Garmin-ASUS

Garmin-ASUS nuvifone M20 gets reviewed: Separate is better

Garmin-ASUS nuvifone M20 gets reviewed: Separate is better

Garmin-ASUS' nuvifone has been a long time coming, and in fact if it's the original you're waiting for then you'll have to hold on a little longer.  If, though, you're willing to make do with the nuvifone M20 - the collaboration's Windows Mobile 6.1 model - then phoneArena's review will be of interest.  They've been putting the compact PND/smartphone hybrid through its paces, to see if you're better off putting all your eggs in one basket or not.

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Garmin-ASUS nuvifone G60 lands in Taiwan on 27th; M20 in August

Garmin-ASUS nuvifone G60 lands in Taiwan on 27th; M20 in August

Garmin-ASUS have announced that the long-awaited nuvifone G60 touchscreen GPS cellphone will go on sale in Taiwan on July 27th, followed by a Singaporean and Malaysian launch in August alongside the Windows Mobile-based nuvifone M20.  The G60 should then arrive in Europe and the US in the second half of this year, as previously reported, while the M20 will bypass the US altogether but hit Europe, again, in 2H09.

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Garmin nuvifone G60 delayed until 2H09

Garmin nuvifone G60 delayed until 2H09

Garmin-ASUS have again delayed the release of the nuvifone G60, blaming the complexities of fresh hardware and custom software.  The touchscreen smartphone - which was first announced back in January 2008 - is now expected to arrive in the second half of 2009, potentially in excess of 12 months delay over the original Q2 2008 launch schedule.

Garmin-ASUS nuvifone G60 and M20 hands-on

Garmin-ASUS nuvifone G60 and M20 hands-on

We stopped by to check out the latest fruits of the Garmin-ASUS partnership today at Mobile World Congress, in the shape of the new nuvifone M20 and the latest iteration of the nuvifone G60.  The latter, although we've seen it several times before, still manages to impress: that's primarily thanks to the user-interface, which is GPS-focused enough to truly feel like a real PND/smartphone hybrid.

More hands-on shots of the G60 and M20 - plus hands-on feedback - after the cut

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ASUS Eee Phone announcement this year: budget smartphone OS still unknown

ASUS Eee Phone announcement this year: budget smartphone OS still unknown

The much-rumored ASUS Eee Phone is another device on the Garmin-ASUS roadmap, according to a company spokesperson, but it will not be making an appearance at MWC next week.  Instead, the budget smartphone will get an announcement later this year, but the duo are keeping tight-lipped about what OS the handset will run.  Various options are on the table - including Windows Mobile, Android and other Linux distros - but the expectation is still that Google's open-source platform will be the likely candidate.

Garmin and ASUS announced their partnership to co-develop, brand and market handsets last week, with the news focusing primarily on the nuvifone series.  These devices, which would build heavily on Garmin's GPS expertise, would prioritize location-based services in order to distinguish themselves from the rest of the cellphone crowd.

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Garmin-ASUS reveal nuvifone G60 specs

Garmin-ASUS reveal nuvifone G60 specs

While the two facts we'd really like to know about the freshly-christened Garmin-ASUS nuvifone G60 - price and release date - are still a mystery, the pair of manufacturers are at least spilling a few more specification details before the handset goes on show at MWC next week.  As well as the 3.55-inch touchscreen and 3G HSDPA connectivity, we now hear the G60 will have a 3-megapixel camera with autofocus and geotagging, as with the nuvifone M20, together with internet-connected GPS navigation including turn-by-turn directions, preloaded maps for North America or Eastern and Western Europe, and automatic route recalculation.

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Garmin-ASUS nuvifone M20: GPS-obsessed WM6.1 smartphone

Garmin-ASUS nuvifone M20: GPS-obsessed WM6.1 smartphone

As promised, the first new devices out of the Garmin-ASUS partnership are beginning to show their hand.  First up is the Garmin-ASUS nuvifone M20, a 2.8-inch touchscreen Windows Mobile 6.1 Pro device with dualband HSDPA, triband GSM and WiFi b/g.  In keeping with the pairing's obsession with location-based services (LBS), GPS and navigation get top billing: it comes preloaded with maps and points of interest (POIs) – hotels, restaurants, stores, fuel stations and more – for North America, Eastern and Western Europe, together with turn-by-turn voice prompts and auto route-recalculation.

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Garmin & ASUS join forces for GPS phones: nuvifone G60 coming 1H09

Garmin & ASUS join forces for GPS phones: nuvifone G60 coming 1H09

Garmin and ASUS have announced a partnership deal to produce a co-branded range of GPS-enabled cellphones, of which the first will be the nuvifone we've been waiting for since the beginning of the year.  Now renamed the nuvifone G60, the touchscreen handset will be the first in a new range, the Garmin-ASUS nuvifone series, each with significant focus on location-based services.

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