updated 07:25 am EST, Thu February 12, 2009
Garmin nuvifone M20
Mobile partnership Garmin-ASUS on Thursday staked its claim at Mobile World Congress with the nuvifone M20, the second phone in the fledgling GPS navigator phone line. Unlike the G60, the M20 is based on Windows Mobile 6.1 and uses a heavily customized interface to provide turn-by-turn voiced navigation like stand-alone nuvi GPS units. It also uses the positioning for social networking through Ciao! and geotagging photos from the 3-megapixel camera.
The handset is also positioned as a media player and comes with a revamped music interface that shows full album art on the 2.8-inch, 640x480 screen and uses finger-sized touch controls. Versions of the M20 come with either 4GB or 8GB of storage built-in but go without card slots. Networking is supplied either through 3G using 7.2Mbps HSPA or else by 802.11g Wi-Fi.
Garmin-ASUS is cautious on release information and says that pricing and ship dates will be made public sometime in the first half of the year. However, the phone will come in a North America-friendly version with 850MHz 3G and will be usable with AT&T and Rogers.
Additionally, the two involved companies have confirmed the G60's specs, which switch to a Linux-based platform with similar GPS mapping and social networking features, a 3-megapixel camera, a 3.5-inch 480x272 touchscreen, GPS and Wi-Fi. Although HSPA is limited to 3.6Mbps, the phone combines its 4GB of built-in storage with a microSDHC card slot. Its pricing and launch details are also due in the first half of the year, though a North American release is again planned thanks to 850MHz support.