BELLEVUE, WASH. — The industry’s first Android-based PND phone, announced earlier this year by Garmin-Asus, will be launched in the U.S. by carrier T-Mobile in the summer.
Pricing wasn’t announced, but the carrier said the phone would be exclusive to it.
The Android-based Garminfone, previously called the Nuvifone A50 by Garmin, combines a smartphone and a portable navigation device (PND). It incorporates high-speed 7.2Mbps HSDPA, Wi- Fi, 3.5-inch HVGA capacitive touchscreen, virtual QWERTY keyboard, 4GB of flash memory, MicroSDcard slot, accelerometer and on-device wireless sync with Microsoft Exchange server. Its 3-megapixel geotagging 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., including the Linux-based G60 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.
Other features include street-name announce, onboard points of interest (POI) and cellular access to off-board POI data. Like traditional PNDs, PND phones incorporate onboard maps, POI data and routing algorithm.