Russia's first GLONASS phone an 'iPhone 4 competitor,' except not really (video)

As the story goes, Russia-based AFK Sistema's subsidiary Sitronics (along with US' Qualcomm and China's ZTE) have developed the first smartphone to use GLONASS -- specifically one with a 90nm GPS-GLONASS chip. It's been called, in so many words, the "Russian answer to the iPhone 4" by the Powers That Be, and without getting into key details like platform and specs, we know officially the phone is going on sale in Russian sometime in March for 10,990 rubles (about $360 in US).

For other details on the device, we seek more unofficial (and therefore not 100 percent confirmed) sources, like the notably well-connected Eldar Murtazin. According to him, we're looking at the ZTE model A918, an analog of the A916 with Android 2.1, a 3.2-inch QVGA screen, FM radio, and 2 megapixel camera -- yeah, hardly an iPhone 4 competitor, if you ask us. That version is supposedly launching on MTS for 7,500 rubles ($246), meaning the GLONASS-equipped equivalent has a 3,490 ruble ($114) markup. And the March release? Apparently in limited quantities, with mass production not coming until second half of 2011. Unfortunately, we're not sure this one'll be making an appearance at CES for further inspection. Check out the video after the break for a cameo of the device featuring Putin, Russian billionaire (and head of AFK Sistema) Vladimir Yevtushenkov, and Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov.