Samsung Galaxy Tab A & GPS without WiFi

I recently purchased a Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 (model SM-T350) to run offline Google Maps, Gaia GPS, and AllTrails. The specs say it has GPS, Glonass, and Beidou, plus it offers “GPS only” as a Locating Method. After a frustrating hour, Samsung Tech Support said that it needs to be connected to WiFi for the GPS to work(?). Has anyone found a successful workaround, and if not, any tablet recommendations under $300?


High-Tech Redneck
Woah, what?

I have a Tab A 10 and it's awesome. GPS works great.

Is GPS enabled? You can turn it on and off just like WiFi and Bluetooth, swipe that panel down a second time for more buttons. The GPS icon looks like a teardrop with a circle inside it. (A waypoint bubble.)

Make sure it has all it's software updates for Android as well.
GPS is enabled. And all of the minor updates were done the first time I turned it on. Super frustrated because I saw how many people loved the Tab A. Maybe it’s a size/model issue?
I have a Tab A 10", and an S2. I keep the Wifi off at all times (airplane mode). The GPS works just fine. There's something else wrong.


What mapping software are you using to test or how are you testing the GPS functionality? I know you listed three above but it was worded as intent.

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I tested all 3 on the Tab A. Samsung is adamant that the SM-T350 GPS will not work without WiFi. When you guys swipe down, does your waypoint icon say "GPS" or "Location?" Mine says "Location." Which specific 10" models are you guys using? And anyone out there have luck with an 8" model, and if so, which specific one? I was leaning more towards the 8" because it's big enough to use, but small enough to use a temporarily mount on a Frontier.


Like others I have the Samsung ATB A 10.1 and it works great for real time mapping. It is GPS enabled with no WIFI. Wifi would be useless for mapping anyway since many times you don't get a signal.

If you swipe down and get the operation icons with the wifi, location, sound, Bluetooth etc symbols is the location symbol on (mines blue in color when on and grey when off)
Is airplane mode off?
Under "settings" (the gear icon) "connections" is "location" high accuracy "on"? Not sure this matters or not.
Are you in a place where a GPS signal is receivable? IE not in a basement or apartment?
If you down load any other type of map that will show your location does it work?
That's all the help I can offer.
Other than that Google might be the best help.
I think my questions aren't coming across as clearly as I want them to. I have used my iPhone on airplane mode for offline Google Maps, Gaia GPS, and AllTrails, in Colorado, Utah, and the Northern Woods of Maine; I also had an iPad with me, loaded with the same apps, but realized the hard way that it didn't have a GPS chip. I am looking for a tablet with expandable memory to do the same thing, and prefer an 8" screen, as it is functional to search and temporarily mount. I purchased a Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 (model SM-T350) to run the same apps, using GPS only. I understand how to turn on/off the icons from the swipe-down menu, how to modify the location accuracy, and have tried the tablet in multiple locations without success. I was looking for more technical answers as to whether anyone has been able to get a model SM-T350 GPS to work while not on WiFi, perhaps adding a puck? I've tried everything I could find on Google, Samsung wasn't any help, so I decided to ask here, as many people here have figured out things like this. The images above are screen shots of Gaia GPS, with High Accuracy on, without WiFi, and with WiFi. I can't make any technical sense as to why I can't get the GPS to function correctly. If the SM-T350 won't work, I'd appreciate recommendations for tablets that do not need to be connected to WiFi, nor a wireless service provider.

Hopefully this made more sense, and thanks for the patience. I still love my old school maps, but there's nothing like knowing exactly where you are, down to a couple yards!


I have the Tab A 7" and it works perfect offline. I've had it for probably 3 years, maybe the newer models don't?


Tail-End Charlie
If the unit has a GPS receiver, then the only reason it should need Wi-Fi is if an app needed to phone home for some reason. Like downloading maps.

Or, if Samsung configured the OS so that GPS won't work at all without Wi-Fi enabled, in which case I'd return it.

Still, if the GPS works with Wi-Fi enabled...I'd wonder if it works with Wi-Fi enabled but not connected to any access point. Could be a workaround.


Just picked up a SM-T380 (the 2018 8" tab a) on Friday for just this purpose. Loaded Gaia, downloaded a couple maps, turned off WiFi and hit the road. Worked like a charm even under heavy cover.

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