I am KY and I’m a gadget junkie.
I have 6 phones, 3 cameras, 4 watches, 2 desktops, and a life so entrenched in technology it is bordering lunacy. The latest shiny toy that I have with me, thanks to Kim, is a review unit of the Garmin-Asus nüvifone M10.
Garmin Asus nüvifone M10
I must be one of the earliest adopters of GPS devices. Back in 2002 I bought a usb GPS receiver, hooked it up on my laptop and drove around Northern Virginia. There were no routing program I could use back then, just a little moving dot on the map showing where I was.
I felt like James Bond, the concoction was as cool as it was impractical.
Fast forward to 2010, enter the Nuvifone M10.
Nuvifone M10 in action, a true road warrior
In essence, this is the same solution in 2002 shrunk to a little device not larger than any ordinary smart phones. Running Windows Mobile 6.5.3 Professional with full featured Garmin GPS.
Flip it around (actually works in portrait mode too) to landscape mode, search or input your destination, click a button, and viola! The phone is now a true blue GPS device.
The Garmin GPS is definitely not stripped down mobile version found in some other phones. It is turn-by-turn navigation that actually speaks out the road names, and there’s even junction view too.
Since it’s a Nuvifone designed to move you, locking on GPS is a snap. I can’t tell you how many times I actually need to stop the car and wait for GPS on my other phones to lock, no such problem with this nifty little thing.
The car kit for M10 is pretty smartly designed. I like how the power cable is connected to the kit so when you remove the phone from the kit there’s no need for the extra step to take off the cable.
the bright 3.5″ screen
The 3.5 WVGA display is bright and very refined. With 800 x 480 pixels, it is actually very useful to browse most websites without having to scroll side to side especially when you use it in landscape mode.
For the workaholics, there’s also Office Mobile with the familiar Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and OneNote.
mini keyboard and wireless manager
When I first lay these fingers on Windows Mobile, it was on a Sharp PDA with a built in 36 kbps modem (to hook up with an actual phone line!) running on Windows CE 2.0. It didn’t have colors, it was sluggish, sucks battery faster than little kids with on lollipops, and downright impractical. Of course, that was something like 1999.
Actually even just a few years back working with Windows Mobile 2003 and version 5, I wasn’t impressed. However, with version 6.5, I think Microsoft has finally gotten it right. The UI is much cleaner, sleeker, and finally very usable. The touch interface is very responsive too.
sample photo shot with the M10
The M10 comes with a 5 megapixel camera that takes pretty good photos, just about the only qualm I have with this phone is the lack of flash (just like iPhone). Fortunately, the sensor managed to do pretty well even in pretty low light condition. The above photo is taken straight out of the camera at KLCC during night time when it wasn’t brightly lit.
I hooked up the phone on my work laptop running Windows 7 trying to download the photos, and within a few minutes this little applet showed up – Windows Mobile Device Center. At the end of the day, mobile phones running Windows Mobile is going to beat any other platform when you pair it up with a Windows machine.
Here you can download/transfer photos, music, video, change device setting, install programs, etc etc. Pretty cool, I didn’t even insert the CD to the laptop and all this was done automatically.
The Garmin-Asus nuvifone M10 will be released on the 25th of March, and I’ve heard that it’s gonna be priced below RM 1.8k.
I think this is unquestionably the #1 choice if you’re looking for a GPS phone, nothing I’ve tried came close to it, unless you prefer to have a 14″ laptop in your car…