There is one common major problem with Mediatek powered Chinese phones and that is their GPS function. The main cause of the problem is the budget GPS chip as well as the lack of proper routing and implementation of antennas within the phone to facilitate a better signal and fix. Therefore, there are two solutions to go about improving the poor GPS performance. One would be a hardware fix whereby the phone will have to be disassembled to install an extended antenna. The other, which is what this article is going to cover, is a software fix where a few different phone functionalities will have to be activated to improve the GPS performance.

This should improve the poor GPS performance in most Mediatek powered phones (MTK6575, 6577 6589, 6589T etc). I cannot guarantee that it will work for all as it did not for one of my phones that I tried on. Sometimes the GPS chip within your phone might be too poorly implemented for the software fix to correct. Nevertheless, there is no harm trying out the fix as it requires nothing much except a few button presses and a few minutes of your time.

What we will be enabling are functions present within Mediatek’s GPS chips. It basically requires you to use some data (yes data is required) to download the coordinates of the satellites as well as to assist the GPS in locating your location. The two different functions are called A-GPS (Assisted GPS) as well as EPO (Extended Prediction Orbit). To start, enter the following into your phone (as if you were calling someone):

*#*#3646633#*#*

An “application” (EngineerMode) should pop up as soon as you enter the very last “*”. Swipe to the right until you reach the “Location” menu. Select “Location Based Service” and then under the sub menu “AGPS”, enable it. Once done, go to the next sub menu “EPO” and enable it as well. Once enabled, press on the EPO (IDLE) button and it should start downloading some data. It should say “EPO update success” in the Log. If it doesn’t, simply press the button again until it is successful. Once all this is done, hit “back” and go back to the “Location” menu.

Select “YGPS” and go on to the “Information” sub menu. Hit on the buttons “hot”, “full” and “AGPS restart” (in that order). Go back to the “satellites” sub menu and wait till you get a fix. Do be under clear skies for this to work. Once you have a fix, you can start using your GPS proper.

If data is not in abundance, the following steps can be done just once and you can simply rely on your GPS after that. A GPS data file is created in the process and that will help in the GPS performance. With that said, I’m not too sure how long before you have to redo the steps again but do note that you do not need to do this every single time you want to use your GPS. To ensure that you are not using any data, do turn off “AGPS” as well as “EPO”.

As mentioned earlier, this will not work for all devices even if they house the same GPS chip. If the phone does not lock on at all, it might be time to either get a new phone or perform a hardware modification to improve the signals. If you do know of any other ways or methods that helps, do leave a comment and share it.

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GPS is a very handy tool, making sightseeing easier and brilliant for those who work away a lot or people who travel regularly. Mediatek-powered devices can struggle with this feature but the service can be improved by tweaking the setting on your phone. If you have one of the following  running your device this tutorial can help you get the most out of your phone’s GPS: MTK6592, MTK6582, MTK6589, MTK 6577 and MTK6575.

Before you start you need to make sure you have a ROOTED Android phone, uninterrupted internet connection and the GPS Test Application (available from Play Store).

Once you’ve got what you need and you’re ready to get started, these are the steps to a better GPS.

1. First of all enable the Internet Connection on your phone

2. Next go to ‘Settings’ then tap on ‘Google’ then select  ‘Location Settings’ and make sure ‘Let Google apps access your location’ is set to ‘ON’.

How_to_turn_enable_Google_apps_location_access_7

 

3. Choose the option of ‘Location Access’. Make sure that All the options available there are Checked “ON”. as you can see in the image: You can also do get to the same stage by choosing ‘Settings’ and then ‘Location Access’ if you prefer.

Android-location-services-271x480

 

4. Next, in ‘Settings’ go to ‘Location Access’, and open  ‘GPS satellites’. Then you can enable ‘GPS EPO assistance’ as shown in the picture below.

gps-1

 

5. Next go to ‘EPO settings’, which looks like this and set the EPO data to download.

gps-2-16. Now Enable AGPS GPS.

This should mean you have GPS enabled on your MTK device. To check all is well, however, you can test the feature. To do this you need to Install ‘GPS Test’ from the link in the initial instructions at the beginning of the article.

7. If you have it, in the GPS Test App, tap Menu/Settings and check screen always on.

8. Be in your home and start the application and see the bar graph going up and down. You will see something like this

 

gps_test_1_Z42

But if this doesn’t work then try going out and moving around, if these graphs start to move, all is well and you’re good to go. After you’ve completed these steps you should have a capable GPS system and be confident enough to actually rely on it.