I recently tested the GPS functionality in an LG VX-9800 handset (also known as "the v"). The GPS part of the handset worked fineno complaints whatsoever. However, I encountered two other difficulties with this handset. First, my trek from New Jersey to Pennsylvania and back using the GPS consumed just about the entire battery life of the handset. I realize that this has little to do with the GPS functionality and almost everything to do with the fact that the relatively large and bright display was active the entire time I was driving (about three hours total).
The second issue I had, again no fault of the GPS, was that the buttons on the handset are so small and close together I repeatedly pressed the wrong buttons. Trying to do this while driving was really fruitless.
Back to the issue at hand, the GPS inside the handset, Qualcomm's gpsOne technology, which is part of the company's MSM6550 Enhanced (www.cdmatech.com/) platform. I was quite impressed with its ability to keep me on the right track, even when I purposely made a couple of wrong turns.
A secondary feature of the Qualcomm GPS technology is something the company calls Assisted GPS, or AGPS. This takes location beyond the traditional satellite coverage and uses the cell technology to enhance the positioning. The result is higher accuracy.
If I'm a handset OEM, this technology is nice, but at what price? The answer to this question really caught me off-guard. The IC-level hardware is integrated into the MSM6550 baseband chip set and basically comes for free. All that's needed is the extra receiver hardware, which should cost less than a dollar. So if I'm a handset OEM, I would definitely consider integrating the GPS technology as a great way to differentiate my product.
The fact that Qualcomm is throwing the AGPS in as part of the chip set makes me wonder what will happen to the vendors offering a standalone GPS solution. How can they possibly compete? Quite honestly, I'm not sure, but I'll look into it and report back.