Garmin-Asus nuvifone A50
Garmin has been trying to enter the phone market for quite some time now. At MWC 2009 we saw their first phones, the G60 and the M20, children of the collaboration with the PC maker ASUS. Today, we have met the second generation nuvifones, the A50 and the M10 – the first runs on Android and the second on Windows Mobile.
We were surprised when we saw the A50; the Android OS is so personalized that one can hardly notice it. The whole user experience is very similar to what the Linux-based G60 offered, but the Android OS makes it a smart phone that one can personalize by their taste. We like it.
The homescreen offers you three huge icons – for calls, search and map view, and a carousel with small shortcuts to other features. Almost everything in personalized to match the Garmin look – the phonebook, calendar, email, you name it. Multimedia apps are available, but as basic as before –this is not what the nuvifones are aiming for. Their target is to be the best phones for navigation, but can they do this? We were not impressed by the G60, and would like to see improvements with the new generation phones.
The M10 is a Windows Mobile 6.5.3 model; it is targeted to the users who want the Garmin navigation, but cannot abandon Windows Mobile. We are sure that Garmin loves the A50 more than the M10, although they wouldn’t tell it. The M10 looks just like a Windows phone with a “Garmin patch to include the navigation features. It also has big shortcuts to the navigation features, but everything else is a standard Windows phone experience.