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Garmin-ASUS nuvifone A50 Android smartphone first look


Gallery by Michael Oryl on Sunday February 14, 2010.

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I had the chance to spend a bit of time with the newly announced Garmin-ASUS nuvifone A50, the first Android powered smartphone to come from the combined efforts of navigation giant Garmin and Taiwan-based electronics manufacturer ASUS.

My first impression of the A50 was that it seemed very much like the original nuvifone G60, since it runs an updated version of the same Breeze user interface. This time around, though, the hardware has been updated to a 3.5-inch capacitive touchscreen and the body of the A50 is much more curvy and hand-friendly, looking less like Garmin's lineup of dedicated car navigation devices.

The basic Android 1.6 OS that the A50 runs has been heavily modified, and Garmin has assured us that an update to a newer version of the OS will be available eventually.

Apart from the touch sensitive keys on the front of the device, which I dislike in general, I found no obvious flaws with the basic hardware and software design of the phone. On the contrary, I think the nuvifone A50 is one of the most interesting Android-powered devices to come down the line.

While a version of the A50 with support for T-Mobile USA's 3G network has passed the FCC approval process already, Garmin has not announced any plans for offering the device in the U.S. at this time. The current Garmin nuvifone G60 (the ASUS name is dropped in the U.S.) is currently on offer from AT&T.

 

About the author

Michael Oryl
Michael is the Philadelphia based owner and former editor-in-chief of MobileBurn.com. You can follow him on Twitter as @MichaelOryl

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