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Review of Garmin's nuvifone G60 navigation smartphone for AT&T

Review by Michael Oryl on Friday October 09, 2009.

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The Garmin nuvifone G60 has had to navigate a long and difficult road to get to the market. Introduced well over a year and a half ago at the 2008 Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona as the Garmin nuvifone, the nuvifone G60 has only just now landed in AT&T stores across the USA.

Join me as I take the nuvifone G60 out for a spin to see how this navigation-focused manufacturer does when it tries to merge its technology with that of a cell phone.

Physical Aspects

In terms of physical design, there is very little to talk about with the nuvifone G60. The form factor is that of a mostly rectangular block, and there are no hardware keys at all on the front of the device. The 3.55-inch 272 x 480 pixel resistive touchscreen(INFO) dominates the design, and makes the phone look very much like one of Garmin's dedicated car navigation systems.

Apart from the shiny graphite colored metal trim on the side edges and camera, and the gloss black caps at the top and bottom of the phone, most of the G60 is covered by a soft-touch, grippy black coating. The volume control and camera shutter button on the right edge work well, while the left edge is home to miniUSB and car kit connectors as well as the covered microSDHC(INFO) card slot. The power button on the top of the phone is quite large, and perhaps a bit too easily pressed by accident. Its no major concern, though, since an on-screen lock control still needs to be double tapped to unlock the device.

I really like both the look and feel of the large touchscreen display. Yes, it is resistive and therefore requires some minimal amount of pressure, but its outer surface somehow feels easier to use than that on most other resistive touchscreen devices on the market. It isn't flush mounted with the body of the phone, but the improved feel it offers more than makes up for that.

The car mount kit that comes with the Garmin nuvifone G60 is top notch - it is a near clone of the one I use with my own Garmin car navigation device. The ball joint is nice and stiff, allowing the phone to be positioned properly, and the suction cup can be used either on a windshield or on the included adhesive back disk that can be attached to the dash. A miniUSB port on the car adapter allows the phone to be charged while mounted, though no car charger is included in the box.

Overall, the design of the nuvifone can perhaps be best summed up as solid, but uninspired. It gets the job done, and looks perfectly at home in a car, but could use both a bit more style and, as we'll see in the video, perhaps a few hardware buttons as well. At least its 112.5mm x 58mm x 15mm (4.4in x 2.3in x .6in) dimensions and 138.1g (4.9oz) weight are in step with other large touchscreen equipped devices on the market.

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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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