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.