fantastic feature and should be used!

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Posted · Report post

Yes but if you were using Google Maps then you would have had Quick GPS enabled as it needs a data connection and hence your quick fix in seconds. The OP has this switched off as he is trying to avoid using a data connection.

In my experience so far, to get a GPS fix on this phone using ONLY the GPS satellites option, can take up to about 5 minutes, and as I have posted previously, it can also be prone to GPS black spots, or urban canyoning as I believe it's called, and I wouldn't even bother trying it in doors for obvious reasons. Even a car roof can give it trouble, so stick it by the windscreen or step outside with it. Even on the Co-Pilot website they say it will take about 5 mins using just the satellite fix. Once it does lock on though the fix and postioning are very accurate and smoothly updated. I tried Co-Pilot side by side with a Navman sat nav and co-pilot was actually smoother and faster. It's just that initial fix that seems to take so long, probably because at a guess I expect the GPS aerial in the phone is quite a bit smaller than that in a dedicated sat nav. The wandering you are experiencing will be from the wifi fix, which is usually pretty sketchy as your signal jumps from network to network. Using the quick GPS it takes seconds, because they are using the phone network to triangulate your position. So if you've got a half decent phone signal then you also have a fix. It's not a new thing; I used to do coverage testing for Vodafone about 15 years ago and even back then they could triangulate the posistion of a phone call down to less than 5 feet. I've only just started trying it with the data enabled myself, so I can't really tell you how much data it uses yet.

My advice though is to just swap to a package with a good data allowance. I've just moved from O2 PAYG to GiffGaff, as the £10 goody bag with unlimited data, unlimited texts and 250 mins is pretty hard to beat. Handy too as you can buy 2 top-ups and have one start as soon as the first one finishes, oh and GiffGaff also uses the O2 network so I still get the same coverage. Although the £15 "3" PAYG offering is also pretty good too, but the "3" network is crap. I wasn't initially going to bother with a data package myself and just use the web via my home router to update stuff and donwload aps etc, but once out and about you suddenly start thinking how handy it would be to be able to check something out on Google or keep tabs on an eBay bid etc. Plus it also solves the slow GPS problems.

I have had my G300 off all day, I have taken out the sim card, turned off the wifi, I am indoors, and turned on Co Pilot and it took 100 seconds to get a fix using 8 satellites, I think the GPS on this is excellent.

Andrew

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Posted · Report post

I think it must be one of these things that depends on how good your coverage is where you are then. I went on a journey recently up the M5 & M42, signal was great and worked a treat. Then as I was going down the A38 towards Derby it really struggled to keep the signal and kept dropping out frequently, and driving through Burton was a dead zone causing me to have to pull over twice to reset it. On the return journey through the same area, again it had major problems with the signal. Once back on the motorway, perfect all the way back home.

100 seconds or more or less 2 minutes, can seem like a long time to wait when compared to the 10-20 seconds a dedicated sat nav will take to get a fix. Especially when you're sat in your car waiting to go, or drivng along waiting for it to get it's fix back after a drop out. With the quick gps enabled though you can more or less nullify most of these problems.

I'm not saying it's a bad phone or that it doesn't work properly; just that results will vary for people depending on their location. East Anglia is as flat as a pancake so I'm not surprised you get good coverage.

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Posted · Report post

I think it must be one of these things that depends on how good your coverage is where you are then. I went on a journey recently up the M5 & M42, signal was great and worked a treat. Then as I was going down the A38 towards Derby it really struggled to keep the signal and kept dropping out frequently, and driving through Burton was a dead zone causing me to have to pull over twice to reset it. On the return journey through the same area, again it had major problems with the signal. Once back on the motorway, perfect all the way back home.

100 seconds or more or less 2 minutes, can seem like a long time to wait when compared to the 10-20 seconds a dedicated sat nav will take to get a fix. Especially when you're sat in your car waiting to go, or drivng along waiting for it to get it's fix back after a drop out. With the quick gps enabled though you can more or less nullify most of these problems.

I'm not saying it's a bad phone or that it doesn't work properly; just that results will vary for people depending on their location. East Anglia is as flat as a pancake so I'm not surprised you get good coverage.

Coverage does not come into it really, satellites are in the sky at a geostationary orbit of 24000 miles from earth, the only thing that would affect them is tall buildings, and huge mountains, If I have my data on, it gets a fix in seconds, in fact I have just walked outside, did a cold start, with data on, and it locked in about 20 seconds, and it uses very little data in order to do it, I had a Tom Tom 730 and it took the same length of time as my G300 to get a fix, after having used GPS on mobiles, I would never go back to a dedicated sat nav unit, in my job I drive over 60000 miles a year, and I can remember many many times, when my Tom Tom thought I was driving through fields, or down dual carriageways that did not exist.

I will take the mobile option every time :)

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Posted · Report post

Coverage does not come into it really, satellites are in the sky at a geostationary orbit of 24000 miles from earth, the only thing that would affect them is tall buildings, and huge mountains, If I have my data on, it gets a fix in seconds, in fact I have just walked outside, did a cold start, with data on, and it locked in about 20 seconds, and it uses very little data in order to do it, I had a Tom Tom 730 and it took the same length of time as my G300 to get a fix, after having used GPS on mobiles, I would never go back to a dedicated sat nav unit, in my job I drive over 60000 miles a year, and I can remember many many times, when my Tom Tom thought I was driving through fields, or down dual carriageways that did not exist.

I will take the mobile option every time :)

Coverage does sort of come in to it to a degree, and by that I mean line of sight to the satellites. The problem is that it refuses to give you a fix until it has it from 8 satellites, when just 4 would probably be enough. All those 8 satellites are not bang right over head. Hills, buildings, tree coverage can all affect it. Some cars roofs and even the antiglare coating on some car windscreens can reflect and block the signal. Where I am in the middle of a city surrounded by hills, with just the GPS enabled it takes a good 2 mins or more to get a fix. Which of course is the whole point of having the quick gps assist option.

I'm a delivery driver so a decent sat nav is an essential tool for me, I've used pretty much all the big brands extensively at some point and I'd agree the Co-Pilot does a better smoother more accurate job than the old Navman I currently prefer to use at work. I'll stick to the Navman though as work provides that one, and if someone is going to put my van window through to nick it, then I'd rather it be theirs than my phone. For personal use in my own car, then yeah its the mobile for me too. Dedicated sat navs just seem to be getting worse now, each new revision seems to get rid of some useful old features and pile in a bunch of new ones you didn't want and obfuscate everything behind half a dozen extra screens. One of the most useful features on the old Navman I use at work is the ability to select "Go to center of postcode". So if you're going to a named address or the street isn't listed, something like The Cottage, Main Road, Broadoak. 9 times out of 10 it will put you in the right place and I find it invaluable. We got some of the newer Navman's recently at work and that option has now been removed. Now you have to select one of the streets it gives you as an option, but if you don't know the area you're going to, how are you supposed to know whether Main Road is nearer Penny Lane, Biggles Street or the B134whatever, and of course then because there is no number as it's a named address you have to select "Go to center of street". Whilst you will still end up some where in the vacinity, in the middle of a large housing estate or out in the sticks that can still lead to a lot of aimless driving around trying to find places. Not only that but the new Navman's have gone for a MS Metro look and you now have to go through twice as many screens as before to enter in your destination postcode. I thought the idea of bringing out new products was to improve upon the old ones, not make them worse.

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Posted · Report post

Adding photographs is another pointless feature in dedicated satnavs. I agree about the Go to centre of postcode option. Arnold satnav I had did that function also, say put in Birmingham and a list of options would come up and one was go to centre of Birmingham. Like you say, unless you know the streets where you are going, then its hard to just pick a random street. Some include the option of going to map of Birmingham so you can browse the area first them pick an area from there.

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Posted · Report post

Adding photographs is another pointless feature in dedicated satnavs. I agree about the Go to centre of postcode option. Arnold satnav I had did that function also, say put in Birmingham and a list of options would come up and one was go to centre of Birmingham. Like you say, unless you know the streets where you are going, then its hard to just pick a random street. Some include the option of going to map of Birmingham so you can browse the area first them pick an area from there.

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