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Hands on with the Garmin-Asus nuvifone M20

Zach Epstein
April 3rd, 2009 at 5:22 PM

Garmin and Asus took advantage of Mobile World Congress back in February to announce the second nuvifone-branded handset that will reach market — the nuvifone M20. Despite the fact that the G60 has yet to hit store shelves, Garmin and Asus are seemingly anxious to display the fruits of their joint handset efforts and hey, were not going to complain. The M20 is tiiiiiiiny. Not so tiny that the duo couldn’t stuff a nice bright 2.8-inch VGA (640×480) touchscreen in there, but definitely small compared to other similarly-styled phones. As you would imagine, it’s all about navigation. Garmin uses an exclusive customized version of its GPS navigation software on its handsets — think of it as Garmin Mobile XT but tweaked and fully integrated into the OS. The OS on this little guy by the way, is Windows Mobile 6.1. We found that a bit odd considering Garmin whipped up its own Linux-based OS for the G60 but such is life. Garmin and Asus are actually planning to use a variety of different OSes for their devices, including Android. But we digress.

The way navigation is implemented in the M20 is awesome. Example: the M20 has a presence app that will display a list of all of your buddies. Select a buddy and his or her position will be plotted on a map. Another poke or two and you’re off, navigating to his or her location with Garmin’s great turn by turn nav app. That’s just the tip of the iceberg of course, as Garmin has really gone through and tied its navigation capabilities into the OS wherever appropriate and convenient. If you’re constantly on the go, the M20 is certainly a handset you should be on the lookout for when it drops sometime before Q2 is out. Hit the jump for more images of this little nav powerhouse all dressed up in yellow.

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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