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.

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