T-Mobile To Carry Android-Based Garminfone This Spring

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News Posted: Wed, Apr 21 2010 2:20 AM
It's the return of the nuvifone! Or, is it? Last year, Garmin finallylaunched their long awaited nuvi-branded smartphone on AT&T (with alittle help from Asus, as it were), but by the time it launched, mostof the hype surrounding it was dead. Between the time the phone debutedand when it shipped, Android phones had flooded the market, the iPhone3GS was out, and Windows Phone 7 was just around the corner. Earlyreviews on the handset weren't exactly glowing, and even thoughtAT&T is still offering the phone, we kind of doubt it's a hugeseller.

But could this second attempt in the U.S. be the one that counts?T-Mobile USA has today announced that they will be the second operatorin America to carry what amounts to a nuvifone, but make nomistake--there's no nuvi branding on this one. In fact, it will becalled the Garminfone (looks a lot like the A50), and unlike the original nuvifone, this one willuse a mobile OS that people have heard of: Android. What's interestingis that Android currently has the best mapping/routing software in themarket with Google Maps Navigation, but this phone will have both thatand Garmin's own nuvi mapping system. The more the merrier? Maybe.

Specs include a 3.5" touch-screen, 3G support, Garmin’s premiumnavigation experience, and Garmin's own Voice Studio, an Android appthat allows customers to record and share custom voice directions fromfamily and friends. Garminfone also includes a convenient chargingwindow and dashboard mount, enabling customers to easily navigate andcharge the phone’s battery simultaneously. No price is mentioned, butit will ship later this Spring, most likely for under $200 on contract.

Garminfone features Garmin’s industry-leading personal navigation experience integrated throughout the device including the following:

  • Integrated Navigation + Smartphone Experience: Garminfone delivers navigation capabilities beyond what other smartphones and standalone navigation devices provide. Customers can navigate to an address simply by clicking on it from a text message or e-mail, contact, calendar appointment, or web page. Garminfone can even remember where you are parked and navigate you back to your car. The 3-megapixel camera with autofocus automatically geotags images so you can navigate back to where your family vacation photos were taken, e-mail geo-tagged images to friends and family members, or post geo-tagged pictures on the Web for others to enjoy. Helpful Garmin travel applications such as dynamic, real-time traffic; weather local events; movie listings; and gas prices are pre-installed and easy to access and use.
  • Garmin Navigation: Driving, walking and public transportation navigation with voice and on-screen directions and automatic re-routing are deeply integrated into the smartphone features of Garminfone to simplify navigating your daily life. On-board North American maps offer fast and reliable directions — whether in or out of cell phone coverage — and multiple overlapping positioning technologies ensure Garminfone customers have one of the best location and navigation experiences a smartphone can offer. In addition, Garminfone utilizes text-to-speech technology to speak street names, and the screen automatically switches between day and night modes for easier viewing while driving.
  • Garmin Voice Studio: Garminfone is the first to feature Garmin Voice Studio, an Android application, which allows customers to record and share custom voice directions from family and friends.

Garminfone also includes a convenient charging window and dashboard mount, enabling customers to easily navigate and charge the phone’s battery simultaneously.

In addition to the comprehensive navigational features, the Garminfone is built on the Android operating system offering a rich mobile Web experience with integrated Google, YouTube® and access to Android Market, where customers can find thousands of applications to further enhance their travel experience and their daily lives. The mobile Web browser experience includes enhanced functions including pinch and zoom capability and embedded location awareness, which links information found on the Web to navigation and mapping functions, allowing users to navigate directly to a location from a Web page. mobile services including Google Search by voice, Google Maps

The powerful mobile data experience Garminfone delivers is supported by fast data speeds via Wi-Fi and T-Mobile’s nationwide 3G network*. Garminfone also offers essential smartphone features such as easy access to personal and work e-mail, including support for Microsoft® Exchange e-mail, contacts and calendar; social networking; instant messaging; an advanced music player; and a 3-megapixel autofocus camera.

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Good to see that at least one GPS company understands they have to change. To bad they went with AT&T! Trying to compete with the IPhone on the same carrier at their service prices, was really dumb!

If they would have released them on the other carriers the they probably would have seen a profit, instead of null sales:P

Now I just wonder how the phone hold up under the heat on the dashboard!

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