Garmin is expanding its GPS/smartphone line, announcing features on its first Android-based nuvifone promised a year ago.
The catch is there’s no U.S. ship date for either the Android A50 Garmin-Asus nuvifone or a second M10 model that are making their debuts at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona starting February 15.
The A50 will ship in Europe and the M10 in Asia and Europe in the first half. Both are designed to eliminate the need to carry both a GPS and a smartphone. The M10 runs Windows Mobile 6.5.3 rather than Android.
Currently there is one nuvifone available in the U.S.—the Linux based G60 (which can be free with an AT&T service plan).
Both HSDPA nuvifones act as a high end Garmin nuvi portable navi device with preloaded maps, said Garmin, and both have 3.5-inch touch screens. They each attach location to many phone features including calendar, contacts, email, Internet browser and messaging. They support multi-tasking and each ships with a car kit.
The A50 has a built-in 3 megapixel camera and it supports pedestrian navigation, Street View, 3D landmark images, geotagging and lane assistance.
The Android phone permits one-click access to Google Search by voice, YouTube, Google Maps and Gmail and apps on the Android Market (over 20,000) plus calendar and contacts.
Users may receive public transportation directions through cityXplorer maps and the unit comes with preloaded apps supporting traffic, weather and traffic camera locations.
The M10 offers WiFi and a 5-megapixel camera. It also has a new highway mode, not yet available on any Garmin portable navi unit in the U.S. The feature shows the driver the next three upcoming street exits–a feature that constantly updates.
The M10 includes access to Facebook and Picasa Web Albums. Like the A50, it also offers traffic, weather, traffic camera location and other connected features.