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Sony adds Glonass positioning to numerous Xperia phones, cites accuracy benefits

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Sony has revealed support for Glonass positioning in select upcoming and existing Xperia Android handsets


Sony is the latest smartphone manufacturer to sing the praises of Russia's Glonass positioning system, announcing that the technology will see implementation in its upcoming Xperia S and Xperia Ion Android handsets. It turns out this isn't exactly new territory for the company, as a post on its Developer World blog reveals that Glonass is already built-in to select existing devices — specifically those powered by Qualcomm's S2 / S3 chipsets. This brings Sony on par with competitors including Motorola and Apple, which have also integrated Glonass-ready hardware into products like the Droid RAZR and iPhone 4S.

As for the reasons behind embracing Glonass, Sony Ericsson Positioning Specialist Magnus Persson says it's all about improving accuracy and precision. The additional location data offered by Russia's 24 satellites prove a nice complement to the US GPS system (31 satellites), providing extra resources in areas that tend to experience tracking interference due to large buildings and other environmental factors. Sony partnered with Qualcomm to test the technology in San Francisco, finding that with Glonass and GPS combined, accuracy improvements of up to 50 precent could be seen. Better still, Persson claims that Glonass is only active in "problematic locations," remaining unused (and conserving battery life) in areas with adequate GPS reception. We've got the full list of Sony's Glonass-capable devices for you below.