Garmin Asus A50 detailed review (vs A10)

The Garmin-Asus A50 has a sleek hardware

Now, this might explain the one week gap that has been on my blog. Thanks to the guys at ASUS, I have had an A50 in the house over the past two weeks. After using it, here is my very bullish review on it. Bear in mind, this is also a head-to-head competition with the previous Garmin-Asus A10. Without wasting time, lets begin with the reviews.

External Hardware

The A50 is much slimmer than the A10

To be honest, the hardware of the A50 looks very sleek. In fact, I like the design better than the A10. While the A10 was much driven towards its ‘chic’ look, the A50 is bold and possesses a business profile. Its slimmer, yet taller and wider than the A10 too and fits excellently in your palm. Unlike the A10, the A50 has four soft keys adding a “call” soft key on the front panel. Not only that, it also has a 5-way scroll keys which was missing in the A10. While the scrolls are a bit sluggish for my big thumb, it helps a lot some ways (like browsing the website when you don’t want to use multi-touch). A50 score (6/10)

Screen

The A50 has a clear win in terms of its TFT LCD against the A10

Now, I would’ve discussed the screen in the hardware part, but I can talk a lot about this screen so I just have to make it a section of its own. The technology used in the A50 is the same as that of A10. Its a TFT capacitive touchscreen with 256K colors and 320 x 480 resolution. The A50 helds a 3.5″ screen compared to the 3.2″ of the A10. With this little change, the difference is pretty huge. The brightness and the colors of the A50 screen are much more vivid too compared to the A10. While its frustrating not to have AMOLED in either phone, it doesn’t let you down in its TFT category though. A50 score (5/10)

Storage

The A50 has 4GB internal storage memory and supports up to 32GB external SD card

The storage of the A50 is ample, but not as much as that of the A10. The A50 has 4GB internal SD memory with 256MB RAM and 256MB ROM. While these specs are enough to run the phone comfortably, I was hoping at least it would bare the same specs as that of the A10 which are 4GB internal SD memory with 512MB RAM and 512MB ROM. As we know, Android is all about performance and not candy-eye. A50 score (4/10)

Processor

Both A50 and A10 has the same Qualcomm 7227 600MHz processor

A big factor that is often identified first in a particular Android phone is the processor. The A50 is bearing the same processor that was in the A10 which is the Qualcomm MSM 7227 which clocks at 600MHz. It is also the same processor that you will find in your HTC Legend. While most hardware manufacturers are looking forward to dual-cores, Asus has not yet even ventured with the Snapdragon yet. I hope Asus’ next Android phone will at least bear a 1GHz processor if not a dual core beast. For the A50, the 600MHz was not a letdown though. Considering the A50 is a mid-range Android phone, it ranks pretty well among most of its competitors. A50 score (5/10)

Camera

I really don’t know why, but Asus decided to fit in the 3.2MPx camera into this sexy machine instead of the 5MPx found in its predecessor. With a much awesomer screen, I didn’t expect to get a lower resolution camera really. However, Asus did chuck in the autofocus and geo-tagging to compensate. The video recording is not as good as the A10, but for the price that you pay for the A50, you get VGA@24fps – which actually is not bad at all. A50 score (4/10)

Navigation

A50 has its own navigation hardware sold separately and does not fit with the A10

The navigation has to be an awesome catch on the A50. The Garmin navigation gets sexier and robust. You can even use 3D maps on the A50 this time. To put it in simple words, Garmin application was already awesome, A10 made it awesomer, and the A50 made it a pleasure. With a wider screen, the navigation looks more spacious and neat. The GPS connectivity is still similar to that of the A10 and connects very quickly – one of the best feature Garmin-Asus phones have had so far. Within less than a minute; in fact within half a minute, your GPS is already synced to the satellites and you are ready to navigate. Not to forget, since Garmin has the widest variety of available third party maps, the Garmin-Asus phones are not left out. You can use the third-party maps that have the .img extensions as described in my tutorial here. A50 score (8/10)

User Interface

The A50 comes stock with Android 2.1-update1 (Eclair)

To all asians, we actually got these Garmin-Asus phones way late. But we are lucky enough. Previous batches of both A10 and A50 came with Android 1.6. We got our cut of Eclair on both phones. However, I have confirmed this with the ASUS boys, and according to them, the A10 will be getting Froyo somewhere in January, but the A50 so far has not received any news about Froyo yet. Its undecided whether it will get or not. But I wouldn’t whine about it. Eclair is already a very good update. Anything after 1.6 works just fine for me.

One thing that I really was taken aback on the A50 was the number of homescreen available for widgets. It was reduced compared to the A10. Maybe there was supposed to be an option where you could add / remove the number of homescreen, but no. They removed some of the screens. Now this is one reason I want to root these phones – use a custom Launcher like ADW or LauncherPro. So that I can have as many screens as I want.

Not to forget, there is still the ASUS’ own simpler launcher if you wish to use that. Personally, I just view it once on both phones and then used the Android Launcher all the way. I don’t think that needs an explanation right? ☺ A50 score (6/10).

The Verdict?

No doubt, the A50 definitely has a better hardware

Okay, first of all, this review was a comparison of A50 with the A10. Bear in mind, the A10 is 50% more expensive than the A50 so it is expected to be a very tough competition for the A50. All in all, the A50 is actually a great device. I tried to use it as my secondary phone to replace my A10 (My primary phone is my Nexus One). I have to say, I was able to use it on my daily basis for the purpose. In fact, I didn’t even think much about the A10. Most of the time when I had to use the A10 was when I had to compare “Does A10 have this?”.

Nothing is perfect

The A50 is a perfect mid-range Android phone if you are planning to get a first touch of the Android

Once again, many people thanked the most for this part on the A10 review previously. I know most of us who are considering a phone and looking for reviews are indeed looking for these pointers. I would honestly say, the little RAM and ROM is a let down for me. I was expecting at least 512MB of ROM and 512MB of RAM. Apart from that, once again, fastboot is not included in the A50 just like the A10. Then again, considering the Garmin and ASUS partnership split, I suppose things will change in the future. Nevertheless, the A50 can be rooted. We just need a platform to flash custom ROMs and get some activity among the developers. On Android, its these developments that make the phone famous. Its just the hard truth :)

Overall Garmin-Asus A50 score = 5/10

Shahz

Print
  1. christian
    #1 written by christian  (6 years ago)

    hello!
    will be available when you upgrade to the Garmin Froyo asus a10? you have news about it? you failed to understand how to fix the bugs of this terminal?

    • admin
      #2 written by admin  (6 years ago)

      I dont know about the terminal, but I sure did failed to understand your question here..

      • ficky
        #3 written by ficky  (5 years ago)

        Dear All

        I’m a new android user, I just get a new A50 from Australia and try to root it. It’s successful with z4root and I try to install Thai font to system. Unfortuantely I did wrong by deleting font folder in the system, therefore I can’t run the system again. When I power on, it still have only garmin asus android logo and can’t use it again. Does anyone please let me know how to restore or resolve this problem, or I have to throw it away? Thank you in advance.

        Cheers!

        • Shahz
          #4 written by Shahz  (5 years ago)

          You need to reflash the ROM. If you don’t know how, take it to the ASUS guys. They will do it for you.

          • ficky
            #5 written by ficky  (5 years ago)

            ok, thanx for advice, but the asus centre in 400 km from my hometown. maybe i need more suggestion how to reflash the rom manually.. thank for your attention..

          • ficky
            #6 written by ficky  (5 years ago)

            at last.. i took my a50 to the asus centre and now it can turn on again. thanx

  2. christian
    #7 written by christian  (6 years ago)

    sorry for my english…
    retry.

    do you say when will be avaiable update to froyo for the garmin asus a10?

    and, for the garmin asus a10 you have found a solution for the sensor bug?

    • admin
      #8 written by admin  (6 years ago)

      The Froyo upgrade will be available in January..As for the sensor bug, you need to send it to Asus service centre..The problem is a mixture of firmware and hardware..

  3. christian
    #9 written by christian  (6 years ago)

    thanks, very mach ;)

    i suppose this is a global problem, but the garminasus italian assistance is very poor

    • admin
      #10 written by admin  (6 years ago)

      Did you visit them? Its always best to visit them and ask for a replacement :)

  4. christian
    #11 written by christian  (6 years ago)

    i think i’ve found a solution for the black screen on a10. you must to install the application “adw.launcher” because the problem is in the original interface (breeze or classic) by garmin-asus.

    find me on facebook: garmin-asus a10 italia fan

    bye

  5. Nicholas Lee
    #12 written by Nicholas Lee  (6 years ago)

    Hi Mr Shanz ..
    i was planing to buy a Garmin Asus right after this coming Chines New Year and i was wondering , Should i get the A10 with the Digi plan or the A50 , in comparison of over all Specs & functionality i still cant make up my mind as there’s pro’s & com’s on both devices, according to Mobile88.com they mentioned that A10 does not have an Accelerometer is that true ??.. Please gv me some comments to help makeup my mind .. TQ :-)

    • admin
      #13 written by admin  (6 years ago)

      Hello Nicholas,

      Major thing that you should consider is which one is more important to you:

      1. Larger screen – get the A50

      2. Better camera – get the A10

      Don’t believe mobile88.com then. Both A10 and A50 have accelerometers in them.

  6. Nicholas Lee
    #14 written by Nicholas Lee  (6 years ago)

    actually i’m more towards performance .. considering that a50 only have half the amount of ram compared to a10 , is there any major difference between 256 & 512 in the android part of the world ??..( sorry if this sounds stupid to you as i’ve never used an android before)… uses GPS sometimes and playing around with apps will be the main use of this phone .. camera is not that important to me.. alse does apps2sd works in both phones ??..

  7. shahz
    #15 written by shahz  (6 years ago)

    Of course there is difference in 256 & 512..however, the a 50 runs good enough with its ram..although the homescree has only 4 pages for customization..the a10 has 5 pages..that too can be overcomed with third party launchers – launcher pro or ADW..

    A2SD? Not needed..u have 4gb internal sd space…waaaaaay too much..

    If performance is ur concern, a10 is your baby :)

    • Nicholas Lee
      #16 written by Nicholas Lee  (6 years ago)

      Thanks Guys … Will get my A10 Soon & be a member of the Android Comunity .. ^^v

      • Nicholas Lee
        #17 written by Nicholas Lee  (6 years ago)

        oh .. last question , can A10 install apps on the 4gb eMMC memory ??
        read some review in The Star saying that apps can only be installed on the 512mb rom only the 4Gb is meant for storage of medias & documents

        • admin
          #18 written by admin  (6 years ago)

          That will be enabled soon once Froyo is in :)

          • Nicholas Lee
            #19 written by Nicholas Lee  (6 years ago)

            thanks again .. ^^

  8. Nicholas Lee
    #20 written by Nicholas Lee  (6 years ago)

    hi again … juz saw some technews & sad to say that garmin is available for i-phone already .. which means Garmin is not a privilege for garmin asus users anymore … T.T

    • shahz
      #21 written by shahz  (6 years ago)

      If its available for iPhone, it will be available for Android too :)

  9. Nicholas Lee
    #22 written by Nicholas Lee  (6 years ago)

    this means there’s no better reasons to buy a garmin asus handset anymore if garmin is available for others since there’s other handsets with way better specs than garmin asus

    • admin
      #23 written by admin  (6 years ago)

      Depends on how you see it actually. Some people really can’t afford the high-end Android and for the fact that these prices drop drastically, people opt for much affordable solution – for which I see the Asus as a clear fit. Besides, the Asus phones do have the looks too in comparison to its direct peers :)

  10. Nicholas Lee
    #24 written by Nicholas Lee  (6 years ago)

    is froyo here yet ??… any official release dates yet dispite only January ??..

    • admin
      #25 written by admin  (6 years ago)

      Nope..not yet..

  11. Nicholas Lee
    #26 written by Nicholas Lee  (6 years ago)

    any news about froyo yet ??..

  12. syed
    #28 written by syed  (6 years ago)

    salam. i got my A50 a month ago. after install 10+ apps i find my phone respond become slower n jerky. any advice to coupe for this prob? thanks!

  13. Nicholas Lee
    #30 written by Nicholas Lee  (6 years ago)

    gave up on A10 already & bought LG Optimus One from Celcom for RM498 instead (including Ndrive GPS malaysia FOC) ^^ … hehehe … Long Live Froyo … ^^v

    • Shahz
      #31 written by Shahz  (6 years ago)

      One A10 user down..I have even a worse feeling than this..lol

  14. syed
    #32 written by syed  (6 years ago)

    salam shahz. can u teach me how to root the A50? how can i upgrade the map to new version?

    • Shahz
      #33 written by Shahz  (6 years ago)

      I haven’t root my A50 yet though..As for maps upgrade, you can go to garminasus website to do so..

  15. shano
    #34 written by shano  (6 years ago)

    mcm ne nk update map A50

  16. shano
    #36 written by shano  (6 years ago)

    xlih…dia mntk user name in latin alphanumeric..xtau cara

    • Allan
      #37 written by Allan  (6 years ago)

      google latin alphanumeric, you will understand :-)

  17. Sand
    #38 written by Sand  (6 years ago)

    Hello ShahZ, Im kinda interested in buying this A50 la. I just wanna make calls, text and use the gps only dan garmin and asus sudah berpisah? Macam tak sedap hati sgt nak beli pulak. Hope you have a nice day :)

    • Shahz
      #39 written by Shahz  (6 years ago)

      Why is that? The partnership resolved, but that doesn’t put an end to the device. The A50 is really sleek ツ

      What other device do you have in mind then?

  18. shano
    #40 written by shano  (6 years ago)

    ade masalah tak selapas update map?tolog ajar

    • Shahz
      #41 written by Shahz  (6 years ago)

      Saya dah guna hampir setahun nih..Tak pernah ada masalah..Tapi ada devices yang dikatakan ada masalah dalam batch yang lalu..Batch baru dikatakan dah ok balik..

  19. sand
    #42 written by sand  (6 years ago)

    Mr Shahz I dah beli..so far pretty decent..Thanks for your review :)

  20. lingyg
    #44 written by lingyg  (6 years ago)

    Love your review of the comparison between A10-A50. It’s comprehensive enough and yet not heavy to read. Good Job ShahZ!

  21. Shahz
    #45 written by Shahz  (6 years ago)

    Thanks lingyg ツ I’m glad you enjoyed it ツ

  22. caro
    #46 written by caro  (5 years ago)

    salam bro,
    tanya sikit model a50 nie kalau beli dtg dgn car kit set tak?agak-agak berapa harga nyer.. ?.baru ada hati nak beli telipon pintar… :-D

    • Shahz
      #47 written by Shahz  (5 years ago)

      Takde. Car kit tu kena beli asing. Kalau tak silap, RM150 untuk kit tersebut.

  23. xSyLkOxDj
    #48 written by xSyLkOxDj  (5 years ago)

    Hi @ all i have an A50 and it says “close the battery cover and restart the device to complete first-time setup” but there are 2 problems : first the battery cover is closed. 2nd it isn’t the first time that i start the phone ….. when i restart the phoe …. same problem Help PLS

  24. Allif
    #49 written by Allif  (5 years ago)

    Hi shahz. I found out my A10 got problem. Ask for close the battery cover and restart. I did it many times, close the cover battery but the repeating error still occured and asking to restart again and again. But before that I already unroot using the z4root and after that uninstall the z4root application. Once i finished with this i do master reset. I dunno what happen exactly. Can u suggest solution for me?

    • Shahz
      #50 written by Shahz  (5 years ago)

      Actually the cover problem is a hardware and software combination problem. You need to take it to the ASUS to get it fixed.

  25. Allif
    #51 written by Allif  (5 years ago)

    Does this kind of problem void the warranty?

  26. Shahz
    #52 written by Shahz  (5 years ago)

    With asus,its not much of an issue :)

  27. Arque
    #53 written by Arque  (5 years ago)

    Caro – kalo beli dr SengHeng/SenQ, pakej termasuk car kit & dpt free gift digital camera lagi.

    I want to share my experience with blank screen problem. When i first got the A50, i didn’t install the screen protector and only install it two weeks later. After i install it, the blank screen problem start to occur. Because it happen right after i install the screen protector, i’m sure the problem got to do with it. Remembering my old 5800 had a small cut-out for the proximity sensor, so i thought maybe the screen protector is messing up the sensor. Upon hours of experimenting, I found out the sensor is located in the top right portion (just beside the ‘nuvifone’ marking). So i cut out that portion from the protector, reattach it and the problem gone.

  28. TomatomanzSeedlezz
    #54 written by TomatomanzSeedlezz  (5 years ago)

    G’day there!, I just registered my A50, and it said it has new software update.

    After i updated, i noticed my software version still the same?.. or is it other software versoin i should be looking for?..

    And it showed me that it has new map updates.. when i try to update it.. it has two maps options, which one should i update?..

    Available Map Updates
    ==============
    1. Malsingmaps Singapore/Malaysia NT 2010.20

    2. DB,City Navigator Singapore/Malaysia NT Map,2010.20

    (latest map update its 2011.10).

    Or shld i just update both?..

    Cheers @:3

  29. hafiz
    #55 written by hafiz  (5 years ago)

    Someone help me plz…my A50 cannot download any apps and showing the image on the top left hand side say that the storage is not enuf space,plz delete some of the data. BUT,actually my internal storage still have much of the space…

  30. normah
    #56 written by normah  (5 years ago)

    i have same problem with hafiz. some people said that we need to root it first and then use apps2sd to move the apps to the sdcard.the prob is app2sd, we need to make 2 primary partition to your sdcard. anyone have any idea how to solve the memory problem on garmin A50???

  31. Anwar
    #57 written by Anwar  (5 years ago)

    Hi, can anyone confirm what is the largest capacity microSD card that this A50 can recognize?

    • Shahz
      #58 written by Shahz  (5 years ago)

      I would say 32GB although I’d rather be using 16GB maximum

  32. steve
    #61 written by steve  (5 years ago)

    I love the a50 but not being able to upgrade to at least gingerbread leaves me looking for a new phone. Loved your article,you’ve got Heart.
    Cheers Steve.

  33. nahri
    #62 written by nahri  (5 years ago)

    salam. bro, nk tny la. aku guna a50. aku nk unlock pattern, tp xleh, sbb dah try byk kali. then die mtk unlock gune emel. aku dah try, still xleh unlock jugak. adakah sbb aku tak access internet.? klu sbb tak access internet, camne aku nk access kalau aku tak unlock kan. so how.? ada apa2 solution? thx.

  34. Anwar
    #63 written by Anwar  (4 years ago)

    Asm Shah,
    I have a bit of a problem with Asus repair center and was wondering if you knew anybody at Asus personally who can help me deal with them. I’ve sent my A50 to them for repair April 19th and till now they have not been able to tell me any meaningful status regarding the repairs. Hope you can help.

  35. Go Where?
    #64 written by Go Where?  (4 years ago)

    Hi Shahz,

    I saw this ori a50 set being advertised on mudah for RM 383.

    Do you think this is the market price now as of June 2012?

    Or does it sound like a fake?

  36. mz
    #65 written by mz  (4 years ago)

    slam… bro sya nak mnta tlong skit psal phones garmin asus a10 sya ni, bla sya on yg tertra garmin asus ja ? sya hrap bro dpt tlong msalah sya ni tq

    • shahz
      #66 written by shahz  (4 years ago)

      Kene wipe tu..Cuba factory reset dari recovery?

  37. googleplay card
    #67 written by googleplay card (1 year ago)

    When some one searches for his essential thing, thus he/she wants to be available that in detail, therefore that thing is maintained over here.

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