Garmin-Asus' Garminfone Reviewed, Is It A Solid Entry? [With Video]



The Garminfone is coming to T-Mobile very soon, so in order to help us figure out whether it is just a useless and superfluous toy or a candidate for your next phone/gadget, Engadget grabbed a review unit and put it to the test.

The Highlights

You can read the full review or if you want just the most important highlights, you can read the bullet points I handcrafted below, followed by a video and some photos:

  • Garminfone is coming to T-Mobile in June for $199
  • It has a 600MHz processor, a 3.5" capacitive screen, a 3MP camera, a 2GB microSD card, and runs Android 1.6, unlikely to be upgraded to 2.0+ any time soon, if ever, due to heavy customizations in the UI
  • if it's not obvious from the pictures, there is no physical keyboard
  • according to Engadget, Garminfone is the best mix of PND (portable navigation device) and smartphone to date
  • the phone is quite similar in build quality, size, and shape to Garmin G60, aka Nuvifone, which was running a custom Garmin OS and never ended up being too successful
  • there is no headphone jack… WHAT??
  • the phone comes with a removable rubberized protective back cover, which is actually a really nice touch
  • a windshield mount and a car charger are included in the package (those in California, don't forget - windshield mounts are not legal here)
  • Garminfone software is heavily customized and has a very "Garminy" look
  • Google Maps is present (no multitouch in the app) but you will probably want to use Garmin's own navigation software
  • Garmin's navigation software works offline, unlike Google Nav, which is a huge plus (though, there are other navigation programs out there that also have offline support). It includes unlimited free traffic data and seems like a pretty solid program overall

Up next we have the video Tim from Engadget shot, which will give you a very good idea of what the phone is like:

Some pictures to finish off:



I must say, Garminfone physically looks very appealing to me for some reason. The curves and the shape - they all come together very nicely.

However, I am simply not convinced that Garminfone provides the best value with the mediocre hardware that comes with an ancient Android 1.6 OS without an upgrade to 2.0+ plan in sight, and a $199 price tag, which is the same as the far superior HTC EVO 4G.

The custom Nav software is a nice touch, but getting a phone with beefier specs and installing an alternative Nav program might actually work out better.

Nevertheless, those of you looking for a no-brainer GPS/phone hybrid out of the box will be very satisfied. After all, Garmin can't cater to every single person out there, can they?

Source: Engadget