Garmin-Asus unveils Nuvifone M20, more details about G60

Garmin-Asus is wasting no time on creating some pre-Mobile World Congress buzz, with the release of details about its long-awaited Nuvifone G60 and the announcement of a lower-end model, the Nuvifone M20.

The Garmin-Asus Nuvifone M20 will come in yellow, red, blue and black (Credit: Garmin-Asus)

Last week, the companies announced their strategic alliance to collaborate on an entire line of Nuvifone GPS-enabled smartphones. Adding that a new Nuvifone model would debut at GSMA 2009. We thought we'd hear about it on the opening day of the show but, on Thursday, Garmin-Asus took the wraps off the Nuvifone M20 and revealed full specs for the Nuvifone G60, aka the original Garmin Nuvifone.

Garmin-Asus Nuvifone M20
The new, more entry-level level phone will run Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional Edition with full email support, document viewing, and Opera's HTML web browser. The tri-band GSM (850/1800/1900) and dual-band HSDPA (850/1900) handset will also have integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

Of course, navigation is a top priority and the Nuvifone M20 will come preloaded with maps and points of interest, and will offer turn-by-turn voice-guided directions and automatic route recalculation. To enter a destination, you can manually enter an address, search for a POI, or use an address from your phone's contact list.

Beyond the standard navigation features, Garmin-Asus offers something called Connected Services that provides such information as real-time traffic data, weather forecasts, business listings, movie times, and more. In addition, the companies announced a new application called Ciao! that lets you see your friends' whereabouts by linking with location-centric social networks and then showing friends' locations on a map. You'll then be able to navigate to their locations from there.

Other highlights of the Nuvifone M20 include a 3-megapixel camera with video recording and geotagging capabilities, a 2.8-inch VGA touchscreen with an accelerometer and on-screen QWERTY keyboard, and two storage capacities: 4GB or 8GB. The Nuvifone M20 will come in numerous colours.

The original Nuvifone, now branded the Garmin-Asus Nuvifone G60 (Credit: Garmin-Asus)

Garmin-Asus Nuvifone G60
As for the original Nuvifone, it will offer the same navigation capabilities as the M20, as well as the "Where am I?" feature that we've seen on Garmin's in-car GPS products. The tool provides you with your coordinates and then lists the closest petrol stations, police stations, hospitals, and so forth, in case of an emergency.

The Nuvifone G60 will be a quad-band GSM (850/900/1800/1900) and tri-band HSDPA (850/1900/2100) handset, and also have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Unlike the M20, the G60 is a Linux-based device with Outlook email and Calendar support, document viewing, and an HTML browser based on a Webkit platform. The G60 features a 3.5-inch, 272x480 WQVGA touchscreen, 4GB of on-board memory, 128MB RAM, and a 3-megapixel camera.

Both devices will be on display at Mobile World Congress, which starts 16 February, so be sure to check out our full coverage, complete with photos and videos. Still no word yet on Australia availability of either phone, but US pricing and sale dates should be released in the first half of this year.

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