Dual-frequency GNSS on Android devices

A visualization of the various GNSS carrier frequencies (Image courtesy of Broadcom via GPS World)

Does your device support L1 + L5?

No carrier frequency (CF) data on a Samsung Galaxy S8+ (using GPSTest app)
  1. What’s the status of Android support for dual frequency GNSS?
  2. Are there any devices out there that support dual frequency?

Android 8.0 support

Device support

  • GPS — L1 C/A + L5
  • Galileo — E1 + E5a
  • QZSS — L1 + L5
  • GLONASS — L1
  • BeiDou — B1

Samsung Galaxy S9/S9+

  1. Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 (U.S., Latin America, Chinese, and Japanese markets)
  2. Samsung Exynos 9810 (European and other markets)
Galaxy S9 Exynos variant shows single carrier frequency information using GPSTest (Source: B. Buster)
  1. Does the Broadcom BCM47752 chip support dual-frequency GNSS?
  2. If so, does the Galaxy S9/S9+ Exynos variant need a firmware update to enable it?
  1. Find the file /vendor/etc/gps.xml on your device
  2. In gps.xml, find the <gll> section
  3. Replace the MultiCarrLnaMask and MultiCarrRFMode lines with the following (you also might want to save the current lines in case you need to revert these changes):
MultiCarrLnaMask ="L1_EXT_ON | L5_EXT_ON"
MultiCarrRFMode ="GL_MULTI_CARR_RF_MODE_L1_L5"
MultiCarrLnaMask ="L1_EXT_ON|L5_EXT_ON"
MultiCarrRFMode ="GL_MULTI_CARR_RF_MODE_L1_L2_L5"

Xiaomi Mi 8

Providing enhanced performance, the Mi 8 offers users better positioning in urban environments” (Source: EU GSA)
Xiaomi Mi 8 with Android P beta running GPSTest on Sept. 8th (Source: Brian Nguyễn)

Samsung Galaxy Note 9

Huawei Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro

Mate 20 Pro finally shows dual-frequency GNSS as of EMUI 9.1.0.300 (Source: Richard Gadd)

Pixel 3

Xiaomi Mi Mix 3

Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 screenshot showing dual-frequency for GPS, Galileo, and QZSS (Source: Lance Moss)

Samsung Galaxy S10

No L5 signals on the Exynos S10 so far (Source: Mike L)
Dual-frequency is supported on the Hong Kong (Snapdragon) variant of the Galaxy S10! (Source: Cyris Woo)

Honor View 20 (V20)

L5 values are displayed on the Honor View 20 as of Magic 2.1 (Source: Graham Sherwood)

LG G8 ThinQ

This Sprint floor model of the LG G8 does not show dual-frequency GNSS (Source: Andy)

LG V50 ThinQ 5G

Sony Xperia 1

Xiaomi Mi 9

Dual-frequency shown on the Xiaomi Mi 9 (Source: Patrick lecourt)

Huawei P30 and P30 Pro

Huawei P30 Pro supports dual-frequency GNSS, showing both L5 and E5a in use (Source: George Simas)

OPPO Reno

The Oppo Reno 10x supports L5 and E5a (Source: Steve)

Lenovo Z6 Pro and Youth Edition

Lenovo Z6 Youth Edition appears to have a bug that mislabels dual-frequency signals (Source: Kurt Keller)

Pixel 3A

OnePlus 7 and 7 Pro

The OnePlus 7 Pro shows dual-frequency GNSS (Source: JLR)

Asus ZenFone 6

Xiaomi Redmi K20 and K20 Pro

Xiaomi Mi 9T and 9T Pro

The Xiaomi 9T Pro shows dual-frequency GNSS (Source: Andres Zanzani)

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 and 10+ (and 5G variants)

Note 10 5G (SM-N971N) and 10+ 5G (SM-N976N) South Korean variants support dual-frequency! (Source: JaeGwang)
A Galaxy Note 10+ pre-order on T-Mobile (SM-N975U) is also showing dual-frequency! (Source: Robert Kay JR)

Google Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL

Pixel 4 showing dual-frequency GNSS as of release QQ1B.191205.012.A1 (Source:
Christian Brodtkorb Wiik)

OnePlus 7T

OnePlus 7T shows dual-frequency! (Source: Dan Rigby)

Samsung Galaxy S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra 5G

Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro Max

OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro

Xiaomi Mi 10 Lite 5G

Samsung Note 20 Ultra

Google Pixel 4a and 4a 5G

Google Pixel 5

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G

OnePlus Nord N10

Samsung Galaxy S21, S21+, S21 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Snapdragon variant (GM-G998U1) does support dual-frequency! (Source: Matthew Miller)
Samsung Galaxy S21 Exynos variant (SM-G991B) does NOT show dual-frequency (Source: Mike O)

Summary

Quick reference

GPSTest Database

References

  1. XDA Developers thread on S9 Exynos and dual frequency support— https://forum.xda-developers.com/galaxy-s9/help/gps-receiver-exynos-model-t3748641/
  2. European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency (GSA). “World’s first dual-frequency GNSS smartphone hits the market,” June 4, 2018. https://www.gsa.europa.eu/newsroom/news/world-s-first-dual-frequency-gnss-smartphone-hits-market

Non-smartphone dual-frequency hardware

  1. STMicroelectronics Teseo APP (Automotive Precise Positioning) receiver
  2. u-blox F9 technology platform (e.g., ZED-F9P multi-band GNSS module as covered by GPS World)
  3. u-blox ANN-MB multi‑band active GNSS antenna, as covered by GPS World

Acknowledgements

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Improving the world, one byte at a time. @sjbarbeau, https://github.com/barbeau, https://www.linkedin.com/in/seanbarbeau/. I work @CUTRUSF. Posts are my own.

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Sean Barbeau

Sean Barbeau

Improving the world, one byte at a time. @sjbarbeau, https://github.com/barbeau, https://www.linkedin.com/in/seanbarbeau/. I work @CUTRUSF. Posts are my own.

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