In Soviet Russia, GPS Kills The iPhone
There is no denying that the iPhone is the single device which is capable of making other standalone gadgets obsolete due to its capabilities. But even then, that has not stopped various smartphone OEMs from proudly attempting to make something which has often been touted as the “iPhone killer”. And this time, the latest ‘iPhone killer’ hails all the way from Russia with love.
It never gets old: every few months, an OEM will release a smartphone with various improvements such as spec bumps or better design, wrap it up in an attractive package and proudly proclaim it as the one and only “iPhone killer” in the market to bury Apple’s popular smartphone. Of course, no one can deny that the world does need an iPhone killer now and then, but the fact that Apple’s smartphone is still selling like hotcakes in many parts of the world says a lot about the success rate of the aforementioned iPhone killers.
And just then things are about to quieten down a little, up pops Russia with its a new smartphone to open up a new can of awesome over the iPhone 4.. In this latest smartphone standoff, Russian firm AFK Sistema claims that the new smartphone, which was co-developed with ZTE, has one key feature which triumphs over the iPhone by a huge margin: its GPS accuracy rate.
According to AFK Sistema, the new smartphone which is co-developed with ZTE has a special “double navigation system” which boasts accuracy rates of up to 93%. Unlike most smartphones which only offer standard GPS capabilities for location-based services and navigational needs, the jointly-developed smartphone by ZTE and AFK Sistema has two navigational systems built-in: the typical GPS along with Russia’s native GLONASS satellite navigational system. The key factor of this dual navigation system is that Russia claims to have restored its GLONASS satellites to a point where it has recovered 100% coverage of its territory. When used in conjunction with GPS,it theoretically allows for a much higher accuracy rate, at least on Russian territory.
However, it appears that AFK Sistema might have a hard fight on its hands if it wants to position the GLONASS-aware smartphone as the iPhone killer for 2011, simply because only having one killer feature to boast about does not necessarily translate to better user experience. In fact, the information we have gathered seems to suggest otherwise: the phone is apparently designed for the budget conscious, and its specs do not lie. Apparently, the phone will make use of a QVGA screen and Android 2.1, which is two versions behind that of the Nexus S in the market right now. And while the exact processor specifications have not been revealed, we do know that it will run off a Qualcomm processor which has been fabricated off a very old 90nm process.
That being said, it is still too early to predict how the smartphone might fare. But at least we are sure of one thing: with a price of approximately 11,000 roubles (or US$360), it is most likely to be cheap enough for users to make an impulse purchase without regrets.