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Galaxy S20 series owners report major GPS lock-on issues

Got a Galaxy S20 device and suffering with poor GPS functionality? You're not alone.

Published onMarch 18, 2020

It looks like some Samsung Galaxy S20 series phones suffer from GPS issues too.

The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra packs a ton of features, although it does come with a crazy price tag. Samsung’s high-end device wasn’t without issue though, as reviewers reported focus issues that were subsequently fixed via a firmware update.

Now, it looks like another rather ugly issue is rearing its head as Galaxy S20 series users report issues with locking on to GPS for navigation (h/t: XDA-Developers).

Users on Twitter, Reddit, and the official Samsung forums have all reported that their phones struggle to get a GPS lock-on, with some saying it either never locks on or takes five to 15 minutes to get a fix. We’ve also seen one user claim they couldn’t get a lock-on after an hour of driving.

But what about the ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE GPS issues on the S20 Ultra? 9/10 times I open Waze/Google Maps I get “GPS unreachable” or “GPS signal lost” then gives me a route from where I had been HOURS previous.
— Josh (@apimpnamedgekko) March 17, 2020

Customers have reported swapping their devices out for new ones and still suffering from the issue, suggesting that it’s a wider software or hardware defect rather than one or two defective phones. Some users have also taken to disabling their 5G, using a GPS Locker app, restarting the phone, resetting network settings, and using a different SIM, with varying levels of success.

XDA notes that they haven’t spotted any complaints online about the Exynos models, adding that a staff member’s Exynos phone doesn’t suffer from this issue either. For what it’s worth, our own Dhruv Bhutani reported that his Exynos device didn’t have a problem either. This isn’t definitive proof that the problem is restricted to Snapdragon variants though.

Samsung hasn’t issued a statement on this matter yet, but it’s clearly a problem no matter which way you cut it.

Have you experienced this GPS issue on your Galaxy S20 series device? Give us all the details (i.e. model, region) below!

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