Sony Ericsson confirms GLONASS navigation support for new Xperia range

by XB on 22nd January 2012

in Xperia active, Xperia arc, Xperia ion, Xperia Neo, Xperia PLAY, Xperia Pro, Xperia ray, Xperia S


GLONASS XperiaThe Sony Ericsson developer team has confirmed that both the Xperia S and Xperia ion handsets will support the GLONASS navigational system. In fact, it appears that some of the 2011 Xperia range (Xperia arc, Xperia arc S, Xperia ray, Xperia neo, Xperia pro, Xperia PLAY, Xperia active and Live with Walkman) also have GLONASS support with the latest software update.

So what is GLONASS exactly? Think of it as the Russian version of the US-controlled Global Positioning System (GPS). If a handset supports both GPS and GLONASS receivers then it has access to a greater number of satellites it can latch onto, improving tracking accuracy in the process.

The Global Positioning System currently has 31 active satellites transmitting signals, whilst GLONASS has 24 active satellites. Therefore, having access to both systems gives you access to 55 satellites overall. This should in theory give you greater accuracy, with both systems complementing each other. From Sony Ericsson’s own research, they found that position accuracy increased by 50% when using GLONASS in addition to GPS.

This all sounds great, but we imagine it would have an obvious hit on battery life as you are activating two receivers instead of one. To combat this, SE says that the GLONASS receiver is only activated in challenging environments such as urban environments with high rise buildings. It’s great to know that the older 2011 Xperia handsets also have GLONASS support, as well as the newly announced handsets.

Via SE Developer Blog.

  • Tarekali

    It’s the russian version but controlled by america….? so what? It’s made by russia but then they handed it over to the americans to control it, i dont get it. is it russian or american?

  • dacha

    GLONASS is russian type of GPS. It is NOT controlled by america. It is said that GPS (american) has better accuracy in equatorial area, while GLONASS has better accuracy in polar areas. In time both systems will work the same, and are controlled by corresponding sides.

  • No, they’re saying that GPS is controlled by the US government, whilst GLONASS is controlled by Russia. It could be phrased a little clearer though!

  • Anonymous

    This perhaps explains why my Xperia Arc S’s GPS is the best I have ever used, it’s REALLY quick to lock on, works in buildings, and even locks on better than my car’s satnav which is 10x bulkier.

    As always, Sony just gets it’s right for a few £££ more.

  • M Usman

    so does this mean I already have this on my Xperia Arc on the latest FW or will this be released in the next major GB update? This should work with google maps, copilot etc? or will I need a specific navigation app?

  • Anonymous

    We’ve rephrased the sentence to hopefully make it clearer!

  • Xperia S pre-order in France : http://www.expansys.fr/sony-xperia-s-32gb-black-227837/

    Sorry, I didn’t know where tell you that.

  • Anonymous

    You already have it. I have always had it on my Pro (getting fixes on satellites with IDs in the 80s)

    It is transparent to the user in most apps, but if you install certain GPS apps they will tell you the satellite IDs that are detected (I use GPSEssentials, and another app is mentioned on the SE blog). If the ID is between 65 and 88 it is GLONASS, if less it is GPS.

  • Anonymous

    It’s already running, I have 4.0.2.A.0.42 firmware and I can see it working..

    You can test it yourself by downloading the GPS Test App ( free : https://market.android.com/details?id=com.chartcross.gpstest ) and see the number below the signal bars, any number between 65 and 88 is a GLONASS satellite… ( see this from SE Dev blog, http://developer.sonyericsson.com/wp/files/2012/01/GPS_Test_application.jpg )

    Currently I’m in work wheres the iron structure of the building make it so hard to see any GPS signal, with my old Satio I can’t see any single sat at all, with my Arc before I have to wait several minutes to have a lock duo to weak signal.. now it’s only matter of 1 minutes or less to have a lock even thought it’s not accurate ( 151 meters !! and 7 satellites with 4 used… ) but in my car I can get it normally fast with high visibility and more than 20 sats with accuracy improved by 3 – 4 meters ( from 10+ to 7-9meters ) this is compared the first days when I had the phone ( no GLONASS ).. talking about signal inside my car… I didn’t test it in open area yet…

  • Fc1112

    ??????????????

  • Pingback: Erster Erfahrungsbericht vom Xperia Pro - Sony Ericsson Xperia Pro - Android Forum()

  • tymodmyt
  • Pingback: Glonass navigation | Digitalwalmart()

  • Nordline O

    Glonass is works? Ho ho! Mk16i = Xperia Pro: GPS Test + Navitel (Russian GPS + Glonass; autonomous navi program). Firmware version – 4.1.B.0.587 – ??? /Russian/, Kernel – StockPlus Kernel – .587 ROOT+INIT.D+CWM
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