gps - Does the new Nexus 7 (2013) have a GLONASS sensor?

23
2014-04
  • 0xC0000022L

    According to a colleague who has the new Nexus 7 (2013) model already, there is a GLONASS sensor in addition to the GPS one in the device. Is this true? I was unable to find any reference to this alleged fact in the official documentation and via a casual web search.

    Please state your sources in your answer(s).

  • Answers
  • Compro01

    According to Ifixit's teardown, the Nexus 7 2013 uses the Qualcomm 8064 Snapdragon S4 Pro SoC. Qualcomm's specs show that SoC uses their IZat Gen8A GNSS chipset, which according to their overview does include GLONASS support, though this doesn't necessarily mean GLONASS support is actually active and available in software.

    A simple means to test whether you've got GLONASS is to use GPS Status and Toolbox and see how many satellites it shows for you. If it shows more than 13 satellites, you're getting both GPS and GLONASS.

  • ce4

    The definite answer is yes. I received my Nexus 7 (2013) a few weeks ago and today went outside to catch a few satellites. I'm using GPS Status & Toolbox whose user guide states:

    The sky grid (G) shows the GPS satellites above you as the receiver in the phone detects them. GPS satellites (with IDs 1-32) are represented by small circles while GLONASS satellites (with IDs 65-92) are shown as rectangles. The size of the symbol depends on the signal strength received from that satellite. The color shows what data is available for that satellite and how it is currently used by the phone.

    Emphasis mine.

    Here's the left side of the screen shot I took:

    GPS Status & Toolbox showing GPS and GLONASS sats

    The Nexus 7 model would be the European one, if there are any differences.


  • Related Question

    gps - Does Nexus One have support for EGNOS?
  • Jonas

    I wounder if my Nexus One has support for EGNOS? to get better GPS accuracy. If I check the GPS Accuracy value, it's sometimes 2 or 3m which is pretty good.


  • Related Answers
  • Josh

    I'm going to say no.

    1. From the article you linked, EGNOS is primarily designed for airborne use and has limited ground applications.

    2. EGNOS looks to be designed more for commercial applications (e.g. embedded navigation systems in vehicles, airline, etc.), not so much consumer devices

    3. Nexus One's GPS is provided from the QualCom QSD8250 "SnapDragon" chip (specs). The specs for that chip do not mention any WAAS capabilities. Furthermore, there aren't any Qualcom chips listed on the EGNOS registered devices list.

    If I'm wrong about the chip, then it should just be a matter of software to enable it. I haven't seen anything like that in the Android source, but that doesn't mean it isn't hiding there or in some third party bolt-on.

    What the Nexus DOES use to improve both response time and accurace is A-GPS (Assisted GPS). This basically just means it us using the presence of other location clues (cellular towers, wifi networks, etc) to help triangulate a better/faster position.

    You can see this in action with the Google Maps application. If you have GPS enabled and WiFi disabled and open the maps application, it will prompt you to turn on WiFi, even if you're not connected to a network. It uses a location database of wifi hotspots to help get a fix on your position, similar to Skyhook

  • Paul de Vrieze

    There is actually an EGNOS test application available from the commission. It can be found at: http://www.gsa.europa.eu/go/news/egnos-gets-an-invite-to-your-smartphone. It's not available through the market, but it does work on the HTC desire (so likely on nexus as well)