Phones Review

Galaxy Note 3 AT&T GPS problems pre-Android 4.4 update

Under: AT&T, Mobile Phones, Samsung
Date: March 3rd, 2014

Owners of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 on one US carrier are likely to be interested by some news today. It’s reported that some users are finding the Galaxy Note 3 AT&T variant is suffering from GPS problems prior to the Android 4.4 update. Hopefully this will be solved by the time 4.4 KitKat arrives for the phone on this carrier.

Some users of the AT&T Galaxy Note 3 appear to be quite frustrated by an issue that involves difficulties keeping a GPS signal, and are reporting this on AT&T’s official support forums as well as XDA forums. The problems concern frequent cut-outs with the signal, perhaps from faulty GPS radios.

The issue has also been confirmed by Android Police, with one team member reporting that the GPS drops on his AT&T Note 3 when it does not with other smartphones used, such as the Galaxy S4 on the same carrier. Another problem reported regards when the charger is plugged in or unplugged and the GPS dies, while another user suggests the problem lies when switching between HSPA and LTE or cell towers.

Some who have noted the current problems have reported that wiping the handset can help rectify the issue, as can disabling non-standard apps using location services. This concern hasn’t been noted as far as we know, for other versions or carrier variants of the Galaxy Note 3, and so it does appear to be an AT&T-related problem.

It’s also reported that some of those affected by the issue have contacted AT&T, but they have been informed by customer support that they are unaware of any problem. However, on AT&T’s official Twitter account the problem appears to have been acknowledged. In response to a tweet asking when this GPS problem affecting the Note 3 would be fixed, an AT&T employee responded by saying that the carrier is working on a solution, and that a software update will provide a fix soon.

Meanwhile the Android 4.4 update is continuing to roll out and we recently reported its arrival for the Sprint variant of the Galaxy Note 3. We have also previously informed that the AT&T 4.4 firmware update for the phone has been leaked, indicating an official update rollout soon. Therefore it could be that AT&T is intent on fixing this current issue before pushing out the OTA KitKat update.

We’ll be keeping a close eye on this and will keep readers informed, but in the meantime we’d really like to hear from any AT&T owners of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. Have you noticed this GPS problem with your handset, and if so, are you hoping for a fix very soon? Do please drop us a comment using the box below.

Galaxy Note 3 ATT GPS problems

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  • Chris

    I’m an AT&T customer on the East Coast. I got excited when I saw an update available, right after reading Kitkat was being released. I was extremely disappointed when I learned it was a pre-update and I haven’t noticed any difference. I have no experienced any GPS issues, and I use AT&T navigator pretty much daily.

    After seeing a bunch of reviews of Note 3′s with the Kitkat update, it appears this update is being way over hyped. Apart from the icons at the top changing to all white color, and adding a camera access from lock position; there’s not much more to this update.

    I look forward to something innovative and dazzling, unfortunately Kitkat is not that.

    • BizzyB

      KitKat is almost all under the hood. It’s mostly performance improvements. On a fast phone like the Note 3 with its speedy processor and 3GB of RAM, you won’t see a huge difference, but your phone will perform better. It’ll help as the phone ages too. Overall apps should run better and battery should last a bit longer as well. It’s not a drastic UI tweak, so people aren’t as likely to notice it. Consider it an optimization update.

  • Nicolas Perez

    Yes I do lose GPS signal sometimes when using Google maps for navigation. Very excited to get kitkat.

    AT&T we pay top dollar for premium service, stop being the last ones to always update!

  • Mike Poteat

    I just got my replacement Note 3 yesterday. I have been having the exact same problem for a few weeks now. Only difference is, I’m with VERIZON. I don’t think this problem lies with ATT. I believe it lies within the Note 3.

    • Manuel King

      Same here, it’s a note 3 issue not carrier related. I have same issues since release and I’m on Verizon

  • mastaofdacat

    #note3gps

  • tnerb123

    The GPS issue has been out since the phone was released in October for ATT. They have had how long to fix it? 5 MONTHS! And yet they release a patch for the phone that has caused more headaches then it fixed. Only one part of the patch wasnt a APK that we already could download. To me it seems like ATT doesnt want to release the kitkat update and is more concerned with there own bloatware rather then keeping there clients happy.

  • Scargo

    I am on handset number 3 or 4. This problem did not come with the phone! From October to December my GPS worked great. Then out of nowhere I get “GPS signal lost” AT&T sends me phones every time I call. My of gripe is they all play dumb when you tell them the problem, like I am the only person with the problem. They ask you to re set the phone. When that is done the problem is still there. Now the last time I called they told me to take the phone to the Samsung specialist at best by and have the phone flashed and have the old firmware installed. I told them ain’t nobody got time for that. I want a new phone again. I have had this phone for a week now and it seems fine. I am praying that they get off their lazy asses and roll out KitKat and that fixes this annoying problem that is limited to only handsets that I have! If it doesn’t work I am going to root this thing and hope for the best. Worst case I brick it?

  • stella

    I have the same problem with My ATTsince October… Hopefully the release will be out ASAP.

  • Clive Richards

    Am I the only one who sees this as Google working with the phone manufacturers to make larger memory phones more attractive to users. All the arguments about SD cards being to slow etc are a red herring because users can decide if they want to use up internal storage or accept slower performance. What I find distasteful is it’s similarity to Apples policy of telling customers what they can and cannot do with their phones.
    Cloud storgage is another red herring because unless you sign up to an expensive data plan and are always in an area that has good coverage the SD card is useless for cloud access. Also unless you only want to use software in the cloud you need to store programmes.
    Surely it is better to let the programme designers to decide whether their app will work well if it has to access the SD card. There are three examples I can think of right away which call out for SD card access for apps
    1) downloading paid for music and video content – ok I know that you can manually transfer it later but that is hardly making the system easier to use and some people are not happy with exploring the file system
    2) Satellite navigation a person who travels a lot might want offline maps for several areas/countries and continents stored on their device to give instant quick access to gps navigation without incurring high data costs or filling up their phone – good maps are huge.
    3) Backing up if you have a large amount of data on line storage costs money to maintain whereas an SD card has no ongoing costs.
    I also wonder whether camera’s still, and more importantly movie, will be able to write to SD and of course even if they did your movie editor wont work with them
    All of these uses have one thing in common in that they deprive phone manufacturers and cloud storage companies from income and that to me sounds a much more plausible reason for Googles new contract (especially now they are so active in
    I for one have just shut off automatic updates because I value the write to SD card that was lost in an update of my old galaxy S3 – I don’t want the same thing to happen to my Note 3. I deplore Google for moving down this road and Samsung even more for following like sheep. Unless this changes I now own my last Samsung phone.
    There are some new contenders in the market now producing phones at the same, or lower, costs that use vanilla android and which come rooted – giving users much more control of their devices.
    If Samsung feel that “Mr average user” prefers this “simplicity” then fine – they could still offer rooted versions for people who want to buy their device and have the ability to manage it. They should also not get away with using rooting as an excuse to wriggle out of hardware warranties.
    It is high time that we fought back by refusing to buy this crap story and shop elsewhere

  • msd

    Me too. ATT replaced it once and I am waiting to see if kitkat fixes it. If not they will have to replace it again.

  • George Baez

    GPS issues, touchwiz stops working, email stops working, phone locks up once a day at least…:(

  • Mr. Ultimate

    It’s ridiculous. AT&T blames Samsung and their support team points in every direction other than at themselves. The story is that the AT&T provider contract forbids class action lawsuits, which supposedly insulates them from any sense of urgency to resolve. I keep thinking I should still visit a plaintiff’s attorney to see if there is leeway for egregious malfeasance on AT&T’s part.

  • Gary Warner

    Have I noticed a problem? It’s more like a plague!!! The GPS problems listed here are EXACTLY what happened to my NOTE 3. Finally, ATT sent me a replacement phone which, so far, seems to be working much better. The first NOTE 3 I owned kept losing its GPS signal — it was virtually unusable, Both ATT and Samsung said they were not aware of a problem , but please — the message boards don;t lie.

    A CLASS ACTION suit anyone?

  • Near Margalit

    Kit Kat update did not fix the problem.

  • ytsb20

    AT&T keeps assuring me that they are working on the problem…for almost a month now. But they can’t give me an estimate when the update will come. This GPS problem is driving me nuts. $724 piece of equipment and AT&T fucks it up.

  • daines1

    Thank you for picking up this story. Please help us keep the pressure on AT&T. It has been 166 days since the phone was launched on AT&T’s network… and @ the same time the problem has existed.

    I have a Note 3 that is having the exact same problems as you can read about in the forums. We are not getting anything out of AT&T other than “AT&T is working on Samsung to resolve the problem. We’ll update you as soon as it has been fixed.”

  • NotNoteFan

    I purchased the Gear and ATT Note 3 during the first week it was out. The following week I noticed that the GPS was not working. ATT sent me a new phone and within a couple of weeks it was not working as well. I’m now using my sons old iphone 4 while my gear and note sit in the drawer. This is very frustrating and I feel like I’ve been taken advantage of.

    • ATT_SUCK

      I have the same problem. ATT sent a new ote3 which failed after 1 week.

  • Sambo

    Being a big user of my note 3 gps. It is really beyond
    Inconvenience to be driving to an unfamiliar location and
    Than losing ur gps reception leaving u stranded. One
    Quick and temporary solution I found word be to disable
    The gps setting and re selecting it again. That will find the
    Location again, though u have to repeat that on going
    If disconnected. Other than that ph has been great.
    Love the big screen. Iphone days are over.
    By.the time they come out w there big screen the
    Majority of the market will have already shifted over
    To android and discovered it’s a much better
    And more universal system.

  • OnTwoWheels

    My ATT Note 3 still drops GPS almost as fast as I can start any app that uses GPS.

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