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Monday, August 24, 2009

Garmin and Asus

Garmin and Asus show the way

GPS giant Garmin and hardware maker Asus have teamed up to make a couple of new smartphones under the Nuvifone name.

Nuvifone M20
These so-called “location-centric” mobile phones, the G60 and M20, support HSDPA and come with 4GB of internal storage, 802.11b/g WiFi, Bluetooth and 3-megapixel digital cameras with autofocus.

However, that’s where the similarities between the two phones end — the Nuvifone G60 has a 3.5in touchscreen and runs on the Linux operating system, while the Nuvifone M20 features a 2.8in touchscreen and runs Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional.

Of course the big feature on both Nuvifone models is that they have built-in A-GPS and more importantly, come with Garmin’s popular and user-friendly GPS software.
The Garmin GPS software has a number of new location-based features which Asus claims is unique in smartphones with built-in GPS.

For one thing, the GPS in both phones are meant to be always-on (although it can be turned off) and offer location-based services which are customised depending on your GPS coordinates.

For example, the Nuvifone can give you live currency and weather information based on your current location, as well as remember where you’ve parked (although not in underground car parks where the GPS is unable to get a lock).

Nuvifone G60
Additonally, the 3-megapixel camera on the G60 and M20 supports geotagging and will insert location information into the photo’s JPEG information so that it can be used in applications such as Google Maps and Apple’s iPhoto.

Overall, the emphasis for both phones is slightly different — while the G60 has a more GPS-centric slant with basic phone functions, the M20 has more robust phone features as well as Microsoft Exchange push e-mail support and Office Mobile applications.

The Nuvifone G60 costs RM1,799 and is available now, while the Nuvifone M20 is slated to appear early next month for RM2,099.

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