Sunday, June 27, 2010

Android GPS Shootout!

(Upper Left: Motorola Droid, Upper Right: Sprint EVO 4G,Lower Left: T-Mobile MyTouch Slide, Lower Right: T-Mobile G1)

I decided to do a side by side comparision of the GPS function on the T-Mobile G1, Verizon Motorola Droid, Sprint HTC EVO 4G, and the T-Mobile MyTouch 3G Slide.  I used the Android application "GPS Test" by Chartcross Ltd. to do the tests.  Here's a breakdown of the results:

T-Mobile G1Verizon Motorola DroidSprint HTC EVO 4GT-Mobile MyTouch 3G Slide
OSCyanogenMod 5.0.8CyanogenMod 5.0.8Stock OSSlideM
(Table: shows average, minimum and maximum measured times to get a GPS position.)

The time I measured was the time it took from turning on the GPS to the time that the GPS Test application showed a non-zero figure for accuracy.  All phones were tested from a fresh boot with no applications running that use GPS and weren't tested until they had been on for 20 minutes.  The most surprising result here is that the G1 seems to significantly outperform the other phones in the time it takes to get an initial GPS lock.  Since these tests were all performed during the course of 1 hour, I suspect that more valid results would be obtained from daily tests, over say, the course of a month - I don't think I'm going to do that...  There seemed to be no real variability between the accuracy in feet measured by the phones - they all fluctuated between 5-9 satellites in view and 6.6ft to typically no more than 52.5 feet in accuracy.  This test answered the question I was asking myself, which was "is there any real difference in the GPS performance of these phones?"  I'd say the answer is "no" because the results are close enough to each other that, when you take into consideration all of the factors at play with GPS, there isn't really a big difference between these phones.  I look forward to any thoughts from readers in the comments.

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