Garmin-Asus Nuvifone M10

Garmin and Asus have joined forces and the result is the Nuvifone M10 smartphone. Is it the ultimate smartphone?

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Garmin-Asus Nuvifone M10 The M10's GPS comes from Garmin. No big surprise there. It's functional and really works
By  Gareth Van Zyl Published  June 29, 2010

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Key Specs

Bluetooth: Y
Camera: 5-megapixels
Data services: GPRS/EDGE/UMTS/HSPDA
Media player/capture: Y
Memory: 512MB RAM, 512MB ROM, 4GB eMMC

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This first time we came across this particular smartphone was at the 2010 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. With so much revenue being generated globally by the touch phone industry, it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise that many a company will try its best to grab a share of this very lucrative market.

And this is where companies Asus and Garmin come in. One doesn't immediately associate either of these two companies with smartphone manufacturing, so our interest was piqued when we got our hands on the Garmin Asus Nuvifone M10.
Garmin, of course, is known for its vast variety of Global Satellite Positioning (GPS) products, whilst Asus is known for many a hardware wonder but especially its foray into mobile computing in recent times with the Asus EeePC.

The mash up is intriguing, to say the least, and the M10 therefore sports some interesting features.The Garmin-Asus Nuvifone M10 features Windows Mobile 6.5.3 and it further includes a 3D Task Manager that allows you to switch between running applications. The phone also has something called Billboard, which displays a user's most important information at a glance.

Further to that the phone also has a decent 5-megapixel camera, which gives you the capability to share your photos via Facebook or Picasa. The smartphone also features quad-band, HSDPA phone functionality and integrated WiFi. The 3.5-inch LCD provides bright visuals and being a touch screen, it acts as the interface between you and the M10. Storage-wise the phone features 4GB of flash memory in total.

But of course one of the main features of this phone is its GPS capabilities. This aspect of the phone allows you to find addresses and get voice-prompt directions to get you to where you're going and the tracking also gives you details on upcoming exits along your route. Part of the whole idea of having a phone that has GPS capabilities is that it can then have the ability to have location-based services; here clicking on any address from a contact, text message, email, task or webpage is all you need to do to start navigating. We found this to be quite on the mark with regard to tracking our current locations and desired locations but the phone's touch screen lets it down. The touch sensitivity of this device is not very responsive, so multiple stabs are needed to evoke a response. This is not ideal when you're trying to get help from the phone when you're on the move. In terms of style the phone looks similar to Apple's very successful iPhone and while this isn't exactly original, the design works well.

The M10 has interesting features, chief of which is its GPS. This is a hugely useful features for on-the-go users and while the touch screen does retard usability a little, it does work in the end.

For: Comprehensive GPS feature, 5-megapixel camera takes good quality photos.
Against: Touch screen lacks responsiveness, unoriginal overall design.
Verdict: The Nuvifone M10 boasts sharp, if unoriginal looks and some very useful GPS features. Great for on-the-go users.

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