I had just received Garmin-Asus smartphone G60. A sturdy looking phone that sports a 3.5-inch screen. It is a navigation-based phone. Basically, it is a navigation system (Garmin GPS Navigation Software) built with phone functions.
Its rubbery feels is nice to hold and you will NOT feel that it will slip out of your hand accidentally. The accelerometer is doing a great job. Turning the phone from side-to-side will rotate the screen according. Very responsive.
The concept of having 3 big icons for the most used functions (Call, Search, Map) and a series of small icons that split the screen into half is nice, especially the screen is responsive to the scrolling.
The box is quite big (means a lot of things inside). On the box, it states “Phone for Location-based Life”. I am going to test it to see if it lives up to expectation 🙂 .
Inside this box, there are the standard items. Garmin-Asus also throw in quite a comprehensive car kit for in-car navigation. A very sleek looking cradle for the device and a cigarette car charger for this device. I like it very much as it is very handy and easy to install.
The phone is not the thinnest in the phone market. It sports a large screen (3.5-inch) and has all the necessary buttons by the side. It has a port that is specifically used for the in-car navigational purpose. There is also an earphone jack (2.5mm) for you to plug in. The device charging port is a mini-USB. I used my laptop USB to charge it. Very convenient 🙂 .
Most phones using third party software for navigation purpose. However, G60 is a breath of fresh air. It is a navigational device with phone function built in.
What do I mean?
Comparing with a normal phone, if you need to navigate to some place, you will need to start the third party software, key in the address of the place and start the navigation.
In this Garmin-Asus G60, everything is integrated. You need to go to (for example), your friend’s place. Easy.
Go to Contact, find your friend, click GO! That is it! Here are the screen shots.
There are other features on this phone that is not found on other phones.
A built in software that allows you to find your friend who is using Garmin-Asus smartphone. You can then easily navigate to the location.
Where am I?
It will allow you to locate your current location and you can find the nearest Hospital, Police Station and Petrol Kiosk in the vicinity.
If you want your friend to locate you, just send a Geo-Tagged SMS to him/her. A Geo-Tagged SMS has the Longitude/Latitude information and with a Garmin-Asus smartphone just a click, you are on the way to meet him/her.
I tried the function and sent a Geo-Tagged SMS to another phone (not a Garmin-Asus phone), the SMS will tell you the location and a link to locate it on Google Maps. Nice!
Garmin is world’s leader in term of GPS navigation. When I first heard about Garmin, the immediate thought is GPS navigation. I was glad that they teamed up with Asus to produce a phone that has all the fine quality of Garmin Navigational Software.
As a techie person, I was sceptical about the Navigation Software (I have never use a Garmin Navigation Unit before). Truthfully speaking, I use many navigation software (3rd party) and almost none of them meet my expectation.
With an open mind, I tested Garmin-Asus G60 Navigation Software.
The in-car docking cradle provided is very compact. To show you how compact it is, here is my current phone holder. Compare it with Garmin-Asus cradle, you will know what I meant.
I tested the navigation function. There are a few things worth commenting.
- Fast GPS fix
- Precise Location
- Very fast re-routing.
- One of the fastest I have seen.
- Very good auto routing to destination.
- I tried it on one destination (a building) that has the main entrance on a small road and in an industrial area. As usual, at first it routed me to the main road. So, naturally, I did not follow it and enter another road. Immediately, it re-routed again and I was surprised that it actually routed me to the small road! Spot on!
- Very good contrast ratio on the screen
- I was able to see it clearly with bright sunlight. This is very important on the road.
- Very smooth graphics display in 3D
- Nice to incorporate Junction View
- It provides 3D street view for intersection and highway exit.
- Good color combination that let you navigate your route. See below example.
I was informed that Singapore map is updated periodically and it has over 50,000 POIs (Point of Interest). This is great news as you know that Singapore is very “dynamic” (aka always changing or reworking).
I have yet to field test it vigorously and there are other functions that I have not tested or use. Stay tuned as I will be back with more updates.