Bellevue, Wash. – T-Mobile
announced a $199 price tag and June availability for its previously announced
Android-based portable navigation device (PND) phone, the Garminfone from
The price is contingent on two-year service contract and qualifying
voice and data plan.
The carrier also said the phone, the industry’s first Android-based PND phone,
would be available sometime in June through T-Mobile stores, the carrier’s Web
site and indirect dealers.
The Garminfone offers driving,
walking and public-transportation directions through voice and onscreen
prompts, and it offers automatic re-routing, real-time traffic, weather, ETA
and area gas prices. The device is also the first smartphone with Garmin Voice
Studio, an Android application that lets users record and share custom voice
The phone, previously called the Nuvifone A50 by Garmin, combines a
smartphone and a PND. It incorporates
high-speed 7.2Mbps HSDPA, Wi-Fi, 3.5-inch HVGA capacitive touchscreen, virtual
QWERTY keyboard, 4GB of flash memory, MicroSD card slot, accelerometer and on-device
wireless sync with Microsoft Exchange server. Its 3-megapixel geo-tagging
camera enables drivers to navigate to locations appearing in geo-tagged images.
The device is said to offer features unavailable in traditional
smartphones and traditional PNDs. For one thing, consumers can use the
Garminfone to navigate to an address by clicking on it from a text message or email,
contact, calendar appointment or Web page, Garmin said. The device also
remembers where a person’s car is parked and navigate the person back to the
car, a spokesperson added.
The new model also comes
with features not available on current Garmin-Asus PND phones in the U.S.,
touchscreen PND phone available through AT&T. The new features
include lane assist with junction view, which guides drivers to the correct
lane for an approaching turn and depicts road signs. A highway mode informs
users of the next three exits ahead and highlights the exit that needs to be
taken. Also new is the Garminfone’s integration of Google’s Street View with
Garmin’s navigation technology. When consumers enter a destination, a picture
of the destination will appear on screen if the destination is in Google’s
Street View database. The picture will reappear on arrival.
Like traditional PNDs, PND phones incorporate onboard maps,
points-of-interest data, and routing algorithm. Because maps and route
calculation software reside on the device rather than on a cellular carrier’s
servers, however, PND phones offer several advantages over carrier-based
navigation services. Consumers, for example, don’t have to wait for maps and
route information to download over the cellular network, and the phones can be used
for navigation even when cellular signal is lost.