Asus Garmin A10

Here is a phone handset that is best used for GPS applications.

GPS enabled | 600 MHz processor | 4 GB built-in memory | 3G ready

I must confess, I think Garmin makes the best GPS devices. I have another confession—I love Asus, but I don’t like its services in India. The staff can be a headache. So, when I got the A10 to review, I looked at it as a phone with the best possible built-in GPS, rather than as a phone.

Having a GPS built into an Android phone gives you the option of choosing from a multitude of location-based apps. The A10 is similar to most Android phones available in the market, but its 600 megahertz processor slows it down a bit.

I was looking at how accurate the GPS was, and whether it would notice if the driver had taken a route that the GPS had not recommended. I found that it takes about 2 minutes to link itself up with the satellites, which is really slow, especially for a device with a Garmin engine. And while the search works well, you will think twice about using it because it seems to take forever to search the database. On the plus side, Asus claims that the device has 1.5 million points of interest, across 65 cities, pre-loaded into the A10.

The phone comes with 4 GB built-in memory, which can be expanded to 32 GB. It has a 3.2 inch screen, and a 5 megapixel, auto-focus camera. This touch-phone is also 3G ready. The built-in 1500 mAH battery gives you enough time to make a few calls and use the GPS, but if you plan to use the GPS for extended periods, you should keep it plugged into the power socket. The maps in this phone are from Navteq, and updates can be downloaded as and when they are released.

Before buying it, you should know that this phone is the last in its series. Asus will not be launching any more co-branded phones with Garmin. Garmin, Navteq and Asus will, however, support all their phones with future software updates.

The above article appeared in the Open Magazine Issue Dated 07-13 December 2010, Issue 36, Volume 2

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