Is It True? Are Optus Really Releasing The Nüvifone?

It's been so long since Garmin announced the nüvifone, I thought it was turning into vapourware. But no, Optus has announced that they'll be one of the first carriers in the world to launch the Garmin Asus branded A10 smartphone, starting from today.

So technically, it doesn't seem to be branded nüvifone at all, although it obviously stems from the original concept announced back in 2008. The A10 is a dual band device running on the 900MHz and 210MHz HSPA frequencies, which kind of suits the whole 'exclusive to Optus' agreement they've got going at the moment. The phone is powered by Android 1.6, which gives you plenty of apps to choose from, but given the custom UI and the current state of upgrading Android, it's doubtful you'll be seeing Froyo on this any time soon.

Naturally, the whole GPS thing is one of the big selling points, with support for both in-car turn by turn voice navigation as well as pedestrian navigation. There's Garmin's lane-assist support inside as well as street names being spoken during navigation, and the whole navigation side of the phone integrates tightly with Google's voice search, allowing you to speak your destination and navigate from there.

Other interesting specs include a 5MP camera with geo-tagging functionality, a 1500mAh battery and a 3.2-inch capacitive touchscreen. The phone also comes with a windscreen mount in the box, while all the maps are pre-installed on the phone.

Price wise, the phone is exclusive to Optus and available for $0 up front on their $29 social plan, which includes 200MB of data each month. Maybe it's just me, but that sounds pretty good for a GPS-toting Android powered smartphone...