The grey, black, and silver case measures 6.0-inches tall, 2.6-inches wide, 1.2-inches thick and with…
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Garmin DriveSmart 65 review: What you ought to know
The DriveSmart’s 6.95in screen size is merely about suitable for its purpose. It’s large enough and the screen sharp enough at 1,024 x 600 to plainly show details at tricky junctions, while at exactly the same time remaining compact enough that it shouldn’t obscure the street once mounted on the windscreen.
It’s smartly designed, too. The suction-cup mount that attaches it to your windscreen creates an excellent, strong seal and a quick-release clip permits you to attach and take away the device from the mount easily, so that you can stow it somewhere out of sight when you park your vehicle.
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The touchscreen is really as responsive as a mid-range smartphone, with menus checking quickly when you tap buttons and the map expanding smoothly when you pinch to zoom.
Setting your destination is easy, and you could set it using the postcode, street name, point of interest or coordinates. The Garmin can discover a parking space near your destination and navigate directly there. If you want to stop off along the way – at a petrol station or supermarket, for instance – you can locate a location near your route and navigate there in less than four clicks.
The typical route display isn’t as clear as you’ll find from an equivalent device from TomTom. However, in terms of complicated junctions, this Garmin is in a league of its. Clear 3D diagrams show which lane you should be in as you approach, plus they pop up more often than they do on TomTom satnavs.
Furthermore, the voice prompts are genuinely useful, explaining that one could drive in either of both outside lanes, for instance, instead of supplying a standard “keep right” instruction. On a route such as for example London’s North Circular where lanes disappear and the street splits, this helps it be hard to have a wrong turn.
The device also contains maps for 45 countries across Europe preloaded so, unlike Google Maps, you will keep using it in remote areas where you may well not have a data connection.
For traffic information, that’s where things get started to get complicated. The Garmin 65 comes in two models, with either “Live Traffic” (£230) or “Digital Traffic” (£250, reduced to £230 on Amazon, currently). The former gets traffic information with a pairing together with your smartphone and the Garmin app; the latter receives it over the air DAB radio signals and doesn’t require pairing with a smartphone at all.
If you ask me, the Live Traffic method works more reliably anyway, so you’re better off saving your cash and deciding on that version. In conditions of the grade of the traffic information itself, TomTom devices remain slightly more accurate at identifying slow-moving traffic, but there’s not really a lot of difference.
Garmin DriveSmart 65 review: Other features
The Garmin DriveSmart 65 isn’t simply a plain satnav, though. It’s also filled with additional functions, like the capability to take and make hands-free calls, display texts and alerts and let you dictate them.
You need to use the touchscreen to regulate all of this but it’s far more convenient to hire Garmin’s own voice controls system, by saying “Okay Garmin” and asking it to either make a call or set your destination. It’s reasonably effective but I came across it struggled to handle strong regional accents. If voice control may be the feature you truly want, you might like to wait before Alexa version is released down the road this summer.
The 65’s other extra features are more humdrum. Much like other satnavs, the DriveSmart 65 monitors your speed and warns you if you’re exceeding the limit for the street you’re on; there are speed-camera alerts, too, that can be updated over Wi-Fi, similar to the maps.
If you prefer a regular chorus of alerts, you could have the 65 warn you when you’re near potential hazards such as for example schools. Additionally, it may advise when you’ve driven for long enough and desire a break, or give advice for places to go to from Foursquare and TripAdvisor.
Finally, it’s also possible to get a supplementary camera for the trunk of your vehicle (£130) and link it to the screen for better visibility when you’re reversing. This truly may be the satnav that does everything.
Garmin DriveSmart 65 review: Verdict
As modern cars become increasingly connected, and smartphone navigation becomes more complex, the marketplace for dedicated satnavs is shrinking.
But there will be a location for devices as effective as the Garmin DriveSmart 65, using its large, sharp screen, excellent guidance at junctions and excellent ease of use. Put in a gaggle of driver-focused features, such as for example speed-camera and speed-limit alerts, and you have the most flexible, effective navigation devices on the highway. It’s expe