I'm not sure that's really an indication of hand soldering. I worked as a quality control inspector at an SMD fab for a while, and that assembly looks better than some of the things I saw come off the line. There's a big book on tolerances in SMD manufacturing, which outlines how much alignment error is permissible for the three classes of manufacturing (most commercial is class 2, and military/aerospace is class 3) and if memory serves, even class 3 permits a 25% offset error and a 25% rotation error on 2-pin devices.
The "backup battery" on the back of the GPS module looks to me like a super-capacitor. These are usually used on GPS's to maintain the contents of the SRAM when the unit is powered down. Maintaining the SRAM means that the GPS gets a lock much faster (See GPS warm-start) when powered back up again. This combined with a power gating circuit will mean that the device can last much longer.
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