Note about GPS on Moto E4 (and others)

I’ve been putting my new Moto E4 through its paces as much as I know how. (It’s so cheap that I’m cautious.) I’m comparing it the phone I had, which still works… but its battery is slowly dying. Here’s a note that could apply to any phone you want to try before you buy. FYI:

Today I tried the E4’s GPS – which I use mostly for geotagging photos. I mostly leave the GPS off because its eats battery – and I usually I know where I am. :wink: (I understand that there are location-aware apps that need GPS, but I don’t use many. When I do, I turn GPS on.) If you leave GPS on all the time, most of this (except the phone in my pocket) probably won’t apply to you.

I went to a park. I turned on both phones’ Location. I used the GPS Test app to watch when each phone locked on. (When I’m in places without much view of the sky, this app lets me tell when the camera is ready to tag photos with the location.) Today my old Nexus 5X got a “3-D fix” within 10 seconds. The E4 found some satellites right away, but it took 80 seconds to get a 3-D fix and an accurate location. I think the 3-D fix is with the Russian GLONASS system instead of GPS; I’ve never been able to find info for newbies. To me, the most accuracy is best for photo-tagging.

By the way, when I put the E4 in my pocket, and later took it out, the GPS Test app said that the E4 had lost its fix! If you depend on Location, this might be a problem. I’m sorry I’m no expert, but FWIW…

I would be surprised if the Nexus didn’t lose it’s GPS signal, like the E4. I would think any phone you put in your pocket would lose GPS for the same reason it has trouble getting a fix when you’re surrounded by tall buildings or standing under trees. The signal from GPS satellites is very weak and lined of sight. Putting a phone in your pocket severely limits the ability for the GPS (or GLONASS) signal to reach the phone. Some phones may have better GPS capabilities built into them, but, any phone would have difficulty getting a GPS fix in those conditions.

I just tried it. You’re right. (I usually don’t leave the GPS Test app on, so I didn’t notice before today.) But the Nexus had a 3-D fix again 3 seconds after I took it out of my pocket. I’m guessing that’s why my photos have all had geotags.

Message an
Expert customer