How can I tell if a tablet has GPS that will work without a data contract / away from WiFi?

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02-08-2023 04:57 AM
TraceyDixon1
New Contributor

We are looking to buy a collection of fieldwork tablets for Survey123. But it's not clear to me which will be able to automatically record location without data. The participants will be directed to upload results when good WiFi is available. But the tablets should still record the location away from WiFi.

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5 Replies
AndreasHall
Esri Contributor

GPS receivers are not dependent on an internet connection so you can use GPS in offline mode.

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TraceyDixon1
New Contributor

Hi Andreas,

I'd gathered that. I believe it uses a service called something like 'GPS Assist'. My issue is, how can I tell if a tablet HAS GPS? I'm not recognising this in the specifications [unless I'm having a blind moment and missing something obvious]. As we will be purchasing many, just for the project they will be cheaper, rather than whizz-bang, 'of course they have' GPS models.

 

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DavidForbuss1
Occasional Contributor III

What model are you looking at purchasing?  A general rule-of-thumb with iPads is if they are cellular capable, they will have a GPS.  The non-cellular versions are WiFi only.  

TraceyDixon1
New Contributor

Yes, I'd seen that iPads need cellular, but we are steering away from them on grounds of cost.  Will probably be Android. I'm not seeing an easy way of telling if they have GPS on board

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DougBrowning
MVP Esteemed Contributor

Look at the specs and it will list a GPS if it has it.

As stated on all iPads you must have a cell card to get a GPS since they are on the same chip.  All wi-fi only iPads do not have a GPS.

All Samsung wi-fi only tables do have a GPS.  Except maybe some of the super budget Lite models.  They dominate the Android market to the point there is not really much other choices.  The new Active 4 Pro has a dual band GPS giving submeter.  We are still trying to actually get one to test so I cannot say for super sure but the phones with dual band have tested very well for us.  iPads do not have the dual band yet.

Hope that helps