Garmin Asus Nüvifone M10
Satnav meets smartphone
Review Smartphones and satnav are a pretty good combination, and there are plenty of configurations to choose from. You can use a free service like Google Maps or Nokia’s Ovi Maps, or buy an add-on like CoPilot Live. Typically, smartphones often come with at least one option pre-installed, but there is a third way.
Charting success? Garmin Asus' Nüvifone M10
GPS specialist Garmin has dipped in and out of the smartphone satnav waters in the past with fully integrated devices. Its most recent entry into the sector involves a partnership with Asus, which has resulted in two new devices. The Garmin Asus Nüvifone M10, on review here, is a Windows Mobile handset. The other, the A10, runs on Android but isn’t available yet.
In both cases, satnav is integrated deep into the heart of the device, rather than being an extra like any other application. The integration occurs in both software and hardware. On the latter front the Garmin Asus Nüvifone M10 comes with a very good car mount that is small and solid and includes the usual vehicle charger.
The M10 comes with maps covering most of Europe pre-installed and, while some countries have only major roads mapped, most offer detailed coverage. Like other satnav makers, the map data is in the hands of a third party, in this case Navteq. The maps reside on 4GB of on-board flash storage, leaving just over 1GB free to boost the 512MB of ROM. There is a MicroSD card slot too, though it is awkwardly located under the battery.
Comes kitted with in-car trimmings
The smartphone specs are solid: HSDPA, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and a 5Mp camera are all here, as is automatic screen rotation and, of course, GPS. In use, the M10 handles much like a standard smartphone. At 116mm x 58mm x 14.3mm and 150g it is slightly chunky but not intolerably large.
"Smartphone-satnav combo that offers much more than a typical add-on app."
Err....no is doesn't, in fact unless the review has left a lot of functionality out it sounds like it offers rather less than a good satnav app like CoPilot 8 or TomTom for iPhone.
And 75% for a brick of a handset with a resistive touch screen and Windows 6.5 that costs £350 into the bargain?
For that money you could buy an unlocked Experia Mini or HTC Wildfire and a decent stand alone wide screen PND like the Mio Navman job you folks tested a while back and still have £20 left over for CoPilot for Android.
Dear mr Garmin
I'd like a bigger screen, multi-touch controls, and a non-windows OS. Especially a non-windows OS.
And then I'd like a bluetooth headset, a bit like the Jabra Stone, that lives in the back of the phone to recharge, and which can be taken out and stuffed in my ear when the time comes. That will mitigate the problems of using a larger screen device as a phone, and help with in-car audibility too. And you get to sell me the headset, the money does not go to someone else.
I like most of your software, although I've heard reports that your routing of motor cars is a bit too simplistic, and I like the idea of being able to use the same device walking and driving. I like the fact that you download the ephemeris from the sputniks, not requiring me to get a quickfix over the internut.
But this phone is an odd mixture of "me too" and "worst of all possible worlds".
You know, one of the most common actions people perform with maps is to zoom in and zoom out. This is something that, in 2010, most smartphone users expect to accomplish with the aide of two fingers, in one motion. Putting in all the fancy GPS electronics, a nice car kit, etc., and then cheapening out on the primary user interface IS JUST DUMB. This is an obvious victory of beancounters and hitting a price point, over designing a good phone/satnav and pricing it at what it costs. For that reason alone, best avoided...