Garmin-Asus nüvifone M10 review
The topic will focus on a navigation communicator based on Windows Mobile 6.5.3 from the Garmin-Asus alliance.
It was 2009 and I have been the proud owner of the ASUS P535 LCS for 3 years now. During this time, he survived the move, first from WM 5.0 to the official WM 6.0, and then to the self-made WM 6.1.21018. But time passed and it became hopelessly outdated, which in practice was most often expressed in a catastrophic lack of RAM for running at least two applications at the same time.
At the same time, on the Internet, I met information about the upcoming announcement of the Garmin-Asus M10 communicator. His performance characteristics and appearance caught me, but knowing the time lag of the asus from the announcement to the start of sales, I just made a note and forgot about it ...
And then came March 9, 2010, the Ukrainian representative office of ASUS announced the start of sales of the M10 in Ukraine. I must say that Garmin-Asus took into account the mistakes of the previous model M20 and set the price M10, adequate to its characteristics. I decided to purchase it.
- Communication: GSM / GPRS / EDGE 850/900/1800/1900, UMTS / HSDPA / HSUPA 900/2100
- OS: Windows Mobile 6.5.3 Professional
- Processor: Qualcomm MSM 7227 600 MHz
- Memory: 512 Mb RAM
- Storage: 512 Mb ROM, 4 Gb on-board flash, microSD slot with SDHC support up to 32 GB
- Screen: 3.5 "TFT 480x800, resistive touch
- Interfaces: USB 2.0 (microUSB), Wi-Fi 802.11b / g, Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR, audio 3.5mm
- Navigation: built-in GPS with a-GPS support
- Camera: 5 Mpx with autofocus and geotagging, without flash, recording video 640x480 to MP4
- Else: stereo speakers, accelerometer
- Power: Li-ion battery 1500 mAh, standby time up to 600 hours, talk time up to 8 hours
- Dimensions: 116 x 58 x 14 mm, 138 g
Size Comparison with ASUS P535:
The communicator itself, the Li-Ion 1500 mAh battery, a high-quality belt cover for the belt, 2 styluses, a wired stereo headset with a microphone and volume control, a USB-microUSB cable, a 220V AC charger -> USB, CD- disk, user manual.
In fairness, it should be noted that the disc turned out to be completely useless, since it contains ActiveSync in all languages of the world, which is suitable only for Win2K / XP. Also on the disk is a large sticker with a serial and information that inside you can find trial Outlook. In fact, the folder turned out to be a folder called Outlook, in which there are many empty folders for all languages of the world.
It should also be noted that the device already has a Garmin Mobile XT navigation program with a map of the region of purchase, in my case, Ukraine.
Unfortunately, the car kit is not included, despite the fact that this device is positioned primarily as an advanced navigation solution. Although it is believed that in some countries the car kit is still included in the package.
I decided not to insert here the photos previously published on the network, but made my own. Perhaps they are not so high-quality, but real.
On the front of the device is a display, earpiece and 3 buttons Answer, Start, End. The buttons are touch-sensitive, they are not highlighted when pressed, but the device vibrates. By the way, in the same way, any recognized pressing on the touch screen is “confirmed” by vibration. It’s very convenient, it’s immediately clear whether the click worked or not.
The metal plate at the bottom of the front panel is purely decorative.
As you can see, the joystick is not in any form. At first it was unusual, but I quickly got used to it, because the touch screen is very well adapted to all kinds of scrolling, and the OS too.
Behind the device are stereo speakers and a camera. There is no flash. The sound quality is good, the volume too.
On the left side is a microUSB connector for charging and synchronizing with a PC, as well as a connector through which power is supplied to the device when it is installed in the car seat. Accordingly, the power cable is connected directly to the car seat, and the device is placed / removed with a light movement, it is convenient.
On the right side is the volume control, rather tight so that you do not accidentally press in your pocket.
At the top of the device is a power / sleep button, as well as a 3.5 mm audio jack, which connects both a standard wired headset and any other headphones.
At the bottom of the device is a microphone, strap mount and stylus jack, which is installed from the bottom up. The stylus is telescopic, sits very tightly, it is impossible to shake it out, it is removed with a sufficiently large effort. For all the time the device was used, the stylus was only got 1 time to tick the checkbox in the backup, which was written under WM 5.0.
Under the back cover is a 1500 mAh battery, as well as a camera peephole and stereo speakers.
Under the battery there is a slot for mounting a SIM card and a microSD card. Declared support for microSDHC up to 32 GB. I use an 8 GB card, there are no problems, the card does not “fall off” during euthanasia and subsequent waking of the device.
In general, the device is tightly knocked down, a reliable monolith is felt, nothing loopholes and rattles anywhere. The device sits confidently in the hand, not least due to the soft plastic on the back cover.
The 3.5-inch TFT display has a physical size of 46x76 mm and a resolution of 480x800. Colors are colorful, graininess is not visible. The matrix is not AMOLED, apparently TN + Film, viewing angles are good. Inversion occurs when viewed from the left at a large angle to the normal (by eye about 60 degrees). Inversion is observed on the left because the device is intended primarily for navigation, and in the company car seat it is located horizontally left side down. In the sun, information from the display is not read well, mainly due to the gloss. The screen itself does not fade much.
The camera with autofocus has a resolution of 5 megapixels. There is no flash.
The following resolutions are available for taking pictures: 2592x1936, 2048x1536, 1600x1200, 1280x960, 640x480. When you enable wide-angle mode, the following resolutions are available: 2592x1552, 2048x1216, 1600x960, 1280x768, 800x480.
It is possible to self-timer in 2 or 10 seconds. The following effects can be applied to pictures: black and white, negative, sepia. It is possible to turn off the shutter sound and adjust the frequency of the light source.
In addition, there is a geotagging function. If it is turned on, then when photographing, the shooting coordinates are recorded in the EXIF tags of the created JPG file. The coordinates are taken from GPS, so it automatically turns on at the same time.
The following resolutions are available for video recording: 800x480, 640x480, 352x288, 320x240, 176x144.
The format of the created files: mp4, 3gp, h264.
Recording is done with sound.
There is a possibility of superimposing effects: black and white, negative, sepia.
The device is equipped with a Qualcomm MSM 7227 processor, which operates at a frequency of 600 MHz. During operation, the device does not heat up.
The processor performance is more than enough for all the tasks that can be performed on this device. There are no brakes at work, the graphical interface is very responsive, scrolling is smooth everywhere, the screen does not redraw in pieces. There are no jerks when taking photos / videos. Playing an unconverted movie in the Xvid 720x400 25.00fps format is smooth, without jerking or stuttering.
Separately, it is worth noting the large amount of RAM, which in this device is already 512 MB, of which 356 MB are available to the system, and about 225 MB to the user. This is more than enough for any modern programs, including those launched simultaneously. In the process, there were no cases that it was free less than 150 MB, even with about 10 programs running, including navigation, which is traditionally very demanding on resources.
Garmin-Asus M10 has the full right to be called a navigation communicator. The device is equipped with a high-quality sensitive GPS module. The satellite search speed after recent use is less than a minute, often less than 10 seconds, you just have to go outside. By the way, in the room in the middle of the house at a distance of about 4 meters from the window it catches 4-5 satellites, which is enough to determine the location with good accuracy.
When you turn on the device or when it restarts, the GPS module automatically turns on. If necessary, it can be disabled manually. GPS works regardless of whether the GSM-module or any other interfaces are turned on, it is completely independent. Also, no internet connection is required.
At a considerable distance from the last location with the GPS turned off (more than 1000 km) when it is turned on, the device offers to connect to the Internet and update the “satellite map”. This is optional, you can refuse.
The communicator comes with a pre-installed navigation program Garmin Mobile XT with maps of the region of purchase, in my case with a detailed map of Ukraine.
9. The software shell
The communicator runs on Windows Mobile 6.5.3. On top of it is installed a proprietary shell from Garmin-Asus, which includes both the main screen and a set of additional software to expand the capabilities of the device. Corporate software actively uses all the features of the device, including the accelerometer.
In general, it is worth noting that the communicator has been usable from the moment of purchase without preliminary doping, standard software is enough for almost all needs.
I do not see the point of considering standard software WM 6.5, so only additional software will be described later.
Home screen and task manager
The shell allows you to place up to 5 screens on that day, each with 9 icons. All of them can be replaced, moved.
The task manager allows you to switch to any running application by selecting it in appearance. It is possible to close any application or all at once.
Status, GPS screen, Wireless Manager
The status screen allows you to control the battery level, volume, level of reception of a cellular signal, the inclusion and level of GPS, data transfer.
The GPS screen allows you to turn GPS on and off, displays the signal level of satellites, current coordinates, speed.
Wireless Manager allows you to turn on and off all available wireless interfaces. Each interface is autonomous and independent of the others.
Facebook, Music, Media Gallery
The Facebook application allows you to manage your Facebook account, track changes, write messages, etc.
The Music application allows you to play MP3 songs, there is the possibility of creating playlists.
The media gallery allows you to view pictures and photos located on the device. When you turn the communicator into landscape mode, the picture effectively rotates and expands to full screen.
Clock, Weather, MSN Money
It is possible to set alarms, start a countdown timer and a stopwatch.
The Weather application displays the weather in the nearest village (determined by GPS), the source is my.garmin.com.
MSN Money allows you to view stock quotes.
Service, Where am I, Motion Counter
The Tools menu provides quick access to viewing information about the latest routes, viewing a map of the Garmin Mobile XT application, etc.
The Where I screen displays the last recorded address of your whereabouts when GPS was turned on. This could be, for example, a car parking spot.
The motion counter displays statistical information collected during the movement when GPS is on. It is noteworthy that in this case it is not necessary to use the standard navigation program, I used another, but statistics were collected anyway. While driving, displays the current speed. It is possible to reset statistics for the last trip or for the whole time.
Program Menu (Start) and Settings
The program menu, which is displayed when you click once one of the three touch Start buttons, contains a list of all installed programs. Here you can also see all branded programs that are not in the delivery of WM 6.5.
System Information and Information
System information allows you to view the hardware of the device, as well as the firmware version of the device itself, ExtROM and the radio module.
Memory and contents of an onboard 4 GB flash drive
It is possible to view both the available and the total amount of RAM, ROM and memory card.
As you can see, the cards of the preinstalled Garmin Mobile XT are located on the onboard flash drive. There is also a detailed manual for using the device with 128 pages. Only a short printed manual for use is included with the device.
Call, Search, Map Overview
Applications launched by pressing each of the 3 buttons that are always at the bottom of the main screen, regardless of the current page.
View of the virtual keyboard in different layouts. When you press a key above it, a tooltip pops up with a large image of the input character, this is convenient.
The Windows Marketplace application allows you to install additional software on the device, located in the directory. As you can see, the list contains quite a lot of free applications.
Newstation, General Internet
Newstation allows you to read RSS feeds from various sites.
Shared Internet allows you to share the Internet, available on your device, for external devices connected via USB or Bluetooth.
Currency Converter, Backup, Adobe Reader LE
Currency Converter allows you to convert the required amount from one currency to another. The exchange rate is updated from my.garmin.com.
Backup allows you to backup your contacts, messages, documents and recorded GPS tracks of the Garmin program with the possibility of subsequent recovery at any time.
Adobe Reader LE makes it possible to read PDF documents, in particular, a detailed manual on the use of the device itself.
The Flight Status application allows you to find out the flight schedule of the nearest airport in any direction, view the flight status, and find out the arrival time of a flight.
View installed Yandex.Maps, Navitel Navigator, Google Maps
The view of the data screens of navigation applications is given only as an example, so that you can evaluate the convenience of using them on a display of this resolution. Naturally there is the possibility of a reversal to landscape mode. All 3 programs are not included in the package and were installed independently.
In general, I really liked the communicator. It works quickly, stably, without failures, freezes and reboots. The battery lasts for 2-3 days, depending on the intensity of use of the device. This is facilitated by the relatively low processor frequency in combination with a capacious battery. For some reason, very little attention has been paid to this factor lately, considering that it is permissible to work without recharging for only 1 day. After all, this is primarily a telephone, which must always be in touch. And it can be not only technically impossible to charge every day, but you can also simply forget to do it when you come home after a hard day.
The price of the device at the time of purchase was $ 489, in my opinion this is an adequate price for a device with such hardware and all pre-installed software. Do not forget that the device is only 2 weeks old for sale in Ukraine, so you should expect a traditional price reduction in the next few months.