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Garmin Nuvifone Drags Itself to Market

Back in the all-but-forgotten winter of '08, the world was given a glimpse of a device that took it by storm--a Garmin...wait for it...PHONE!! Yes, the Nuvifone was a much-anticipated little piece of technology that promised to roll all the GPS functionality of a Garmin handheld into a mobile phone. At the time, this was a very exciting prospect, and had the phone hit the market when it was supposed to--a year ago--it may have received much success. 

Unfortunately, the promises of a Garmin phone lingered on and on for months and numerous delays pushed its release back. For over a year and a half, no actual Nuvifone materialized on the market--until this very day.

The Garmin Nuvifone G60 is alive and well, and it's coming to stores near you. Of course, at this point, much of its original splendor has worn off and GPS apps for other smartphones like the iPhone have made the once-cutting-edge Nuvifone look dated before its even sold a single unit. However, for those that enjoy the idea of having your Garmin and talking on it too, October 4 is the big day--so after waiting for so long, there's less than a week left. 

 

The Nuvifone G60 features full GPS; voice-based, turn-by-turn directions with street names; the "Where Am I?" function that provides your location information with the nearest vital services; preloaded maps of North America; and millions of points of interest. It also includes car mounting hardware for use in automobiles.

For those that don't mind coughing up an extra $5.99/month, you can also get expanded features through Premium Connected Services, which include traffic info, gas prices, weather, movie times, local events and white pages.

On the phone end, the Nuvifone is a relatively non-descript smartphone that offers a 3.55-inch WQVGA resistive touchscreen, 3G compatibility,Web browser, Wi Fi, Bluetooth, MP3 playback and 3MP camera with geo-tagging and autofocus. 

For those that are still excited about the phone, the price tag threatens to bring you back down to Earth--$299 with two-year AT&T service agreement and $100 mail-in rebate. Maybe in September '08, but that seems kind of steep in today's climate. If you're still debating, get the full scoop on Garmin's website and decide if the addition of "world's best-selling GPS navigator" makes this phone worth buying. 

(Update: Garmin Nuvifone G60 is now available and at Amazon.)

CNET via GadgetCrave