Garmin nuvifone ... hmmm, interesting

Garmin nuvifone ... hmmm, interesting

Summary: I knew that Apple's iPhone would stir up some much needed innovation in the cellphone arena, but I'm surprised to see Garmin, a company usually known for GPS receivers, enter the phone market in such an aggressive way.

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I knew that Apple's iPhone would stir up some much needed innovation in the cellphone arena, but I'm surprised to see Garmin, a company usually known for GPS receivers, enter the phone market in such an aggressive way.

Garmin nuvifone Â… hmmm, interestingThe Garmin nuvifone is a lot of things that the iPhone isn't - it's a GPS receiver, it's 3G, it can geo-tag photos, it offers MMS and instant messaging, it has an in-built video camera.  But then again, unlike the iPhone, the nuvifone won't be out until Q3 and doesn't have the Apple logo on the case.  These two points alone are a problem (and many would argue that the logo means more than availability).

What struck me about the nuvifone as soon as I saw it was the interface - it looked so familiar.  Why?  Because it's a similar interface to that on the TomTom.  I can connect my TomTom 920 to my cellphone and control it when on the move using Garmin nuvifone Â… hmmm, interestingBluetooth.  It's not as elegant as an all-in-one device, but it sure beats messing about with Bluetooth headsets and voice-dialing when trying to keep your mind on the road.  The interface of the nuvifone is remarkably similar - there's no way that the buttons and icons are going to be as fiddly as those that you see on the iPhone because a chunky interface is vital to being able to use the device while in your vehicle (I've spoken before as to how fiddly the iPod touch is to use).  I've used a number of Garmin GPS receivers over the years and one thing that you can be guaranteed of is a rock-solid, zero mystery meat, and easy to use interface.

Garmin nuvifone Â… hmmm, interestingBut what everyone wants to know is how the nuvifone will affect the iPhone.  Well, I doubt that it's meant to compete directly with the iPhone.  Garmin specialized in mobile technology, and increasingly, in-car technology, and the nuvifone looks like a natural evolution of this idea.  People are already willing to pay big money for in-car GPS receivers so a receiver that combines a cellphone is logical.  For people on the move a lot, the nuvifone has a number of advantages over the iPhone - two of these advantages being Garmin nuvifone Â… hmmm, interestingthat it'll come with a decent vehicle mount and car cord. 

There are still a lot of unknowns - price, battery life, carrier, whether it's a locked system or an open one ...

It's far too early to call the nuvifone and iPhone killer.

Thoughts?

Topics: Hardware, iPhone, Mobility

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8 comments
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  • Looking forward to it

    Now this is a cell phone I am talking about. I loved having VZnavigator on my Envy and I think this phone would definantly one up an already outtanding concept, especially for business travelers which is where I used vznvigator the most, but it was great for intown directions I am not too aware of. I will be taking a look at this thing when it comes out, and it will be perfectly fine that it doesn't come from Apple, which means it will probably be priced a whole lot less, just because it doesn't have a cute little apple on it. I think this is just the beginning of seeing phones like these coming from Nokia, Samsung, LG, and maybe Motorola especially since someone like Garmin and hopping aboard. Also to me the Garmin name is a very good brand from my experience and what I have read about them. Can't wait.
    OhTheHumanity
  • This gadget seems better than the Samsung Blackjack.

    Any device that is easier to use than the Blackjack, is as complete
    and less restrictive than the I-phone (and as a bonus costs less)
    would be welcome!
    kd5auq
  • Not much chatter from the iPhone crowd here. Funny.

    nt
    D T Schmitz
  • RE: Garmin nuvifone ... hmmm, interesting

    Finally! I love Garmin and now a SmartPhone with GPS.. OK, my Blackberry has it and I downloaded the Garmin GPS, but the Nuvifone is going to be AWESOME! The little keys on my Blackberry make it difficult to text or search, but the touch screen of the Nuvifone is going to be nice! I was looking at the iPhone and really thinking about it, but believe it or not, the lack of GPS held me back. Having it already on my BB 8800, and have a handheld GPSMAPS 60 CSx, I really lean toward GARMIN! MAJOR THUMBS UP!
    Ron
    rcossebo@...
  • RE: Garmin nuvifone ... hmmm, interesting

    Yes, interesting- the speed and direction of the development of handheld devices, this is the real story.
    The I-Phone started a new era (quantum leap?) in handheld interfaces.
    Expect others to bring out better units and laden with more features in the near future.
    kalman@...
  • Garmin Nuvifone and user created maps

    Garmin Nuvifone and user created maps
    I have read that there are user created maps, like some for Mexico and other areas not detailed as yet by Garmin, that users can upload to their Garmin units. I really hope that this will be allowed for the Nuvifone.
    rreggers@...
  • Send user map (track) over phone ?

    Hello, 911? Our car has died and its 30 below. No, we're not on a road- we've been camping.
    No, you don't need to mount a seach party- I've got a track of how we got here on my Garmin phone.
    I'm sending it now...

    Being able to direct a search party to your location can be the difference between life and death.
    alan_r_cam
    • Send user map (track) over phone

      That's a good idea! But I was thinking of loading a map of an area that someone made that is better that what is available from Garmin. I really do like the idea of sending a "track" so people could get to you, but sending a pic with GPS readings is standard.
      rreggers@...