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Hands on: Garmin-Asus nüvifone M20

updated 08:50 pm EDT, Fri April 3, 2009

Nuvifone M20 hands on

Electronista at CTIA had a chance to take a closer look at the Garmin-Asus nüvifone M20. The handset offers a smaller form factor than the G60 and looks more like a phone than a GPS navigator. Every dimension has been shrunk, with 17 mm cut from the height and a width reduction of 6 mm. The M20 is described as a phone with GPS functionality, while the G60 is more of a GPS with phone functionality. The company also dropped the Linux operating system for Windows Mobile 6.1.

The M20 offers a 2.8-inch touchscreen which could be more difficult to see when using a car mount, compared to the 3.55-inch display on the G60. Instead of using the whole front surface for the screen, as with the standalone nüvi, the company added two buttons and a five-way directional key. Several of the interface features were easier to navigate with the extra controls.

The phone provides the same Connected Services as the G60, including updated traffic information that showed the current congested areas around the Las Vegas Convention Center. Fuel prices can be searched by grade, with results sorted by price or distance. Some of the other capabilities include weather, flight status checks, Google Local and currency conversion.

Full HTML browsing is supported, via Opera, along with Word, Excel, PowerPoint and PDF documents. The device also provides geotagged SMS, e-mail or photos, with options to navigate to each location. The 3-megapixel camera can be used to take still pictures or MPEG4/H.263 video at 15 fps in QVGA resolution.

A pedestrian mode is provided for navigating on foot, although the company did not include the electronic compass found in the G60. Instead of automatically orienting the map to match the true heading, even at standstill, users will have to travel a short distance until the bearing is extrapolated from the point-to-point data.

The company declined to provide pricing or carrier information, although the handset should launch sometime later this year.

nüvifone M20

By Electronista Staff
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  1. midtoad

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2007



    Too bad about WinMo as a choice of OS; that may turn off a few people.

    On the other hand, the ability to navigate to a geotagged photo's location opens the imagination to some wonderful possibilities: imagine getting an MMS message from your nearly-undressed lover at a mystery location accompanied by the text "come on over!".

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