#MWC10 Garmin Asus nuvifones. M10 – Windows Mobile 6.5.3 in action and some A50 custom Android goodness. Hands-on videos

As more and more mobile phones are getting GPS sensors, and navigation services on them become better and cheaper (or even free), the life for a stand-alone GPS/Navigation device makers is getting harder and harder.

Every one of them is choosing their own strategies to cope with the mobile onslaught.

Seeing the writing on the wall, a couple of years ago, one of the major Nav device makers – Garmin – decided, that if mobile handset makers are encroaching on Garmin’s turf, they should return the favor and build their own mobile phone.

Except, that was easier said then done. After numerous setbacks and delays, a year later, Garmin had to partner with Asus to finally bring their first device Nuvifone G60 to market. It was a win-win partnership for both companies – Garmin got a partner with some serious manufacturing muscle and at least some experience in mobile handsets; Asus got a unique marketing/functional feature set (navigation) to differentiate their plain vanilla Windows Mobile smartphones.

When it finally shipped, their first navigational phone – Garmin Asus Nuvifone G60 got pretty good reception from reviewers, but that did not translate into significant sales. Neither did their second, Windows Mobile based device Nuvifone M20. Still, it was a pretty good start for a new market entrant.

This week, at Mobile World congress in Barcelona it’s round 2 for Garmin Asus, as they come out with their first Android device  – nuvifone A50, and a second Windows mobile handset – M10.

Garmin Asus Nuvifone M10 and A50

And they both seem to be a pretty impressive handsets, with navigation capabilities tightly integrated through every application in the phone.

Garmin Asus nuvifone M10  is running the new, as yet unannounced Windows Mobile 6.5.3 update, with slightly customized UI layer on top. Here’s a hands-on video of Garmin Asus M10:

Android based Garmin-Asus A50, runs on Android 1.6, but Garmin-Asus  has completely redesigned the user interface layer.

It seems for the better. While keeping all the Android power underneath, it is much more easy to use then any stock Android device.

Both devices will start shipping in a few months.

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Author: Stasys Bielinis

While I like to play with the latest gadgets, I am even more interested in broad technology trends. With mobile now taking over the world - following the latest technology news, looking for insights, sharing and discussing them with passionate audience - it's hard to imagine a better place for me to be. You can find me on Twitter as @UVStaska'

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