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Map My Tracks blog

Internal GPS vs. external GPS receivers

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Over the past month we have been testing a number of phones with internal and external GPS receivers with some great results. Both types result in some very accurate results due to the way that we have set up Map My Tracks Mobile.

One of the main factors for phones with internal GPS receivers is that it it takes a lot longer for it to acquire enough satellites to track accurately. On most occasions internal GPS receivers take around three to four minutes to complete its GPS cycle. By comparison an external GPS receiver generally takes around 20 seconds to one minute to acquire a position. Curiously, the second time an internal GPS receiver is used it acquires a position much quicker in around 30 seconds.

To ensure that a complete track is recorded this lag needs to be taken into account when you wish to start tracking. Due to the variable time, to get an accurate position, it was often useful to spend a couple of minutes before needing to track to have the phone pick up its GPS location. This isn’t a problem with external GPS receivers as they are able to pick up a good position very quickly.

Round of golf with a Nokia 6110 (internal GPS)

On this occasion battery life got the better of our test. When starting the track the phone battery was well below half charged resulting in an incomplete track finishing around the fifth hole!

Apart from the fact that my golf is not as good as it should be the track is very accurate. On this occasion it successully provides some insight into my lack of golfing skill!

We’ll be featuring some more results of our recent testing over the coming weeks. Keep up to date with everything Map My Tracks by subscribing to our feed.