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AT&T crippled the nuvifone

by kingstu    Oct 12, 2009, 9:26 AM

I was someone who got the nuvifone as soon as it was out. I paid full price and didn't get a contract. I was pleased with some of it's features but very disappointed that it was crippled.

The unlocked version that is sold is asia has USB tethering, Google Local Search, RSS Feeds and works as a stand alone GPS without sim card. The device is expensive but the price was fair compared to the top of the line GPS that garmin sells.

The location based features were all very well integrated. If you think of it as a GPS with phone feature added that is basically what it is. The geo-tagging of the pictures is great to be able to find a place again and the geotagging of sms and email lets someone else with a nuvifone easily locate you.

The battery life is horrible. You can't last a whole day with it turned on without needing a recharge. AT&T also removed the car charger that comes standard in the asian version. Fortunately the mini USB port makes it very easy to buy aftermarket chargers.

I found it to be very easy to use and very simple. Anyone who doesn't like to tweak and wants things to just work will enjoy it's intuitive feel. Setting up the email reader for Gmail was also easy and the GPS features worked well, both for driving and automotive.

The speakerphone was not that loud but fine to hear the directions. I suppose bluetooth would be a better option. The web browser was easy to use and full featured except it didn't have flash. The camera was okay for outdoors pictures in daylight.

The music player was simple but adequate. It didn't have any games but I don't play games. There is a complete system image available on garmin's developer site so people who like to modify could add new features and abilities but that is beyond me.

It is a good "first try" for garmin but AT&T definitely crippled it. Rumors of future garmin phones perhaps based on Android make me hope that they will come out soon so it could keep all the GPS goodness and give more smart phone features.

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