• Full Review
  • Specifications

Full Review

Sat nav is such a staple feature of high-end smartphones these days that it’s become an essential part of the package. Most have accurate A-GPS, navigation services built in, or at least available for download, and large screens, resulting in real competition for dedicated sat nav devices. But even the best are still just an added phone feature rather than the central focus. Until now. Because the Garmin Asus Nuvifone M10 is a full-featured sat nav device which is also a phone

Style and handling on the Garmin Asus Nuvifone M10

The Nuvifone is a hefty, brick-like device with a rubber back and weighty glass trim. The 3.5-inch screen is the minimum you really need for sat nav, and displays information comfortable. Sadly, it’s not the most responsive we’ve seen – we were prey to accidental swipes and double key presses quite a lot, leading to selecting the wrong thing or not selecting what we wanted at all.

This is mainly because the Nuvifone is powered by Windows Mobile. The WinMo 6.5 OS is an improvement on 6.1 but while other manufacturers choose to cover the OS with their own skin (the HTC HD2 is a case in point), Garmin has left it untouched. This means that those fiddly Windows menu systems and icons require exact key presses, which can only be worked smoothly with the stylus. We’d much prefer to use our fingers though – it’s more intuitive and less fiddly.

Internet on the Garmin Asus Nuvifone M10

The Nuvifone has both HSDPA and Wi-Fi connectivity but the overall internet experience was disappointing. This was mainly because of the fiddly usage, but also because the phone kept slipping into sleep mode while we were browsing. Each time it had to find the internet connection again. And every time we re-entered a Wi-Fi spot we had to input our password again.

Facebook is preloaded on the M10 but that was a letdown too. It’s well laid out and gives you access to your news feed, wall and inbox, but our friends list only went down as far as the letter ‘G’, so we couldn’t contact most of our friends.

Sat nav on the Garmin Asus Nuvifone M10

But it’s the Nuvifone’s sat nav capability that makes it stand out. We tested it on a four-hour drive from Leeds to London and got instant, deadly accurate location fix throughout, with plenty of battery power left at the end. Even when our network reception slipped out, the GPS fix stayed strong, and our location was displayed on very detailed 2D or 3D Navteq maps. The boxed mount stand is adjustable and stable, so we could work the screen into the exact position we needed.

You can search using the address or postcode of your destination, or using the wide selection of points of interest as a final destination or a stop on your journey. We found where to fill up with petrol then later stopped at a lovely picnic spot. You can also get live traffic updates via an internet connection, so it wouldn’t work in areas where you get bad reception.

Camera on the Garmin Asus Nuvifone M10

The five-megapixel camera sounds impressive but doesn’t really live up to its high-res billing. Even photos taken in daylight came out drained of colour. But the Panaramio app is great, letting you navigate straight to geo-tagged photos .

Verdict on the Garmin Asus Nuvifone M10

As we would expect from a Garmin device, the Nuvifone’s sat nav capabilities are superb, but the phone and features leave much to be desired. We’re not ready to give up our dedicated sat nav and separate phones just yet.

Specifications

Specifications

Type of phone:

Smartphone

Style:

N/A

Size:

116 x 58 x 14.3 mm

Weight:

138g

Display:

N/A colours

Resolution:

480x800

Camera:

Five

Video recording:

Yes

Video playback:

Yes

Video calling:

No

Video streaming:

Yes

Music formats played:

eAAC, MP3, MP4, eAAC+

3.5mm jack port:

Yes

Handsfree speakerphone:

N/A

Voice Control:

N/A

Voice Dialling:

N/A

Call records:

Practically unlimited

Phonebook:

Practically unlimited entries and fields, Photocall

Ringtones customization:

N/A

Display description:

TFT resistive touchscreen

Website:

http://www.garmin.com/garmin/cms/site/us

SAR:

N/A

Portfolio:

N/A

Standard color:

Black

Launch Status:

Available

Ringtones:

N/A

Radio:

No

Operating system:

Windows Mobile

Connectivity:

USB, A2DP, Wi-Fi

Announced date:

March 2010

What's in the Box:

N/A

RAM:

512MB RAM

International launch date:

March 2010

Battery life when playing multimedia:

N/A

CPU:

Qualcomm 7227 600 MHz processor

FM Radio Description:

N/A

Internal memory:

4GB

Memory Card Slot:

microSD

Messaging:

SMS, MMS, Email

Internet Browser:

XHTML, WAP 2.0, HTML

E-mail client:

Push email

GPS:

N/A

Java:

Yes

Games:

Solitaire

Data speed:

HSDPA

Frequency:

Tri-band

Talktime:

480

Standby:

600

Display size:

3.5

Keypad:

Standard

Audio recording:

Yes

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