Communicator Garmin-ASUS M20 - small, but remotely

       Companies ASUS and Garmin hardly need an introduction - the two companies up to this point were not just seen in the production of a decent product in its segment. But suddenly the time came when the two companies decided to join forces - the result of joint work was the M20 .

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    An interesting symbiosis turned out;)

       In general, according to the passport, the full name of the Garmin-ASUS Nuvifone M20 device , but for me it is too long and I will use more familiar terms) I had to see enough communicators, like navigators, before that - in principle, I already have than to compare.

       The small glossy colored box, as it were, hints that there’s not much that can fit in it, but what I saw inside surprised me pleasantly. Judge for yourself:

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    - Communicator Garmin-ASUS M20;
    - Instruction manual + CD;
    - Stereo headset with remote control;
    - USB cable;
    - a cloth;
    - Case;
    - 2 styluses;
    - Charging in the car;
    - Mount in the car + panel for the torpedo;
    - Two additional body panels;
    - Optional battery.

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       As you can see, the appearance of the box was misleading. Have you met the last two points included in the price of the device? :) I don’t, even on the most expensive devices and in premium trim levels. Let this be an example for other manufacturers!
    And this is hardly a hint that one battery will not be enough, and the panels will break with enviable constancy - rather, this is only a concern for the user.

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       Regarding the rest of the little things. The instruction is colored and in Russian, the wire is USB-miniUSB, the stylus is telescopic. Sockets (of which there are three in total) - black, blue and red.

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       The headset has the following design: the silicone wire at one end has an L-shaped miniUSB plug (to the phone), at the other end there is a remote control (it has a clip, Play / Pause button, microphone holes and volume control) with an 3.5mm audio jack . Accordingly, you can insert regular headphones or buy any others.

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    Battery - 920mAh (3.7V, 3.4Wh).

    Appearance


       At first, the device seems to be the most common communicator, but later it reveals a large number of small unusual nuances and details.
       The dimensions are very modest (53x95x13 mm and weighs 99 grams) - even in a small female hand the phone can easily hide. The front side, top, bottom and sides are completely black, but the color of the back cover can be changed (panels from the kit) to black, red or blue.

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    Front
       Approximately 3/4 of the glossy front side is occupied by a touch screen (2.8 ”, 65 thousand colors) with a resolution of 480x640 (VGA). Under it there are seven buttons - two handsets (“green” and “red”, but both glow white) and a five-way joystick (more precisely, 4 buttons for navigating through the menu and one central for choosing). Above the screen is a speaker grid and a front-facing VGA camera for video telephony. With brightness, everything is fine - with a maximum brightness value on a sunny day you can feel "quite dry and comfortable."

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    Top-Bottom
       There is nothing on the top side, on the bottom there is a microphone, miniUSB and a slightly protruding stylus.

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    Behind
       On the back there is a speaker grid and a 3-megapixel camera (with autofocus) in a chrome frame. The battery, SIM card slot and red reset button are hidden under the cover. It is unfortunate that there was no place for a memory card - you will have to be content with the built-in 4 GB.

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       What is nice - the lid itself is matte and somewhat similar in tactile sensations to a soft touch. As I said, the panels change - to remove it you need to push it to the right with an effort. They keep excellent, without backlash and other artifacts.

    Boca
       The phone has, one might say, unique properties - it is not symmetrical) And for the first time in all the tests, I can say that I like one side of the device more than the other. The fact is that its right side on the reverse side is slightly rounded (to make it easier to get out of the auto-mount) and is made of matte plastic, and the left is angular and completely made of gloss. So on one device you can clearly compare what is better - a matte finish (I'm for it) or glossy. Unusual solution.

       On the left side there is a chrome strip, which is interrupted first by the “volume rocker”, and a little lower - the contacts for power from the car mount and the holes for the lace.

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       On the right is the key to lock the device (from below, but it would be better if it was from above), a small depression, again, for auto-fastening, and no hint of chrome parts.

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    Mount


       Speaking of contacts on the left, at first they seem like an absolutely ridiculous element, but in practice they turned out to be a very convenient solution. The fact is that the reverse side of the car mount contains a miniUSB connector that can be powered from the cigarette lighter (charging is included).
       Accordingly, we get the device working from the car’s network as soon as we insert it into the mount - you don’t have to bother with the wire every time, inserting it into the phone’s connector. This is much more convenient (and wears out parts less) than each time you insert the phone into the holder and only then - stick the power cord every time. A trifle, but nice! A trifle bigger and nicer - when you install the phone in the cradle, it automatically goes into hands-free mode, so the need for a HandsFree-system may disappear.

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       The fastener was also liked, primarily due to its simplicity and reliability - the cradle itself on a hinge is held on top of a monolithic base, which suction cup clings to the glass or on a special circle (from the kit) that can be stuck to the dashboard.

    Teks, well, everything seems to be right - go to the software part.

    Inside


       But the software part just surprised in the first ... 70 seconds! That is how long the device lasts until it is fully operational! IMHO, extremely long.

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       The second thing you pay attention to is that a fairly high resolution (480x640) fit in a physically small screen.

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       This deprived the user of all kinds of picture artifacts (such as pixelation), but due to the small size of the elements on the screen, the stylus can come in handy. Nevertheless, the lack of a border on the screen indicates that the device is still sharpened under the control of fingers ... and the rest of the finger interface optimization (already from ASUS and Garmin, and not from Microsoft) only proves it.

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       In particular, the user is presented with a convenient proprietary interface, which is difficult to find in which elements of the standard WM6.1 (but they are).

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       The official site already has an operating system update to version 6.5, it is recommended to install it immediately. But I did not take risks) However, everything works well and out of the box. So, immediately after turning on, the Today screen appears in front of the user - the date and time are on the top, three fixed buttons are on the bottom (“Call”, “Search” and “Map Overview”), and in the middle are the icons located on two screens (switched by a horizontal stroke or buttons below) - each with 6 icons.

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       The number of screens can be reduced, increased, simultaneously changing the location of the icons on them, as well as adding and removing them. If you turn the phone, the contents of the screen will also turn - not new, but it works properly. I liked the lock screen - on the display you need to drag the puzzle element into the space left for it and only then there will be happiness.

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       Most menus are redrawn for finger control - that's good. But non-optimized menus and windows come across. Working with SMS is the most commonplace example - this part of the interface was not touched at all. But you can’t recognize the keyboard after the standard one - in some ways it looks like a keyboard from Resco with an additional shell.

       The call window turned out to be convenient, which is divided into 4 tabs - on the first there is a large numeric keypad, on the second there is an address book, then a list of all calls and selected contacts. Otherwise ... everything is standard and it is hardly necessary to focus attention on this.

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       For dessert, I left the most interesting in this device - its navigation capabilities, that is, the pre-installed Garmin Mobile program. As I said, there are three function buttons at the bottom of the screen. The last two are related to navigation - “Search” and “Map Overview”.

       If you select the first option, a shell will instantly open (i.e. you do not have to wait for the navigator to load, as on other devices), in which you can find something - a house, address, objects or something else.

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       At first I was surprised that the phone showed my exact position on the map, despite the fact that I was in the building (though right at the window). The place on the map is displayed by a three-dimensional machine (can be changed to the jeep icon) - involuntarily recalling all kinds of toys with races. If you need to go somewhere - we are looking for a city, there is a street and a house - everything is like everywhere else. But here are the features that allow me to take a screenshot of a piece of the map (the place where you are) and send it via MMS to someone - I think this functionality may well come in handy. You can also send simply coordinates, already by SMS. Accordingly, receiving such a message, you can open the coordinates in the navigator and continue to act according to the circumstances.

    If you select " Objects", Then on the map (and in the immediate vicinity) you can highlight all kinds of POIs (Points of interest, places of interest). The following categories are available (with subcategories):
    - Food (fast foods, pizza, eatery cafes, Italian-Asian cuisine, etc.);
    - Accommodation (hotels, resorts);
    - Auto (parking, including freight, car dealerships and car services, dealers, car clubs and car wash);
    - Interesting places (museums, monuments, zoo parks, stadiums, exhibitions);
    - Sports / recreation (golf, skiing, bowling, skating rinks, swimming pools, sports fitness, stadiums);

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    - Entertainment (theaters, bars, discos, cinema);
    -Trade (department stores, grocery stores, supermarkets, shopping centers, pharmacies, clothes, home and garden, furniture, boutiques, computer shops);
    - Transport (flight status, car rental, air and ground transportation);
    - Gos. institutions (libraries, schools, police, firefighters, town hall, court, culture center,
    - Banks and ATMs ;
    - Places created by man (bridges, cemeteries, passages, dams, dams, towers, tunnels, and even military facilities));
    - Water bodies (bays, canals, waterfalls, geysers, harbors, lakes, rapids, ponds, springs and streams);
    - Other (There is still a bunch of all type of hairdressing salons and other salons).

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       It is very nice to see such a wide range of various places. In other navigators (such as iGo), you often have to download all this manually.

       But the best part is the cards themselves! Perhaps, even this is the main trump card of this device. The fact is that navigation opportunities are not limited to Moscow, St. Petersburg and a couple of other million-plus cities - most likely, you won’t have to go to w3bsit3-dns.com in search of maps (I recall how I searched for them for iGo) House numbers are almost everywhere (within Russia) , where people live (including little-known provincial cities) - what can we say about the roads. And in Moscow there are even contours of buildings. Moreover, as I said, all this is supported by many POIs, which in an unfamiliar city will come in handy almost certainly. Here, for example, my humble town near Moscow according to Garmin and Navitel:

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    In general, for the cards there is a definite five with a plus!

       Other functions are more or less standard. From the settings - the grid, the type of vehicle, setting the speed limit, detailing the map, recalculating the route when deviating from it, the possibility of detouring some places (turns, dirt roads, toll roads, etc.), details and modeling of the route, traffic meter, and certainly something else. The satellites are without problems, the accuracy is good - to some extent I even liked the built-in navigation. Eh ... the truth is I didn’t ride it as much as I would like - in such frosts my wagon starts up once (if not after two or three).

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       Perhaps someone will be saddened by the fact that this software package cannot be removed or completely disabled. And you just have to come to terms with the fact that part of the resources are constantly spent and allows you to turn to the navigator at any time. The rest - no one bothers to install additional programs. Opera Mobile 9.5 is

       installed as a browser - there is nothing more to add;) By the way, speaking about the Internet, a device can not only connect to wireless networks, but also act as a router, allowing other devices to connect as well. A simple music player scans certain folders, and from the found music files forms playlists. The speaker is quite loud.



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       I didn’t really like the camera - it doesn’t have enough time for dynamic movements, the photos often turn out to be blurry. You can either take pictures (with a resolution of up to 2048x1536) or shoot videos (3GP or MP4, size 320x240). Optical zoom, "macro mode", white balance - all this is there, but the camera doesn’t take pictures from it :) Here is an example of photos:    The phone can be on standby mode for a long time - it takes more than a week to fully charge the battery. But with constant use, things are a little worse. As a navigator, it works for only about 4 hours, music with the display turned off is about 15. So the second battery in the kit will definitely not be superfluous.

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       A full charge takes about 3 hours. It can be connected to a computer as a USB flash drive, without any Active Sync - given the lack of a memory card slot, this is a very useful bonus.

    Pros :
    - Excellent equipment;
    - Compact size and light weight;
    - Bright, colorful screen with high resolution; front-camera;
    - Touch screen control duplicated by hardware buttons;
    - Good finger-optimized shell and integration with navigation software;
    - A separate item - navigation software; map detail and number of POIs.

    Cons :
    - Turns on for a long time;
    - The glossy front side is very easily soiled;
    - There is a camera, but I was expecting better quality pictures; no flash and camera hardware button;
    - Memory cards are not supported;
    - High price?

       One could note the absence of a 3.5mm audio jack on the phone itself, but after all, in fact, it comes with a functional adapter.

       As for the price, it starts at 13,000 rubles. Is this a lot? For the money you can find similar devices, and even with a large-sized screen. But if you take into account the exhaustive configuration of the M20 (which is already included in the price), then in the case of other devices everything will have to be bought separately, which will result in an extra penny.

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       Someone will say that the device was late with the release ... well, maybe this is partly true - six hundred megahertz on the market is not the first day. On the other hand, it is obvious that the company was not going to make a flagship - with a huge diagonal or, for example, with a multi-MHz processor or something else special there. Despite the glory of others, and without any attempts to "kill" anyone)), the company released another communicator, which has many advantages over many others.

    As a result


       The result was an interesting device, but it’s rather difficult for me to draw conclusions about it) On the one hand, everything indicates that it is more of a navigator - housing features, a mount, appropriate software, and the Garmin company itself seems to hint ... but the navigator if you buy, then only with a large screen, right? ) On the other hand, this is precisely the communicator - small and agile. In general, a very controversial, but interesting symbiosis has turned out - this, in fact, can already be seen from the name.
       As for the device itself - for the price it costs, manufacturers offered very competitive hardware stuffing, and perfectly balanced with the software part - good performance on a fairly large screen with decent working time. And the equipment ... everywhere would be like that! A sore point is the operating system ... I agree, it has recently become increasingly difficult for Microsoft's brainchild to lure customers into its clutches - the merit of the iron producers is more merit;) If you adequately perceive WM with all the minuses and pluses, then why not. Judging by the reviews of the owners, they are satisfied)
       Otherwise, this communicator is a continuation of the best traditions, so the start of cooperation between the two companies has been laid very worthy and promising.

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