Garmin unveils smartphoneSat nav firm prepares to enter mobile market

07 February 2008

The Garmin Nüvifone

Satellite navigation (sat nav) company Garmin is to launch a smartphone later this year.

The Nüvifone is described as an all-in-one phone, mobile web-browser and sat-nav device.

Garmin has yet to confirm how much the 3.5 inch touch-screen Nüvifone will cost.

When it comes to its sat nav capabilities, the Nüvifone automatically turns on its GPS when it’s docked in the vehicle mount, and includes pre-loaded maps.

Google search

It also includes Google's local search, allowing you to look for places such as nearby coffee shops. 

The Nüvifone’s ‘Where am I?’ feature will tell users their exact latitude and longitude, and closest hospitals, police stations and petrol stations.

Garmin says it will also help drivers find their car by automatically marking the position in which the phone was last removed from the vehicle mount.

Users will be able to use the Nüvifone to email, text, and instant message, and it has a built-in video camera and  MP3 player.

Portable navigation

Which? Senior Business Researcher Guy Widdowson said: ‘This is an interesting reversal of the current trend that has seen mobile phone manufacturers move into the satellite navigation market.

'This move could lead to other brands such as TomTom and Navman launching phones - or perhaps even teaming up with current manufacturers.'

Which? will be testing the Garmin model soon.

The Nüvifone will be available in in late summer 2008 and its cost and network details will be announced nearer the time.