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T-Mobile To Offer First Android PND Phone

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

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.