Garmin Asus Nuvifone M10 review

Will fusing smartphones with sat navs make a compelling handset?

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Garmin asus nuvifone m10 review

We hadn't expected the Garmin Asus Nüvifone M10 to be quite such a well-integrated sat nav solution as it turned out to be. The way the sat nav elements are melded in with Windows Mobile makes the whole thing feel very smooth to use.

Add in that the sat nav itself was pretty reliable, fast, and gave us handy warnings when it wanted to go online for data, and you can deduce that we were pretty pleased with what we saw.

Windows Mobile 6.5.3 is not our favourite smarpthone operating system, though, and we're actually very keen to see how the Android-based alternative to this smartphone pans out. Garmin Asus Nüvifone A10, we are waiting for you.

Still, sticking to the smartphone under review, we'd say integrated sat nav devices have come a long, long way since those iQue days and we'd be happy to use this one as our main in car device.

We liked

The processor didn't seem to struggle, and there's plenty of on board memory even given that much of the 4GB of internal storage is consumed with sat nav data.

You get maps for much of Europe included in the package, so it is easy to take this device on hols.

The car kit is small so it should fit in the glove compartment easily when not in use. It is all easy to clip together out of the box, and feels very tough too.

We disliked

We by far prefer capacitive screens to the resistive one used here, because they're more responsive and support features like pinch to zoom.

The screen was sometimes awfully cluttered, for example when creating emails and texts. And in general the bespoke software, apart from the sat nav utlities, is rather blandly designed - plus the Windows Mobile interface constantly screams out at you the whole way through use.

The microSD card slot is under the battery cover and that makes swapping cards out extremely annoying.

And a stylus - dear lord, aren't we in 2010 now? Have you seen an iPhone or Desire or even a BlackBerry Storm? Things have moved on, and styluses should be happily banished to the large shoebox in the sky.

Verdict

If your eye is taken by the idea of having a combined sat nav and smartphone all in one then the Garmin Asus Nüvifone M10 might be an interesting choice.

There are enough extras to really differentiate it from Google Maps' navigation element, though whether they're expansive enough to lead you to shell out for them is really a matter for your personal choice. Certainly if you do a lot of walking you might prefer Google's offering.

We'd have liked the bespoke software to have been put together with a bit more attention to detail too, and for features like an FM radio and the Opera browser to have been included.

Add to that the fact Windows Mobile 6.5.3 is sitting under the hood, with its bland, finger-unfriendly design and it's hard to see what the M10 really offers.

It's not the cheapest phone in the world, nor the most expensive - you can easily pick one up for between £300 and £350, and when a decent sat nav will only cost £200 we'd much rather pay that and have a separate mobile phone.

If the Garmin Asus Nuvifone A10 packs all the sat nav power of the M10 but with none of the Windows Mobile-y-ness, then it's hard to see why on earth you'd plump for this offering.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported32 GB
Built-in Memory4 GB
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA
GPS ReceiverYes
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 2100
Rear Camera Resolution5 Megapixel
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
ColourWhite
Operating SystemWindows Mobile
Brand NameGarmin
Battery Talk Time8 Hour
Product ModelM10
Screen Size8.9 cm (3.5")
Screen Resolution480 x 800
Weight (Approximate)138 g
Maximum Video Resolution640 x 480
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.0
Operating System VersionWindows Mobile 6.5 Professional
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Height58 mm
Width14 mm
Depth11 mm
Battery Standby Time600 Hour
ManufacturerGarmin, Ltd
Product Namenüvifone M10 Smartphone
Processor Speed600 MHz
Screen TypeLCD
Manufacturer Part Number010-00886-52
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.garmin.com
Marketing Information

The nüvifone M10 is a full-featured smartphone that works as hard as you do. Combining the enterprise-friendly Windows Mobile platform with Garmin's proven navigation, the nüvifone M10 was designed to take you places. And with access to Windows Marketplace, you'll have hundreds of apps right at your fingertips.

Standard Memory512 MB