Thursday, March 4, 2021

Google Pixel 4 Will Soon Get Dual-Frequency GPS Support

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Pravin Kr. Chandra
A mechanical engineer by profession and a gadget freak by passion.

In 2018, Chinese firm Xiaomi launched Mi 8 smartphone which is the world’s first dual-frequency GPS smartphone. This smartphone used Broadcom’s BCM47755 chip inside the body, which supports L1/L5 frequencies for GPS and E1/E5 frequencies for Galileo in addition to L1 frequency for GLONASS and BeiDou. The Xiaomi Mi 8 is the first smartphone to include the technology, and it certainly won’t be the only one over the next twelve months.

Google also said that its Pixel 4 will support dual-frequency GPS functions. The device has all the necessary hardware inside, and it will do this through software upgrades soon. However, dual-frequency feature will not be available at the launch of the smartphone but in the technical specs of Pixel 4 it is clearly mentioned at the footnote that it will be added in future.

The Snapdragon 855 processor can run a dual-frequency band, but some manufacturers just don’t enable it on their phones. Google’s Pixel 4 series with the Snapdragon 855 processor illustrates this problem.

Dual-Frequency GPS

According to the report, Dual-frequency GPS should be able to provide a better navigation experience by pulling additional data from navigation satellites. The compatible smartphone will receive the radio signal from two bands for more accurate position tracking.

The dual-band system can also track the phone from a single-band GPS, from a single-frequency error of 5 meters to a dual-frequency GPS error of 30 centimeters. However, Earlier this year some media reports also suggest that compared to single-frequency band, dual-frequency band did not improve much in accuracy.

Some flagship smartphones like OnePlus 7 series and Huawei Mate 30 series already have this feature enabled but Google Pixel and even the iPhone 11 do not have this feature.

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