True All-in-One Smartphone/GPS

We’ve been talking about it for a while now, and it seems Garmin/Asus has been the first to bring out an all-in-one smartphone-cum-GPS device that meets all the standards of both devices.

The Garmin-Asus Nuvifone A50 smartphone uses an Android operating system for the smartphone, and integrates Garmin’s navigation capabilities.


We’ve been talking about it for a while now, and it seems Garmin/Asus has been the first to bring out an all-in-one smartphone-cum-GPS device that meets all the standards of both devices.

The Garmin-Asus Nuvifone A50 smartphone uses an Android operating system for the smartphone, and integrates Garmin’s navigation capabilities.

Manager with the Nuvi Phone Team, Jessica Myers, says that while they are excited about the new product, they don’t think that dedicated personal navigation devices have passed their use-by date. “For a start, some people want a dedicated unit that they can leave in the car,” she says. “That is not the purpose of the Nuvifone A50.”

There are already some phones out there with navigation onboard – Nokia’s Ovi Maps is just but example – but this phone claims to bring ALL the functionality of a dedicated GPS, too. In other words, it can be used as a standalone GPS or smartphone.

“The A50 from Garmin-Asus easily integrates navigation into the features of a smartphone that everyone has come to take for granted, so you don’t need to compromise one for the other,” said Matt DeMoss, national sales and marketing manager, Garmin Australasia. “Whether you want to navigate from a text message, geotagged photo or image, website or email, no navigation challenge is too hard for the Garmin-Asus A50.”

So what sort of integrations is DeMoss talking about? Well, as stated, basically everything. For a start, if you take a photo of an art gallery, museum or other place of interest, you can hit a button that will geotag the pic so you can navigate back to that point at another date.

A personal favourite is the parking feature whereby, once you arrive at a footie ground the unit will automatically tag where your car is located. After the game you don’t have to waste time looking through the various lines of cars (having been to a few Sydney FC games last year, this can be really annoying).

Another feature – and one bound to be a hit – is called Gas Prices, which will tell you the price of petrol in your immediate area. These prices are updated twice a day by a third party, so you can see the variance thoughout the day.

As well as the aforementioned features, the GPS aspect of the unit comes with standard widgets such as Points of Interest , local search, saved locations etc. You can also acquire maps updates, which are currently covered by exclusive carrier Optus.

As far as the smartphone aspects of the unit, it comes with a 3 megapixel camera (which is not as high as most smartphones available), video capabilities, app store, twitter and facebook, plus an array of other standard features.

Overall, it seems like a handy little unit, with Garmin not putting too much pressure on themselves to sell it. “After all, this is our starting point,” said Myers. “We don’t have a benchmark, but any unit we sell is a bonus because we started from nothing.”

Garmin are quietly confident with its reputation for quality goods, that the A50 and subsequent iterations will find a niche in the smartphone and GPS marketplace.

Look out for the CyberShack review soon.

The Nuvifone A50 is currently available exclusively on Optus’s $49 cap plan over 24 months.

Leave a Reply