TrekBuddy - Outdoor companion
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Outdoor companion.
  • internal / bluetooth / simulator GPS
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GPS inacuracy:Magnetic compass vs digital compass

 
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mcurto



Joined: 28 Mar 2011
Posts: 37
Location: Lisboa@Portugal

PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2015 4:47 pm    Post subject: GPS inacuracy:Magnetic compass vs digital compass Reply with quote

I was once again forced to switch phones, as my trusty Huawei G300 finally succumbed to multiple screen traumatisms.

As usual I looked for a budget android with around a 4" screen that I wouldnt feel too bad if it happen to break or got lost. For no particular reason except it was a recent release I chose Alcatel Pixi3 (4).

One thing struck me immediately: its GPS is waaaay more inacurate than my old G300. On a trail I know is around 20km it would show 35km and my plot line is all over the place with random spikes.
So I did a bit of research and turns out that one of the reasons for lack of acuracy can be an uncalibrated compass, checked my new phone and turns out it doesnt have magnetic compass, only digital.Trekbuddy compass doesnt even works.
Anyone has any info about this?Is this supossed to be a chipset limitation or just a driver thing that I can hope to have fixed in any future updates? Or maybe should I just look into switching to another phone?
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matjazz



Joined: 10 Aug 2011
Posts: 92

PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2015 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As I red on gsmarena the 3G version of Alcatel Pixi 3 has Mediatek processor. They're famous for poor gps reception and accuracy.
I had a monologue about it here
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mcurto



Joined: 28 Mar 2011
Posts: 37
Location: Lisboa@Portugal

PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2015 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Could be they are indeed poor on GPS, but IMO can be tracked to lack of magnetic sensor- or compass if you will. If its a driver thing or indeed lack of sensor cant really tell but compass applications either report error or dont work at all.

It's funny I dont see it reported anywhere but: my phones last usually 1 or at the most 2 years, I've owned a few using Trekbuddy, every single one I owned that didnt have compass (magnetic sensor) showed enormous GPS errors.

Also, just now realized Alcatel mobile phones today are nothing but a front-end brand for a chinese manufacture (TCL) so I figure you cant really expect rational planing on hardware specs, they just throw whatever cheaper chipset they have in entry models.
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Ranger



Joined: 12 Dec 2006
Posts: 6027

PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2015 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Today more and more of cheap models doesn't contain magnetic sensor. It means no yellow arrow on TB's compass screen only, but no more.
Poor built-in gps receiver is different, independent think. Means poor chipset, antenna, etc.
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