Garmin NuviPhone: New Navigation Smartphone

October 19, 2009

Garmin has released its long-awaited nüvifone, the first dedicated GPS navigation device that integrates phone technology.

Think of it as an excellent street-navigation unit that also includes a phone—as opposed to a software platform (iPhone) that can run navigation applications and also includes a phone.

The iPhone currently includes an inferior GPS receiver when compared to dedicated GPS units producers, like Garmin, Magellan, and others. The navigation applications currently available are not as data-rich as a pre-loaded unit like the nüvifone due to the significant memory required to store it all.

If you want the best navigation technology—and need a phone too—the nüvifone looks like a smart option. It also includes internet browsing capabilities, WiFi reception, e-mail, camera, voice-activated navigation, and many other now-common features found in wireless devices. It shines in the pre-loaded road maps that are included for the entire country and the excellent reception and sensitivity of its GPS receiver.

If you want all the other widgets, games, and useful apps that an iPhone provides, this unit might not be for you.

The nüvifone is available exclusively through AT&T. After mail-in rebate, a two-year service plan, and a monthly data plan, expect to pay around $299 for the phone as of this posting.

Equipped” is an AMC Outdoors blog, written by Matt Heid.

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Matt Heid

Equipped blogger Matt Heid is AMC's gear guru: He loves gear and he loves using it in the field. While researching several guidebooks, including AMC's Best Backpacking in New England, he has hiked thousands of miles across New England, California, and Alaska, among other wilderness destinations. He also cycles, climbs, and surfs.