Garmin-Asus nuvifone M10 - A Budget GPS Smartphone

Launch SRP: S$638


Ignition On

The M10 is a stark difference from the earlier M20, notably with its screen size. Sporting a much larger 3.5-inch screen compared to the M20's tiny 2.8-inch screen, the M10 seems like it would be easier to use. However, the truth is far from that. The 3.5-inch screen is seemingly thicker, and with its resistive touch screen, registering an input on it will require much effort.

The M10 doesn't exactly impress with its thick profile. Handling the device can be challenging on one's hands; its longer than usual length requires stretching our fingers to use it effectively. The lack of sensitivity of the touchscreen is also found on the touch panel too, which houses the Start button between the Call and End buttons. If you're going back to the old school stylus method of input, you'll find the extendable stylus at the bottom right corner. That said, even the stylus isn't much help in getting things done fast on the M10. 

The M10 has a thick profile, and with it, a heftier weight to handle too.

The resistive touchscreen is one of our setbacks for the usability of the device as it lacked sensitivity and responsiveness in our use.

The stylus, located at the bottom right, didn't offer much help either.

Besides the usual 3.5mm audio port (which wasn't available on the earlier M20) and the microUSB port located at the left, the M10 also comes with another contact point on the middle of its left profile. Similar to its earlier Garmin-Asus siblings, the contact point is exclusively used for its car cradle. With a car charger kit connected to the cradle, the M10 will also be constantly juiced up. This is especially important for the M10, which will be drawing much more power from its battery with its GPS active.

A 3.5mm audio port, which wasn't available on its smaller M20 sibling.

The contact point, which docks to the car cradle...

...switches to interface to landscape mode and charges the M10 via the car charger kit.

The back of the device plainly houses the 5-megapixel camera and the speaker. What is obvious is the lack of an LED flash and a camera button. The former is still a common issue amongst smartphones, and the latter is a move for manufacturers to go towards the full touchscreen experience. Unfortunately, the M10 lacks an autofocus feature, and all that has an impact in its performance evaluation as you'll see later on. Delving deeper, we found the SIM and microSD card slots underneath the 1500mAh battery. Take due care as you lock both cards in, and ensure that the cards are set in place before you clamp it down.

A 5-megapixel camera with no LED flash nor autofocus doesn't do the M10 any favors

No springs or slots here, just set the memory and SIM cards down, and hold it down with a metal clamp.

The Good
Affordable for a GPS smartphone
Free maps and voice navigation for Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei
The Bad
Unresponsive touch screen
Sluggish interface with heavy app loading
Thick profile