Right after Garmin-Asus showed its new nüvifone A50 Android smartphone during last week's Mobile World Congress, the Global Certification forum has approved the joint venture's first Android navigation-smartphone which comes with multiple location technologies and apps. Unlike the press release, which mentioned quadband GSM/GPRS/EDGE as well as quintuple-band UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA support, the GCF now confirmed quadband GSM/GPRS/EDGE and dualband UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA support at 900/2100 MHz only. Not approved by the GCF are other features like WiFi b/g, Bluetooth 2.0 and for sure aGPS, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, e-compass and an accelerometer.
The elegant and thin A50 runs on Android 1.6 and features a 3.5" HVGA capacitive touchscreen display that incorporates a finger-friendly user interface. The QWERTY touchscreen keyboard makes it easy to send and receive messages, and predictive text helps customers type faster. It also comes with hardware features like 4 GB internal storage and an expandable microSD card slo
The A50 integrates Google mobile services with one-click access to Google Search by voice, Google Maps, Gmail, YouTube, calendar, contacts and Android Market. The A50 includes on-device sync with Microsoft Exchange server, with the ability to wirelessly synchronize contacts, calendar and enterprise E-Mail.
The A50 receives its location (latitude and longitude) information from multiple sources including satellite, network-based and terrestrial sources. These overlapping technologies ensure that A50 customers have the best location and navigation experience a smartphone can offer. Garmin navigation is included and preloaded on the A50. Because maps are installed on the device, customers will not have to wait for third party maps to download from a server, nor will they lose their turn-by-turn, voice-prompted navigation if they are out of cell phone coverage. The A50 also has many of the same features as a high-end Garmin nüvi navigation device such as lane assist with junction view that guides drivers to the correct lane for an approaching turn or exit and realistically displays road signs. Ready for pedestrian or automotive navigation out-of-the-box, the A50 includes a custom Garmin car mount and vehicle power cable.
The A50 also supports cityXplorer maps so that customers can plan and use routes that include public transit options such as bus, tramway, metro and suburban rail systems. cityXplorer content is available as an optional download for select cities. Thanks to the A50's e-compass, customers will know their heading even when standing still.
The A50 includes a three megapixel camera with autofocus that automatically geotags images with an exact latitude and longitude reference of where the photo was taken. Customers may then save the image so they can navigate back to the location or E-Mail the geo-tagged image to friends.
Officially, the Garmin-Asus nüvifone A50 is expected to be available in Europe in the first half of 2010. However, this GCF approval is a clear indicator that Garmin-Asus is ready to launch the A50 soon; O2 Germany has already announced a launch in Q2-2010.
Cheers ~ Arne