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Samsung Vibrant and Captivate GPS Fix, where is it?

Thanks to Chris Ziegler over at mobile.engadget.com for sharing this with us and admitting something which was missed in their initial review, quite frankly as you would have expected it to work.

Not only was the AGPS on the Samsung Captivate and Vibrant clearly not work it was actually non functional at all. After waiting many minutes without a location lock, you come to realise that AGPS is something you wont usually miss until you don’t have it.

This really isn’t or shouldn’t be classified as a low or even medium priority fix, this is something that AT&T Samsung and T Mobile should have been working on immediately after spotting the issues.

When you really think about it there really isn’t a logical explanation why this made it all the way to the retail devices and does ask the question just how well are the products tested. Some would even suggest that the companies involved should have pulled the phones from shelves until such time as the problems had been resolved.

Comments

20 thoughts on “Samsung Vibrant and Captivate GPS Fix, where is it?”

  1. Mark says:

    It works for me. Just took a bit longer to lock the satellites at the beginning. After that I can use Google Navigation without any problem. Heard that Samsung is working for a fix to speed up the locking.

  2. Dan pancamo says:

    Totally agree… Many apps rely on gps now, and a faulty gps system not only breaks those apps, the battery life is drained while the gps flounders on a fix,

    The gps on my vibrant it almost totally useless now.

  3. Steve says:

    It could just be a bad batch of phones. Some have no issues at all but others can't get it to work right even after trying all the suggested fixes. This leads me to think it is a hardware issue since all phones are shipped with the same software/firmware. Those who say the fix works may not have used it for that long after applying the supposed fix. Just rebooting the phone could have fixed it temporarily.

  4. Rich says:

    I absolutely love this phone, but this is not acceptable. I'll give them 2 more weeks, then I'm returning my phone. It's inexcusable that these would make it to the store shelf with non/bearly functional GPS.

  5. jfarrell says:

    and Samsung has the nerve to say that it "isn't an issue for all customers" I say bulls*it. I think the people that think it "works" have never had a phone with an accurate gps. Sure it gets me within half a mile of where I am, but that isn't what it is supposed to do!

  6. Bill says:

    I have a Captivate and the GPS will lock if I am outside on a clear day and stationary, but otherwise I have had little success with it. It is functionally useless. I agree that it is shocking that Samsung and/or AT&T would release a "half-baked" phone like the Captivate.

  7. Booman says:

    go to LbsTestMode by dialing *#*#1472365#*#*
    Go to Application Settings
    Set accuracy to 100.
    Go to SUPL/CP settings
    Server FQDN Type drop down and select Auto Config and reboot.

    1. Laney J says:

      I had completed the main fix listed on several websites for my captivate and it worked for a couple of days then didn't really, could get me close, but the gps never locked on … after changing the accuracy and FQDN instantly my navigator started talking to me. It locked on in record time too! Let's hope this fix stays working … THANK YOU SOOO MUCH FOR POSTING THIS! I love my captivate but was thinking about returning bc of the gps problem … I rely on it for work.

    2. chris says:

      Thanks Booman, your suggestions fixed everything.
      My gps was having all of the problems described by others: It either took too long to locate a position or it failed to do so entirely. It especially had trouble if I was inside or moving. I changed the accuracy to 100 and chose Auto Config for the Server FQDN. After this it worked much better. It can now detect its location using the AT&T maps app. It usually locks on in 2-8 seconds and is accurate to within10 or 20 ft. It will lock on when I am walking and I used the runKeeper app to track my path while I walked about 1/2 mile. It seemed pretty accurate. thanks again.

  8. Mike says:

    I went to AT&T store and compared GPS signal between my 2-yr old HTC G1 and Captivate side-by-side. From cold start, my G1 locked the signal in 30 seconds (in door) and stay locked. The Captivate searched for the signal for 10 min and locked it for about 10 seconds and then lost the signal. Even AT&T store sample phone has the problem!!

  9. Laney J says:

    See Booman's fix above, it worked on mine, when the others weren't … heard someone else say they found a fix in a forum too that worked when the popular one wouldn't!! Love forums!!

  10. brooklynrab says:

    Lets stop deluding ourselves. Samsung is doing nothing — just stalling. It could very well be a hardware issue — we just don't know. All of these fixes are really just A-GPS workarounds — the GPS still doesnt work. That leaves the choice of:
    1. learning to live without real GPS.
    2. return your Galaxy during your return period for a refund.
    3. wait for a pushed OTA solution from samsung if it is a software issue (their track record at supporting their phones is abysmal) or, even less likely, for Samsung to swap out the handsets if it ends up being a hardware issue.
    4. Hire a class action lawyer to sue (and embarrass) Samsung on behalf of all of us for false and misleading advertising (i.e., that their phone has GPS which works).

    1. jason says:

      Same here. None of the LbsTestMode workarounds I've tried have done anything. So far, gps is totally non-functional.

  11. jason says:

    After doing Booman's fix (which I have left unchanged) I tried another that I found which was even simpler. It called for going into the LbsTestMode and simply hitting "delete gps data" at the bottom, then going outside and hitting "get position test" and waiting until you acquire about 10 satellites. Whereas before I could not even see 1 satellite, it now showed 1, and then 2 after about 2 minutes. So I got in my car and drove down the street, eventually acquiring 10. Gps now works fine. Tried google navigation with it, it worked perfectly. I don't know how permanent a solution this will be, and still expect an official fix from Samsung, but I feel a little better now knowing that it at least *can* work…

  12. ram says:

    One of the main reasons I have purchased Android phone is for the GPS, but after trying all the work a-rounds GPS of samsung captivate DOES NOT WORK AT ALL. I'll try to return this. I suspect its a hardware issue. Buy this phone only if you think GPS is not a big deal for you, but keep in mind lot of apps use GPS.

  13. adam says:

    Booman fix worked for me. Samsung Captivate Galaxy S.
    I’ve tried everything and the only thing that worked for me was this method.

    Go to LbsTestMode by dialing *#*#1472365#*#*
    Hit Delete GPS Data then.
    Go to Application Settings
    Set accuracy to 100.
    Go to SUPL/CP settings
    Server FQDN Type drop down and select Auto Config and reboot.
    Make sure your Data Connection and GPS are turned on.
    Go back into LbsTest Mode and hit ( Get Position Test )
    You should see your phone locking on to Satellites.

    If this doesn’t work for you then your phone most likely has a hardware problem.
    In that case there’s no software out there that can fix that, go back to ATT and
    request a new phone.

  14. adam says:

    Booman fix worked for me. Samsung Captivate Galaxy S.
    I’ve tried everything and the only thing that worked for me was this method.

    Go to LbsTestMode by dialing *#*#1472365#*#*
    Hit Delete GPS Data then.
    Go to Application Settings
    Set accuracy to 100.
    Go to SUPL/CP settings
    Server FQDN Type drop down and select Auto Config and reboot.
    Make sure your Data Connection and GPS are turned on.
    Go back into LbsTest Mode and hit ( Get Position Test )
    You should see your phone locking on to Satellites.

    If this doesn’t work for you then your phone most likely has a hardware problem.
    In that case there’s no software out there that can fix that, go back to ATT and
    request a new phone.

  15. adam says:

    Booman fix worked for me. Samsung Captivate Galaxy S.
    I’ve tried everything and the only thing that worked for me was this method.

    Go to LbsTestMode by dialing *#*#1472365#*#*
    Hit Delete GPS Data then.
    Go to Application Settings
    Set accuracy to 100.
    Go to SUPL/CP settings
    Server FQDN Type drop down and select Auto Config and reboot.
    Make sure your Data Connection and GPS are turned on.
    Go back into LbsTest Mode and hit ( Get Position Test )
    You should see your phone locking on to Satellites.

    If this doesn’t work for you then your phone most likely has a hardware problem.
    In that case there’s no software out there that can fix that, go back to ATT and
    request a new phone.