A year ago, the satnav people at Garmin made an alliance with Asustek, the computer people. A while later, the G60 and M20 went on sale. In October, we branded the G60 with a 'DO NOT BUY' review tag.
So why do I think Benson Lin's (the president of Asustek's mobile division) boasts of a new Garmin-Asustek phone are worth mentioning? Well, the fact that it's running on Android has something to do with it. There have been murmurings about an Android device for some time now, but with Lin claiming we'll be seeing it at Mobile World Congress next month, it's sounding a lot more realistic.
The Nuvifone range of phones (all two of them, so far) made by the two companies haven't exactly fared well in tests. In our own review, we moaned about the resistive touchscreen, lack of homescreen button, faulty accelerometer, poor browser, shitty camera and strange interface, and that wasn't even half of it.
A phone running Android would certainly help clear up some of those problems, but obviously hardware will still be an issue if Garmin and Asus can't see fit to put a homescreen button on the device.
In addition to the Android phone, Asustek's going to reveal a Windows Mobile 6.5.3 phone called the M10 at Mobile World Congress. It'll have a 3.5-inch WVGA resistive touchscreen, 5.0-megapixel camera, run on a Qualcomm 7224 600MHz processor and surprise surprise, will also have GPS. The M10 will go on sale in Taiwan in just a few weeks time, for the equivalent of about $435.
Lin is already talking sales figures, despite this mysterious Android phone not being shown off yet—they're hoping to ship one million Android and Windows Mobile devices, with as many as five models expected to launch this year. There goes our notion that this relationship would just be a passing fad. [Digitimes]