27
Jan
samsung-epic-touch1

While it seems like the entire world has been looking at ASUS regarding the Transformer Prime's GPS issues, there has been another device plagued with GPS problems that seemed to somehow remain under-the-radar (bad GPS pun, I know): the Epic 4G Touch. A quick search of the internet will reveal dozens of threads across various forums where users are discussing (read: really pissed off about) the E4GT's lack of usable GPS. For example, here's one where someone is trying to figure out how to get their E4GT to hold a GPS signal. Here's another where the user has to use a different phone specifically for GPS. And another. And another. And another.

You get the point.

Update by Artem: Here's a sample of my GPS outside, after doing an aGPS reset and even downloading assist data. Right after I took the screenshot, the number of satellites dropped down to 2, and none of them were locked. The phone is freshly rebooted too.

Clarification by Artem: What we're talking about here is locking to a reliable GPS signal, meaning your GPS icon in the notification bar is solid and not blinking. Curiously, just using the GMaps app doesn't require a solid lock because there are other ways of pinpointing your current location on the map (cellular + Wi-Fi). However, to use Navigation, you need a solid lock, which is what the Epic Touch is so pathetic at.

SC20120127-145700

With each and every update users are hoping for an improvement to the GPS function on the device. OTAs have come and gone, and guess what? GPS still sucks. It just doesn't work. Our own fearless leader is at his wits' end dealing with the malfunctioning GPS reception, random lockups whilst using navigations, and so forth.

To get a better idea of how widespread this issue is, we turn to you and ask "Is your E4GT suffering from craptastic GPS performance?" Hit the poll below and help us get to the bottom of this. With enough noise, maybe Samsung/Sprint will actually acknowledge what's going on.

Please only vote if you have an Epic 4G Touch.

Is Your Samsung Epic 4G Touch Plagued With GPS Issues?

View Results

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Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • Hal Motley

    There should be option on that poll called 'I don't own a Samsung Epic 4G, I am here for teh lulz!'

    I would love that option, please add it Cameron!

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      Your wish is my command.

      • Hal Motley

        Thank you Artem, I am ecstatic that you actually did that!

  • Germian

    Ugh, again? Shouldn't Samsung have learned its lesson?

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      Apparently not. I thought they did, but my E4GT has been horrible, and I'm fairly sure it gets worse as time goes by. I tried some tricks from the web, including GPS Status but nothing helped. It was incredibly frustrating to drive yesterday (I don't usually drive) and try to use GPS, I lost count to how many times it dropped out and I missed my turn or went in an entirely different direction.

      I shouldn't need to put my phone into airplane mode and out and hope GPS starts working. I shouldn't need to look for hacks that need a rooted device.

      This GPS issue has been plaguing the Galaxy line for years, and it's still not fixed. Anybody who says it is is either very lucky somehow, or has only tested GPS in a stationary position without even the roof of the car above them.

      • http://www.jorgedl.com Jorge L.

        I'm in the same situation you are. When I first bought the phone it worked fine but now it just sits idly at Waiting for GPS.... I tried the GPS Status solution which seems to help a little but it's never consistent.

        Have you found any other worthwhile solutions? I'd rather avoid having to stress myself out dealing with reps telling me to try the x and y fix they're reading off of a script which I've already tried to no avail.

      • ARaj

        Hey Artem, you said "This GPS issue has been plaguing the Galaxy line for years".. does it mean that the new Galaxy Nexus is also facing similar issue??

        • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

          I haven't heard that about the Nexus. It could be in part due to the barometer inclusion, or they didn't fuck up GPS this time.

      • leganzish

        I know Samsung has become the "go to" Android manufacturer in general, but the GPS plague you're referring to seems to affect so many of their phones, including ones outside of the Galaxy line. I know the oft ignored Moment and Intercept had the same sort of issues. My last upgrade I really wanted a Nexus S, but I use navigation too much to be ok with crappy GPS. I ended up going with an Evo 4G for that reason alone. I'm tempted to get a Galaxy Nexus, but I have the same fear (though possibly unfounded). Until Samsung gets these GPS issues completely fixed to the point that we KNOW there are no more issues, I don't know that I'll ever be able to buy one of their phones.

  • Ronny

    I saw a few posts about the issue, but never thought about checking it, so I just did, and it detected the signal instantly.

  • Eli

    i had issues, then i bitched to sprint, they gave me a replacement, gps issue free ever since.

    get a replacement if your gps doens't work!

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      The problem with my phone is I'm pretty sure my GPS was working fine at first, then got progressively worse over time. I'm not sure a replacement is not going to have the same issue.

      It'd be great for an official statement from Sprint or at least their techs on the Sprint forums.

  • DrMacinyasha

    Running CM7.2 Alpha, and GPS is a non-issue for me. Ditto on Calkulin's stock ROMs. My bigger problems on CM involve switching from WiFi to 3G, and my phone thinking that my car adapter is a dock.

  • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

    My GPS lock takes ages to lock on lately, and it drops in and out all the time in the car. Any car. I'd be lucky to get a fix if I'm already moving. Very frustrating.

    Running stock EK02 here.

  • lovinlissa1984

    Hmmm...I have never had an issue with my GPS and I've had mine since I could preorder it from Walmart.com. I came from the og epic that was notorious for crummy GPS. I have a feeling it may be a hardware problem that Samsung/sprint should address.

  • Hal Motley

    Come to think of it I do occasionally have signalling issues with 3G and EDGE on my GSII. But when I restart the phone it's fine, I think it's a hardware issue because I am running CM7.1.

    I guess maybe it's an issue surrounding Samsung phones. I know my old iPhone 3GS wasn't nearly as bad!

  • Manah Manah

    As one of many who have GPS issues with the handcent I decided to go completely stock to see if it fixed the issue. So I went back to stock EK02 and bam, GPS like a champ.

    Until the afternoon. Then it was back to being sluggish.

  • Levi

    I don't usually notice for navigation, but things like foursquare are off a bit. Would different radios affect the GPS? If so, perhaps we need to flash some different radios to test?

    • ManahManah

      I noticed the same thing the other day. However, going in to to settings:applications:foursquare and force closing + clearing data made it accurate again.

  • Bo

    I had GPS problems on the OG Epic that were MUCH worse than anything I've experienced on the Epic Touch. Once in a while I do have to clear the aGPS data but that usually gives an immediate fix. However, I am rooted and running custom ROMs which have tweaked settings.

    Also, some apps seem to have trouble calling the GPS functionality, but I assume that's app related.

    Overall, Samsung needs to put better GPS in their phones as HTCs GPS is much better.

  • http://mattcasto.info Matt

    This seems to be an issues with Samsung phones in general. The GPS is crap on my Samsung Droid Charge as well. I've gone running on cloudless days with RunKeeper trying to lock onto GPS for over a half hour without success. I've had my phone hardware actually replaced by Verizon, but it didn't help. Samsung phones have $h!t GPS!

  • ?

    Hmm I have never had a problem with my gps. I had a Samsung Captivate and now a GSII and i have never ever had a problem. My phone can get GPS were my friends can't, but maybe I'm just one of the lucky few.

  • Simon Belmont

    Wow. I didn't know this issue was so prevalent for the E4GT.

    My friend got one a couple months ago and hasn't mentioned it. Maybe I'll ask him about it tomorrow.

  • simplizitey

    Have horrible issues sometimes here in LA. I can drive 15 and still get no lock. Have found the best fix so far is exiting out of app im using and reopening it

  • stinkpinkerton

    Has anyone done the el29 ota update and still having gps and/or other issues?

  • Dima Aryeh

    Not sure if this helps, but I'll throw it out there. My AT&T SII (identical aside from the screen size) has no GPS issues. Again, just a tidbit of info.

  • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

    Clarification: What we're talking about here is locking to a reliable GPS signal, meaning your GPS icon in the notification bar is solid and not blinking. Curiously, just using the GMaps app doesn't require a solid lock because there are other ways of pinpointing your current location on the map (cellular + Wi-Fi). However, to use Navigation, you need a solid lock, which is what the Epic Touch is so pathetic at.

  • jevfr

    Mine locks within 20sec and I've had no problem with navigation when I've used it. This is my second Epic touch because the first was plagued with the dreaded LOS. This one has been rock solid though and I just locked onto 7 of 7 within a minute of starting the test.

    • http://www.tncnewscentral.com Chris Pagan

      What is that LOS. Cause I want to go into a Sprint store to let them know of all the issues and exchange it.

      • DJ

        Yeah i am also wondering what LOS is. I keep hearing about it. LOS for me means Line Of Sight.

        • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

          Loss of Service/Signal.

  • http://www.tncnewscentral.com Chris Pagan

    Look man I have been saying this for a while now on my Epci 4G Touch, GPS problems, Wifi problems, 3G radio which was supposedly fixed but still once in a while drops and my biggest one the damn camera, it lags so bad when taking a picture and the auto lighting sucks, pics are horrible half the time and blurry you have to be so still to take shots even with anti shake its so bad I want my EVO 4G back but with Samsungs processor.

  • dm

    again samsung again with GPS, SGS gps crap all over again, why is it so hard for samsung for once making correct GPS?

  • puch0021

    Just got my new phone. It was a "certified replacement" that had screen protectors. I was in a rush so I didn't have time to ask if it is a refurb. On inspection, no scratches and it looks mint.

    Onto the GPS... the GPS works flawless out of box on EK02, fast locks and stable, even indoors. I can now get to a 2 meter lock and see 12 satellites through GPS status. Using weak sensor aidling and NO AGPS download.
    I did the OTA update to EL29, results are the same. GPS still flawless.

    Cliffs:
    Old: Tried all the modems, Calk 2.0 - 2.8.1, all the GPS scripts, all the GPS drivers and nothing was consistent. Would usually get intermittent locks on restart. Driving was a nightmare. Minutes to lock.

    New phone: Faster locks (within seconds), more stable, more satellites. I can now travel streets without navigation going haywire claiming I'm on X street instead of Y. I will be rooting and installing Calk's latest + gunslinger kernel. Will update again pending that.

    Total paid for replacement: $0.

    Sp basically if you are having GPS problems, your best bet is to get a replacement like others have said. There must have been a bad batch as my phone was purchased on launch day.

  • kyleklackey

    I just recently picked up an Epic after the screen just stopped working on my Evo.

    A friend had upgraded to something else and was kind enough to give me this phone for free and for the most part I'm really happy compared to my Evo but the GPS is a joke.

    It locks on when I first open maps and even GPS typically works at first but after driving for a bit it almost always looses signal and never gets it back. It's really annoying.

    I just did the latest OTA updates and I'm hoping that'll change things for me but my hopes aren't high.

  • kdoggy

    I'm pretty frustrated with my E4GT too. The GPS simply does not work. I don't seem to have issues with it dropping off once I get it locked but if I'm driving, it doesn't lock. I drove 30+ miles last week, no lock. Just kept saying acquiring GPS blah blah blah.

    Now if I GET it locked, it seems to stay locked even when I'm inside. When using NAV, it finds my route fast. I don't like to leave the GPS on though because it kills my battery FAST. I get 24~28+ hours on a battery with it off, 12~14 with it on with lite to moderate daily usage.

    I have a feeling my phones about to start roaming 24/7 with high usage, cough cough. At this point though, I'd almost pay the ETF. I travel for work, I'd like my GPS to work.

  • Scottmando

    Ok....this is great but what about getting an official word on a fix from either Sprint or Samsung? And then holding them to it.

    To just point out an well documented doesn't do any good. We need sites like AP to help us pressure them into action? Or at the very least, to warn customers to choose other brands.

    It's funny how nothing happens until the press makes a big deal of it then suddenly a fix gets released.

  • it’s me Carl

    I agree with many here: mine worked perfectly for months. it seemed to get really bad only after the last update. is it possible a drop causes the antenna to flip out?

  • Megaaj99

    i fanactically use gps everyday until now. My Epic touch fails; well,  epically at acquiring gps. Now I have to plan my commutes using purely 3G.