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Review: Garmin Asus Garminfone

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Touch Menus Calls / Contacts Messaging  

Making calls is a snap with the T-Mobile Garminfone. The onscreen keypad is large and easy to use for dialing. From the dialing screen, you can quickly jump to your call log, full contact list or just your favorites, and the latter appears as avatar pictures on screen. I wish there was a way to plant favorites on the home screen for fast direct dialing, a feature on every other Android phone, but there's no way to call someone without at least a few clicks.

Once you've connected a call, the Garminfone makes it easy to manage the calling features you need. I had no trouble adding a second call for a 3-way chat, and then splitting off the call again. The speakerphone, mute button and dial pad are all one tap away from the calling screen. I especially like that the phone requires very little menu digging; all the key features are up front.

 

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The Garminfone comes up short in contact sync capabilities. You can synchronize with your Google contacts and your Microsoft Exchange contacts, and for many users that may be enough. But most Android phones offer some level of sync with social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace, and the Garminfone does not. It cannot even pull pictures from the Facebook app to populate your contacts, so most of my contact pics were empty.

The address book is quite capable. You can add as many phone numbers, addresses and other bits of information as you need. Instead of typing in an address directly, if you're creating a contact listing for someone and you're at their location, you can use the GPS sensor to find it and add the address automatically. A few times, the phone tried to tell me I was in Kentucky, a few states away, but always corrected itself eventually.

 
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