When we first heard about the possibility of a smartphone coming from Garmin, we got pretty excited about the GPS navigation possibilities. And then it got delayed. And then Garmin decided that it needed help from Asus with the project. This has been a very long time coming, but at long last, the Garmin-Asus nuvifone is finally launching into the marketplace. It is vaporware no more!
Better still, the launch of the nuvifone will come in the two flavors that we’ve been reading about all this time. You’ll get both the G60 and M20, complete with all that Garmin-powered GPS goodness that we’ve been expecting for all of these months.
As a quick refresher, the Garmin-Asus nuvifone M20 will be powered by Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional (to be upgraded to WM 6.5), get a 2.8″ touchscreen, 3MP autofocus camera with geotagging, Opera browser, Wi-Fi, tri-band GSM, and dual-band HSPA 7.2Mbps.
The Garmin-Asus nuvifone G60, on the other hand, gets its juice from a closed Linux-based platform. Other specs include quad-band GSM, tri-band HSDPA 3.6Mbps, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 3MP camera, 3.55″ anti-glare resistive touchscreen, and a Webkit-based HTML browser.
That’s the good news. The not-so-good news, at least for the people who live out in my neck of woods, is that the Garmin nuvifone line will only be launching in select Asian markets for the time being. Expect the M20 to hit Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia next month. The G60 will debut in Taiwan before the end of the month and then it’ll expand to Singapore and Malaysia next month.
Looking ahead to the future, the Garmin-Asus alliance is working to produce an Android handset before the end of the year. Based on how long we’ve had to wait for these first two nuvifone models, I wouldn’t hold my breath.