Yet another major Samsung Galaxy S20 series flaw is spreading like wildfire
Our in-depth Galaxy S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra reviews are in, and shockingly enough (no, not really), it appears that Samsung has done a pretty bang-up job of providing stiff Android-powered competition for Apple's similarly well-reviewed iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max.
Unfortunately, the three new powerhouses are yet another reminder of the fact there's no such thing as perfection in the incredibly competitive mobile industry regardless of how high device manufacturers push the prices of their flagship models. If anything, the exorbitant Galaxy S20 Ultra might be even more inherently flawed than its slightly cheaper siblings courtesy of a 108MP camera shooting mode and 100x "Space Zoom" feature that have proven to be decidedly gimmicky and largely useless in real-world scenarios.
Meanwhile, all three members of the S20 family seem to be sharing a growing number of smaller hardware and software issues, the latest of which was actually discovered by a couple of users shortly after the March 6 release, gaining quite a bit of steam on Twitter, Reddit, and the official Samsung Community webpages in the last few days for some reason.
A steady GPS connection shouldn't be a luxury in 2020
GPS tracking is one of the basic features we've been taking for granted for a long time even on the most affordable smartphones, so as you can imagine, it's pretty painful for owners of ultra-high-end Galaxy S20-series devices to admit such a problem nowadays.
That could be part of the reason why Samsung hasn't acknowledged these very serious glitches yet, although we're afraid it's also possible the company is unaware of exactly what's causing the GPS issues or how and when they might be fixed. After all, a credible rumor is calling for the release of a "major" maintenance update in the near future containing patches for overheating while wireless charging, camera app freezing, battery management, and Wi-Fi connection problems.
That means there's no word right now on a solution for eerily similar issues making it impossible to properly use popular navigation apps like Waze and Google Maps. Yes, things are reportedly so bad for many people that getting an accurate location reading and firm GPS lock either never happens or the signal is lost shortly after being found in the first place.
While some users are able to complete the occasional commute without a hitch after employing various tricks and workarounds, like rebooting their phones, turning location services off and on, and even disabling 5G, others simply cannot get the GPS to function properly, be it indoor or outdoor, while driving or sitting still. Even though the issues are not very widespread in the grand scheme of things, they're clearly unacceptable for a flagship lineup of the S20's stature.
By the way, the dozens of complaints splashed across Twitter, Reddit, and Samsung's official forums appear to have one important thing in common. They all come from owners of Snapdragon 865-powered S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra units in North America rather than those rocking "international" variants with Exynos 990 inside. That being said, we have no idea if the GPS issues have a hardware or software-related root cause.
Just the tip of the iceberg
We've already established that flawless phones do not exist... yet, but at the same time, it's natural to expect such insanely expensive devices as the Galaxy S20 Ultra to at least come relatively close to perfection. That's certainly not the case from a number of standpoints, including camera performance, the reliability of the ultrasonic fingerprint scanner, and overall software stability.
Granted, it's not unusual to see the user experience on new phones negatively impacted by a few minor bugs as far as early adopters are concerned. But we're starting to deal with more than a few problems here, and some of them are not exactly minor.
In addition to not being able to use essential apps like Google Maps and Waze to navigate their daily traffic or plan longer travels, many S20 users may find themselves incapable of taking a decent selfie or reliably unlock their $1000+ handsets with the only secure biometric recognition method supported by Samsung. Let's hope the company will at least acknowledge the GPS flaws and deliver a saving software update in the not-too-distant future.