Garmin-Asus Nuvifone M10 review: Garmin-Asus Nuvifone M10

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3 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Good navigation software; bright, crisp screen.

The Bad Poor call quality; clunky Windows Mobile 6.5 operating system; expensive.

The Bottom Line The Garmin-Asus Nuvifone M10 offers useful navigation software, but it's just not a good-enough smart phone for us to really recommend it

6.5 Overall

Now that pretty much every smart phone comes with built-in GPS, sat-nav manufacturers must be feeling the fear. Garmin is one of the few sat-nav makers trying to swim with the tide, partnering up with Asus to create a line of smart phones with its own sat-nav software built in.

The previous two phones from this partnership -- the Nuvifone M20, which ran Windows Mobile, and the Linux-powered Nuvifone G60 -- were less than enthusiastically received. Has Garmin-Asus learnt from past mistakes with the Nuvifone M10? You can pick it up for about £300 SIM-free.

Sturdy brick
The M10 feels like a sturdy piece of kit. The face of the phone looks quite stylish too, with the screen circled by a chrome band. The battery cover on the rear has a rubberised finish that makes it easy to keep a grip on the phone, and Garmin-Asus has sensibly added a standard 3.5mm headphone jack to the top of the handset, so you can plug in your own cans. Sadly the M10 is rather bulky, however. It's about 1.5 times as thick as the iPhone 4, making it feel rather old-fashioned.

The M10's touchscreen takes up most of the front of the phone. It's a resistive, rather than capacitive, model, so you don't get support for multi-touch like you do on handsets such as the iPhone and HTC Legend. The display is also less responsive to the touch than the screens on those phones. At times, we had to resort to the telescopic stylus that's tucked away in a slot on the bottom right of the phone. The display does produce beautifully vibrant colours, however, and its resolution of 800x480 pixels means it looks incredibly crisp too.

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