Very poor GPS reception


Like others have reported, I’ve been experiencing terrible GPS reception on my fairphone 3+ for a while. I’m not saying it takes time to “lock”, which is expected, but that it’s not usable at all. It will intermittently locate me in a large radius, then completely lose the lock for a long time. For instance, it’s impossible to track a run with any app.

I expect my FairPhone to be repairable, so what should I order and replace in it? I already asked in a little phone repair shop and they said to just change the whole phone, but I’d like to avoid that. I do need localisation though.

Thanks for your help!

For the module

Can you install the app GPS test and see what its showing?

Which OS in which Version is installed and do have Google Location Accuracy enabled? That helped me when the FP3 GPS didnt work well…

Edit: should you be using e/OS as indicated by the OP on reddit


GPS test screenshot after 5 minutes outside on a clear day:

“No Fix” - that doesn’t sound good, does it?

The phone is my partner’s, and had the issues in the official FP ROM. This is actually one of the reasons why my partner asked me to try LineageOS, to “reset” the phone, “start clean”. (she also had issues taking pictures, which took up to 30seconds+ sometimes, among other things). So LineageOS has been installed for a week only, the issue definitely was present with the FP ROM already.

So, right now Google Location Accuracy thing is not used. (but with the official ROM, it was using the accuracy thing).

The location is just unusable as it is, see an attempt to use it for a run:


I don’t know much about GPS and location stuff in general, but on my 5 yo xiaomi phone, with lineageos, without Google Location Accuracy, it works much better than that when I’m outside.
Also, my partner started complaining about this a few weeks/months ago, but she’s had the FP3+ for 3 years, so it really looks like something got broken at some point. The phone fell on the floor a few times already… Can we repair that? Isn’t that the point of FP? :wink:

You can try to injet PDDS and time data in the GPSTest App, although I would also think its more a hardware issue…

well yes and still it has its limitations

See if ifixit gives you a hint about the antenna and its connections, and if you could try any (advenutrous) self-repair.

1 Like


It’s a bit frustrating since the phone seems to work nicely besides GPS, now. I think all other issues the phone had were related to an external SD card (or the reader?).

I think I’ll give lineageos+gapps a try. There’s no escape from google. :roll_eyes:

Thanks for your replies!

I would expect, if the GPS module seems working, just not getting a fix, that it would be the GPS antenna that is broken, or possible the RF side of the GPS module. It could be software, but I would expect a lot of others to report the same issue. Hope that helps.

I like that antenna theory. Any guide on how to change/fix/…? I’m not much of a hardware guy, but I can use a screwdriver.

This thread may be useful GPS trouble on FP3 (Hardware issue?)

Thanks, I’ve found this thread too. It mentions a “rear module” but I didn’t find in the fairphone shop (or elsewhere). I don’t even know what a “GPS Antenna” might look like. Any idea where I could find more info on the topic?

It seems they don’t sell this as a spare (anymore?) but one of the wiggly metal things on the back of that rear “module” is perhaps a GNSS antenna. I would assume the largest is the lowest frequencies and so covers cellular (700MHz to 2.3GHz), the one to the left of the battery. I would assume the next largest is the next highest frequency and so covers GNSS (1.1GHz to 1.5GHz), the one up near the volume buttons. That makes the smallest antenna, the one down by the USB connector, perhaps the BT/WiFi antenna (2.4 to 5GHz)? I can be wrong …

EDIT: after mucking about with GPS test app looking at the number of satellites and covering the phone antenna areas I am going to say the largest antenna area includes the GNSS antenna, covering that significantly reduces the satellites even to zero, uncovering it regains satellites. The second largest antenna is probably, thinking more about it, the secondary cellular diversity antenna. I suppose a visual inspection might show fractures in the antenna?