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Garmin-Asus unveils Nuvifone M20, more details about G60

Ahead of GSMA Mobile World Congress, Garmin-Asus announces its newest GPS-enabled smartphone, the Nuvifone M20.

Garmin-Asus Nuvifone M20
Garmin-Asus Nuvifone M20 Garmin

Garmin-Asus is wasting no time on creating some pre-Mobile World Congress buzz. Last week, the companies announced their strategic alliance to collaborate on an entire line of Nuvifone GPS-enabled smartphones and revealed that it would debut a new Nuvifone model 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.

The Nuvifone M20 will run Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional Edition with full e-mail support, document viewing, and Opera's HTML Web browser. The triband GSM (850/1800/1900)/dual-band 3.5G (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 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, White Page listings, movie times, and more. In addition, the companies announced a new application called Ciao! that lets you see your friends' whereabouts by linking location-centric social networks and then showing friends' locations on a map. You'll then be able 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 touch screen with an accelerometer and onscreen QWERTY keyboard, and two storage capacities: 4GB or 8GB. The Nuvifone M20 will come in numerous colors and pricing. The availability date will be revealed in the first half of 2009.

As for the Garmin-Asus Nuvifone G60, the smartphone 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 gas 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)/triband HSDPA (850/1900/2100) handset and also have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Unlike the M20, the G60 is a Linux-based device with Outlook e-mail and Calendar support, document viewing, and an HTML browser based on a Webkit platform. The G60 features a 3.5-inch, 272x480 WQVGA touch screen, 4GB of onboard memory/128MB RAM, and a 3-megapixel camera. Pricing and availability for the Nuvifone G60 will also be revealed in the first half of 2009.

Both devices will be on display at Mobile World Congress, and with any luck, this year we'll actually be able to get a hands-on look at the smartphones, and not just peer at them through glass cases. The show starts February 16, so be sure to check out our full coverage, complete with photos and videos.