The Garmin Asus Nuvifone M10 is one of very few smartphones that has GPS as its primary feature. But does it do enough to qualify as a good phone?
Garmin Asus Nuvifone M10: Features
The Garmin Asus Nuvifone M10 runs on Windows Mobile 6.5 Professional and uses a 600MHz Qualcomm processor. It has 4GB of internal memory and a microSD card slot that can accept cards up to 32GB. Apart from GPS, it also supports Wi-Fi and 3G and has a 5MP camera but with no flash. It also has a bunch of productivity features including Microsoft Exchange support and Office Mobile that lets you read, edit and create documents from the phone. The phone also lets you access Windows Marketplace for downloading apps for your Windows Mobile. Accessing Marketplace is simple, easy and free and all you need is a Windows Live account. However, the number of useful, free apps currently populating the store is on the lower side.
Garmin Asus Nuvifone M10: Design & Usability
Garmin Asus haven't done too much to change the default interface of the Garmin Asus Nuvifone M10 phone. It still looks like a Windows Mobile phone, but there have been subtle changes made.
There is a great big search button right on the homescreen that not only lets you search the phone for contacts or messages, but also the internet or your favourite GPS locations, Points of Interest, routes etc. Also, although the main menu is still immediately recognisable as WinMo, the phone's interface has tweaked to better work with finger touch. As a result, instead of scrolling through menus, you can swipe your finger across to access different menus. Buttons have also been made larger so that they are easier to push. The interface itself is quite smooth and fluid although the touchscreen does lack some responsiveness and accuracy. Typing on the virtual keyboard is fine but could have been better.
Looks-wise the Garmin Asus Nuvifone M10 belongs in the classy and elegant category. The build quality is solid and overall the phone looks and feels very good. The M10 has a 3.5 inch screen with an impressive resolution of 480x800 but the colour output is restricted to 65K. The display looks a little dull and doesn't hold that well under direct sunlight.
Garmin Asus Nuvifone M10: GPS Performance
Tested in the pcworld.in Labs.
Garmin's position as one of the premier GPS device makers is justified by the phone. The Garmin Asus Nuvifone M10 has a full-featured GPS tool and uses the very good Navteq maps (the same maps that Nokia phones use).
The Garmin Asus Nuvifone M10 impressed us with the time it took to latch on to a GPS signal. It had great reception strength and there was no noticeable signal loss even when passing through tunnels, under railway bridges or places with plenty of trees and buildings. The phone also lets you search for a destination point either by searching directly for the address or browsing through lists of Points of Interests (such as hotels, hospitals and even petrol pumps).
The route suggestions were very accurate, although the lists of alternate routes and POIs weren't as comprehensive as we've seen on dedicated GPS devices. We missed features such as route record and pinpointing a location directly on the map instead of being forced to use the search feature all the time.
Overall though, the Garmin Asus Nuvifone M10 gave us the best GPS performance that we have seen from a smartphone.
Garmin Asus Nuvifone M10: Browsing, Multimedia & Others
Browsing using the default Internet Explorer on the Garmin Asus Nuvifone M10 phone was decent. The browser still lacks features such tab support and its interface looked unpolished. Rendering was fine and IE managed to play Flash content well.
The Garmin Asus Nuvifone M10's 5Mp camera isn't very good. Pictures looked dull with very low brightness. The camera also has no autofocus or manual focus and the video recording was also average. The music playback is better but the volume levels are way too low and therefore the audio lacks punch. On the other hand, the external speaker is quite loud and clear but the bundled headphones are pretty bad.
Video playback isn't very good either. The Garmin Asus Nuvifone M10 phone didn't come with software to encode videos and most of the WMV videos we transferred displayed choppiness on screen.
The M10 has a very good battery and it lasted just about 8 hours in our talktime test. It also has quite good call quality and voices came across crisp and clear albeit a little soft.
NEXT: our expert verdict >>