Solved Surface 3 LTE GPS

Discussion in 'Surface 3 (Atom)' started by Plantje, Jan 9, 2016.

  1. Plantje

    Plantje Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2016
    Messages:
    310
    Likes Received:
    19
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Zwolle, The Netherlands
    My Device:
    Surface 3 (Atom)
    Hi,

    I am new to the forum, but familiar with the Surface 3. I am thinking of buying a Surface 3 and my current idea is to go for the LTE version. For some reason the hotspot function of my Lumia 930 connected with my Asus T100TA isn't as stable as I would hope it to be. (But that's a different matter)

    Can someone give some insight on the GPS of the Surface 3 LTE? Which chip is used? And especially: how is it performing? I have had an Asus Vivotab RT 3G that had GPS as well. That was nice and all and in the open field staying very still I was able to get a fix on my position in some cases. In a lot of other cases it reverted to the location of the provider of my current internet connection or something like that (hundreds of kilometers off my actual position). Even if I got a fix then getting into the car or train would mean the fix was gone. While my Lumia could maintain my GPS position the entire trip!

    Apart from that I have seen some people mentioning a GPS dongle. If you use that, does it act as a location provider? What I mean with that is: are all apps that are entitled to use your location then entitled to use that GPS device then? So, opening the maps app would mean it can instantly start and use that GPS device?

    Thanks!
     
    wyada3 likes this.
  2. wyada3

    wyada3 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2016
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    My Device:
    Surface 3 (Atom)
    Hi Plantje

    I bought a Surface 3 LTE last week, with the built in GPS feature being one of the main reasons for choosing it. The Surface 3 LTE uses a Broadcom GNSS 47531 geolocation sensor.

    However, in the case of my Surface, despite the device manager telling me the sensor is working correctly, in actual fact it is impossible actually to use it. The pre-loaded Microsoft "Maps" app will determine location reasonably accurately but only if connected either to a wifi or mobile phone network. It won't work if no network is in range, which suggests the GPS signal from the sensor is not being used by the maps app. (By the way I had the same problem with a Dell Windows tablet, and it sounds like you did with the Asus ViVoTab - which makes me think this must be a general problem with Windows tablets that are supposedly GPS enabled).

    None of the third party mapping apps on the Microsoft store (and I have tried "Maps Pro" and "GPS Satellite") will work either. There may be a way of using the GPS signal to determine location ion a Windows tablet, but if there is, I haven't found it and an extensive search of the web suggests that nobody else has either.

    If you want a tablet that reliably works with GPS, I'd recommend a an Apple iPad or iPad mini 3G/4G model. You can buy an external keyboard for it but it will still lack USB connectivity and you can't use a mouse or normal productivity apps. So neither the Surface nor the iPad is perfect, unfortunately, so unless you are prepared to buy both, you have to decide what you are prepared to compromise on. If you want connectivity, a mouse, and proper productivity tools but no GPS, go for the Surface. If GPS is more important, go for the iPad.

    So far I'd give the surface 3 LTE 3 stars out of five. It is very neat, and the LTE connectivity is brilliant - especially if you want to access the web from the train or while travelling in areas with no wifi. It loses stars because the GPS doesn't work, and because it crashes a lot. Outlook 2016 / Windows 10 on the Surface 3 LTE appears particularly non-robust - frequently locking up and re-starting - and there are occasional well documented problems with getting the charger to work, too.

    I'm afraid I have no experience with GPS dongles but my suspicion is that even if they work, you will struggle to find a Windows programme that will use the signal reliably to get a location fix quickly. In that respect, the Apple devices with inbuilt GPS are much better. I use an iPad mini 1 3G with the "ViewRanger" app for all my location / mapping needs and it's simply brilliant.

    Good luck!
     
  3. sharpuser

    sharpuser Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2013
    Messages:
    2,848
    Likes Received:
    1,029
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest & China
    My Device:
    Surface Book
  4. wyada3

    wyada3 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2016
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    My Device:
    Surface 3 (Atom)
    Hi Sharpcolorado

    I've read your posts on the Surface 3 Pro forum with interest. I have a Surface 3 LTE which does have built in GPS. However, none of the apps I've tried (the pre-loaded maps app, maps pro, gmaps, gps satellite) will work. They can all identify my location but only when connected to either a wifi or a mobile phone network. Which makes me think the GPS signal from the GNSS geolocation sensor is not being used. Do you have any thoughts how the GPS signal from the inbuilt GNSS sensor could be used on the Surface 3 LTE?

    Thanks for any advice you - or other readers of this forum - can offer, as I can't resolve it and it's proving to be a real disappointment with the Surface 3 LTE. I want to be able to use it to determine my location in remote spots - for example when out hiking - where there is no mobile phone or wiifi signal. And at the moment I can't
     
  5. rozak

    rozak New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2013
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Is the Geolocation service enabled in services?
     
  6. wyada3

    wyada3 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2016
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    My Device:
    Surface 3 (Atom)
    Hi, rozak, thanks very much for replying. In terms of geolocation services, status is "running" and startup type is "Manual (Trigger Start)"
     
  7. sharpuser

    sharpuser Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2013
    Messages:
    2,848
    Likes Received:
    1,029
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest & China
    My Device:
    Surface Book
    Can't figure out what the problem might be with your setup. Mine reads the same.
     
  8. wyada3

    wyada3 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2016
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    My Device:
    Surface 3 (Atom)
    Hi Sharpcolorado - that's interesting. So can you use your Surface 3 LTE to determine your location when you're not in range of a wifi network or a mobile phone network? If so, what app are you using and what settings, because I can't get my LTE to do this. If you use the "GPS Satellite" app on Windows 10, does it work? Thanks.
     
  9. sharpuser

    sharpuser Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2013
    Messages:
    2,848
    Likes Received:
    1,029
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest & China
    My Device:
    Surface Book
    I have a Surface Pro 3, not Surface 3. And I use the Windows 10 built-in online maps to give me my position, when away from an Internet connection, as in this post I cited above: GPS with Windows 10 on Surface Pro 3
     
  10. wyada3

    wyada3 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2016
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    My Device:
    Surface 3 (Atom)
    Hi, Sharpcolorado. I'm just trying to reproduce the excellent results you get with your Surface Pro and external GPS, using my LTE and its inbuilt GPS. It's frustrating that nobody seems to know how to do this! I'll keep on trying to find a solution but am not optimistic. I've seen various web-posts about "virtual COM port emulators" that seem to be able to force some GPS apps to use the signal from the inbuilt GPS sensor, but it sounds technically complex and a bit messy. I may try that route at some point and will post results here if I get it to work.
     
  11. sharpuser

    sharpuser Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2013
    Messages:
    2,848
    Likes Received:
    1,029
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest & China
    My Device:
    Surface Book
    Have you downloaded any Windows 10 Microsoft maps?
    And what about Google Earth? Menu options on Google Earth are specifically to enable GPS.
     
  12. Telstar1948

    Telstar1948 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2013
    Messages:
    435
    Likes Received:
    78
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Columbia, Missouri
    My Device:
    Surface Book
    What does Microsoft have to say about this issue with the in-built GPS?
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page
does the surface 3 lte have gps
,
geolocation sensor surface 3 lte
,
surface 3 4g gps
,
surface 3 gps
,
surface 3 lte activate gps
,

surface 3 lte gps

,
surface 3 lte localisation gps
,
surface 3 upgrade to anniversary
,
surface 3 with 4g lte and gps
,
windows surface 3 lte gps enabled