MTS 945, First GLONASS Smartphone, Available Online
GLONASS has just gone into mass availability in Russia with an announcement of the first system supporting smartphone. The smartphone called MTS Glonass 945 is now available online locked to the local MTS network. The hype around the 945 is mainly due to GLONASS. Spec-wise it’s not as notable as it gets. It is an Android 2.2 aka Froyo smartphone based on an ARMv7 Qualcomm MSM 7230 chip which is just a little shy of 1 GHz. Other features include 3.2-inch 240 × 400 touchscreen, 2 megapixel camera, expandable to 16 GB memory, GPS, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi… all the sort of stuff from a couple of years ago. But GLONASS feature really does make a difference.
GLONASS is an acronym of a satellite navigation system developed since 1976 by the Soviet Union and later the Russian Federation. GLONASS, as of a year ago, is slightly less accurate than the GPS given that GPS is 2 – 8 meters accurate and GLONASS is 4 – 8, but together these systems provide 1 – 3 meter accuracy. By the way, there is a law in the pipelines of Russian government binding every device that goes on sale with GPS to support GLONASS as well.
The future of GLONASS is improving accuracy. It already covers the globe.
The future of MTS 945 is less bright, I’m afraid. It will get an update to Android 2.3 aka Gingerbread, but at a price similar to $400 and with outdated hardware it can hardly become a bestseller. But then the history will remember it as the first GLONASS smartphone.