Garmin, known more for its production of GPS devices than mobile phones, released the Garmin-Asus nuvifone A50 on June 9, 2010, exclusively for T-Mobile. CNET Australia praised the smartphone for its GPS application and overall performance, but criticized it for its appearance and user interface. Taking a closer look at these and other aspects of the phone’s features will give you the information you need to decide if the phone is a worthwhile purchase.
At 4.6 inches long, 2.5 inches wide, 0.5 inches deep and 4.9 oz., the Garmin-Asus nuvifone A50 is conveniently portable and easy to take anywhere. Its 3.5-inch thin-film transistor capacitive touchscreen displays more than 256,000 colors at 320 by 480 pixels of resolution. Capacitive touchscreens are designed to respond to the electromagnetism released by human flesh and will not respond to other stimuli, such as a stylus. The nuvifone A50 is a candy-bar-style phone, meaning it has no slide-out or flip components.
Memory and Messaging
The nuvifone A50 comes with 4GB of internal data storage space and is equipped with a built-in microSD card slot that supports microSD and microSDHC cards for up to 32GB of expanded memory. The phone supports a virtually unlimited amount of contacts with photo and ringtone IDs and multiple phone number entries. You can send and receive text, picture, voice and video messages using the phone’s messaging feature and can access mobile email through connections to a POP3, IMAP4 or SMTP server. The phone also supports push email which delivers incoming messages directly to the phone and does not require you to log in and manually check for new messages.
Camera and GPS
Equipped with a 3.2-megapixel camera that takes pictures at up to 2,048 by 1,536 pixels of resolution, the nuvifone A50 is also capable of recording video at up to 320 by 240 pixels. Several camera features, such as auto focus and geotagging, give the phone added photographic functionality. Geotagging embeds map and GPS coordinate data into each image captured by the phone. The nuvifone A50 comes with an assisted-GPS application that uses cellular tower and satellite signals for navigational functionality. The phone’s GPS integrates several features contained on the company’s GPS units, including voice navigation, points of interest and turn-by-turn navigation.
Built on the Android 2.1 Eclair operating system, the Garmin-Asus nuvifone A50 uses a 600 MHz ARM 11 processor, an Adreno 200 graphics processing unit and a Qualcomm MSM7227 chipset. A GPU serves as a backup processor and performs the calculations needed to run 3-D applications, such as video games. The nuvifone A50 connects to the 2G and 3G wireless network and is Wi-Fi compatible. The phone’s GPS feature also provides location-based services functionality, which provides contact information for nearby commercial and emergency services, including police stations, gas stations and restaurants.