Beidou: what is it in the smartphone?

In the list of technical characteristics of new smartphones, you can find the "Beidou Support" parameter. What is Beidou and why it is so important that the gadget is supported by this function?

The fact that modern smartphones are maintained by GPS and GLONASS, no one surprises. But the mark " beidou (or BDS) in the" "Navigation" section of the "(10]" for many users is perplexed. What kind of technology is such and how important it is in the smartphone, we will tell you in this article.

  1. 1 What is Beidou?
  2. 2 Beidou: competitor for GPS?
  3. 3 Which smartphones have the built-in Beidou module?
  4. 4 Conclusion

What is Beidou?

Beidou is a Chinese navigation system, an analogue of American GPS and Russian GLONASS. The system was launched back in 2000, but for more than 10 years, the Chinese authorities spent navigation and experiments on refinement and experiments, therefore, Beidou was in commercial exploitation in 2012. Note that Beidou is a dual-use system; That is, the use of Chinese navigation can both military and civilians.

In 2014, Beidou passed an expert check, which showed that the maximum system error is less than 1 meter.

The principle of the action of Beidou in general terms is the same as the GPS and GLONASS. The system consists of 2 components: ground and cosmic. The space component includes a group of satellites placed in near-earth orbits. The ground is a number of stations that contribute to increasing the accuracy and speed of navigation. The location determination occurs by measuring the time required by the radio for the time that the telephone, tablet or navigator can come from the satellite or ground station to come from the satellite or ground station. Having received data minimum of 3 sources, the receiver reports the owner where he is now.

This measurement is possible due to the fact that the speed of radio wave is always the same - it equals the speed of light.

Beidou: competitor for GPS?

For 2017, the Beidou system is not able to make a full-fledged GPS competition and GLONASS throughout the world, because most stations are located on the territory of Middle Kingdom and next to it. At the same time, in some Asian countries (in Thailand, Laos, Brune and, naturally, in China) Beidou is quoted at the same level as its eminent competitors. Since 2013, Chinese navigation stations are installed in Pakistan. Pakistani authorities vote with both hands for cooperation with China, because they are afraid that in the event of a conflict with the United States will remain without navigation at all.

In 2015, the Chinese put one station in Europe - if more specifically, in Belgium, it is obvious that this is not enough for high-precision positioning. The system can give fairly accurate results and due to the components of the space component alone - but the satellites are on Europe and Russia are not around the clock. Therefore, the stability can not have any speech.

During the measurement, which came to the beginning of 2017, it was determined that the stable signal in Eastern Europe comes with 6 Beidou satellites.

In the future, the Chinese are looking with optimism - they promise that Beidou will be as an effective system as GPS, and that its coverage area will increase. For 2017, there are 23 Beidou satellites in orbit. In the near future, their number will increase to 35 - now the Chinese will display only Beidow 3 satellites, characterized by improved characteristics. The first pair of such satellites was sent to orbit on November 5, 2017.

What smartphones have built-in Beidou module?​​

Almost all modern models manufactured mainly for the Chinese market support Beidou navigation. Recently, support for the new satellite system can boast devices from Samsung.

The list of the most notable smartphones with Beidou modules includes:

  • Huawei P10 - the current flagship of the Chinese manufacturer, famous for its outstanding photographic abilities and technologies from Leica.
  • Xiaomi Redmi 4a - perhaps the most affordable smartphone supporting Chinese navigation. His cost is barely superior to 5 thousand rubles.
  • Nokia 8 - Metal Chamber, first Android apparatus with carl zeiss optics.
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 8 - The most advanced and modern South Korean phable with support for the legendary feather s Pen.
  • Meizu M6 Note - New Chinese device, about which experts respond exclusively heat. More information about M6 Note can be founded by reading our overview of the best MEIZU smartphones.

Check whether the smartphone supports BeiDou navigation system, you can use the application GPS Test.


It is extremely important for Russians to watch how the situation with BeiDou develops. Since 2015, there have been persistent rumors that China and Russia will make a mutually beneficial exchange: the Chinese will install 3 BeiDou stations in Russia, and 3 GLONASS stations will be located in China itself. Perhaps, after a couple of years, the BeiDou system in Russia and the countries of the former CIS will function more efficiently than its American counterpart.