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):
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.