OPPO Find X2, Realme X50 Pro, Samsung Galaxy S20, and iQOO 3 support dual-frequency GNSS for better location tracking
Location services are among of the most useful applications on your phone, not only helping navigate your way but also allowing several apps to tailor features and services based on your location. A lot of these applications and other features like the AR-based Live View in Google Maps require high accuracy in your position. While the traditional Global Satellite Navigation Systems (GNSS) use radio waves of a single frequency to communicate with artificial positioning satellites and may not be very accurate, dual-frequency GNSS are gaining attention for their higher accuracy. A slew of recently launched Android phones which support dual-frequency GNSS includes the Realme X50 Pro, Samsung Galaxy S20 series, iQOO 3, OPPO Find X.
The older, single-frequency GNSS can be inaccurate by 5m. Among the various reasons for this inaccuracy are multipath errors which are caused as a result of GPS signals bouncing off of rigid objects and undergoing a distortion. Dual-frequency GPS rectifies multipath errors by using two signals instead of just one satellite to determine the locations. Therefore, dual-frequency GNSS can estimate your location accurately down to the one-tenth of a meter.
The dual-frequency signals are named after the positioning systems they rely on. For instance, GPS signals in the U.S. and GLONASS signals in Russia use L1 and L5 frequencies for location services on portable devices, Europe Union’s Galileo uses E1 and E5a signals, whereas China’s BeiDou uses B1 and B2a signals.
We tested some of the recently launched phones for dual-frequency GNSS support and discovered that the following support the feature:
- OPPO Find X2 Pro
- Realme X50 Pro
- Samsung Galaxy S20 (Snapdragon)
- Samsung Galaxy S20+ (Snapdragon)
- Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra (Snapdragon)
- Samsung Galaxy S20+ (Exynos)
- iQoo 3
Some of the previously launched phones that also support dual-frequency GNSS are:
In contrast, Samsung’s last year’s flagships – Galaxy S10 series – as well as the Galaxy Fold and the Galaxy Z Flip do not support dual-frequency GPS. While dual-frequency GNSS was has been limited to flagship devices, we may soon see it on mid-range and even entry-level devices, since Qualcomm announced support for the L5 signal along with the standard L1 signal on new chipsets including the Snapdragon 720G, Snapdragon 662, and Snapdragon 460. These may, however, not be compatible with Galileo.
If you wish to check dual-frequency GNSS support on your device, you can use this app called GPSTest and check for the available signals. Make sure you’re in an open space so there are no multipath errors or obstructions to GPS signals. If you wish to learn more, we have a detailed explainer on dual-frequency GNSS written by Jack and you should give a read.
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