It’s been a while since we’ve last heard about the alliance between Garmin and Asus. It’s quite an unusual partnership that launched a couple of Nuvifones with less impact on the market. The users have not been impressed by the G60 due to its really basic features, nor by the M20, which came with a very small screen that made in-car navigation impossible. But now it seems that the two companies have worked quite hard and thus have another model on the table, the M10.
This brand new handset will run Microsoft’s Windows Mobile 6.5.3 OS (codenamed Maldives), as well as the usual Garmin navigation software on top and has been spotted for pre-order on Asus’ website. The Taiwanese company has been also kind enough to release some more information on this product, as well some important pricing and availability details. It looks like the Garmin-Asus M10 will feature a 3.5-inch WVGA display with 800×480 pixel resolution, a 5-megapixel camera, and microSD expansion slot.
The M10 measures 116 x 58 x 14.3 mm and weights around 138g and under the “hood” there’s 512MB of RAM memory and 512 MB of ROM, and a 600Mhz Qualcomm processor, powering the Windows Mobile 6.5.3 operating system. In terms of connectivity, the M10 manages very well, featuring support for HSDPA 900/2100 networks, as well as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth modules. Moreover, similar to most other smartphones out there, a 4GB of onboard memory, a 3.5-mm jack, a spare battery (1,500mAh by default) or a car holder for navigation also come as part of the package.
The new M10 is probably ready to be thoroughly showcased at both Mobile World Congress next month in Barcelona and CeBIT, but if you cannot wait until then, you could pre-order it at a fairly TWD13,900, which is about £270/ $435 (before taxes presumably) starting with early February, in Taiwan (you’ll need a Taiwan local address if you are buying from other countries). So you’ll get your hands on the M10 on February 6 if you place your order online now. According to Asus, the M10 should head for Singapore and Malaysia mid-March. Besides, the Taiwanese joint venture also plans to launch a TD-SCDMA phone for China, sometime in the fourth quarter of 2010. Unfortunately, there’s no word on whether this handset will make it to Europe or US. Even so, it will surely have a lot of competition as Nokia is now offering free navigation on all of its compatible smartphones.