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Two Nuvifones Debut From Garmin-Asus

2/12/2009 11:10:00 AM Eastern




Garmin-Asus unveiled the M20, its second Nuvifone.

Barcelona, Spain — Garmin finally took the wraps off its first all-on-one GPS/smartphones, revealing two new models under the

Garmin-Asus

brand, the result of its new alliance with AsusTek.

The new models include a consumer-aimed G60 and professionally aimed M20, both with navigation functions that resemble those on a typical Garmin Nuvi personal navigation device (PND), including built-in maps of North America or Europe and turn-by-turn directions. They also both also allow an Internet search for near-unlimited points of interest.

The G60 is a quadband GSM phone that can access 3.5G high-speed downlink packet access (HSDPA) networks and Wi-Fi. It has a 3.55-inch display with iPhone-like touch-screen capability, including finger-swipe scrolling. The unit also has a built-in accelerometer to automatically switch from landscape to portrait mode by turning it sideways, and it has a touch-screen keyboard with predictive text.

The M20 differs in that it operates on Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional, where the G60 is a proprietary Linux based phone. The M20 also offers enterprise, push email, and both offer Bluetooth.

The Nuvifone G60 supports email from Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail and other services, and it allows Web browsing over Wi-Fi or 3G. Its 3-megapixel camera automatically geo-tags images with a latitude and longitude reference so the user can save the image and then navigate back to it. The Nuvifone can also access millions of geo-tagged photos of landmarks.

Also, when talking on the Nuvifone, the user can tap the screen and it will show their exact location, nearest intersection and nearby hospitals and other emergency services. It can also geo-tag a parking space. 

Garmin-Asus is offering Connected Services, a suite of online applications that allows Nuvifone users to access traffic information, White Pages, weather, movie times and local events.

Another location-based application is Ciao!, which links many location-based social networks, so users can see their friends location on a map and navigate to that location.

Pricing and availability will be announced in the first half of this year.

The professionally aimed M20 is a dual-band 3.5G/tri-band GSM phone with HDSPA and Wi-Fi connectivity, desktop-like Internet browser, push email and document viewing. It supports download speeds of up to 7.2 Mbps and has a full QWERTY soft keyboard.

The unit’s navigation functions are linked to frequently used applications such as calendar, contacts, email and Internet applications. And the M20’s Web browser lets users zoom and pan Web pages with their finger as they view the information in either portrait or landscape orientation. Like the G60, it also works with Ciao! and the Connected Services online app site.

The Nuvifone M20 has a 2.8-inch TFT touch-lens display; built-in microphone and speakers; built-in 4GB/8GB My Storage; and ActiveSync for Outlook, Microsoft Office and multimedia synchronization. Like the G60, it has a 3-megapixel camera with geo-tagging.

Pricing and availability will be announced in the first half.

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