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Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Problem Frustrates AT&T Users



A lingering Samsung Galaxy Note 3 problem continues to drive AT&T users crazy ahead of the carrier’s Galaxy Note 3 Android 4.4 KitKat update, an update that could potentially bring a permanent fix to those that don’t want to root.

Last October, AT&T released the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, the company’s replacement for the Galaxy Note 2. The device arrived with a ton of upgrades including better hardware and improved software including new features for the device’s S Pen stylus that comes bundled with the flagship.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is a solid smartphone, one of the best smartphones found on any carrier, let alone AT&T. However, there is an issue on board the AT&T Galaxy Note 3 that is driving current users crazy. It’s also an issue that consumers need to be aware of before buying AT&T’s version of the Galaxy Note 3.

Galaxy Note 3 vs iPad mini 2-5

From November on, we’ve heard complaints about a GPS issue on board the AT&T version of the Galaxy Note 3. We’ve detailed the issue several times though we have never called it out in a piece of its own. Today, we’re doing just that in an attempt to bring attention to a problem that has been lingering for more than 150 days.

The Problem

GPS is one of the most basic features of any smartphone. It’s also a feature that many smartphone users have come to depend on on a daily basis, particularly when traveling. So, it’s easy to see why this issue is so troubling to owners of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 on AT&T. Here is how one AT&T Galaxy Note 3 owner describes the GPS problem:

GPS SIGNAL LOST – Problem occurs when phone switches network, like from 4G LTE to 4G and/or the charger is plugged or unplugged from the phone. Your phone switches from 4G LTE to 4G every time you receive a phone call or make a phone so that’s why some of you lose GPS signal when you receive a phone call.

In other words, Galaxy Note 3 owners on AT&T can’t depend on their smartphone to provide them with a accurate and reliable GPS signal, something that most smartphone owners take for granted.

Users Are Fed Up

There is a lengthy thread on AT&T’s discussion forum where those dealing with the problem have been venting their frustrations. Some claim to have contacted the FCC, others claim to have contacted AT&T and Samsung. In fact, the problem has gotten so bad that one Galaxy Note 3 owner dealing with the problem has started a petition on


Travis Clay, who started the petition, shares his biggest concerns with Gotta Be Mobile. Among them, he’s frustrated with the silence from AT&T, the fact that it has taken 166 days and counting to fix the issue, and the fact that AT&T is still selling the device without alerting customers or its employees on the front lines.


AT&T is aware of the GPS issue affecting its Galaxy Note 3 and it has said that it’s working to identify a fix for the problem. The carrier said back in February that it would release a software update with the fix in the near future though it was careful not to reveal how or when the fix would arrive.

All signs point an arrival on board Android 4.4 KitKat, an update that has already landed for three Galaxy Note 3 models in the U.S. and should be hitting the AT&T Galaxy Note 3 in the near future. The carrier refuses to confirm whether or not the fix will be on board its next major update for the Galaxy Note 3.

Those who don’t want to wait and see have another option at their disposal. XDA-Developer forum member superbfox has come up with a workaround for the issue that involves rooting the phone and replacing the GPS files on board the AT&T Galaxy Note 3 with files from the international Galaxy Note 3. The files work because other Galaxy Note 3 models don’t appear to be affected by the problem.

For now, this is the only permanent fix for an issue that has been driving some AT&T Samsung Galaxy Note 3 owners for around five and a half months.

Galaxy Note 3 vs iPad mini 2-2

Consumers desperately want an official fix from AT&T, but like many problems before it, they must wait. American carriers like AT&T are known for rigorously testing any Android updates to make sure no other problems are introduced. Rather than roll out small bug fixes every month, carriers bundle them together, often with a major Android update.

All AT&T Galaxy Note 3 owners (who refuse to root) can do now is cross their fingers and hope that AT&T delivers with its upcoming Android 4.4 KitKat update.



  1. Badonk

    03/18/2014 at 7:24 am

    Just went to visit family this past Saturday. Drove from Tampa Florida to Daytona Florida. The gps on my galaxy note 3 dropped no less than 30 times. Which while annoying as all hell my girlfriend remedied the issue over and over again by reseting the maps app.
    The real problem arose when reactivation of our route occurred.
    No matter which route she chose the app would get confused and select the only possible route with tolls. It would not get off that route. She eventually had to just read me the directions herself.

    They need to fix the issue ASAP. I paid too much for this phone to have it’s gps die more than your average comic book character.

  2. TheTruthSquad

    03/18/2014 at 8:47 am

    I used ATT once several years ago. They did care if I was satisfied with their service or not so I dumped them Best move I ever made. I use Verizon which I have never had a problem with, especially when I contact Customer Service which is about once a year or two.

  3. angel

    03/18/2014 at 8:58 am

    They are not trying hard enough to fix this issue been over 100+ days.

  4. Monte

    03/18/2014 at 10:00 am

    I’ll be switching to T-Mobile in the near future. I’ve had Verizon (for a VERY long time). They really messed up. I switched to AT&T. Not too happy with them at this point. GPS issues & other glitches. Customer service refuses to admit, or doesn’t know anything. They are late to the party on updates. I’m done with the big boys not walking the walk. It’s a lot of talk. Unfortunately, it’s not cheap.

  5. Joey McNew

    03/18/2014 at 3:36 pm

    Going to Root! Waited long enough and if AT&T and or Samsung decides to service the Issue, I may unroot. Pitiful service!

  6. Greg

    03/18/2014 at 4:57 pm

    I have had my Verizon Note 3 for only a month now and I lost my GPS signal after receiving a phone call while navigating. So this is not just an AT&T issue.

  7. Timothy Lauro (@timothylauro)

    03/19/2014 at 4:26 pm

    I will likely be moving the entire family to Verizon if this isn’t resolved by mid April.

  8. lisarahderLisa

    03/20/2014 at 10:26 am

    Will Kitkat 4.4 also solve these 2 Galaxy Note 3 bugs: (1) audio lag when mirroring moview to Samsung TV dongle, and (2) inability to disable start-up melody.??

  9. Lane Jasper

    03/23/2014 at 12:14 pm

    The face they say they are “rigorously” testing and trying to fix is a load of crap. AT&T needs to release KitKat NOW. I’m about ready to dump them as a carrier after 15 years because they always side step around issues and are the last to push updates.

  10. Billl Madara

    03/23/2014 at 4:08 pm

    Come on AT&T. It was bad enough to be handed a Note 3 and told it was the state of the art smartphone but no one could tell me anything more than how to turn it on. Then after a month of watching videos I was able to actually use it. One of my main reasons for purchasing the Note 3 was because of the GPS. As a volunteer Red Cross disaster response case worker, I am asked to respond to unknown locations. And guess what, most of the time, they are UNKNOWN. UNKNOWN to the GPS. I have found myself having such a delay in my response because I have to pull out the good old fashion maps. If I hadn’t studied cartography in college I would be lost. I’m not one who knows the finer points of how to change things on the smart phone, but I know I purchased an inferior piece of technology when I have to revert to paper maps spread out on the hood of my response vehicle. NOT COOL!!!!!!!!!!

  11. John Mitchell

    04/30/2014 at 11:45 am

    The problem has been fixed! (At least for me!)
    I had the issue since day one and I spent many, many hours trying to figure it out.

    – I reset back to Factory Setting. (GPS worked for 24hours, then back to ‘GPS signal lost’).
    – I replaced the phone. (same as above).
    – I tried turning off 4G-LTE..

    Finally I found the fix, now my GPS works PERFECTLY!

    1. Change your SIM Card !!!
    2. Upgrade to 4.4.2 (KitKat)

    That’s it..

    Since I changed my SIM card I have had zero problems. I’ve tested my GPS in very, very remote areas where my old SIM would have given me at least 10 errors. With my new SIM Card I have had ZERO problems. My GPS worked great!!!

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