Garmin A50 Revealed, Still Supposed To Come To Magenta

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Let me just be honest here, I want to be excited about this, I was hoping to be excited about this but I’m not. The last Garmin phone to enter the US market met less than favorable reviews. Check that, the reviews were downright nasty. We’ve been waiting for some more info on this phone since its FCC debut back in early January. That being said, while the phone itself looks cool, one of our super ninjas whose had some hands on time with this phone says it’s slow, super slow. In fact, we’re told to already chalk this up in the “pass” category.  Either way, we’re learning the phone will sport a 3.5 inch 480×320 capacitive touchscreen, 4 GB of internal storage with the usual microSD expanded storage option. Of course the major selling point is the pre-loaded Garmin navigation system with all the standard bells and whistles that you would get in an off the shelf unit. According to Engadget you’ll also get sync with Microsoft Exchange server and includes all the usual Google mobile services like search by voice, Maps with Street View, Gmail, YouTube, and Android Market. Rounding things out are a multitouch WebKit-based browser and 3 megapixel autofocus camera that automatically geo-tags your snaps.

Sounds like a pretty standard set of features, yet the unfortunate news is what we’re hearing behind the scenes and the sluggish behavior of the device itself. The only savior is that our ninjas are using pre-release software and t hat things can change prior to its expected launch May 5th. The only savior is that our ninjas are using pre-release software and t hat things can change prior to launch. We’ll be watching MWC for more news here, but we’re already suggesting you look elsewhere for Android goodness unless you absolutely, positively need turn by turn navigation pre-loaded on your phone.

Engadget

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  • Edmund

    Its android right? So you get google navigation.. why would you go buy a “gps” phone?

  • Dan

    Interesting but if we have google navigation on android phones then what’s the point for a Gamin phone?

  • Bill

    OK wait, I’m confused. I didn’t think this was an Android phone, but there will be the Android Marketplace on there? I thought you had to be running Android to use the Marketplace apps.

  • chotpy

    needs moar keyboard

  • Max

    hoping to get some info on the MOTO ROI pretty soon.Just need to be patient

  • Kyle

    This is good. If the maps are saved on the SD card for Garmin then you will get the best of both. Google Navigation plus Garmin when you lose connection.

    • SardoNumspa

      I’d be willing to bet the maps are stored in the phone’s flash. Garmin likes to maintain control over their data and even has an authentication system that allows them to lock-down the Mobile XT software to either a GPS in the case of a bundled package, or to the SD card itself if you buy it stand-alone. It can be defeated, but probably not by the average user.

      I hacked it because it was pointless to have to turn off my phone and swap cards when I wanted to navigate. Now I can have the Garmin software reside on my 8GB SD with all my pics and music.

  • Kendrix_myrealname

    So an Android based navigation phone that is not Android? Confusing much?

  • SardoNumspa

    You know, this could be kind of promising. I have the Garmin Mobile XT software that I run on a WinMo phone and it is almost exactly like a stand alone Garmin GPS, except you get traffic, weather, Google search, route to contacts and other connected services you couldn’t get in an offline, stand-alone GPS. In fact, it is one of the only things making me think about picking up an HD2 or Obsession when available.

    If Garmin has a version of their software that runs on Android, perhaps they will have a version in the Marketplace soon. Mobile XT for WinMo/Symbian is only $99; could we see it in the Marketplace for that? I sure hope so. It would have at least one advantage over Google Nav: on-board navigation; no need for an internet connection.

    If I could get that on my N1, I would be set.

  • AEiOUy

    This thing is about 2 years late.

  • FILA

    Give Google time, and they will have an option to download and save maps like Nokia’s Ovi pre-loaded maps, and that will be it, maps everywhere will be great without worry of reception. Sure you’ll have limitations but atleast you can find your way out to get to reception. This phone looks nice, I wouldnt buy it and wouldnt recommend it to anyone, its just more sexier then AT&T’s version

  • Wenuell
  • Wenuell

    It is an Android phone. Its running 1.6 with an update to 2.x in the works. The phone has Memory: 4GB Flash + 256 MB SDRAM + 256 MB ROM. All the maps are contain on the phone so when you lose connection to a cell tower the NAV still works.

    Networks: HSDPA Cat 8 7.2Mbps, HSPA / WCDMA 850 / 900 / 1700 / 1900 / 21001, GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900, GPRS EDGE Class 12
    Platform: Android 1.6 with Breeze UI
    CPU: Qualcomm 7227 ARM 11, 600MHz
    Memory: 4GB Flash + 256 MB SDRAM + 256 MB ROM
    Connectivity: WLAN 802.11b+g, USB v2.0 (HS), Bluetooth 2.1
    GPS: Qualcomm GPSOne, Assisted GPS, Aided GPS and standalone GPS supported
    Display: 3.5, HVGA 320 x 480, TFT capacitive touch
    Camera: 3 Mega-Pixel, Auto Focus
    Others: Proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, e-compass, accelerometer
    Battery: 1150mAh Lithium Ion
    Standby Time: 250 hours
    Talk Time: up to 3 hours
    Expansion Slot: micro-SD (support SDHC)
    Browser: WebKit browser
    Messaging: SMS / IM / MMS
    Email: MAP, POP3, Exchange
    Exchange Support: Calendar, contacts, e-mail
    Video Playback: MPEG4 / H.264 / H.263 / WMV
    Video Recording: MPEG4 & H.263 with audio via AMR-NB
    Streaming: Audio / Video
    Audio/Ringtone: MP3 / WMA / AMR-NB / AAC / AAC+ / AAC+V2 / eAAC+, SP-MIDI
    Advance Navigation/LBS feature: European maps & POIs, Connected Services2, Indoor location3, Junction view with lane assist3, Where am I?, Where’s My Car Parked?, Track Logs & Route Planning
    Phone Applications: Google Search / Gmail / Google Calendar / Google Talk / Google Maps with Street View / YouTube / Picasa / Panoramio / Android Market