Samsung Vibrant Suffering GPS Issues? Quick Fix Available?

Quite a few of you have written in with complaints that the Samsung Vibrant is suffering from a GPS issue causing the phone to take forever to lock onto a GPS signal. Along with that, it can lock your signal, but incorrectly place your location and that just isn’t good. The fine folks at XDA developers are on the job and have come up with a temporary fix until Samsung fixes the issue with the next software update. If you aren’t comfortable doing a little tweaking to your phone, we suggest holding off until Samsung handles this or find someone who will fearlessly work your phone for you.

Fix your T-Mobile Vibrant GPS issues:

  1. Disable “Use Wireless Networks”
    1. Navigate to Settings > Location & Security > uncheck the box next to “Use Wireless Networks”
  2. Go to the phone and dial *#*#1472365#*#*
    1. This step throws you into LBSTestMode menu
  3. In the LBSTestMode menu change “Operation Mode” to MS Based
  4. In the LBSTestMode menu, find “SUPL/CP Settings” and change the SERVER & PORT to supl.google.com and port 7276 (DO NOT use www. in front of supl)
  5. REBOOT
  6. Enable “Use Wireless Networks”
    • Navigate to Settings > Location & Security > check the box next to “Use Wireless Networks

Should you want to revert back to your original GPS settings, you’ll need to re-enter you factory specs:

Original settings:
Operation Mode: Standalone
SERVER: www.spirent-lcs.com
PORT: 7275

According to XDA, Samsung is aware of the problem and are looking to fix any issues with the next software update. Until then, for most of you this should provide some relief on an already frustrating issue. Just use caution when doing anything to your phone! We aren’t responsible for your phone ending up as a 4” paperweight.

IntoMobile via XDA Developers

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  • NiiDiddy

    LOL…. “4in. paperweight”…funny :)

    I am yet to experience GPS issues with my Vibrant. I’ll try again today since I’ll need my GPS this morning…and will report back with any issues…

  • Jazz

    I had the same problem with my phone (bought it on the 15th). I called T-Mobile, and I got passed around to 3 tech people (the last one being and “android” tech) and they all said, “oh, we don’t have any information about this being a problem.” All over numerous forums, people are are complaining abou the GPS.

    I tried the fix above and it works, or at least it’s better. Before all I got was “searching for GPS.” Now my navigation pretty much works.

    • NiiDiddy

      @Jazz – really? interesting. got mine of the 15th too…yet to experience any kind of gps issues. i was just playing with my location on maps, then used sherpa just for the heck of it after turning gps on. yet to have any issues. —sorry you did, and i am glad that someone has tried the fix above and it works. if it happens to me, i’ll ave this fix in hand.

    • http://MusicIbe.com KB

      Folks need to understand that the forums and internet tends to get this information sometimes a bit quicker than the official carriers do. Just because you read it, doesn’t mean it’s been made public knowledge altogether. It’s the same with AT&T where Tech Support didn’t know the IOS4 slowed down the 3G models that did the update but it was already “all over the internet”.

  • Macknifetx

    Tried this the other day when I saw it on XDA and made the changes, Rebooted the phone and looked a the settings; nothing had changed. Tried it again today, but still no help

    • Macknifetx

      Finally got the settings to change after reboot. Went into the test options and it took 70 seconds to pick up two satellites. I finally got 4 of them, but then some started dropping from the test, Finally after 150 seconds, I have three satellites stable

  • JustMike

    I did this yesterday, and it seems to help. According to the original thread on the TMO forums, change #4 is actually optional. The fix did not work for me personally until I changed the server and port back to the original values. The important change is to set operation mode to either “MS based” or “MS assist” instead of “Standalone” – this is intended to use the network location to help the GPS get a quicker fix on your location. After making this change the GPS can now determine my position in about 5 seconds, where before it took about 2 minutes. YMMV

    http://forums.t-mobile.com/t5/Samsung-Vibrant/GPS-issues-Please-let-Tmobile-know/m-p/422599#M3874

  • TampaGeek

    Between this and the fact that t-mobile wants to charge me $450 for the phone (with a two year extension), I’m passing on the Vibrant and sticking with my aging G1.

    • Dean

      There’s no way you would get charged regular price and have to renew a contract…it’s one or the other, you are mistaken.

      • http://robert.aitchison.org Robert Aitchison

        Depending on his plan he may not be eligible for equipment discounts, I’m grandfathered under a very old plan which is really inexpensive (even cheaper than Even More Plus) but have never qualified for discounted new equipment whether or not I renew my contract.

      • TampaGeek

        Full price is $499. To get a $50 discount, they want a 2 year extension. so no, I am not mistaken. I have about 3 months left on the current 2 year deal, so maybe they’ll cut me a decent deal after I hit 22 months.

      • tpavey

        13 months into a 2 month contract I got $170… which is actually more discount per month than if I got a full discount down the road. The discounts actually close to prorated at most times over 12 months.

    • Presto117

      yeah, you most definitely have to be mistaken. My 11 month old contract allowed me a price of $389 on the Vibrant. There’s definitely something wrong. Your price right now should be in the $200′s.

    • VitaminV

      I would go to another retail store, if I were you. I am not even at 22 months until Nov. and I have the Unlimited Loyalty Plan or whatever they call it. They offered me the $199 price and BOGO Mt3G for the fiancee…no harm in asking.

    • Claude

      The $450 on the T-Mobile website for upgrade is probably incorrect. It wss that price for me too until I called. You need to call customer service or visit a corporate store to get the correct price.

  • Zero1

    Yeah I was using my gps yesterday and it took a while to lock on to me and once it did oit would drop me.got very annoying real quick

  • watbetch

    This fix does nothing for GPS performance. I put my phone back on the stock settings and it performs the same. This is something only Samsung can fix, folks..

    Also why would you call customer service to ask them about what they know? Don’t you realize that they probably know less than you know about the phone?

  • claysu

    I’ve had GPS and Signal problems ever since I got the phone and I’m kind of annoyed that Everyone at TMobile (whether it is a store or technical support) says that this is the first they’ve heard of the issue. Come on. It has been on the forums since the first day. I’m wondering if they are saying this just because they’ve received so many calls and want time to fix the problems. I still have no bars or 1 for the majority of the time and they said to wait a couple of days to see if things changed. If nothing changes I’ll at least send this one back.

    • watbetch

      They must ALL know about it since it’s been “on the forums!”

      I have no bars sometimes too but I don’t sweat it like you do because my calls an data still work.

      • claysu

        Most of my stuff does work actually, so I’m not freaking out, but I do want a phone that works if I paid a pretty penny for it. Does your IheartRadio App work, mine did not. And My GPS has been spotty.

      • Davidohio

        Unless they don’t read the forums

      • http://www.stephencondra.com zephyr757

        You know, you’re right. I work in tech support for a major camera company, and that’s the number one thing that people say, “I saw it on several forums and so that means it’s a widespread problem.”

        We don’t live on all the forums. Sorry. We don’t see all of the issues that you think we do. We support MANY products and just don’t have the time to research every little problem that you might come across with your specific device.

        Another point is that even if you DO see it in a forum, it’s not always reported to the manufacturer of the product (i.e., Samsung or T-Mobile in this case), so bitching about it online is getting you nowhere. If you have a problem with your device, call and report it, otherwise nobody will ever know, and a fix will never be made for it.

        /end rant

    • jscarano

      I sometimes have one bar or none and still can make calls and cruise internet just fine.

    • Bill

      I work for T-Mobile tech support and it sometimes takes weeks, even months for something to become a known issue. Don’t blame the reps for the lack of information the company give them. I have exchanged the Motorola Cliq countless number of times for the keyboard backlight going out and it is still not a known issue. Just be patient. If enough customers complain and there is a lot of press, there should be a higher priority on this.

    • j

      Well seeing how forums are for whiny people it is no surprise they haven’t seen them as they DON’T go on them! It has been out what 2 weeks, if people don’t call and goto forums for other peoples opinions how the hell will they EVER know?? Forums are for people with some tech know how not the average person. Tech support only has info for issues that arouse during development and do what they can for all other issues. GPS is line of sight and has nothing to do with carrier

  • JustMike

    Regardless what the bars say, the Vibrant seems to be able to pick up and maintain usable signals much better than my old G1.

    • JustMike

      Oops.. that was supposed to be a reply @claysu

  • Getreal

    Noticed that when I was playing around with it. I am going to return my AT&T iPhone and wait for tmobile’s. iPhone is better than vibrant in my opinion.

    • timmyjoe42

      Have fun waiting.

    • j

      Why cause Steve Jobs(aka TOOL) says so? He used a BAD antenna design and blames it on how your holding it< the goes on to say other devices have same issue. Well Mr. Jobs, you are totally wrong and a complete and utter MORON. Iphone, yes is a nice device but why is it just now getting MMS and other features that have been every cell phone for several YEARS??? Iphone is a toy, BB is a business tool, android is a toy that can do many things and a little more of a business phone versus iphone, windows mobile is a business device . Iphone is not better then vibrant, is a push I would say, vibrant 16GB internal up to 32GB external, iphone up to 32 GB internal and cannot pull battery. Both phones are easy to use and have tons of apps, so yes it is a push

  • http://flavors.me/davidmnoriega David

    I cant get this gps fix to work for me >_< spent an hour on the balcony and no go. As for signal I think everyone is just more sensitive since the iPhone thing. For those who want to know, the antenna is next to the volume rocker. You can tell when the back case is off, looks like its own component.

    • j

      NO vibrant antenna is the bump on the back, and before you ask, yes I have a vibrant and have held my hand over it completely and had NO signal lose what so ever

  • ChocolateLatter

    For some reason, when i checked the prices for phones on early upgrades, it said i could get the Vibrant for around $160 , but when my mom tried, shes already passed her contract but the Vibrant would be $450 for her. Anyone else getting the same price ?

    • Tamk3

      I got mine for 165…was delivered on tues and afi far no issues with the GPS

    • Tamk3

      I got mine for 165…was delivered on tues and so far no issues with the GPS

    • http://robert.aitchison.org Robert Aitchison

      Her plan may not be enough to qualify her for equipment discount.

    • Wanted One

      I had the exact same thing. When it came out, I was shown the $165 price online, so I went to the store the next day thinking I could get the same price. The store told me it would $250 minus a $50 rebate.

      Next day went to order it online and it shows $499 – $50 rebate for me, even though I am upgrade eligible. Been on the phone 3 times with TMobile and while they admit the pricing is wrong, they really won’t do anything but put in a “Tech Support” ticket. The price for my 2 lines that are not upgarde elogible is actually less then the 2 lines that have an upgrade (it shows a $439 prce for those lines). They tell me the price is “subject to change” but can not explain why I get different pricing from what was shown before or what even they say it shoulkd be, $250 – $50 rebate.

      The other odd thing is my account still shows an option to put the entire amount on my next bill, which TMobile said I should not have that option showing. Now I am just hacked off with the whole experience.

    • claysu

      I got my early upgrade for $164.99 online.

  • jlaigo2

    I have had no problems after 3 days. Now I did read on xda at one point that someone replaced an older SIM card and it fixed several problems they were having.

    • JV

      I replaced a really old sim card with the latest and greatest and it did absolutely nothing. Reception could be better but I’ve only switched to Edge twice. The bars are absolutely incorrect.

  • pantlesspenguin

    I’m a noob @ anything revolving tweaking, whether it be on my phone or computer. This seemed like a fairly easy fix, so I went ahead & did it on Sunday (when I researched the problem after noticing my GPS wouldn’t lock on my location). It’s worked perfectly ever since.

  • JR

    I don’t think this GPS issue is across the board. My GPS locks on right away and is spot on with my location.

  • StuckInTexas

    I did the fix and it certainly helps with getting a position, but it still puts the position of my house roughly 150ft away in the middle of a pond. Have not used it much for navigation, so it may do better. Didn’t really get the phone for gps, have a Garmin that works really well.

  • Dre

    I did the quick fix and it worked like a chaRM

  • db

    I did this last night and it fixed my problem.

  • Nathan

    I haven’t had any problems with my GPS. I’ve specifically tested it because of all the bad feedback it had gotten, but It’s picked up quickly and accurately for me unless I’m inside of a beefy building.

  • http://www.youtube.com/thisguyjohn ThisGuyJohn

    I didn’t ever have an issue, but with the “fix” it does a better job at locating me.

    Love my Vibrant, can’t say that enough :3

    • Macknifetx

      So, tell us what you really think of the Vibrant……Don’t hold back. LOL. I have to agree this is an awesome phone.

      • http://www.youtube.com/thisguyjohn ThisGuyJohn

        LOL Yea man, it’s a ridiculous step up from the G1 and because of Swype, who really needs a slide out keyboard?

        btw, are you going to encase your phone? I’m definitely planning on getting one of those Zagg screen protectors, but still wondering if I should get maybe a nice silicone/rubber case in case I ever drop it. (oh so rare, but devastating when it eventually happens)

  • Johnny

    The boys at xda come through again awesome!!!

  • badbob001

    So prior to the ‘fix’, getting a GPS fix would be as fast as other non-network-assisted GPS units like the bluetooth connected kind that were popular prior to superphones?

  • ItsMichaelNotMike

    I provided a detailed explanation of what these programmer/developer codes are and how they work, if you are interested in more detail.

    While I have about 48 codes (some that will get you into big trouble) on XDA I provide one for you, how to change the functionality of your power on/off key.

    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?p=7293120#post7293120

    • Dashi

      Big Trouble How? O.o I Am Intergiued xD

      • ItsMichaelNotMike

        You can reformat the chip and not have anything to put back on it, such as a ROM. You can render the camera inoperable. You can delete drivers operating various features. You can change settings to where it’s the same as fooling with the Windows Registry, to where the phone stops working. :)

  • Sunny

    Just return it while you can.

  • jshin

    Xda has a few working ports of Android to work on the Hd2! I have been using the Desire port v5 as my day to day OS for 2 days straight. No crashes and it runs nearly as fast and smooth as my wife Vibrant. if you have an Hd2 I would strongly suggest u start following the progress over at xda. Still not working, gps,camcorder,and a few other minor things.

  • Darkknight49

    I tried the fix to see if it would help but for me it seemed to make things worse so I went back to original settings. Was ankle to lock in to several satellites but accuracy was off

  • Gabe

    So just did this and I have this Adv Task Man and noticed that before doing this “fix i was averaging 117m once all of my apps were killed i did this and once all my apps are killed it goes all the way up to 168m of memory. Any one know why this changed by so much?? Definitely freed up ROM Space

    • tipsofme

      Noticed a major jump in available memory also. Major plus to this fix! Thank you xda!

  • oumerch

    This fix definitely worked!

  • itch

    Hate to say it but Wal-mart is selling the Vibrant for $145.00 Anyone besides me havind issues getting a signal inside my house? By the way tech support told me the phone will surf with wifi but you cannot makes calls using wifi. I know this as It will not work with our tmp wifi. Any suggestions

  • Brandon

    Same issue for me and the fix worked!

  • watbetch

    Leaving the phone on Spirent, increasing the accuracy to 100 and leaving Dynamic Accuracy off gives me a lock in about 1 minute at 6-7 meters of accuracy. Still not good, but it was better than this fix for me.

  • Vicosphi

    Thanks for the link for the fix tmonews!
    My vibrant would not lock onto GPS for 2 minutes now it locks on in 30 secs. in google maps. Copilot does not lock for 3 minutes though…hopefully Samsung fixes these 3 issues:
    1) GPS not locking
    2) Inaccurate signal bars
    2) Oversaturated pictures is day time

    • mailman13877

      smfh and that’s better than the Evo,Droid X and Iphone 4??? no way jose..Evooo ftw

      • Davidohio

        Mailman, please go and jump off a bridge.

    • j

      Well my vibrant locks on instantly, gets great signal and takes great pics outdoors. Try learning your phone first and read your phone manual, before believing forums posts are major known issues. 55% of issues on forums are easily resolved as are USER ERROR!!!!!!

  • CUrb

    Does anyone know if the Samsung Vibrant will have the really cool docking Station like they show in the Samsund Galaxy S Promo?

    I was really excited for that, and I just don’t see it anywhere. I know there are several versions of this handset nationally and internationally, but I was really hoping for this when I decide to get my upgrade.

  • TheAnalyst

    I had the GPS issue and used the XDA fix two days ago. No problems since.

  • mailman13877

    smfh the vibrator sux balls..Evo doesnt have all those issues..Evooooo..ftw

    • BeverageNinja

      LOL, you’re still here?

    • j

      Gee vibrant doesnt have a screen leak but the EVo does, EPIC FAIL mailman. Besides these are not issues as my vibrant doesnt have any of them and are only a few people here that do

  • theBIGmack

    Honestly, I’ve been using the navigation and google maps without any issues for about two days now. I have not tried any “fixes” either.

  • Vicosphi

    @theBIGmack, How long does it take for your phone to acquire satellites?

    • theBIGmack

      @Vicosphi: It takes about 2-5 seconds depending on where I am, though when I’m inside my office it takes about 10 secs.

  • ZappedC64

    Silly question… I have not “noticed” any issues with my Vibrant GPS, but how do check how many satellites you are locked on to and the signal strengths?

    -=ZappedC64=-

  • Charles Xavier

    might this have something to do with the data network? It does play a role too ya know

  • Skilzzzzz

    I unlocked this phone and my gf is using it for att it is showing a 3g signal is it b.s cause people are saying it don’t have att 3g bands?

    • j

      No they are saying iphone does not have bands for tmobile, tmobile always has all bands

  • Sheppydog

    I have had the phone since last friday and have used the navigation for 4 days this week commuting with no issues or problems. GPS is locked in all the time except indoors but available right away when I get into the vehicle. It also uses my GPS for my weather info and that updates every 15 min all day.

  • Jay

    My vibrant has been showing many other issues that Tmobile should fix. Tmobile got the tendency of taking for ever with phone fixes.

  • Vicosphi

    Guys, I compared two vibrants side by side and one of them gps locks in 10 secs. other one it locks in 5 minutes…I tested them both without the fix.
    With the fix the one that took 5 mins. took about 2 to 3 minutes in copilot.
    I am suspecting its an hardware issue since both phones are running the same exact software/firmware….now that is scary :|

    • watbetch

      Are you sure that other one isn’t using “wireless networks” for it’s location based services?

      • Vicosphi

        Nope, the one that locks in 10 sec. is using standalone mode gps only with no assistance from wireless services

      • watbetch

        Yep, you’re right. I swapped my phone out and I got a GPS lock within seconds.. and under 10 meters within 10 seconds. Sucks for sure.

        The only thing that is different is that I haven’t rooted yet. What about your Vibrant’s?

      • Vicosphi

        No, I haven’t rooted them yet either. I like it the way it is since its got great hardware and it hardly ever lags.
        Also, trusting Samsung’s august commitment for Froyo ;)
        Did you exchange your phone with Tmo?

      • watbetch

        I rooted my phone and GPS is still as good as it was out of the box so I know that’s not causing the issue. Yeah I got an exchange, works great now.. the best thing about this is the fact that the fix is /quick/. It has to be quick or Android starts to panic. Much like when an app stops responding.

    • jscarano

      I just got my phone from tmobile.com could I exchange it for another vibrant in store? My GPS is acting funky too.

      • watbetch

        You’d have to call telesales to arrange for an exchange

  • VIBRANT/HD2 USER

    my VIB gets gps connection in 2-3 sec with no hack or fix, guess I got a good one.

  • Kana11

    I might if I can get it with a data only plan. I only like it for the I-pod features, along with the abbilty to go online. I know other devices have MP3′s on them, but my car audio systems work w/ Ipod. That is my reason I would get one.

    • watbetch

      It’s $50 a month for a data only plan but it can be had at a discount I might add. $50 a month for data stings a bit though..

    • j

      ipods are so outdated, never had one and I don’t see any need to get one

  • http://twitter.com/thematteo matteo

    i updated with these settings and it worked for me. it was really annoying that i couldn’t check in properly with 4square. haha. thanks for the fix!

  • swehes

    I did this and the GPS still can’t lock in. However the Wireless Triangulation is working. So I guess I better go and check and see if it is a hardware issue as well. I will go over to the T-mobile store on Monday.

  • sikkboy

    Anyone else having an issue with the browser force closing? If I allow the browser to use GPS for location based services then it force closes. If I turn the option off and only allow location services from “wireless networks” then browser stays open. This usually happens on the google homepage when it starts to acquire my location.

  • johnsma4

    Late to this since my phone just arrived yesterday but I did the fix today and gps found my exact location on Maps in about 2 seconds. Thanks!!!! Love the phone.

  • Merck

    mine takes a while for gps to lock indoors. But locks in quick and works perfect outside. love this phone!