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NanLaew

Compass app on android

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My first venture into android smartphones went with google's own Nexus range to begin with, then LG for a one-off, Samsung for a couple more and more recently ASUS. Recently, I need to install a compass app on the 2-3 year-old ASUS C and was surprised that it wasn't supported. One app installed but did nothing and another similarly installed OK but gave a message like "magnetic sensor not found." Maybe my ASUS 'magnetic sensor' is broken but maybe some lower-range phones do not have native compass support? I have never seen it mentioned in any phone spec so my assumption based on earlier experiences was they all have them.

 

Anyone with more experience of what hardware is installed can advise? I need a new phone anyway but it needs to  have compass support, like the older ones I had.

 

Thanks,

NL

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The lower-end phones don't have many of the sensors. If your device has a GPS chip, it will show direction but only when in motion over a distance.

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27 minutes ago, RichCor said:

The lower-end phones don't have many of the sensors. If your device has a GPS chip, it will show direction but only when in motion over a distance.

Yup, I live and learn. The Zenfone C bought 2 years ago was discounted to (I think) around 3800 baht when I bought it. Just compared the Samsung Galaxy J7 Pro and the ASUS Zenfone 3 on lazada, both are compass-enabled and both around 7 k to 8 k baht. That's about the top of my needs and budget.

 

The guy I am working with is having his introduction to android with a new Samsung S8 which is very spendy but he got it on a sweet deal from an Aussie provider. He is stunned and amazed with what it can do after years of being a Crackberry guy... and he has a compass that works so we won't get lost in the jungle!

Edited by NanLaew

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If you haven't already bought your phone, you might wish to look at the Xiaomi A1.  I think it is around 7000 baht on Lazada now, and is one of the best phones I have ever carried.  It has the magnetometer sensor you want for the compass.  Other pluses besides cost: Android One. I have owned the phone for 4 months and it has had 4 security updates and an OS update to Oreo and has almost ZERO bloatware that cannot be uninstalled, unlike Samsung. Quality build: The phone feels solid, and is not made with plastic like the lower end Samsung phones. Has HD screen that is quite nice.  4GB RAM, 64GB ROM: Most phones in this price range offer 2 or 3GB RAM and 32GB ROM.

 

I carried Blackberry phones all through my later working life, and continued carrying them until they just stopped being relevant.   I then bought a Sony Experia that lasted only 18 months and then a Samsung J5 that was totally loaded with bloatware, had less memory and was plastic, yet cost about the same as the A1.  I bought my wife an iPhone 6s that lasted just 14 months (2 months out of warranty) of light usage before it bricked itself.  Suffice it to say I've been a bit unhappy with the hit and miss quality and software of phones today.  So that should give you an idea of how different it is for me to recommend ANY phone. 5555

 

I am not associated with Xiaomi nor any phone seller/manufacturer.  I am just a happy customer blown away with the price/performance ratio of this phone.  I liked it so much I bought my wife a Red one for New Years. :D 

 

In any event: chok dee!

--KB

 

Edited by KBTexas

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On 2/3/2018 at 3:24 PM, KBTexas said:

If you haven't already bought your phone, you might wish to look at the Xiaomi A1.  I think it is around 7000 baht on Lazada now, and is one of the best phones I have ever carried.  It has the magnetometer sensor you want for the compass.  Other pluses besides cost: Android One. I have owned the phone for 4 months and it has had 4 security updates and an OS update to Oreo and has almost ZERO bloatware that cannot be uninstalled, unlike Samsung. Quality build: The phone feels solid, and is not made with plastic like the lower end Samsung phones. Has HD screen that is quite nice.  4GB RAM, 64GB ROM: Most phones in this price range offer 2 or 3GB RAM and 32GB ROM.

 

I carried Blackberry phones all through my later working life, and continued carrying them until they just stopped being relevant.   I then bought a Sony Experia that lasted only 18 months and then a Samsung J5 that was totally loaded with bloatware, had less memory and was plastic, yet cost about the same as the A1.  I bought my wife an iPhone 6s that lasted just 14 months (2 months out of warranty) of light usage before it bricked itself.  Suffice it to say I've been a bit unhappy with the hit and miss quality and software of phones today.  So that should give you an idea of how different it is for me to recommend ANY phone. 5555

 

I am not associated with Xiaomi nor any phone seller/manufacturer.  I am just a happy customer blown away with the price/performance ratio of this phone.  I liked it so much I bought my wife a Red one for New Years. :D 

 

In any event: chok dee!

--KB

 

I'm a Xiaomi fanboy as well...great value phones.

The Xiaomi A-1 phone mentioned above is also available to fondle at Fortune Tower, Bangkok.  "Memory House" on the 2nd floor, about halfway down the corridor has them in stock.  Salesperson quoted me B7400

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On 2/9/2018 at 5:46 PM, dddave said:

I'm a Xiaomi fanboy as well...great value phones.

The Xiaomi A-1 phone mentioned above is also available to fondle at Fortune Tower, Bangkok.  "Memory House" on the 2nd floor, about halfway down the corridor has them in stock.  Salesperson quoted me B7400

Looks like a really good value phone but the gsmarena website indicates that is doesn't have a compass.

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Then I assume the website is wrong or Xiaomi releases different hardware in different parts of the world as I am running a compass app on mine and it works correctly. My A1 has an AK09918 magnetometer and the app uses it and is as accurate as my lens compass.  It does not have a NATIVE compass app so you need to download one from the Play Store. I use the Compass Steel 3D app which works and doesn't have ads. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.simplywerx.compass3d&hl=en Some people report it stops working for them, but so far I've had no issues with it on my A1 with Oreo 8.0.

 

--KB

Edited by KBTexas

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I think I might see the issue.  On the official website specs, Xiaomi lists the magnetometer as a Hall sensor.  GSMArena does not list the Hall sensor.  So yes, the A1 has a magnetometer, the AK09918 in the case of my A1.

 

Hope this helps. :)

 

--KB

Screen cap from the official Xiaomi website for the A1:

OfficialXiaomiSpecs.jpg.57b14ce433117e2f6cd41a9c19d3af73.jpg

 

Quote

AK09918 is 3-axis electronic compass IC with high sensitive Hall sensor technology

 

... 3-axis magnetometer device suitable for compass application

 

Datasheet for the AK09918:

https://www.akm.com/akm/en/file/datasheet/AK09918C.pdf

Edited by KBTexas

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3 hours ago, KBTexas said:

Then I assume the website is wrong or Xiaomi releases different hardware in different parts of the world as I am running a compass app on mine and it works correctly. My A1 has an AK09918 magnetometer and the app uses it and is as accurate as my lens compass.  It does not have a NATIVE compass app so you need to download one from the Play Store. I use the Compass Steel 3D app which works and doesn't have ads. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.simplywerx.compass3d&hl=en Some people report it stops working for them, but so far I've had no issues with it on my A1 with Oreo 8.0.

 

--KB

KB:

Have you found any "Cons" for the A-1?  any particular annoyances?

I'm really looking for an excuse to buy one.

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15 minutes ago, dddave said:

KB:

Have you found any "Cons" for the A-1?  any particular annoyances?

I'm really looking for an excuse to buy one.

The only real con is that Xiaomi doesn't have a store presence in Thailand, so if something does go bump, you are going to have to mail the thing into a service center.  I don't use a phone for high drain things like videos or games, though I do listen to music on it from time to time.  As a result, it fits well with how I use a phone, though may not be good for those who watch videos and play games a lot.  Screen on time is usually 5 to 6 hours, though that varies with usage and at times I can get 7 hours. Like I said, I liked mine so much I bought one for my wife, who was a devout Apple iPhone fan.  So far she has only complained about a few things that her iPhone/iPad combo could do that the A1 cannot, like passing phone calls to the iPad, but no big deal breakers.  And I look at it like this: this phone is now in the 7k baht range.  I have had multiple 20k+ baht phones die in less than 2 years, and they were most definitely NOT abused.  Even if the thing only lasts a year or two, I am way ahead money wise vs. buying a bloatware loaded Samsung or an overly expensive Apple product.  I bought it for Android One, and so far that has panned out to be worth the risk in buying a phone brand I did not have experience with.

 

A few things I consider above average:

I just charged my phone tonight after 3.5 days, and it took less than 90 minutes to charge from 20%, which is MUCH faster than any of my previous phones. 

The Android One promise has been pretty reliable so far, with security updates and OS upgrades happening regularly.

There are only like 3 programs preloaded from Xiaomi, and two of them are useful: the camera app and a universal remote controller that is actually quite good that I use to control the AC and TV. (the phone has an IR blaster) This is opposite Samsung, where just about every Google program is copied by a Samsung program that does pretty much the same thing that you cannot delete, eating up your RAM. The specs of 4GB RAM and 64GB ROM are good for this price point where most have 2/3GB RAM and 32GB ROM. Without the bloatware, most of that is available to you.

Build quality is very good, better than I expect at this price point. It feels solid and fits the hand well.  It is a LITTLE slippery, but so far I haven't dropped the phone. *knock-knock*

 

Other things not so good:

The camera is just 'functional'  It takes good pics outdoors in good light, but struggles with low light.  I have read that when Xiaomi finally turns on the second Google Photo API that the quality should improve. I guess we'll see down the road.  I am not a 'selfie' person, so it's ok for my uses.

Xiaomi is growing its business outside of China at a rapid rate.  As a result, some of the software updates do sometimes have rough spots in them.  However, this is true for all the manufacturers I think, including Samsung and Apple and Xiaomi does seem to at least try to get the rough spots smoothed over fairly quickly.

 

So the big downside is only IF something goes bump having to send it off for repair or buying a new one.  That being said, Apple was the same with the MBP and iPad...immediately wanting to send them off to Bkk for weeks for minor repair. I fixed them myself.  If something does go bump and the phone bricks, I will definitely buy another one, hopefully far enough into the future it will be the A2 or A3. 5555

 

I hope this helps.  It may be more than you wanted to know, but hey, it's my honest opinion on the phone. :)

 

--KB

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I hope it helped you.  As I said, I never used a Xiaomi product before the A1 and I am just a happy customer who is amazed by the price/performance ratio of the phone.  :smile:

 

--KB

Edited by KBTexas

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Thanks KB for comments on Xiaomi; I'm considering getting a new phone, currently got an S5 which is ok but full of bloatware.
I just need a decent camera, & plenty of memory.

 

:smile:

 

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