Garmin and Asus used the  Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week to launch the first handsets in their joint smartphone venture, which was announced at the start of the month.

The Nuvifone M20 and the Nuvifone G60 have been designed with special consideration to location-based services via GPS and use navigation software from Garmin. These include Garmin maps and software that displays a variety of information including points of interest, friends' houses and the best route to take to avoid traffic. They are also designed to deliver locally relevant information to people, including movie times, nearby restaurants and more.

One feature on the new handsets is geo-tagging for photos. Pictures taken using the onboard digital cameras of the two Nuvifones will automatically be tagged with date, time and location data.

The Nuvifone M20 has a 2.8in touchscreen with 480x640 resolution and runs Microsoft's Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional.

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The device comes with either 4GB or 8GB of flash storage for songs, pictures and other data. It includes a suite of Microsoft Office Mobile products such as Outlook, Excel, Powerpoint and Word. It has a 3Mp camera that can also take video.

Wireless technologies on the M20 include tri-band GSM, 3G, High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) and Wi-Fi.

The Nuvifone G60 is a slightly older handset that was announced last year, but never made it on to the market. It has a large 3.5in touchscreen with 272x480 viewing resolution and uses a Linux OS. The device has 4GB of flash memory for data storage and a 3Mp digital camera.

The Nuvifone G60 is already being made available to mobile service providers, while the company did not say when the M20 might be on the market.

Pricing information was not immediately available.

See also: Garmin delays mooted iPhone rival