The iPhone may have Google Maps, but it doesn’t rely on real GPS— it approximates your location using cell phone towers. And while there are smartphones with GPS out there, none contains a fully-featured GPS device. Garmin’s newly-announced nüviphone may be the first phone we’ve seen that we’d want instead of an iPhone: it’s a touch screen device that is at once a 3.5G smartphone and full-on GPS unit for driving and walking.
Garmin’s known for its GPS devices but seems to be trying to enter the cell phone market with a splash. The nüviphone will speak directions to you while you’re driving but transition seamlessly into speakerphone mode if you get a call. It has a web browser and will play your MP3s. Like most cell phones the nüviphone has a built in camera. Unlike other cell phones it’s able to tag each picture with the latitude and longitude of where the picture was taken.
Mio showed off a similar concept phone at CES this year, but it was a two-sided device with no announced production plans. Garmin intends to get the nüviphone into American stores by the third quarter of this year, though there’s no information yet about pricing or possible wireless carriers.