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Garmin-Asus Show Off M20 Nuvifone

The touch-screen M20 will be powered by Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional and will feature many location-based services, including turn-by-turn navigation.

Garmin-Asus Nuvifone M20

Garmin-Asus Nuvifone M20
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Consumers are beginning to see the fruits of the partnership between Asus and Garmin as the companies have introduced a navigation-centric Windows Mobile smartphone.

Garmin and Asus want to carve out a niche for themselves in the smartphone market with its location-based services, and the Nuvifone M20 will be packed full of location-relevant features. The handset will use Garmin's satellite navigation service for turn-by-turn navigation with live traffic updates, and there will be an in-car docking cradle. Users also will be able to get location-based searches on the go to find gas stations, restaurants, movie theaters, and other venues.

The companies are also integrating location into other aspects of the phone, including the Ciao application, which can automatically update a user's social networks based on where the user is. Navigation functions will be implemented into things like the calendar, contacts, e-mail, and other applications.

Garmin and Asus are aiming to offer a desktop-like browsing experience, and users can pan and zoom Web pages with their fingers. To stay connected, the M20 has integrated Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity that can get up to 7.2-Mbps downlink speed. Mobile professionals will be able to get their corporate e-mail pushed to the M20, as it's powered by Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional. It also will be able to view and edit documents on the go.

The handset will come with either 4 GB or 8 GB of memory, and it will be capable of playing various audio and video formats. There will be a 3-megapixel camera, Bluetooth functionality, and a virtual QWERTY keyboard.

The handset has a stylish design, and the 2.8-inch touch screen has a VGA display. Garmin and Asus said they would release final pricing and availability details in the first half of the year.

Can the Garmin-Asus phone help companies needing mobile technology on-demand? InformationWeek is hosting a virtual event on this topic Feb. 18. Find out more (registration required).