Garmin gets official with its nuvifone

We know, it's not like the nüvifone is a total surprise any longer, but just in case you tend to rest easier after digesting information straight from the source, here goes. Garmin's recently (and abruptly) announced handset obviously marks the firm's first solo foray into the cellphone arena, and according to Cliff Pemble, the firm's president and COO, it's the "breakthrough product that cellphone and GPS users around the world have been longing for." That being said, the unit will feature a 3.5-inch touchscreen with a trio of primary icons -- Call, Search and View Map -- along with an internet browser, HSDPA support and preloaded maps of North America and / or Eastern and Western Europe. Furthermore, it houses "millions" of POIs, doles out turn-by-turn, voice-prompted directions and becomes Garmin's first device to include Google's local search capability. As for pricing and availability? We're looking at a Q3 2008 release, but we'll have to wait things out before finding out a price and who exactly will be carrying it. Check out the gallery below for shots of the device and its UI, and head on over to Engadget Classic for lots more pics.

Here's an overview of the rest of the features:

  • "Where am I?" - spits out precise longitude / latitude coordinates at a moment's notice

  • Helps drivers remember where they parked by marking the position in which it was last removed from the vehicle mount

  • Garmin Online - an online service offering constantly updated information such as real-time traffic, fuel prices, stock prices, sports scores, news reports, local events and weather forecasts

  • Built-in camera (megapixels currently unknown; captures video as well) that automatically tags photos with exact longitude / latitude. This allows the user to navigate back to the location or email the image to a recipient who can navigate directly to its location.

  • Provides direct access to millions of geo-located landmark and sightseeing photographs available through Google's Panaramio picture sharing site

  • Integrated media player to handle MP3, MPEG4 and AAC files

  • Just in case you missed it: Q3 2008 release; price and "sales partners" will be announced "in the future"